Groups with ties to foreign terror organizations were recently found to be recruiting students on U.S college campuses, including from Duke University. These groups are sending American students to areas in the Middle East controlled by the designated terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) for the purpose of radicalization. Examples of these recruitment events are described below. These incidents were documented by the Haym Salomon Center.
Zachor Legal Institute has informed the North Carolina Attorney General’s office of this matter and outlined the potential violations of law involved, including providing material support to terror organizations as part of a racketeering enterprise in violation of North Carolina’s “RICO” statute.
Providing material support, including non-violent organizational assistance and advocacy in support of terror organizations is prohibited by federal law.
Zachor believes that these activities also violate North Carolina law. In particular, under North Carolina’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. §75D), racketeering includes any activity that is described in 18 U.S.C. 1961(1) (see N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75D-3(c)(2)). One of the federal crimes under 18 U.S.C. 1961(1) that is incorporated into North Carolina’s RICO Act is 18 U.S.C. 2339B, providing material support to terrorist organizations. Zachor believes that the activities of the organizations operating on American campuses to facilitate meetings between students and terror groups overseas constitute, among other things, the provision of material support to designated terror organizations under 18 U.S.C. 2339B in violation of federal law and are thus subject to prosecution by the Attorney General’s office under the North Carolina RICO Act.
Students recruited at these events, such as the ones described here, are likely unaware that they are being culled by radical operatives to travel overseas to train with terrorists for the purpose of their own transformation. Also left in the dark about on-campus terror recruitment are well-meaning parents who entrust college administrators to safeguard their children. Campus anti-Israel groups are now going beyond inciting hate – they appear to be providing material support to foreign terror organizations.
April 3, 2019 Event at Duke University:
On April 3, 2019, during “Israel Apartheid Week” at Duke University, groups known as Eyewitness Palestine (formerly Interfaith Peace Builders) and Coalition For Peace With Justice made presentations at events that were sponsored by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and promoted via Duke online groups. At this event, a panel of students and other delegates spoke at “Movements for Black Palestinian Lives” where the students acknowledged that they had extensive, in-home meetings with representatives of groups that have been designated as foreign terror organizations by the United States government, including the PFLP.
Students were invited to travel to the Middle East to meet with leaders of terror groups and informed that student trips to meet with representatives of designated foreign terror groups are paid for by Coalition for Peace with Justice. This group has actively recruited students for such trips at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and at North Carolina Central University.
April 5, 2019 Event at Duke University:
The Duke University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, together with representatives from Eyewitness Palestine and Palestinian Youth Movement, held the final event for Duke’s “Israel Apartheid Week.” During the presentation, the Palestinian Youth Movement recruiter falsely claimed that Israel targets black people for death and torture. Students were urged to organize with other extreme movements and the recruiter compared the anti-Israel movement today with the radical Black Panther and the Palestinian Liberation Organization movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Specific calls to violence included comparisons of anti-Israel activism on campuses to Palestinian terror groups and lauding the Palestine Liberation Organization’s violent “resistance” against Israel that has resulted in the deaths of innocent Americans and Israelis. The recruitment event ended with a video presentation promoting Eyewitness Palestine trips and the distribution of applications for future delegations.
Summary of Issues:
One of the groups recruiting North Carolina college students to travel overseas explicitly requires participants to advocate on behalf of the foreign terror organizations that they have met with overseas when they return to the United States. Other similar groups are believed to advocate in North Carolina on behalf of terror groups for initiatives such as blocking law enforcement cooperation between local police and their Israeli counterparts.
These terror-recruitment activities put North Carolina students, and the safety of the public, at risk. Also, these activities aid foreign terror organizations, violating federal and state laws. In fact, the United States Department of Education recently sent inquiries to several large American universities to determine whether the universities have properly screened foreign groups on campus for ties to terror – checking for violations of the federal prohibition on providing material support to terror.
Ron Machol, COO of Zachor, noted “this is a clear case of in-your-face glorifying and recruitment of terrorist groups directly on campuses. Rather than offer safe environments, universities are inviting groups with dangerous agendas to masquerade as civil rights organizations, using public funding to entice students to make contact and then subsequently advocate for radical causes contrary to US public interests. This issue urgently needs to be highlighted and stopped.”
We urge the appropriate authorities to begin an investigation into the terror-recruitment operation described above taking place on North Carolina campuses.
About Zachor Legal Institute:
Zachor Legal Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, uses the law to defend against anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel, with a focus on opposing BDS. To learn more, please visit http://www.zachorlegal.org/.