NYC Mayor Eric Adams wrongly accuses Columbia University “visitor” of being an “outside agitator” during Gaza solidarity protest
05/09/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

Intel sources have reportedly leaked information to journalists that during the first days of the Gaza solidarity protest at Columbia University, the wife of a convicted terrorist was on campus, mingling with the student protesters.

"We're learning tonight that the wife of an indicted terrorist was on the campus," said CBS host Laura Coates in a tweet citing City Hall sources and referring to Nahla Al-Arian, 63 years old and a retired fourth-grade teacher from Tampa Bay, Florida, whose father's family is originally from Gaza.

The next two mornings, New York City Mayor Eric mentioned her presence at Columbia University and said it was a crucial part of his decision to authorize the military-style raid on the building because she was there as an "outside agitator" directing the protest.

"One of the individuals' husband was arrested for and convicted for terrorism on a federal level," Adams said on MSNBC.

"I knew that there was no way I was going to allow those children to be exploited the way they were being exploited and many people thought that this was just a natural evolution of a protest. It was not. These were professionals that were here," Adams told CBS. He followed up with an interview on NPR stating that Al-Arian's presence at Columbia was the reason he allowed the violent raid.

Al-Arian, whose life has been a nightmare for the past seven months as her relatives in the embattled enclave die one by one and her ancestral homeland gets flattened by violent attacks, actually went to Columbia to join her two journalist daughters who visited the encampment.

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"I tagged along… And I wanted to see those kids. I felt so down," she said. "I was crying every day for Gaza, for the children being killed, for the women, the destruction of my father's city, so I wanted to feel better, you know, to see those kids. I heard a lot about them, how smart they are, how organized, you know?"

She was on the campus for less than an hour, sat and listened to part of a teach-in and shared some hummus with her daughters and students. When she left the school and New York to visit her grandchildren in Virginia, she felt good that people cared about the suffering and deaths being inflicted on her family in Gaza.

"I felt much better when I went there because I felt those kids are very well informed, very well educated. They are the conscience of America. They care about the Palestinian people who they never saw or got to meet," she said. (Related: More than 2,100 people arrested during Gaza solidarity protests at universities and colleges nationwide.)

Al-Arian says Adams is wrong about her husband

Al-Arian pointed out that the information publicly stated by Adams about her husband, Sami Al-Arian, is wrong. Sami is a former computer engineering professor and prominent Palestinian activist.

On Feb. 20, 2003, Sami was arrested and indicted on 53 counts of supporting the armed resistance group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the charges could have put him in prison for multiple life sentences, plus 225 years. It was a centerpiece case of the administration of former President George W. Bush's domestic "war on terror." He was charged with conspiracy to kill or maim persons abroad, yet the prosecutors openly admitted he had no connection to any violence.

His trial did not go well for federal prosecutors. In December 2005, following a six-month trial, a jury acquitted him on eight of the most serious counts and deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquittal on the other nine. The judge made clear he was not pleased with this outcome and the prosecutors were intent on relitigating the case. Al-Arian had spent two years in jail already without any conviction.

In 2006, he pleaded guilty to one count of providing nonviolent support to people the government alleged were affiliated with the PIJ to agree with a plea deal. He would serve a short sentence and with his residency revoked, get an expedited deportation. At no point during the government’s trial did the prosecution provide evidence he was connected to any acts of violence. For the next eight years following his release from prison in 2008, he was kept under house arrest. Amnesty International raised concerns that he had been abused in prison and he faced the prospect of yet another lengthy, costly court battle.

"This case remains one of the most troubling chapters in this nation's crackdown after 9-11," Jonathan Turley, his lawyer, wrote in 2014 when the case was officially dropped. "Despite the jury verdict and the agreement reached to allow Dr. Al-Arian to leave the country, the Justice Department continued to fight for his incarceration and a trial in this case. It will remain one of the most disturbing cases of my career in terms of the actions taken by our government."

Visit for more news related to the ongoing war in Gaza.

Watch this video from videographer Lincoln Karim as he goes on the scene at the anti-war, pro-Palestine student protest at Columbia University.

This video is from the AllTheWorldsAStage channel on

More related stories:

Israel wants U.S. National Guard deployed against anti-Israel protesters at American universities.

Intolerant Zionists now controlling all on-campus speech – no defending innocent Palestinians allowed.

Columbia crackdown led by university prof doubling as NYPD spook.

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