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Islamic Center of Portland (Masjid As Sabr)
Portland, OR

Since the mid-1990s, the Portland mosque has been a center of significant radical fundamentalist activity which has been linked to the Portland Seven, a group of men convicted of trying to fight U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The mosque's imam[1], Muhammad (Mohamed) Sheik Abdirahman Kariye, fought with the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the early 1980s and was subsequently imprisoned in Pakistan, an FBI agent testified. [2] Kariye was also a founding Director of the Global Relief Foundation (GRF) in 1992,[3] whose assets were frozen in December 2001 by U.S. Treasury for funneling money to Al Qaeda.[4] It is unclear whether Kariye was still involved with the GRF at the time of the Treasury's action.

On May 29, 2003, Kariye was sentenced to five years probation following his guilty plea to one count of making False Statements Relating to Health Care Matters and Misuse of a Social Security Number. [5]

An affidavit by FBI Agent Mark A. McBryde, provided details linking Kariye to the Portland Seven. (see details below)[6] Jeffrey Battle and Patrice Lumumba Ford, two members of the Portland Seven, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. and were sentenced to 18 years in jail.[7] Battle's ex-wife, October Martinique Lewis, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges for transferring or transmitting money from the United States to a place outside of the country, for the purpose of helping Battle supply services to the Taliban.[8] In September 2003, co-defendants Ahmed and Muhammad Bilal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to contribute services to the Taliban, as well as federal weapons charges.[9] Defendant Maher "Mike" Hawash pled guilty in August 2003 to conspiracy to supply services to the Taliban.[10]

During a consensually recorded conversation with a cooperating witness on October 1, 2002, Jeffrey Battle said that Masjid As Sabr was the only mosque to teach about jihad.[11] During the same discussion, when asked if Kariye told his followers that Muslims should fight with fellow Muslim brothers of Afghanistan against Americans, Battle replied "Yes."[12] Other conversations recorded by the FBI indicated that Kariye had provided enough money to allow $2,000 be given to each of the travelers to Afghanistan.[13] Battle stated that Kariye had acquired this money from members of the Masjid As Sabr.[14]

The investigation of Ali Khaled Steitiye, a regular worshipper at the Islamic Center of Portland,[15] led investigators to the Portland cell.[16] In an application for a search warrant for Steitiye's home and vehicle, FBI agent Monique Y. Villegas noted that federal agents "followed Steitiye to the Mosque on 10323 SW 43rd, Portland, Oregon," which is the address of the Islamic Center of Portland.[17]

On October 24, 2001, Steitiye was arrested on federal gun and fraud charges.[18] He was convicted based on evidence collected by federal agents at his home and in his car, including a loaded 9 mm handgun, an assault rifle, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, a machete, $20,000 in cash, a calendar with September 11 circled in red ink, and evidence suggesting a link to Hamas.[19] An indictment unsealed in June 2004 charged Steitiye with illegally possessing a machine gun and being an ex-convict in possession of a weapon. [20] Steitiye pleaded guilty in 2004 to "Possession of a Machine Gun,"[21] and was sentenced to 60 months in prison.[22]

See: US v. Battle, Jeffrey, et al.

USA v. Kariye, Mohamed


[1] Lectures from Kariye appear on the mosque's website dated as recently as 5/21/2010, "Recorded Lectures from Masjid As-Saber," http://www.assaber.com/lectures/audio.html (accessed June 2, 2010).

[2] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D.Ore. August 2003).

[3] Articles of Incorporation, Global Relief Foundation, 1992. Kariye's name was given as "Muhamed Abdirahman," a variation of one of several names he used. The address listed in the papers is in a Southwest Alfred Street complex where Kariye lives.

[4] US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control Action, blocking assets of BIF and GRF, December 14, 2001, http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/eotffc/ofac/actions/20011214a.html , (accessed May 17, 2009).

[5]USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D.Ore. August 2003). USA v. Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye, 3:02-CR00366, "Petition to Plead Guilty," (D. Ore. March 3, 2003).

[6] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D.Ore. August 2003).

[7] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, 02-399-01-JO, "Plea Agreement," (D.Ore. October 16, 2003).; US Department of Justice Release, "Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Lamumba Ford Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Seditious Conspiracy," November 24, 2003, http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/November/03_crm_645.htm, (accessed August 6, 2004).

[8] USA v. October Martinique Lewis, 02-399-06-JO, "Plea Agreement," (D.Ore. September 26, 2003).

[9] USA v. Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, 02-399-04-JO, "Plea Agreement," (D.Ore. September 2003); US Department of Justice Release, "Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Lamumba Ford Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Seditious Conspiracy," November 24, 2003, http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/November/03_crm_645.htm, (accessed August 6, 2004).

[10] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399-JO, "Government's Sentencing Memorandum." (D. Ore. November 19, 2003).; US Department of Justice Release, "Jeffrey Battle, Patrice Lamumba Ford Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Seditious Conspiracy," November 24, 2003, http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/November/03_crm_645.htm, (accessed August 6, 2004).

[11] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D. Ore. August 2003).

[12] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D. Ore. August 2003).

[13] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D. Ore. August 2003).

[14] USA v. Jeffrey Leon Battle, et al., 02-CR-399 JO, "Affidavit of Mark A. McBryde, FBI Special Agent, Portland, Oregon," (D. Ore. August 2003).

[15] USA v. Ali Khaled Steitiye, CR-04-110-JO, "Plea Agreement," (D.Ore. November 17, 2004). ; Mark Larabee, "Man Guilty in Gun, Fraud Case," The Oregonian, June 18, 2002.

[16] Lez Zaitz, "Palestinian Faces Weapons Charges in Portland Terror Case," The Oregonian, June 10, 2004.

[17] Special Agent with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Monique Y. Villegas, 01-M-551"Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant," (D. Ore. October 17, 2001). ; Masjed As-Saber, http://www.assaber.com/, (accessed June 2, 2010).

[18] USA v. Ali-Khaled Steitiye, CR-01-396-BR, "Indictment," (D.Ore. October 17, 2001).

[19] USA V. Ali Khaled Steitiye, CR-01-396-BR, "Opinion and Order," (D.Ore. April 22, 2002); Lez Zaitz, "Palestinian Faces Weapons Charges in Portland Terror Case," The Oregonian, June 10, 2004.

[20] USA v. Ali Khaled Steitiye, CR-04-110-JO, "Indictment," (D.Ore. March 16, 2004).

[21] USA v. Ali Khaled Steitiye, CR-04-110-JO, "Plea Agreement," (D.Ore. November 17, 2004).

[22] USA v. Ali Khaled Steitiye, CR-04-110-JO, "Judgment in a Criminal Case," (D.Ore. May 31, 2005).

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