Hatem Fariz, a convicted member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in his frequent trips to Ramallah, interacts with persons from the most unlikely of backgrounds. This past July, Fariz took part in Ramallah wedding photos with a member of the US Army, Fariz’s cousin Isayed Darawad, who uses social media to post photos of and laud Palestinian militants. During his most recent trip, Fariz met up with several others at the Ramallah home of a former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer, who receives accolades from the terror group Fatah. Are these Fariz associates subversive infiltrators, who exploited the American system, or treasonous terrorist wannabes?
In February 2003, the FBI announced the arrests of four individuals whom it described as being members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad or PIJ. One of the four was Fariz, who pled guilty to providing material support to terrorists and, as a result, spent over three years in prison. Not long after his May 2010 release, he became Managing Director of Al-Qassam, a.k.a. the Islamic Community of Tampa (ICT), the mosque founded by his PIJ co-defendant, Sami al-Arian, and named after one of the main inspirations for PIJ, deceased Palestinian militant icon, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam.
Via Al-Qassam, Fariz runs a travel agency, the Adam Travel Tampa Hajj Group, which he uses to take excursions into Israel, a nation PIJ is sworn to destroy. Many of the people Fariz takes with him on these trips have like feelings towards Israel and Jews in general. They post videos on social media of Israelis being blown up during ambushes and videos of successful rocket attacks on Israeli civilian structures. They post memorials for their favorite dead leaders from Hamas and PIJ. They call on “Allah” to “take revenge on the Jews.”
Last month, Fariz showed up at the Ramallah home of Saadeh Alqam, a.k.a. Abu Motie, who, according to his Facebook page, is also a resident of Chicago, Illinois. Alqam is an ex-NYPD cop who runs the Ambulance and Emergency Department and is the official agent for DHL Express, the global parcel delivery service, for the Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya. Alqam has known Fariz for years, the two being photographed together, outside the Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq 0Mosque in Nablus, in September 2017 (and once again this past October).
Alqam has posed for photos with local government officials, and he has accepted awards from both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah, the largest faction of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Alqam has referred to deceased PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat as “our dear leader,” “the symbol of the revolution,” and “lion of Palestine.”
Offering praise to Arafat is not uncommon for persons living in Ramallah. What is interesting, though, is that Alqam has, on a number of occassions, also paid tribute to Abu Obaida, spokesman of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas. In May 2021, Obaida said that the decision to fire rockets at major Israeli cities “is easier for us than drinking water.” One week later, Alqam wrote of Obaida, “We bow in reverence, appreciation and respect for a military stature without ranks… Such a leader must be taught in school books.”
In July 2014, Alqam wrote, “O Allah, grant victory to the resistance and our people in Gaza.” In April 2016, under a picture he posted on his Facebook page of a bleeding child on his knees, Alqam stated about himself and his fellow Palestinians, “You do not understand. We are a people who love death and martyrdom as you love life.” In July 2016, Alqam labeled 1975 “refrigerator bomber” Ahmed Abu al-Sukkar, murderer of 14 Israelis, a “hero martyr.” In December 2020, he called Israel “the real enemy.”
Alqam has, as well, targeted Jews in general. In November 2015, Alqam posted a video on Facebook labeling American Jews “dual nationals” and “traitors” and saying 9/11 was carried out by “billionaire Jewish businessmen.” In February 2017, Alqam posted a video on Facebook featuring vile anti-Semitic caricatures of Jews. And in August 2017, Alqam wrote (in Arabic) the following verse, in tribute to now-deceased anti-Semitic Jordanian MP Yahya al-Saud, who infamously challenged an Israeli government official to a fistfight: “We are calling on everyone to wait for us with a song. Yahya Saud is on the border. It looks like he is going to beat the Jews.”
Question: Why would a former NYPD cop post bigoted conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks or talk of loving death more than life or support Hamas and PLO murderers or hang out with members of PIJ, unless he was using his NYPD status to further an Islamist agenda? While so many NYPD officers risked and/or lost their lives on 9/11, this particular one embraces the terrorists and even moved out of the United States to live next to them, making a mockery of the oath he took as an NYPD officer to ‘protect and serve’ the public.
Saadeh Alqam is and should be considered a threat to the US, and his activities ought be investigated. Any pension he receives for his work with the NYPD should be rescinded, based on a glaring conflict of interests. His American passport should be revoked. Neither he nor his Islamic Jihad friend, Hatem Fariz, should ever be allowed to enter the US again – or Israel.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.