Friday, November 16, 2012

"Charlie Wilson's War" and Kifah Jayyousi

Kifah Jayyousi is one of the numerous U.S. citizens who have been prosecuted for supporting Muslim freedom fighters in the period prior to 1995 when the U.S. government, itself, was funneling enormous sums of money to such Muslim fighters in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Jayyoussi was given a twelve year prison term and is currently in Terre Haute.


The Jayyousi case is profiled in "Victims of America's Dirty Wars":
Kifah Jayyousi was tried, along with Adham Hassoun and Jose Padilla, on material support for terrorism charges in Florida in 2007. Jayyousi was convicted of only three counts. He was a well-respected engineer who had, like Enaam Arnaout, provided aid to Muslim fighters prior to 1995, when they were not opposed to the U.S. Everything Jayyousi was convicted of doing took place during the time period before 9/11 and was not directed against the U.S. Nevertheless, Jayyousi was sentenced to twelve years, and is at the Terre Haute CMU.

Jayyousi was convicted for supporting Muslim fighters in places and at times when the U.S. was supporting those same Muslim fighters. It is well known that the U.S. provided military aid and training in the 1980s to the mujahideen in Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, because they were fighting the Soviets. (See the book and movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, about how the U.S. secretly involved itself in the Afghanistan conflict against the Soviets.) Then in the 1990s, the U.S., as part of a UN force, joined the war in the former Yugoslavia on the side of the Bosnian Muslims, who were the victims of a genocidal campaign by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. So even though Jayyousi financially supported the same people that the United States supported militarily, he was later targeted and prosecuted for these previously applauded actions. (p. 46)
As explained by his daughter, "The charges against him were the result of charitable contributions he made to an organization in Bosnia in the 1990s. Prior to his arrest, Kifah had been chief facilities director for the Washington, D.C., public school system, and then an adjunct professor at Wayne State University. He had also served in the U.S. Navy. When he was convicted in 2007, the judge noted for the record that there was no evidence linking [him] to specific acts of violence anywhere. The judge also said that he was 'the kind of neighbor that people would want in a community.' In June 2008, Kifah was transferred to the federal Communications Management Unit (CMU) in Terre Haute, Ind." (See “Isn’t that a terrorist?” No, it's a young girl. And with her father jailed on questionable terror-related charges, she's growing up alone at


Kifah Jayyousi is currently held at Marion. Write to him at this address:

Kifah Jayyousi
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 1000
Marion IL, 62959

See SALAM Illinois Guidelines for Writing to Prisoners.

SALAM Illinois Outreach Coordinator: Reem Jayyousi

More information at:

[UPDATE: Below are excerpts from a letter Reem Jayoussi received from her father in November, 2012. "My father served in the Navy, and this past Veterans Day he wrote this," she said.]

"Monday will be Veterans' Day, and I read that most famous restaurants are giving a free meal to vets, including Chili's, Fridays, Apple Bee's, and Olive garden, so maybe you can take my Navy uniform with all the commendation medals that I received and go to Olive garden :=)) If they ask you where am I? Please don't tell them that the country I served convicted me of being an "enemy terrorist" and threw me in a CMU for 5 years to make sure I don't hug my wife and kids. These evil people can lie about so many things, but they can't deny that I served in Reagan's Navy that won the cold war against its arch enemy, the USSR. There is so much history that will be written with hard evidence and court transcripts that shows the oppression we have experienced for just being Arab American Muslims. Allah will indeed defend us." -Kifah Jayyousi"

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