Following a decision of the US government not to appeal a court ruling ordering it to either issue a visa or provide good reasons for not doing so, Tariq Ramadan is on the eve of entering the United States, two years after his visa was revoked, based on provisions of the US Patriot Act allowing exclusion of foreign citizens who have “endorsed or espoused terrorism”.
Tariq Ramadan has always denied endorsing terrorism or having any contact with terrorists in Europe. When confronted to the evidence I’ve provided during a face to face debate on Swiss TV in December 2003, he again denied these contacts. On terrorism and the use of suicide attacks against civilians he used his favorite “double standard” position: he condemned these acts “globally”, but found them justified “contextually”.
The evidence provided included the following:
– A Spanish Police General Directorate memo dated 1999 stating that Ahmed Brahim (sentenced to 10 years in prison for incitement to terrorism in April 2006) maintained “regular contacts with important figures of radical Islam such as Tariq Ramadan”.
– The minutes of Djamel Beghal’s (sentenced to 10 years in prison in March 2005) first appearance testimony on October 1st, 2001 (following his indictment by a French antiterrorist judge for his participation to a foiled terrorist attack against the US Embassy in Paris), where he stated that before 1994, he “attended the courses given by Tarek Ramadan”. According to the final prosecution documents, during his first interrogation before UAE authorities who arrested him, Beghal stated on September 22, 2001, that “his religious engagement started in 1994” when “he was in charge of writing the statements of Tariq Ramadan”.
– A Swiss intelligence memo of 2001 stating that “brothers Hani and Tariq Ramadan coordinated a meeting held in 1991 in Geneva attended by Ayman Al Zawahiri and Omar Abdel Rahman”, respectively Al Qaeda leader and planner of the terrorist attack against the World Trade Center in 1993, and sentenced to life in the United States.
– A human source testimony corroborating this information and stating that at the end of a friday prayer at the Islamic Center of Geneva in 1991, Hani Ramadan, brother of Tariq Ramadan, told the audience that a conference will be held few days later with Ayman Al Zawahiri, describing him as an “Islamic Mujahideen”.
– An abstract of the Al Taqwa Bank (listed as SDGT) phonebook seized at Youssef Nada’s house in 2001 where the Ramadan’s family name precedes the mention of “Said Ramadan”, Tariq and Hani Ramadan’s father.
New documents reveal that Tariq Ramadan had contacts with other terrorists in Europe.
According to the final French prosecution filing (dated December 8, 2005) against the “Chechen networks”, who had planned chemical attacks in France “under the supervision of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi”, Menad Benchellali (Head of the network who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2006) traveled to Switzerland “one or two times in 2000 to attend conferences on Islam provided by Tariq Ramadan”.