Jewish World Review Sept. 6, 2002 / 29 Elul, 5762

Michelle Malkin

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Protect America: Stop marrying terrorists!


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Here's another item to add to Dr. Laura's list of "10 Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives:" Stupid treachery.

An alarming number of American women have ruined their lives-and risked the lives of their fellow citizens-by marrying Middle Eastern militants out of emotional immaturity. Others have helped radical Islamists out of pure greed.

Take Jessica Yolanda Fortune, who united with Lebanon-born Chawki Youssef Hammoud in 1994. The marriage enabled him to obtain a green card-and the cover to operate a Charlotte, North Carolina-based cell that smuggled cigarettes to raise cash for the terrorist Hezbollah organization. Fortune was convicted of marriage fraud in October 2001. Hammoud was convicted of smuggling, credit card fraud, money laundering, and racketeering in June 2002.

In Fortune's personal diary and letters, used by her lawyer in an attempt to win sympathy with a federal jury, she admitted committing perjury about the sham marriage in an attempt to win Hammoud's love. "I married you because I wanted to help you get your green card," she had written to Hammoud, "but also because I wanted to show I could be a good wife to you."

There's a great pitch: Love me, I'm a great liar!

Later, still pathetically perplexed by her unrequited passion, Fortune wrote to Hammoud: "What is it about me you hate?"

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Gee, maybe it had something to do with those "Death to America" videos found in Hammoud's brother's home?

Even after Chawki Hammoud's arrest, Fortune refused to consider any plea bargains because she didn't want to testify against him. Her lawyer cast Fortune as a "na´ve" victim. But in the shadow of the September 11 attacks, common-sense jurors were in no mood to shed tears for a terrorist enabler.

Meanwhile, Fortune's brother-in-law, Mohammed Hammoud, married three different American women. After arriving in the United States on a counterfeit visa, being ordered deported, and filing an appeal, he wed Sabina Edwards to gain a green card. INS officials refused to award him legal status after this first marriage was deemed bogus in 1994.

Undaunted, he married Jessica Wedel in May 1997, and while still wed to her, paid Angela Tsioumas (already married to someone else, too) to marry him in Detroit. The Tsioumas union netted Mohammed Hammoud temporary legal residence and quick bucks for Tsioumas. According to federal authorities, she bragged to others that she would "marry any of them for the right price."

Tsioumas entered a plea agreement in March 2002 on charges of conspiracy. Her "husband" was convicted on 16 counts that included providing material support to Hezbollah.

El Sayyid A. Nosair wed Karen Ann Mills Sweeney to avoid deportation for overstaying his visa. He acquired U.S. citizenship and was later convicted for conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that claimed six lives.

Ali Mohamed became an American citizen after marrying a woman he met on a plane trip from Egypt to New York. Recently divorced, Linda Lee Sanchez wed Mohamed in Reno, Nev., after a six-week "courtship." Mohamed became a top aide to Osama bin Laden and was later convicted for his role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa that killed 12 Americans and more than 200 others.

Two other embassy bombing plotters followed similar paths: Khalid Abu al Dahab obtained citizenship after marrying three different American women. Wadih el Hage, Osama bin Laden's personal secretary, married April Ray in 1985 and became a naturalized citizen in 1989. Ray knew of her husband's employment with bin Laden, but like many of these women in bogus marriages, she pleaded ignorance about the nature of her husband's work.

El Hage, she says, was a sweet man-and bin Laden "was a great boss."

Then there's Christy Layne of Canton, Ohio, who accepted $1,100 from Zuhaier Ben Mohammed Rouissi to marry him in August 2000 after his tourist visa lapsed. Rouissi is a Tunisian national with ties to top terrorist suspects. Layne told federal investigators she met Rouissi in a bar and married him to "get back" at her boyfriend, with whom she had fought.

My fellow American women, it's time to stop being so stupid, selfish, and naive. Stay away from young, single Jihadists with wads of cash and bomb-building manuals in their bedrooms. We are at war, ladies. Put your self-respect-and your country-first. When you sleep with the enemy, you endanger us all.

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JWR contributor Michelle Malkin is the author of, most recently, "Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists Criminals & Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores". To comment, please click here.

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© 2002, Creators Syndicate