On June 18th, over 7300 voters in Coral Springs, Florida went to the polls in a Special Election to cast their votes for the individual they wanted as their new City Commissioner. The former Commissioner, Dan Daley, left the seat vacant, after he won his own Special Election, for Florida State House. Out of the six candidates in the Commission race, one, Khurrum Wahid, raised far more money than any of the others. But for many voters, Wahid, a terror-linked lawyer, represented a danger to society, and therefore, he was soundly rejected.
Khurrum Basir Wahid, a South Florida attorney, has made a name for himself by representing high-profile terrorists, including the most violent of al-Qaeda operatives. And while Wahid has every right to act as legal counsel to such miscreants, when viewing the rest of his terror-related and disturbing activity, it would be a grave error not to view Wahid as a threat as well.
One of Wahid’s former clients is Hafiz Khan, a Miami imam who received a 25-year prison sentence, in August 2013, for his role in shipping $50 thousand to the Pakistani Taliban for the specific goal of murdering American troops overseas. Khan was not the only individual charged in the crime. His son, Izhar, spent 20 months in a Miami federal detention center for his alleged participation in the terror financing scheme.
As stated by the US Justice Department, “Izhar is a Pakistani Taliban sympathizer who worked with [his father Hafiz] and others to collect and deliver money for the Pakistani Taliban… Izhar… provided and attempted to provide material support and resources… knowing and intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.”
While using his law firm to actively raise money for Izhar and his father, Wahid went out of his way to label Izhar a “rising star.” Also, according to the Miami New Times, Wahid said of Izhar that he was a “sweet kid who did his father’s bidding.” In this same New Times piece, it is reported that Wahid, himself, was placed on the federal terrorist watch list, in 2011.
Besides his work as an attorney, Wahid is the National Co-Chairman of Emgage Action (formerly Emerge USA), an Islamist group he founded in 2006 that attempts to pass its extremist agenda off as political advocacy. The group is part of the South Florida Muslim Federation, a consortium of South Florida’s radical Islamic organizations and terror-related mosques. Emgage tends to attract leaders of the Democratic Party, who see Emgage as an opportunity to pander for Muslim votes and close their eyes to the extreme nature of the group.
Under Wahid’s authority sits Ammar Ahmed, the South Florida Director of Emgage. In February 2010, following a debate he participated in at a school, Ahmed wrote on Facebook, “I hate white people” and joked that he “should have threatened to blow up the school.”
Prior to creating Emgage, Wahid served as a legal advisor for the national office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a director of CAIR’s Florida chapter. According to the US government, CAIR has both financial and foundational ties to Hamas. Various CAIR representatives have served prison time and/or have been deported from the US for terrorist-related activity. In November 2014, CAIR was designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
The mosque Wahid attends is the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF). Wahid is also the Registered Agent for IFSF’s corporation. Up until recently, the Youth Group leader for IFSF was Abdur Rahman al-Ghani, an individual who says on his Facebook page that Jews are “demonic” and Islam “will over-take the World.” In June 2013, IFSF hosted a Ramadan Prep Youth Night featuring Izhar Khan, and in April 2014, IFSF hosted a talk by Mazen Mokhtar, a former administrator for the al-Qaeda recruitment site, qoqaz.net (Jihad in Chechnya), and who has called Hamas acts “heroic” and suicide bombings “an effective method of attacking the enemy.”
It is through Wahid’s engagement in politics, via his Emgage organization, that Wahid probably believed that he had a shot to win the vacant Commission seat. However, any voter looking into Wahid’s extremist and terror-tied background would surely have questions about Wahid’s true intentions in running for such an office – in running for any office.
What is indeed concerning, though, is that just short of 1400 Coral Springs voters thought highly enough of Wahid to give him their votes, putting him squarely in third place. That was well behind the 2553 votes the winner, Sean Cerra, received, but it was 1400 votes nonetheless. Either those voters were ignorant of Wahid’s sordid history or they disturbingly chose to ignore it. Beyond Wahid and his fellow Islamists, any vote for him would be aiding and abetting extremist activity.
A vote for Wahid was and is a vote for terror.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.