Founded in 2012, and operating in Europe, North America, as well as Iran, Samidoun claims to be “an international network of organizers and activists working to build solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for freedom.”
The reality however is that Samidoun, and key Samidoun leaders, such as Barakat, serve as an inseparable arm of the PFLP, an EU-and U.S.-designated terror group, thereby being inextricably tied to the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The key question is for how much longer will the European Union keep turning its back and allow Samidoun to continue operating unabated, while Iran further spreads its tentacles of terror in Europe?
Most of the prisoners for whom Samidoun advocates are no mere common criminals. They are murderers and convicted terrorists with ties to PFLP, including Ahmad Sa’adat, who in 2001 assassinated Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi in Jerusalem, and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, who is serving a life sentence in France for his role in the 1982 murder of American and Israeli diplomats in Paris.
The PFLP was founded in 1967 as a Marxist-Leninist Arab nationalist group, to oppose by violence the existence of Israel. They first made a name for themselves during the 1960s and 1970s with a series of high-profile airplane hijackings, including in Europe. More recently, in 2014, PFLP terrorists armed with guns and meat cleavers entered a Jerusalem synagogue and murdered five people. In 2019, PFLP terrorists murdered 17-year-old Israeli girl Rina Schnerb by remotely detonating an explosive device.
In 2019, Samidoun leader Barakat was deported from Germany, following a Berlin appellate court finding that he “repeatedly acted as an activist for the PFLP.”
In 2021, Israel formally designated Samidoun as a terrorist organization, specifically citing their links to PFLP and noting that Barakat, “is part of the leadership of PFLP abroad.”
Barakat is not the only senior leader in Samidoun with terror links. Mustapha Awad is Samidoun’s Europe representative. A Lebanese-Belgian national based in Brussels, he too is a member of PFLP, who was convicted in 2019 of receiving training by Hezbollah and wiring money to Barakat from Lebanon and Syria, on the directions of PFLP.
Another is Mohammed Khatib, who currently resides in Brussels and serves as the Europe Coordinator for Samidoun. Like his colleagues, Khatib is also a member of PFLP. On Oct. 29, 2022, Khatib coordinated the “March of Return and Liberation” rally in Brussels, proclaiming outside the European Parliament that “Defeating Israel means defeating the United States and defeating this colonial [EU] institution,” using “any means necessary” including “bullets, Kalashnikovs, and rockets.”
Even the major credit card companies and financial institutions shut down the ability of Samidoun to use their services for online fundraising, because of concerns they would be providing “material support” to terrorism.
The one destructive thread that weaves all this hatred of our shared democratic values, is the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The PFLP is a proxy of the Iranian regime, which provides the terror group with money, training, and weapons.
Samidoun, an off shoot of the PFLP, has a branch in Tehran. They have even held events there, under pretext of “cultural activity,” to elicit support for operations in Europe. Their leader, Khaled Barakat, is a regular on Iran’s state PressTV, calling for violence and lauding Iran’s involvement in the region.
Senior Samidoun members in Europe, like Mustapha Awad, have been trained by Hezbollah, another Iranian terror proxy, and have transferred money from Lebanon and Syria to Barakat, representing the most direct financial link between Samidoun and the Iranian regime.
Samidoun has also expressed support and admiration for Qassem Soleimani, the former head of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was killed in an American strike in 2020, calling him a major “military and political leader,” while advocating support for the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei and an end to sanctions.
It is utterly incomprehensible, therefore, that the EU has not yet designated Samidoun a terror group.
According to the Council of the European Union, groups and/or individuals can be added to the EU terror list on the basis of “proposals submitted by member states based on a decision by a competent authority of a member state or a third country.” In this regard, there is already a standing designation by Israel of Samidoun as a terror group and a decision of a German court finding Barakat to be a senior PFLP operative.
Furthermore, according to the Council of the European UnionCommon Position Paper 931 and the European Court of Justice, a decision of an EU Member State court is not even necessary. Even just the initiation of an investigation by police or national authorities, including those outside the European Union, would suffice.
Given the irrefutable axis-of-terror between Samidoun, PFLP and the Iranian regime, the EU has the duty to put Samidoun and senior Samidoun leaders on the EU terror list. They should do this not as some favor to Israel, but because otherwise they continue to turn their backs to a group that presents a clear and present security threat to the European Union and EU citizens.
Source » newsweek