Former CAIR-Florida operative Ahmad Saleem’s two-year prison term stemming from his 2015 Orlando-area arrest, during a child sex sting operation, has expired. In an attempt to put the shame and scandal behind him or a way to further his illicit exploits from a different locale, Saleem looks to be starting anew elsewhere. He has even traveled outside the country, and he has changed his name on social media. Unsuspecting parents, both here and abroad, need to be made aware of his presence.
On the night of May 20, 2015, Ahmad Abrar Saleem was arrested in Clermont, Florida, a short distance from his Orlando home. Saleem was intending to meet the twelve-year-old girl he had been chatting with online, but instead, met Sheriff’s deputies waiting for him and 21 others in a child sex sting operation. He was charged with “use of computer to seduce/solicit/entice a child to commit sex act” and “travel to seduce, solicit, lure a child to commit sex act.” Ironically, the car he was driving, when apprehended, had a specialty license plate which read, “Invest in Children.”
In December 2016, Saleem was sentenced to two years behind bars in state prison.
This could not have come at a worse time for Saleem. His star was quickly on the rise within the radical Muslim community. He had just a couple years earlier served as President of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) as well as the MSA National Service Director; he was being invited to speak at different Islamist conferences; and he had recently been named Orlando Regional Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Indeed, merely two weeks prior to his arrest, Saleem posted on his Facebook page, where he now goes by the name “Ahmad Shaheen,” a photo of himself posing with 60 other CAIR leaders from around the nation. He is seated in the front row only five seats from CAIR’s founder and National Executive Director Nihad Awad. About the photo, he wrote, “Proud to upgrade this year to be sitting and being amongst such community giants… May Allah bless the CAIR National team across the country…”
CAIR has strong ties to Hamas, including financial ties. The group was founded by Hamas operatives and established within an umbrella organization run by then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook.
CAIR’s Florida chapter reflects a similar pro-terror, anti-Israel ideology. In November 2012, CAIR’s future replacement for Saleem in Orlando, Rasha Mubarak, tweeted, “#LiesImTiredOfHearing Israel has the right to defend herself.” In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally held outside the Israeli Consulate in downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.” And in August 2014, CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly tweeted, “Israel & it’s supporters are enemies of God and humanity!”
No doubt, CAIR was thrilled to have Saleem as part of its organization. Under another photo of Saleem on Saleem’s Facebook page, in August 2014, CAIR-Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze commented/exclaimed, “My man!”
Around the same time, there were several extremely disturbing photos of Saleem pictured with very young children, on his Facebook. One, posted April 2014, has Saleem holding the hand of a small girl [maybe five-years-old] with him referring to her as “My little lover.” Another has him with the same girl putting a stuffed dog to his face with him writing, “Is this your way of kissing me, A’aishah?” Yet another has him lounging on a bed [appears to be in Pakistan] with two small girls laying on his lap with him writing, “Get off me?… please? lol.”
Saleem was released from jail, last August. [He still owes a debt of $37,500 for his incarceration.] Parents should be awfully concerned.
When Saleem was convicted, he was found solely guilty of “willful child abuse.” As such, he is not subject to any sexual offender registry, and therefore, the communities that he resides in cannot be properly informed about his troubling history.
According to Saleem’s Facebook page, he is currently living in Denver, Colorado. Also according to his Facebook page, last month he flew to Pakistan, the native home of both his father and mother. He says he will be there “at least till mid january.”
He arrived at the Islamabad International Airport, on November 14th, and headed straight for a conference, titled ‘LIFT Pakistan.’ While there, he claims to have spoken to a number of young people. About them, he states, “[T]hey are regular young people ready to support passionate people…”
It makes sense that Saleem would wish to get away from Florida, given the egregious crime that he has committed there. First of all, he has family and friends in Florida, and they all must have felt anger and embarrassment over Saleem. Second, by leaving the area – and changing his identity – it helps Saleem, if he wishes to continue with his sordid activities, finding new fanatical Islamist groups to join up with and seeking out new victims to further his deviant behavior.
For Saleem (Shaheen) and the rest of the community he dwells in, it is a recipe for disaster.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.