Islamic Center of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Holy Land Foundation (HLF)

On June 18, 2004, Fawaz Damrah, then imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, was convicted of unlawfully obtaining his United States citizenship through a false or fraudulent application.[1] Damrah concealed from the INS his membership in and/or affiliation with: (1) Afghan Refugees Services, Inc., aka Al-Kifah Refugee Center; (2) Palestinian Islamic Jihad, aka the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine; and (3) Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP).[2] Damrah was sentenced to two-months in prison, four months of in home confinement, three years of supervised release and stripped of his citizenship.[3]

At his mosque, Damrah openly raised money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, telling a 1991 fundraiser that Sami Al-Arian's Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP) was "the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine. We preferred to call it the 'Islamic Committee for Palestine' for security reasons.[4] Two years earlier, Damra attended an ICP conference in Chicago, where he argued "terrorism, and terrorism alone, is the path to liberation" for Palestinians.[5]

Damrah's close work with Al-Arian led prosecutors to designate him "Unindicted Co-Conspirator One" in Al-Arian's PIJ support trial.[6]

Other funds raised in the Islamic Center of Cleveland went to the Holy Land Foundation,[7] which was found guilty, along with five of the organization's officials, for funneling money to Hamas in November of 2008.[8]

Damrah was also named a possible co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial.[9]

See: US v. Fawaz Damrah

US v. Sami Al Arian

[1] "Ohio Imam Convicted of Lying About Associations with Palestine Islamic Jihad After ICE/FBI Investigation," ICE Press Release, June 18, 2004,, (accessed July 8, 2004).; Web archive search of lists Fawaz Damrah as the imam of the mosque on the "About Us" page in both 2003 and 2004; USA v. Al Arian, 03-CR-7, "Transcript of ICP Chicago Rally, September 29, 1991," (M.D. Fl. 2005)- places Damrah at mosque as early as 1991.

[2] USA v. Fawaz Mohammed Damrah, 03-CR-484, "Indictment," (N.D. Ohio December 16, 2003).

[3] USA v. Fawaz Mohammed Damrah, 04-4216, "Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland," (N.D. Ohio February 1, 2005).

[4] USA v. Fawaz Mohammed Damrah, 04-4216, decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, March 15, 2005.

[5] 1989 ICP Conference, "Palestine, the Intifada and the Horizons of Islamic Resurgence," Chicago, Ill. December 22, 1989. USA v. Al Arian, et al, 03-CR-77, Government Exhibit T-449A.

[6] USA v. Al Arian, et al, 03-CR-77, "Superseding Indictment," Overt Act 43(5) and (7), September 21, 2004.

[7] John Caniglia and Amanda Garrett, "NE Ohio Dollars Flood into Mideast," Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 10, 2004.

[8] USA v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development et, al., 3:04-CR-240-P, "Jury Verdict," (N.D.Tex. November 24, 2008).

[9] USA v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman, et al., 93 CR-181, "List of 173 Possible Co-Conspirators Submitted by Mary Jo White," (S.D.N.Y. February 2, 1995).