Most American law enforcement agencies are engaged in protecting the communities they preside over from Islamic extremists who are threats to those communities. However, in the Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Scott Israel, Islamic extremists are embraced. And not only are they embraced, but they are brought into the Sheriff’s department, itself.
Nezar Hamze (Nezar Jason Nazih Hamze) is the Regional Operations Director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Essentially, he is the number two leader of the statewide chapter. Prior to that, he held the position of Executive Director for the chapter. Today, Hamze is a gun-toting Deputy Sheriff in the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO).
CAIR was established, in June 1994, as one of four groups under the leadership of then-global head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, who had been residing in the US for decades. Following the White House’s January 1995 designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, Marzook was arrested and placed in prison. Two years later, in May 1997, he was deported to Jordan. Marzook is still a leader in Hamas.
Since CAIR’s founding, a number of representatives for the group have been imprisoned in and/or deported from the U.S. for various reasons related to terrorist activity. CAIR itself was named a co-conspirator by the US government for two federal trials dealing with the financing of Hamas. And the hierarchy of CAIR is still intact, as the national office’s founding Executive Director, Nihad Awad, and founding Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, still hold the same positions.
None of this is of any consequence to Sheriff Scott Israel, who has stood shamelessly by the Islamist Hamze in the face of scrutiny backed up by evidence disseminated by this author and others. The Sheriff has continued to loudly sing Hamze’s praises, while refusing to admit that he made an error in judgement and compromised national security when he hired Hamze for the job only one year ago. Indeed, it was Israel himself who referred Hamze for the job.
According to his “Application for Employment” for the position of Certified Reserve Deputy Sheriff, which was dated June 1, 2014, when asked for the “Employee Who Referred You,” Hamze wrote, “Scott Israel.” And later, when asked “Were you referred by a Broward Sheriff’s Office employee?” Hamze answered, “Yes” and said the employee was “Scott Israel.”
This was not the first time Hamze had applied for a job at the BSO. According to his application, he had applied for the same position in March 2012 and was rejected. He had also applied for the position of Detention Deputy Sheriff in February 2009, but for whatever reason his application was withdrawn. He, as well, applied for a Trooper job at the Florida Highway Patrol, in October 2013, but failed his Physical Abilities Test for being overweight.
When asked, “Have you ever performed any service for any law enforcement agency or been employed by any law enforcement, corrections or public service agency not listed in this application?” Hamze checked, “No.”
All of this is at odds with statements that Sheriff Israel has made about the issue, trying hard to attribute Hamze’s hiring to the previous Broward Sheriff, Al Lamberti, making it seem as though Hamze was thrust upon him (Israel) when he took office in January 2013. In truth, though, Israel was in power one year and a half before Hamze’s application reached his desk.
One matter of concern that came up in both Hamze’s 2012 and 2014 applications was that of his association with illegal drugs. In his 2012 application for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Hamze disclosed that he has “purchased or sold… illegal drugs or controlled substances.” As well, in both his 2012 and 2014 applications, Hamze admitted to past use of illegal substances, including marijuana and anabolic steroids.
But certainly the subject of Hamze’s terror ties was – or at least should have been – the major cause for concern. And the personal references that Hamze chose to use on his application are further proof of his radical Islamic credentials.
One of the references was from Wilfredo Amr Ruiz. Ruiz is the Civil Rights Attorney for CAIR-Florida. He is also the legal advisor to the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA).
Ruiz held both positions (and Hamze was in his position as the local CAIR leader), while CAIR-Florida and AMANA co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally held in Downtown Miami, in July 2014, just over one month after Hamze handed in his BSO application. At the event, rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas,” “Hamas kicked your ass,” and “Let’s go Hamas.” Multiple copies of the event flyer with big CAIR-Florida and AMANA logos on them are still found on the Facebook page of the head of AMANA, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout.
Following the rally, Zakkout wrote on Facebook in Arabic, “Thank God, every day we conquer the American Jews like our conquests over the Jews of Israel!”
Another reference for Hamze on his BSO application was fellow CAIR associate Samir Kakli (Khakli). In June 2014, mere days following Hamze’s application date, Kakli was the featured speaker at an event held at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), entitled ‘The Concept of God in Islam.’
ICBR has a long list of terrorist connections.
A co-founder of ICBR, Bassem Alhalabi, was charged by the U.S. government with the illegal export of a $13,000 military thermal imaging device to Syria. Another co-founder, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was a website developer and webmaster for Hamas in Gaza. One former imam of ICBR, Ibrahim Dremali, was placed on the federal “no-fly” list, and another, Muneer Arafat, admitted under oath that he was an affiliate of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A member of the mosque, Rafiq Sabir, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda.
Kakli is the Registered Agent and Vice President of the Youth Coalition of South Florida (YCSF), an Islamist group incorporated in February 2013. One of his fellow directors at YCSF is Abdul Rauf Khan, the Registered Agent and Secretary of the Florida chapter of ICNA Relief. Kakli has also been co-director with Khan, as well as Nezar Hamze – who himself was involved with ICNA Relief – for a now-dissolved company called Community Fest Florida.
ICNA Relief is the main charity of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. ICNA has been involved in the financing of both Hamas and al-Qaeda and has used the web to promote a number of terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that has been named (as has CAIR) to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government list of international terrorist organizations.
Abdul Rauf Khan is a big fan of Nation of Islam leader and anti-Semitic bigot Louis Farrakhan. He has posted many Farrakhan videos to his personal Facebook page, including videos that Farrakhan posted on his own Facebook site. Four of the videos were posted by Khan following Farrakhan’s infamous July 30, 2015 speech, in Miami, Florida, calling on 10,000 of his followers to “stalk” and “kill” white people.
Yet another reference on Nezar Hamze’s application was Roland Foulkes. In March 2008, Foulkes stated that he had been involved with CAIR “since 9-11-01,” the date of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
In July 2005, Foulkes was chided by civil rights organizations for having made anti-gay statements at a meeting for the Broward School Board Diversity Committee. Foulkes had warned that a video put out by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) titled ‘We Are Family’ was being promoted by “homosexual advocacy groups.” According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Foulkes had compared families with homosexuals to cults headed by Charles Manson, David Koresh and Jim Jones.
In Hamze’s 2012 BSO application – when he was rejected by the BSO – Hamze used as a reference CAIR Community and Government Relations Director Ghazala Salam.
This past July, Salam was featured on a video interview for al-Hikmat, the media arm of the Darul Uloom mosque located in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Darul Uloom has been associated with a number of al-Qaeda terrorists, including now-deceased al-Qaeda Global Operations Chief Adnan el-Shukrijumah, who was a prayer leader at the mosque, and “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla, who was a student there and who received a 21 year prison sentence for providing material support to terrorists and for conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals overseas.
The individual interviewing Salam for the video was the imam of the mosque, Maulana Shafayat Mohamed. Shafayat Mohamed was thrown off a number of boards in Broward County for his outspokenness against homosexuals. In February 2005, an article written by him was published on the Darul Uloom website, entitled ‘Tsunami: Wrath of God,’ claiming that homosexual sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
In February 2014, Ghazala Salam and Nezar Hamze, prior to him becoming a Deputy Sheriff, were featured in Sheriff Scott Israel’s BSO ‘Uniting Broward’ program.
On the “About” page of CAIR-Florida’s website, photos of Hamze, Ruiz and Salam are found along with their titles. Also on the page is the head of CAIR-Florida, Executive Director Hassan Shibly. In June 2011, the Tampa Tribune reported that Shibly had stated about Hezbollah that it was “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.” And in August 2014, just two months following Hamze’s application date, Shibly tweeted that “Israel and its supporters are enemies of God.”
Nezar Hamze is wearing the uniform of BSO Deputy Sheriff, so apparently Hamze's use of illegal drugs, his extremist associations and references, and his work at Hamas-linked CAIR didn’t raise any red flags. And if the flags were raised, they weren’t raised high enough to stop Hamze from infiltrating the Sheriff’s Office.
This is symptom of the abysmal state of counter-terrorism operations at the BSO. Effectively they hired a mole with close ties to the Islamist community, who renders their law enforcement work, vis a vis national security, null and void.
It is an outrageous travesty that CAIR leader Nezar Hamze was hired as Deputy Sheriff in the first place. He should have been relieved of his position long ago. Failure to do so constitutes a dereliction of duty on the part of Sheriff Scott Israel, and it is time that law enforcement superiors step in to remedy this situation immediately, in order to exercise damage control.
If you wish to contact Sheriff Israel to discuss this matter, you can do so by sending an e-mail to: [email protected], or you can call the Broward Sheriff’s Office, at 954-764-4357. Please be respectful in any and all communications with this office.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.