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AL FUQRA

Reader comment on item: Finding Rashad Khalifa's Killer

Submitted by AJ Weberman (United States), Jul 1, 2009 at 06:46

"Based upon this lead, the Government questioned el-Hage about the incident in the Grand Jury in 1997. When questioned, el-Hage admitted that a person from New York made contact with him and visited el-Hage at his home, telling el-Hage 'he came to see Rashad Khalifa and investigate things he heard about Khalifa.' El-Hage further admited that sometime after that visit, he learned that Khalifa was killed and thought 'it was a good thing.' Moreover, el-Hage perjured himself in his testimony concerning [redacted]. El-Hage claimed he did not know the person's name who visited him (nor did he ask), nor the identity of the person who had sent him and given el-Hage's name as a point of contact.

"Yet, el-Hage described [redacted] consistent with his true appearance: an Egyptian male with a long beard, black hair and glasses. When shown a photograph of [redacted] el-Hage stated that [redacted] was not the person who visited him, though he could not describe how the two differed.

"El-Hage further testified under oath that he only met Sayyid Nosair one time at a particular office in Brooklyn, New York. It bears note that a search of Nosair's work locker at 100 Center Street recovered a pamphlet discussing the January 1990 murder of Rashad Khalifa. The pamphlet was entitled: Who Killed This Believer? [Redacted]

"The Government does not allege – and has not alleged – that el-Hage or even for that matter [redacted] participated in the actual murder of Khalifa. El-Hage makes much of the fact that other persons have been charged in connection with the Khalifa murder. As the Government understands it, the Colorado charges arising out of the search of the Jamaat-ul-Fuqra compound concerned a conspiracy to kill Khalifa, not the actual murder. Whether the surveillance effort by [redacted] was related to the murder conspiracy by the Jamaat-ul-Fuqra sect, which, upon information and belief is headquartered in Pakistan, or the actual murder, for which no one has been charged to the Government's knowledge, remains unclear.

"What is important is that el-Hage thought so little of hosting a person at his house who came from New York to surveil a radical Islamic Imam – who was then later killed – to even report such information to authorities. Still worse, el-Hage then lied about the circumstances under oath, falsely denying his association with [redacted] and the extent of his association with Nosair…During this same Grand Jury testimony, el-Hage did not volunteer information to the Government concerning the weapons purchase of Mahmud Abouhalima, as el-Hage now asserts. Rather, source information developed by the New York investigation indicated that Mahmud Abouhalima had obtained weapons for use in New York from el-Hage in Texas.

"El-Hage first indicated he met Abouhalima three times 'and we never had any special discussion together.' Only after having been warned that he needed to give full and complete answers el-Hage admitted to the Grand Jury that he purchased the weapons but he never delivered the weapons. Instead he testified that he sold them – but could not remember to whom…"

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