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Iranian Front/Alavi Foundation Seized

From the Houston Chronicle:

The Islamic Education Center, a grade school and mosque in Houston.

Muslims decry move to seize Houston mosque

Houston spiritual center among U.S. buildings federal prosecutors link to Iran

Nov. 13, 2009

The U.S. government on Thursday moved to seize more than $500 million in assets from a New York-based foundation accused of being a front for the Iranian government, including a building that houses the Islamic Education Center of Houston.

The news provoked confusion and anger among Houston’s Shia Muslims, many of whom worship at the center’s mosque or send their children to an Islamic school that occupies the same large white building at 2313 S. Voss.

Faheem Kazimi, chairman of the board of directors, said IEC leases its building from the Alavi Foundation but no other connection exists.

“The Islamic Education Center is a nonprofit, independent organization, not affiliated with any other organization,” Kazimi said…

The 97-page civil forfeiture lawsuit filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan alleges that the Alavi Foundation, which files federal taxes as a charitable foundation, is illegally funneling money to the government of Iran

The foundation released a written statement through an attorney, saying the group was disappointed with the government’s legal move.

“The Foundation has been cooperating fully with the Government since the investigation began,” the statement read. “The Foundation intends to litigate the Government’s claims and expects to prevail when the litigation is over.”

Citing U.S. policy under several presidents and the International Emergency Economic Power Act, the civil suit alleges that the foundation’s property, which includes the Islamic Education Center, is forfeitable as proceeds of violations of laws including money laundering.

The indictment alleges how the Alavi Foundation has been providing services to Iran and the government-owned Bank Melli. The suit also alleges how shell corporations were used to dodge taxes and how a foundation official was arrested for allegedly destroying documents being sought in a grand jury investigation.

The U.S. Treasury has accused Bank Melli of providing support for Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The civil suit seeks forfeiture of a 36-story New York City office tower along with other property in New York, California, Virginia, Maryland and several bank accounts. This lawsuit replaces one prosecutors filed in 2008 seeking forfeiture of only a portion of the New York City office tower.

The Houston property, near Westheimer, is mentioned only briefly in the government’s lawsuit. It states the property was purchased in 1988 for $1.1 million and that $285,000 worth of improvements were made on the land between 1997 and 2004…

Hussein Abdi said he moved to the U.S. from Iran more than 30 years ago and he’s been worshipping at IEC for two decades. He came Thursday to pray.

“It makes me furious,” Abdi said. “We’re under attack.”

IEC serves as a place of worship, celebration, community programs and study, according to the center’s Web site. Its premises are occupied by one of Houston’s largest Shia mosques and the Al Hadi School of Accelerative Learning, a full-time private Islamic school for kindergarten through 12th grade.

“Among the primary goals of IEC is to inform and educate non-Muslims and Muslims about Islam, and to provide information about Islam on varying levels of inquiry, from the casual passer-by to a believing and practicing Muslim who wishes to extend his or her knowledge and level of piety,” the Web site states.

More background on the Alavi Foundation, from Discover The Networks:

Alavi Foundation

A not-for-profit organization formed in New York State in 1973, the Alavi Foundation was originally set up by the former Shah of Iran’s government to promote Iranian language and culture in the United States. With the fall of the Shah, the multi-million-dollar building where the Alavi Foundation has its offices became the property of the Mostazafan Foundation, a non-profit which was established by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary Islamic government in Iran…

The Alavi Foundation owns numerous properties in the United States, including a 36-story New York City office complex worth an estimated $135 million; 20 acres of prime development land in Catharpin, Virginia; and four "Islamic Education Centers" in Potomac (Maryland), Queens (New York), Houston (Texas), and Carmichael (California).

The Potomac location serves some 1,500 Muslim families and was directed for 14 years by Islamic cleric Mohammad Asi, who called the 9/11 attacks "a grand strike against New York and Washington" launched by "Israeli Zionist Jews" who had advised the 5,000 Jews employed at the World Trade Center to skip work on that fateful day. Asi has also praised and supported the activities of Hezbollah, which is an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Former FBI official Oliver Revell has stated that the Alavi Foundation is "a front organization for the Iranian regime that is engaged in covert intelligence activity on the part of a hostile foreign government." That intelligence consists, in part, of monitoring Iranian dissidents in the U.S. by means of technological espionage.

David Cohen of the New York Police Department intelligence division says the Alavi Foundation is "totally controlled by the government of Iran" and "funds a variety of anti-American causes" including the Potomac Center and other mosques.

U.S. intelligence officials characterize Alavi as a vehicle through which the Iranian regime "keeps tabs on Iranians [in the United States], obtains data about U.S. technology, promotes Tehran’s views on world affairs, provides gathering places for pro-Iran activists, and channels money to U.S. academics to gain a friendly reading on Iran."

The Alavi Foundation has been operating in our country for three decades.

Why has it taken so long for anyone to do anything about it?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Iranian Front/Alavi Foundation Seized”

  1. proreason says:

    We are witnessing national suicide.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Hussein Abdi said he moved to the U.S. from Iran more than 30 years ago and he’s been worshipping at IEC for two decades. He came Thursday to pray.

    “It makes me furious,” Abdi said. “We’re under attack.”

    Screw you, pal. LEAVE

    • caligirl9 says:

      Ditto, RS. It’s Hussein Abdi’s “religion of peace” that’s attacking US and murdering the United States inch by inch. About time someone get some functioning testes and put an end to terrorism that’s happening right under our noses, but in the name of tolerance we let people get away with stuff like this.

  3. Tater Salad says:

    As the Feds seize mosques in NYC and now in Houston, the city of Seattle adopts Sharia Law. What a bunch of loons!


  4. Right of the People says:

    Heads will roll for this one, Barry’s gonna be pissed.

    I think if the government wins the trial and gets to keep the building, it should be given to the Jewish community to use as a temple. It would be fitting don’t ya think?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I’m thinking wall urinals and crappers everywhere inside.

      With lovely pastel koran paper …..2 ply!

  5. Tater Salad says:

    Next on the agenda: Do exactly what the Israeli’s do and that is bulldoze these fronts down to the ground.

  6. canary says:

    AP: US seeks to seize 4 mosques, tower linked to Iran
    By Adam Goldman Nov 13, 2009

    NEW YORK – In what could be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, federal prosecutors sought to take over four U.S. mosques …

    Prosecutors on Thursday filed a civil complaint in federal court against the Alavi Foundation,..

    The assets include bank accounts; Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York, Maryland, California and Houston; more than 100 acres in Virginia; and a 36-story Manhattan office tower….

    “Whatever the details of the government’s case against the owners of the mosques, as a civil rights organization we are concerned that the seizure of American houses of worship could have a chilling effect on the religious freedom of citizens of all faiths and may send a negative message to Muslims worldwide,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    Prosecutors said the Alavi Foundation managed the office tower on behalf of the Iranian government and, working with a front company known as Assa Corp., illegally funneled millions in rental income to Iran’s state-owned Bank Melli…

    For two decades, the Alavi Foundation’s affairs have been directed by various Iranian officials,..

    The fourth Islamic center marked for seizure is in Carmichael, Calif…
    the Piaget building, was erected in the 1970s…Tenants include law and investment firms and other businesses.

    “Suspicion about the Alavi Foundation transcends three administrations,” Rubin said…

    ..Alavi Foundation is the successor organization to the Pahlavi Foundation
    …In 2007, the United States accused Bank Melli.. put the bank on its list

    On the Net: http://www.alavifoundation.org


    This may explain after investigating the outraged CAIR execs, the FBI cut ties with CAIR in June 2008 under Bush.

    Amazing Obama’s administration of fun, travel, & adventure, and mingling with dictators, tyrants, celebrities, thugs, supporting muslims extremists, olympics, & labeling tea-baggers.

  7. Chuckk says:

    I will take bets that whoever is responsible for the siezure will loose his job after the ACLU, CAIR, the media, and grandstanding politicians get through with him.

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