Ties to terrorists? Protestors demand firing of FAU professor - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Ties to terrorists? Protestors demand firing of FAU professor

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Protestors marched in front of Florida Atlantic University Thursday to demand the firing of engineering professor Bassem Al-Halabi. The protests were led, in part, by Joe Kaufman. He is with a group called Americans Against Hate.

They allege, among other things, that Al-Halabi has ties to Sami Amin al-Arian, the former professor at the University of South Florida who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy that involved ties to a terrorist organization.

Kaufman said, "He was with al-Arian at a time when al-Arian was beginning to create an Islamic jihad infrastructure."

Professor Al-Halabi, an FAU professor for 15 years, says that is simply untrue. He says Al-Arian was his advisor when he was a university student, and they worked together on technical journals 20 years ago -- nothing more.

FAU administrators fully back Al-Halabi and note that he "has never been found guilty of, nor pleaded guilty to any criminal activity."  FAU goes on to say that "those calling for his dismissal on the basis of alleged criminal activity are either uninformed or deliberately misrepresenting the truth."

Al-Halabi says he is set to become an American citizen soon. He told NewsChannel 5, "I will be a much better American citizen than himself (Kaufman) because I paid all my dues in the past 30 years and I contributed so much to the country, the state of the art of engineering, my students and my research. I deserve to live the American Dream".

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