Chris Sununu, the front runner in the New Hampshire GOP gubernatorial primary, has taken money from three Islamic firms accused of enabling the 9/11 attacks, and has been linked to an Islamic charity that was investigated for funneling money to terrorists.
Neither the firms nor the charity were ever officially charged with a crime.
Yaqub Mirza, an executive for the charity, is also linked to the three groups that together donated $1,500 to Sununu’s campaign on August 4. Mirza, the charity, and the three Islamic organizations were accused by World Trade Center property owners in federal court and by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) of having ties to terrorist activity.
According to a 2014 IRS document, the Herndon, Virginia-based charity Safa Trust, previously known as the SAAR Foundation, has a 14.1 percent ownership share in Waterville Valley Holdings.
Candidate Sununu has touted his credential as the CEO of the Waterville Valley, a popular ski resort in New Hampshire.
The IRS document also shows that Mirza earned more than $225,000 in total compensation from the Safa Trust and/or “related organizations.”
IRS documents from 2010 to 2014 indicate the Safa Trust, an Islamic charity previously known as the SAAR Foundation, has owned a substantial stake — worth anywhere from $750,000 to more than $1 million — in the ski area. The Safa Trust is a collection of Islamic nonprofits and businesses founded by Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and Asia in the 1970s. Many of the group’s leaders are prominent and wealthy.
The New Hampshire Union Leader adds:
A principal investor in the Waterville Valley resort Republican candidate for governor Chris Sununu promotes as wholly under ‘local control’ is high up in an Islamic charity once investigated for funneling money to terrorists…
The SAFA Group’s ownership role only surfaced because as a charitable nonprofit, the trust had to file annual IRS documents that are public.
Mirza, the Safa Trust, and the three organizations — Mar-Jac Investments Inc., Reston Investments Inc., and Sterling Management Group Inc., — that provided $1,500 to the Sununu campaign earlier this month were all listed as defendants accused of being “perpetrators and enablers of the terrorist acts” carried out by al-Qaeda in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
The lawsuit, which was dismissed more than five years later, was brought by various individuals who suffered damage to their property and business at the World Trade Center as a result of the 9/11 attacks.
Various offices of the charity, the Safa Trust, were raided by federal law enforcement in March 2002, suspected of transmitting money to terror groups.
Mirza has also been linked to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), and the Amana Mutual Funds Trust, which offers investment products consistent with Sharia law. ISNA and IIIT, which has justified attacks against Israel, have been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
IIIT is also listed as a defendant suspected of enabling the 9/11 attacks. The Safa Trust, Mar-Jac Investments Inc., Reston Investments Inc. Sterling Management Group Inc., IIT, and the Amana Funds Trust, all of which have been linked to Mirza, are identified as “Safa Group” entities by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
Mirza is identified as a Safa Group officer. In a 2003 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) affidavit, Mirza was listed as being in the “Safa Group,” which federal authorities suspected of providing support to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad-Shikaki Faction. Both groups have been officially designated as terrorist organizations.
The Safa Group is “a complex coalition of overlapping companies in Northern Virginia controlled by individuals who have shown support for terrorists and or terrorist fronts,” notes IPT.
Neither Mirza nor any of the firms he has been linked to in this report have ever been charged with a crime.
In responding to the Safa group’s role in the Waterville Valley resort, Sununu campaign manager David Abrams reportedly said in a statement:
The Waterville Valley investment team is comprised entirely of people with ties to the local Waterville Valley community and resort. That stands in stark contrast to prior ownership. With no charges pursued and any investigation being closed in 2009, it’s clear that law enforcement officials have, in fact, not linked the Safa Trust or the SAAR Foundation to terrorism.
Following an event Monday where Ohio Gov. John Kasich campaigned for fellow Republican Sununu, the New Hampshire Union Leader asked Sununu to comment on the Safa Trust’s alleged links to terrorism.
In responding, the front runner in the New Hampshire GOP gubernatorial primary, who is of Arab descent, said the Union Leader‘s report on the charity’s terror affiliation was “slanderous bordering on racism.”
— Dave Solomon (@DaveSolomon72) August 29, 2016