A U.S.-based terrorism expert suggests that the recent announcement by federal authorities that they intend to seize property owned by an Iranian-owned Islamic foundation is just the "tip of the iceberg."
Federal prosecutors have announced they are taking steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a New York City skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization. The organization -- the Alavi Foundation -- has long been suspected of being under the control of the Iranian government. Prosecutors say the Foundation has been helping to illegally funnel money back to the Iranian government.
The U.S. government filed a forfeiture action in federal court in New York to seize the four mosques, which are located in that city and in Maryland, California, and Houston. The government also wants to take control of a 36-story office tower on New York's Fifth Avenue. The filing starts what could be a drawn-out legal process.
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, views the alleged scheme as part of a much larger objective. "It's probably just the tip of the iceberg," he says. "There's massive investment of the government of Iran and other Islamic states into the United States -- and this is an important part of the jihad against the United States to ultimately gain control of our financial institutions and our finance in general."
Relinquishing financial control, he believes, would put America in peril. "[T]hat, of course, would have very, very dangerous implications for the continuing freedom of the West," says Spencer. "I certainly hope that a whole lot more of this [type of prosecution] happens, and that also law enforcement will investigate and consider the implications of Saudi funding of American mosques also."
The four mosques and the office tower will remain open while the forfeiture case works its way through court.
"It's about time! We cannot allow one more terrorist act happen on US soil. And for that matter, if the Muslims want to live in this country they had better learn to adapt to our way of life and quit expecting us to bend the rules just for them. Sharia law does not apply here."