PART ONE: VERY COINCIDENTAL
PART TWO: VERY, VERY COINCIDENTAL
1.) Very Coincidental - The CIA's Jonathan Neerman (left) works for Dallas' Hunton & Williams, a criminal enclave of a law firm embroiled in a number of Republican scandals including Enron's collapse and the CIA torture debacle. As it happens, Neerman is on the outs among local GOP leaders for trying to revive the Party by recruiting (duping, IMhO, "reaching out to") minorities, like himself (he's a Hispanic Jew) - even homosexuals - and easing up on traditional hard-nosed Republican social positions. Old Guard Republicans vow to fight Neerman to the bitter end ... then an accused Middle Eastern terrorist pulls up to the building where Neerman practices law, loaded, unbeknownst to him, with dummy explosives, gratis the FBI. I've provided a number of leads to track. Anyone making headway on this case is urged to send me research for posting (mainly because I'm anxious to know more about this case). - AC (Revised)
By John Council | Texas Lawyer
September 25, 2009
A whole lot of Dallas lawyers are going to work today in a building that’s making national news.
Fountain Place, 1445 Ross Ave., in downtown Dallas was reportedly the scene of an attempted terrorist attack foiled by undercover FBI agents on Thursday. According to The Dallas Morning News, a man was arrested after he parked a vehicle -- packed with fake explosives supplied by the FBI as part of a sting operation -- in the underground parking garage of the building.
The building is home to the Dallas offices of two large firms, Hunton & Williams, which employs about 120 lawyers, and Bracewell & Guiliani, which employees about 50 lawyers.
“It is certainly a wake-up call,” says Sandy Brown, managing partner of the Dallas office of Bracewell. “We’re going to have a briefing this afternoon with the building. And after that the FBI is coming over here to meet with one or two representatives of each tenant. And then we’ll have an officewide meeting, all hands on deck kind of thing, after that.”
The incident brought back many memories for Jonathan Neerman, an associate with Hunton & Williams who was working as a CIA agent and counterterrorist analyst on Sept. 11. Like many lawyers who work in the building, Neerman didn’t learn about the incident until after work hours.
[See: JONATHAN NEERMAN - REPUBLICAN PARTY COUNTY CHAIRMAN. BACKGROUND NOTE - HUNTON & WILLIAMS is a criminal enterprise: "From The Enron scandal to the the oil for food debacle, Hunton and Williams in recent years has found itself on the other side of the law too many times. Whether its working for African dictators and warlords, running confidence games and ponzi schemes out of its lush offices, Hunton and Williams is on a downward spiral, and anyone entertaining the thought of hiring these people should definitely consider it twice. Security and Exchange Violations, multiple lawsuits (even from its own employees) top staffers disbarred, or found out to have no legal degrees at all, is just par for the course now at Hunton and Williams. It seems unbelievable that other discredited law firms, embroiled in illegality (Jenkens & Gilchrist [Jonathan Neerman's former employer] Closing After Admitting Role in Tax Fraud - Dallas firm to pay IRS $76 million in fines and fees) are eagerly hired by Hunton and Williams. This even goes for some of the lawyers in the Alberto Gonzales scandal, such as discredited attorney Kyle Samson." - http://huntonandwilliamssued.com/]
“I immediately had flashbacks to 9/11 and 9/12. The questions we were trained to ask were the same ones I have been thinking about for the last 12 hours," Neerman says. “Is he working alone or with a group? Did he select the target or did the FBI select the target? Was he doing it on behalf of an organization or an organization internationally? What were his methods?"
Neerman hopes he is allowed to participate in meetings with the FBI has about the incident with building tenants. “They need to make everybody comfortable -- what it was and what it’s not. Here’s what you don’t want: [Y]ou don’t want people to think that this [alleged] terrorist planted a real bomb that didn’t detonate properly. The tenants need to know that.”
Original headline: Terrorist Targeted Office Tower That Two BigLaw Firms Call Home
Neerman is "a committed conservative Republican, and President of the Dallas County Young Republicans."
HOUSTON'S BOBBY EBERLE, ANOTHER YOUNG REPUBLICAN OFFICER, CLAIMED TO HAVE WITNESSED FLIGHT 77 SLAMMING INTO THE PENTAGON ON 9/11/01: " .... Bobby has been recognized as a leader in conservative politics, including being profiled in USA Today (as one of five new "powerbrokers" of Internet politics) and Insight Magazine (for using the web to spread the GOP story). Bobby has appeared on MSNBC's Scarborough Country and has been a guest on numerous radio programs including Bloomberg Radio, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, and Fox Radio. Bobby has served in conservative, Republican leadership roles at the county, state, and national level. He was a delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention for Texas and covered the 2004 Republican National Convention as a member of the Internet media. He served as the state chairman for the Texas Young Republican Federation, and as the Vice Chairman at Large for the Young Republican National Federation. ... "
"Eberle said he saw AA 77 crash into Pentagon on 9/11 ... 'Eberle said his interest was further heightened when, during a trip to Washington, he witnessed American Airlines Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.' ... "
Q: Did Eberle wave at Alfred Regnery as they watched the carnage at the Pentagon?
FAST-FORWARD TO FASCISM PROMOTION BY BOBBY EBERLE ON OBAMA, TERRORISM: " ... Eberle, posting on a Republican Party site called The Loft, said Obama 'and his team have no limits on what they will do or say in order to inject socialist views into the minds of Americans. They also have absolutely no respect or appreciation for the American way and the sacrifices Americans have made in order to stay free and to promote the American way of life across the globe. Just take the latest effort being pitched at BarackObama.com. Rather than remembering the Americans who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Obama's political team wants you to make phone calls on 9/11 to fight back against 'Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists,' ... "
JONATHAN NEERMAN AND THE CIA
" ... Jonathan served our country as an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. He received numerous commendations for his service on the Balkans Task Force. In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Jonathan worked in the Counterterrorism Center, where he provided daily briefings to senior policymakers on global terrorist threats. ... "
" ... [Jonathan Neeman] was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C., and upon graduating from A&M served as a CIA imagery analyst. He later interned for the general counsel of the CIA while attending George Washington University Law School. After graduating from law school in 2002, he moved to Dallas and joined Jenkens & Gilchrist, which would fold in 2007 after the firm unraveled as a result of a tax shelter scandal originating in its Chicago offices. Many of Jenkens' local attorneys, including Neerman, joined the Dallas office of Hunton & Williams.
Neerman became involved in local politics, working at the grassroots level by making yard signs for Gary Griffith's successful Dallas City Council campaign in 2003, block walking for Republican Pete Sessions' congressional campaign and assisting in fund-raising efforts for Bush's second presidential bid in 2004.
His efforts paid off when he became president of the Dallas County Young Republicans in 2006.... "
STAUNCH GIULIANI SUPPORTER ...
NEERMAN, JONATHAN D. MR.
75238 HUNTON & WILLIAMS L.L.P./ATTORNEY
$2,300 06/29/2007 P RUDY GIULIANI
PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE INC - Republican
POWERFUL: THE HUNT FAMILY'S CANDIDATE FOR VICE CHAIR OF THE COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY STEPS ASIDE FOR THE CIA'S NEERMAN
" ... Neerman met with several local Republican leaders and quickly earned their endorsements. His only opponent was Alan Tompkins, vice president and general counsel for three entities owned by the family of Lamar Hunt. Tompkins, however, removed his name from consideration, and Neerman was named vice chair of the party in January, officially taking the helm in May. ... "
NEERMAN WANTS TO RESUSCITATE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BY RECRUITING GAYS AND MINORITIES
"...Neerman says most attendees agreed the party must reach out to minorities, gays and lesbians, but only a small faction seemed willing to speak about changing the party's conservative social agenda in order to incorporate more diverse points of view. 'You've got a conundrum because you've got to broaden the party, but there are going to be segments who don't want to do the things necessary to achieve that type of outreach,' he says. ... "
FAR-RIGHT BACKLASH: "THE OLD GUARD IS NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT"
The Eagle Forum's Cathie Adams
" ... The question is not whether change will come [to the Republican Party], but when – and how traumatically. The old guard is not going down without a fight. In a recent Dallas Observer, Eagle Forum's Cathie Adams lays into Mr. Neerman for reaching out to gays, pro-choicers and "environmental wackos."
'Yeah, I am talking to them, and that's OK,' Mr. Neerman tells me. 'If we quit talking, we lose those people who are fiscal conservatives, pro-Second Amendment and pro-environment.' ... "
"FBI Arrests Man Trying To Place Bomb Near Fountain Place Skyscraper"
Sep 25 2009
Dallas Police have arrested Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian citizen after he allegedly placed a device described as an inactive car bomb near a skyscraper in downtown Dallas. Breaking reports say Smadi was charged with “attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.”
Apparently according to news reports, Smadi had been under FBI surveillance for some time after expressing “his desire to commit violent jihad” numerous times.
FBI says agents arrested Smadi after he placed what he thought was a bomb at the base of Fountain Place, a 60-story skyscraper located in downtown Dallas.
James T. Jacks, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Robert E. Casey, Jr., Special Agent in Charge for the Dallas Office of the FBI, announced today that Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, has been arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Smadi, who was under continuous surveillance by the FBI, was arrested today near Fountain Place, a 60-story glass office tower located at 1445 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas, after he placed an inert/inactive car bomb at the location. Smadi, a Jordanian citizen in the U.S. illegally, lived and worked in Italy, Texas. He has repeatedly espoused his desire to commit violent Jihad and has been the focus of an undercover FBI investigation. ...
SMADI: TERRORIST OR "COOL" DUDE?
" ... The government says the man, who was in the U.S. illegally, spewed jihadist rhetoric and talked of killing Americans during more than six months of communications with three undercover FBI agents. The agents first encountered Smadi through an extremist Web site.
But friends in Italy, Texas, about 50 miles south of Dallas, say "Sam" as he was known, never gave any indication that he was a devout Muslim, much less that he had bloodshed on his mind. They described a carefree teen who drank and smoked with friends, entertained ladies and enjoyed dancing to techno music.
'We all thought he was cool,' said Tabatha Rogers, a neighbor who sometimes let Smadi baby-sit her children, ages 2 years and 3 months.
'Come to find out he wants to blow us up because we believe in God,' she said. ... "
2.) VERY, VERY COINCIDENTAL
THE DEED TO FOUNTAIN PLACE
" ... A series of owners including Wall Street firms and even an Australian investor over the years have held title to the eye-catching high-rise. Since 2004 the building has been owned by an investment fund set up by J.P. Morgan and Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate."
CRESCENT REAL ESTATE'S CEO IS RICHARD RAINWATER, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST FOR THE BASS FAMILY AND "SOLDIER OF FORTUNE"
" ... As the money man behind private military contractor Sovereign Deed, which is now in the process of building a base of operations in Pellston, Mich., it looks like Rainwater is preparing to profit again by moving from Fortune to Soldier of Fortune. ... "
SOVEREIGN DEED: "NEFARIOUS ... ANOTHER BLACKWATER"
The Michigan Land Use Institute has posted a story about a nefarious organization called Sovereign Deed, whose purpose seems to be to provide private sector emergency protection to the rich, seeing as FEMA is only for poor chumps with no connections to power, and nobody expects it to work any more. It’s another Blackwater type scenario – fear-based entrepreneur with checkered past sees opportunity to make money for self and fellow patriots at the expense of taxpayers.'
SOVEREIGN DEED, RAINWATER'S MILITARY CONTRACTOR, IS ANOTHER CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE
Sovereign Deed Founder Acknowledges Lying about Military Record
By Staff Report 3/7/08 10:00 AM
"Barrett Moore, founder of a private disaster response firm seeking tax breaks to establish operations in northern Michigan, has acknowledged for the first time that he lied about his military service and was once convicted of criminal fraud in Australia. ... "
" ... What Moore's Pentagon patrons and political allies in Michigan have not known is the true story of Moore's military service. According to U.S. Army record keepers, Moore never completed his Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in college and was discharged from an inactive branch of the Reserves in 1994 without ever having gone through basic training. Contrary to the claims on Sovereign Deed's Web site, Moore never served as an Army intelligence officer, or in any other branch of the country's armed forces. ... "
RAINWATER'S DYSTOPIC VISIONS: SOVEREIGN DEED, TERRORISM AND CLASS WARFARE
From: "Hypocrisy and Ambition: What the Barrett Moore Story Says About America"
By Ed Brayton
... The more we dug into the story the more we began to wonder which was more astonishing: the fact that Moore, as founding chief executive officer of the private military contractor, Triple Canopy, has lied so brazenly about his own military service and business success? Or the fact that neither our government nor his financial backers and business associates along the way had done the research that would have uncovered those lies? Why wasn’t he caught before, either by the State Department doing due diligence in investigating those to whom they award contracts or by the state of Michigan as it sought to bless his business with tax breaks? These failures speak volumes about the lack of accountability in a political system that distributes vast amounts of our tax dollars every year.
As to why this ignominious track record would have escaped the attention of Richard Rainwater, the Texas billionaire and chief investor in Sovereign Deed, we suspect that has to do primarily with a shared vision of America’s dystopic future and a desire to profit from it. As I wrote in a previous article, Rainwater is practically obsessed with the notion of a breakdown in American society, a coming chaos that he believes will be made inevitable by a drop in oil production and resulting price shocks that will destabilize the world economy and lead to widespread unrest in the United States. The result, Rainwater is convinced, will be riots and wars between the haves and the have-nots, and he has been thinking for the past several years about how to profit from that inevitable future.
Rainwater found a kindred spirit in Moore, a man who keeps survival rations and emergency equipment in his office and whose business plan for Sovereign Deed is built around capitalizing on the coming chaos. When discussing what Sovereign Deed plans to do in front of town hall meetings in the Pellston area, retired Brig. Gen. Richard Mills explained that the company would charge a staggering fee — $50,000 up front plus $15,000 per year — for their protection services in any number of situations. In the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, Mills spoke mostly about natural disasters and terrorist attacks, but Rainwater and Moore’s vision of America’s dystopic future suggests that the real contingencies they are planning for also include riots and other forms of social upheaval.
Sovereign Deed, in those circumstances, would function as a private army — a militia, if you will — for the wealthy, protecting their property and their lives while ignoring the plight of those who can’t afford to pay their exorbitant fees. It is difficult to imagine anything more repugnant to the American ideal of equality in the eyes of the government. ...
RICHARD RAINWATER IS GW BUSH'S BUSINESS PARTNER AND OVERSEES HIS BLIND TRUST
" ... GOTHAM PARTNERS [a key investor in Laurel Touby's MediaBistro.com] owns Crescent Investments, which oversees GW Bush's blind trust. Richard Rainwater is at Crescent/Gotham, and is close to Bush: " ... Rainwater founded Columbia Healthcare, which merged with HCA and became the country's biggest for-profit hospital company (Scott was later forced out as CEO amid a federal fraud investigation). Even [his partner] George W. Bush kept an office, when he and Rainwater were putting together the Texas Rangers stadium deal. ... " (SOURCE: money.cnn.com)
RAINWATER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BUSH'S WEALTH: "What George does to make a Bush buck is called 'Crony Capitalism' by commentatorJim Hightower. Case in point: Dubya's financial relationship with RICHARD RAINWATER during his tenure as Texas governor. ... It's well known that Rainwater has been a major financial backer of Bush's political career, but it's a little-known fact that he's also largely responsible for Bush's personal wealth. He's put Bush into various profitable deals, from oil and gas to real estate, but the big one was the Texas Rangers baseball franchise. Rainwater and Bush sold the baseball team to another Texas high roller and Bush campaign contributer, billionaire Tom Hicks. But their relationship didn't stop there. When Bush became Guv in '95, he put all but his Texas Rangers stock into a blind trust managed by--surprise--Rainwater. Hightower implies the financial relationship wasn't a one-way street: 'Bush is nothing if not loyal to Rainwater, who has done very nicely while his pal has been governor. Among the favors Rainwater has enjoyed: *State buildings sold to Rainwater's real estate company at bargain basement rates; *State college and public school funds invested in Rainwater's company; *A Bush-sponsored tax cut that failed, but would have cut millions in annual taxes for Rainwater; and *A stadium-financing bill backed by Bush that gave a $10 million bonus payment to a Rainwater company.' Politex, May 1999"
RICHARD RAINWATER AND CIA COCAINE
" ... Saudis, Richard Rainwater, George W Bush, Tom DeLay and 5.6 Ton cocaine bust in Mexico, SkyWay ... " The downed plane loaded with coca was owned by "LIT Industrial Texas Limited Partnership, a venture of Texas real estate giant Trammel Crow, the flagship corporation in the far-flung empire of billionaire speculator Richard Rainwater... ranked among the 100 wealthiest Americans, Rainwater backed George W. Bush in four separate business ventures, including the Texas Rangers ... "
JONATHAN NEERMAN'S EMPLOYER, HUNTON & WILLIAMS, ALSO EMPLOYED DISGRACED DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CHUCK ROBB, WHO ATTENDED PARTIES "WITH OPEN COCAINE USE" AND FRATERNIZED WITH COKE DEALERS
" ... Dec. 5, 1990: 'Interviews with people familiar with Robb's activities at the beach indicated that [Robb] allegedly was joined on perhaps two dozen occasions by people who were heavy drug users and served federal prison sentences on cocaine and drug-related charges ... The sleaze was given even more air time when Robb's Republican opponent, Iran-Contra figure Lt. Col. Ollie North, aired ads asking, 'Why can't Chuck Robb tell the truth? About the cocaine parties' ... 'Newspapers report Chuck Robb at numerous parties with open cocaine use' ... "
ROBB'S COKE LIES: " ... There were rumors that during the time he was governor, Robb was present at parties where cocaine was used. He strongly denied this when the issue was raised during his 1988 campaign for the U.S. Senate. Robb so vehemently denied the cocaine allegation that he claimed to not even know what cocaine looked like. ... "
Did Smadi have a Handler? Suspicions of FBI Entrapment
Supplement to: "FBI-Stung Terrorist Targeted Dallas Office Tower where CIA Agent/County Republican Party Chairman Works, CIA Cocaine and 9/11 Ties"
The Dallas Morning News and other local news publications are strongly suggesting that there is more to the arrest of teenage Jordanian Hosam Maher Husein Smadi than the FBI is letting on ...
Edited by A. Constantine
Did Smadi have a Handler?
"... Smadi’s Jordanian father, Maher Smadi, was quoted ' ... said his son later told him that a man named Riyadh, who lived in a Dallas suburb, said he could get him a job at a barbeque restaurant in the town of Italy, about 40 miles south of Dallas.' ... " - Dallas Morning News, October 4, 2009
FBI Entrapment in the Smadi Case?
" .... I, of course, say that the government may have been too eager to uncover a terrorist plot — even if it meant having to invent one. ... " - "Commentary: A question of timing, tactics in latest terror cases," by Bob Ray Sanders, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 6, 2009
On the Dallas bomb threat ...
Letter to the Dallas Morning News
"The FBI said he was working alone. I might understand playing someone along so their group or major leader would be disarmed, but what was the reason here? Didn't any of the agents try to help this kid, who so obviously needed it?
"How have they made us more secure by encouraging someone make a bomb? Of course if they had not done that, there would not have been the spectacular headlines, and who knows, we might forget about terrorism.
"I tend to believe his neighbors, who said he was a nice kid. I think the FBI owes him something for ruining his life via entrapment (like maybe Don Hill's lawyer)."
Barbara Welch, Dallas
From "Undercover terror stings prompt cries of 'entrapment'"
By Lucile Malandain (AFP)
Sep 28, 2009
... the [recent bomb plot] arrests raise questions about the dividing line between a well-executed undercover operation and one that goes too far in "entrapping" a suspect who might otherwise never have gone afoul of the law.
Smadi is alleged to have told undercover FBI agents posing as members of an Al-Qaeda sleeper cell that he had come to the United States specifically to commit "jihad for the sake of God."
But the 19-year old's father insisted that allegations against his son had been "fabricated."
"My son is innocent and the charges are false," Maher Hussein Smadi, a ministry of agriculture engineer in the Jordanian town of Kofranjeh.
"The FBI fabricated the entire thing to embarrass (President Barack) Obama because of his good relations with Muslims," the father said.
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by Al-Qaeda militants, US authorities have pulled out all the stops to prevent a repeat.
But some defense attorneys say law enforcement's role in luring suspects to take bait which can lead to an arrest on terror charges has been disquieting.
David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University, described entrapment as a "legitimate but complicated and risky" tactic.
"On the one hand, to place an informant in a group of people who might be planning some illegal conduct is one of the most effective ways to prevent the attack from occurring," he said.
"The danger ... is that you can create crimes that would otherwise never have occurred," said Cole.
Francesca Laguardia, director of research at the Center on Law and Security at New York University, said debate about the appropriateness of such tactics has been raging within the legal community for years.
"Certainly ... defense attorneys will argue that it is unfair, and law professors would also argue that the law entrapment is unfair, but that is what the law entrapment is in the US," she said.
Jack King, director of public affairs of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, calls it "a very complicated area of law."
In order to establish whether an undercover sting is truly above-board, one has "to find out how the first contact between the agents and the people were initiated, whose idea it was in the first place to bomb a building, whether the defendant resisted that suggestion -- whether threats were used to force him to carry out the attempted crime," King said.
Even if the methods sometimes are viewed as questionable, law enforcement rarely is taken to task for what some view as overly aggressive methods.
"It's more difficult for a jury to credit the defendant's word over the word of the representative of US government, who says he was working undercover to try to protect people of the US," said King.
But Laguardia said proving malfeasance against investigators and prosecutors can be an uphill climb.
"It's very rare that you can prove entrapment in a case," Laguardia said.
"Entrapment requires that the defendant would never have done this thing if law enforcement agents hadn't come in and talked to him and actively changed his mind to bring him to a point of doing it."
North Texas Muslims React to Bomb Plot
Some think Smadi may have been a victim of entrapment
The 33 News/September 27, 2009
" ... Taufique says he's been here before, defending his faith. He says the alleged actions of Hosam Smadi were his own, not Islams. He also thinks Smadi may have been set up to fail saying, 'I hope it is not an entrapment, some of the parts seem to be like that.' Mustafaa Carroll of the Council on American Islamic Relations also agrees saying, 'I think that it's a bit far when you go in and you give the person the means and you coax them for six months or what have you.' ... "
Jordanian arrested in US was manipulated by FBI - father
By Hani Hazaimeh
27 September 2009
ANJARA - “They made my son a terrorist,” said Maher Smadi, whose 19-year-old son Hosam Smadi was arrested on Thursday by agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and charged with an attempt to blow up a 60-storey building in Dallas, Texas.
In an interview with The Jordan Times on Saturday, the father of two boys and four girls said he was contacted on Friday by some of his son’s friends informing him that his other son, Hussein, 18, was also arrested two hours after the arrest of Hosam, stressing that his two sons have nothing to do with terror or Al Qaeda.
According to a press release issued by the US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Texas, a copy of which was e-mailed to The Jordan Times: “Hosam Maher Hussein Smadi, 19, has been arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Smadi, who was under continuous surveillance by the FBI, was arrested today [Thursday] near Fountain Place, a 60-storey glass office tower located at 1445 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas, after he placed an inert/inactive car bomb at the location.”
“The criminal complaint alleges that Hosam Smadi sought and attempted to bomb the Fountain Place office tower, but a coordinated undercover law enforcement action was able to thwart his efforts and ensure no one was harmed,” David Kris, US assistant attorney general for national security, said in the statement.
“My sons have no political or religious affiliations with any party,” said Smadi, looking at his son’s picture. “They just made [Hosam] a criminal. They used his innocence and loneliness and his lack of experience in life in the US,” he added, acknowledging that what his son is charged with is outrageous and not acceptable, yet claiming that his son was manipulated by the FBI agents, whom he thought were Al Qaeda members.
Hosam and Hussein Smadi left for the US in 2007 following the death of their mother, who died in 2006 after battling cancer for many years, their father said, adding that the two brothers had been forced to quit school to remain next to their mother during her unsuccessful therapy cycle.
“They received their education at the Baptist School in Ajloun, before they dropped out at the ages of nine and eight years, although they were very smart and used to get high grades. Their mother’s illness was devastating to the whole family,” Smadi, who is the director of Kufranja Agriculture Directorate, said.
The brothers applied for and obtained visas from the US embassy in Amman and left for the US in the company of a family friend, with whom they had stayed for a few months before enrolling at a public school in Santa Clara, California. However, Smadi added, Hosam quit school six months later and started working in order to take care of himself.
Later on, he said, his son informed him that he married an American and applied for a Green Card, since his student visa did not qualify him to live and work in the US.
The Jordan Times contacted the US embassy in Amman to verify the father’s statement regarding the visas his sons used to get into the US, but embassy officials declined to give information, citing confidentiality of visa records.
The press release said that Hosam Smadi was discovered by the FBI “espousing a desire to commit significant acts of violence. Smadi stood out because of his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the US”.
According to the press release, on July 21, 2009, Smadi made contact with an undercover FBI agent posing as an Al Qaeda operative. In late August, while meeting with one of the undercover agents in Dallas, Smadi discussed the logistics and timing of the bombing, stating that he would have preferred to carry out the attack on “September 11”, but decided to wait until after the month of Ramadan, which ended on September 20.
The offence of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction carries, upon conviction, a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to US law, the press release said.
Maher Smadi, however, accused the FBI of “entrapping” his son, provoking him to follow through on actions he would not have taken without the encouragement of the undercover agents.
“Instead of encouraging my son to become a terrorist, the FBI should have focused on changing his thoughts and putting him on the right track again. All they did was to add a new name to the list of terrorists,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government said they are following up on the case of Hosam and his brother Hussein and have contacted US authorities through the Jordanian embassy in Washington for more details on the case, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported yesterday.
“We asked the US government to provide us with full information about the circumstances of the case and the charges against Hosam Smadi in accordance with the international and Geneva conventions which guarantee the right of a fair trial for the defendant,” Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nabil Sharif told Petra.
Smadi's Employer: GOP Financier Ali Sharaf
Skyscraper bomb plot foiled by FBI arrest of Italy man
October 1st, 2009
" ... Smadi, according to Italy and Waxahachie residents, worked at the Shell station owned by Ali Sharaf, who owns Victron Energy and runs dozens of gas stations in Ellis County and southern Dallas County. Sharaf has been a prominent backer of local Republican politicians, including former Ellis County Judge Chad Adams, who now serves as Victrons vice president. ... "
Victron is one of the largest U.S. distributors of Shell and Exxon fuels. It distributes whole petroleum products such as diesel fuel and gasoline. Victron’s other subsidiaries build restaurants, quality stores, shopping centers and retail sites throughout the region.
Victron’s owner: Ali Sharaf
Ali Sharaf, Alleged Ties Terrorism
Like Richard Rainwater, Ali Sharaf is a Rich Republican Financier
... The wealthy oilman gave $5,000 to a young Red Oak mayoral candidate by the name of Todd Little a few years ago and ever since then, people have gone conspiracy-theory over just how much influence this man -- who owns pretty much every Exxon in Ellis County and Vectron Energy in Waxahachie (the new building across from the Chamber of Commerce on YMCA Drive) -- reportedly has. Never met the guy, but people in Red Oak are still waiting for his steakhouse on I-35. ...
Subject: Ali Sharif home and gas stations in Red Oak raided
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 10:53:32 -0500
... 2 Exxon stations (Harris and Norton) were raided by ICE agents early Sunday morning. They also went to Ali Sharif's home in Ovilla, and confiscated documents and records because the government has information that he has been sending money to terrorist groups. I would like to see you investigate this and let us know if this is true. If it is, the citizens of Red Oak and Ovilla need to know so that they can choose other places to purchase their gas. I am giving you this information because I have not seen anything in the local papers yet.
Please do not post my e-mail address, as I would like to remain anonymous.
From: "Terror arrest shocks neighbors, strangers in Italy, Texas"
... It's still not clear what drew Smadi, 19, to Ellis County or his job at Texas Best Smokehouse, a large facility with a Sonic restaurant, a Shell gas station and a shop that sells beef jerky. The travel stop, just off Interstate 35-E on Dale Evans Drive, sells everything from alligator jerky to kitschy "Official Texas Passports."
The property is owned by Saldena Properties LP, a company owned by Ellis County businessman Ali Sharaf. Saldena Properties leases the building to Andrew and Cindy Burch, restaurant proprietors who also operate the popular Dove's Nest restaurant in Waxahachie.
Sharaf could not be reached for comment Friday, but Harold Green, a spokesman for his company, released a statement saying that it had nothing to do with Smadi or his employment at Texas Best Smokehouse.
"Neither Victron Energy Inc. nor Saldena Properties LP are responsible for the hiring or firing of any employee at that location and they have no relationship with the individual being accused," the statement said. "No employee or member of the management of Victron Energy Inc. or Saldena Properties LP has any personal or business relationship with the accused."
Green said that several years ago, federal immigration officials checked a business for an illegal immigrant at a Red Oak convenience store on a property owned by Saldena. He said the officials were looking for the mother of one of the employees of the store, which is owned an operated by an independent tenant.
Green said Wednesday that no business owned or operated by Mr. Sharaf had ever been investigated or raided by immigration officials and no employee of Mr. Sharaf has ever been detained or investigated.
Records show that Sharaf has donated more than $23,000 to Texas politicians or political action committees since 2001, including more than $11,000 last year to Texans for Rick Perry. He has given more than $12,000 since 2003 to Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, whose district includes Ellis County.
Barton's press secretary, Sean Brown, on Friday acknowledged that Sharaf has contributed to the campaign but declined to say whether Barton had ever intervened on Sharaf's behalf with federal immigration officials or other federal agencies.
"Regarding your questions about casework, our office considers the casework it does on behalf of constituents confidential. This is a courtesy extended everyone who lives in the 6th District," said Brown.
The Burches, who, records show, have had a business relationship with Sharaf since July 2008, also could not be reached Friday. But a statement on behalf of Texas Best Smokehouse that came from a fax machine tied to Andrew Burch expressed shock and sadness "by the attempted act of terrorism in downtown Dallas."
"We applaud the efforts of the FBI and United States attorney, and are thankful that the authorities were able to catch the individual and prevent a tragedy," it stated. "We are grateful for their hard work, and we are committed to working with them in their investigation."
The three-paragraph statement did not mention Smadi by name.
Some of Sharaf's Republican Party Campaign Donations
Sharaf, Ali - WAXAHACHIE TX 75168 - $20400 in Political Contributions for 2008.
75165 $1,000 06/19/2008 P REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS - Republican
SHARAF, ALI MR. WAXAHACHIE TX 75168 2004-07-28 200 BUSH-CHENEY '04 (PRIMARY) INC
Sharaf, Ali Mr. Waxahachie TX 75168 H&H Oil Co/Distributor 2003-09-26 250 2003 PRESIDENT'S DINNER COMMITTEE