TEL AVIV — The inclusion of Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, the director general of the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, on the FBI’s most wanted list of terrorists was slammed by a member of the central committee of Fatah, the movement led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Despite Islamic Jihad’s long list of terrorist murders under the directorship of Shallah, Fatah’s Abbas Zaki claimed that Shallah’s inclusion on the list was an anti-Palestinian Zionist plot. Zaki praised Shallah as a “warrior for the liberation and freedom of his homeland.”
“Those who put the name of a respected and prominent national figure who has done impressive work on this list want to say that the Palestinians have no right to defend their homeland,” said Zaki.
“It’s a disgrace that Dr. Ramadan will be on the terrorist list,” Zaki continued. “He is a freedom fighter and these sources (the FBI) are acting against humanitarian freedoms and against national sovereignty, so their list is void and it doesn’t matter what forces support them.”
Zaki spun the tale that what he called “the Zionist lobby” managed to “buy off all these weak sources and turn them into the tools of the Zionist movement.” The reference to a “Zionist lobby” is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that claims a conglomerate of Jews exert undue influence.
The Fatah official charged that Shallah’s name on the terrorist list will increase danger to his life.
“Now the threats to his life will become greater, but as one who fights for his homeland, he knows that he is a potential martyr and Allah is responsible for his defense,” said Zaki, who concluded, “the Palestinian people will destroy these lists that accuse our people’s warriors of terrorism.”
The FBI designation states:
Shallah is wanted for conspiracy to conduct the affairs of the designated international terrorist organization known as the “Palestinian Islamic Jihad” (PIJ) through a pattern of racketeering activities such as bombings, murders, extortions, and money laundering. Shallah was one of the original founding members of the PIJ and is presently the Secretary-General and leader of the organization, which has its headquarters located in Damascus, Syria. He was listed as a “Specially Designated Terrorist” under United States law on November 27, 1995. Shallah was indicted in a 53 count indictment in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa, Florida.
The Islamic Jihad movement announced that the inclusion of its leader’s name on the FBI list won’t affect its policies and “will strengthen its determination to continue on its path.”
Islamic Jihad member Sheikh Nafez Azzam stated that “America is always biased against the Palestinian people.”
“It abandons any moral or objective base and closes its eyes to many wrongs in the world, while the most prominent wrong is that experienced by the Palestinian people,” continued Azzam, refering to the U.S.
The Islamic Jihad official added, “The inclusion of Shallah’s name on the list isn’t new and it reflects the doubling-down of policy in America, which closes its eyes to tyrants and Israeli crimes while oppressing the victims of these crimes.”