by Joe Kaufman
"March for Justice" nears its end - but when will Nidal Sakr face his own justice?
On July 26th, Nidal Sakr tweeted a Hamas communique, which included a photo of an armed Hamas soldier dressed in fatigues. That’s a normal event for Sakr, someone who has been associated with the founders of al-Qaeda and has issued death threats against President Trump and was sentenced to death, himself, in Egypt for murder. However, since his Hamas posting, Sakr has been relatively quiet – so quiet that it seems he is allowing the organization he has operated for nearly two decades, the March for Justice, to dissolve.
According to his bio, “In July 2000, Nidal became the Chairmen [sic] for the March for Justice…” The group was incorporated as a Florida Not For Profit Corporation. It became known for its extreme anti-Israel protests. At one such event, held at the University of Miami in October 2002, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was labeled “the world’s longest standing terrorist” and Israel an “illegitimate state.”
Sakr’s anti-Israel ideology had been building up for years.
Long before his involvement in the March for Justice, around 1970, Sakr had been recruited into a terrorist cell operating out of Jordan that was conducting paramilitary operations against Israel. Sakr stated on video that he had been recruited into the cell by Abdullah Azzam, the future mentor of Osama bin Laden and co-founder of al-Qaeda. He further stated that he was a personal acquaintance of bin Laden and the bin Laden family.
Sakr has since written that Israel “MUST BE OBLITERATED” and that he will “never rest till ‘Israel’ is off the map.”
Sakr also used his March for Justice organization to shill for the Muslim Brotherhood, while he was residing in Egypt and acting as an organizer for Brotherhood rallies and an advisor to Brotherhood leadership during the Arab Spring.
This past September, according to the Florida Division of Corporations, the corporation for Sakr’s group, the March for Justice, was dissolved for its failure to file an annual report. And while Sakr’s sister March for Justice corporation in California shows “ACTIVE,” it appears that his paperwork, which was due in June, has been delinquent as well.
Maybe he just didn’t feel the need to maintain the organization any longer. Or maybe it has to do with the legal controversies surrounding Sakr’s life.
In March 2014, Sakr left his home in Egypt for the United States, where he had been born. Upon arrival he was placed in handcuffs and detained. There was a good reason for him leaving Egypt. Days after his detention at the US border, Sakr was sentenced to death in Egypt for the murder of an Egyptian police officer.
In July 2017, Sakr referred to Trump as an “enemy of God.” In September 2017, he wrote, “FACTS ARE FACTS. Patriotic Americans Will Keep After SOB Donald Trump Until We Nail His ass. YOU WATCH!!” And in October 2017, Sakr outright called for the President’s death. He tweeted, “EXECUTE SOB TRAITOR Donald Trump.” That same day, he wrote, “Donald Trump, You Are TOAST… I GUARANTEE IT.”
To make a threat against the President of the United States is a federal crime. Sakr could serve up to five years in prison for doing so. Of course, this is no comparison to the death sentence he would receive in Egypt. But even with the extradition treaty that was signed between the US and her Egyptian ally, getting sent off as an American-born citizen to realize his Egyptian fate is not an easy task. That is, unless there is proof that Sakr renounced or lost his US citizenship.
According to the United States government, “You might lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you… commit an act of treason against the United States.” In this author’s opinion, Sakr has done that on numerous occasions by issuing threats against the US.
Sakr has referred to the US as “evil America” and the “largest Global Terrorist.” Last December, he tweeted, “Down with America!!!” In November 2017, he tweeted (in Arabic), “Jihad will topple all American dogs.” And in August 2017, he wrote, “LET ME BE CLEAR. Like it or Not, America MUST/WILL PAY 4 War Crimes/Crimes Against Humanity/Support of Dictators/Terror Creation.”
Up until recently, Sakr has been very active on social media. Following his Hamas communique post in July, Sakr waited till October 22nd and October 23rd to make his next posts. He tweeted on both days, “BREAKING!!! LIVE from Johannesburg…” He said he was discussing the subjects of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and anti-Muslim activities, on the South African radio channel CII or Channel Islam International.
Question: Was/Is Sakr traveling to/residing in South Africa or was he just interviewed on a radio station that happens to be located there? He has been interviewed by CII many times in the past. If he is living outside the US, maybe it is the reason why he has appeared to have let his March for Justice organization dissolve.
Regardless of where he has been or is currently located, Sakr’s violent actions, threats and terror incitement – which spans five decades – needs to be stopped immediately. Sakr must be held to account for his activities and be brought to justice. This could happen in the US via jail sentence, so he can no longer pose a threat to national security, or via extradition to Egypt, where he faces execution. Doing so would send a long overdue signal that those who promote terror and sedition can no longer do so with impunity. Either way, justice will have been served.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter