Aletho News


The Bizarre Background of the ‘911’ New York Mosque

By F William Engdahl | Global Research | September 14, 2010

For days the headline in US and even world news has been whether or not a fanatic Christian preacher from a tiny Florida church will or will not burn the Moslem Koran in protest to the announced plans to build a mosque 400 meters from the site of the World Trade Twin Towers. Conveniently, the drama was focused on the 9th anniversary of the collapse of three (not two as widely believed) towers on September 11, 2001. Now details about the real estate group that is allegedly ready to invest $100 million in the mosque construction suggest that the entire drama is being deliberately orchestrated. The question is by whom to what ends?

In a move to maintain high drama, on September 10, bombastic New York real estate wheeler-dealer Donald Trump made public his offer to buy out the prime owner of the proposed Islamic Center for “patriotic” reasons. The deal was reportedly rejected categorically by Hisham Elzanaty, an Egyptian-born businessman who says he provided a majority of the financing for the two buildings where the center would be built. Here is where it begins to become interesting.

It turns out according to investigations by various New York newspapers that the property is registered not in the name of Elzanaty, but of an entity called Soho Properties, a real estate company at 552 Broadway, New York, New York. According to their website Soho Properties was founded by Sharif El-Gamal in 2003. The website describes their activities: “We are a company focused on pursuing the real value in real estate investments, especially when pricing dislocations create value-driven opportunities. Soho Properties unlocks the value in an investment by successfully executing various strategies, which include re-tenanting/repositioning assets, renovations, aggregations, developments and participating in unique opportunistic situations.” 1

Who is Sharif El-Gamal then? It seems, according to various New York police records and the research of a Florida private detective on behalf of clients who claim to have been defrauded by the El-Gamal group, that Sharif El-Gamal has a rather dubious background, for someone who is the mogul of a $100 million real estate deal. Sharif is in a partnership with his brother, Sammy El-Gamal, and Nour Mousa, nephew of Amr Moussa, an Egyptian diplomat and the Secretary General of the Arab League.

In November 2009, it was reported that the firm spent $45.7 million to buy 31 West 27th Street in New York City, a 12-story 10,000 m2 office building. El-Gamal said: “We just bought it for the income. It’s got great long-term leases, and the financing was really attractive.” In a depressed New York real estate market, the El-Gamal brothers seem not to be such shrewd businessmen. They reportedly bought it from the Witkoff Group, which had bought the building in 2006 for $31.5 million, during the boom in New York real estate.2

Then in July 2009, Soho bought the 47–51 Park Place building on the site of the planned Cordoba House, now referred to as the “Ground Zero Mosque” and “Park51”, to allegedly build a $100 million, 13-story, glass and steel Islamic cultural center and mosque that is in the planning stage. Soho Properties paid the owner $4.85 million in cash for the property.

Waiters into real estate tycoons

The question being asked is where did the large sums of money come from for the two El-Gamal brothers? It seems they are anything but your typical New York millionaire real estate tycoons.

According to an article in the New York Post, Hisham Elzanaty, one of the money men behind the developer of the “Ground Zero” mosque was sued for allegedly defrauding an insurance company for nearly $1.8 million, according to court documents. Elzanaty, who reportedly owns medical companies that operate out of a building in the Bronx, allegedly billed State Farm Insurance for unnecessary tests related to automobile accidents that would maximize the insurance payout, the court papers say. Elzanaty, who was reportedly a “significant investor” in mosque developer Sharif el-Gamal’s $4.8 million mosque project, was also ordered to repay $331,000 after an audit showed Medicaid had overpaid him. 3

According to Florida private investigator Bill Warner and to various New York reports, there is an investigation ongoing into Sammy and Sharif El-Gamal of the SOHO Properties by the New York State Dept of Licensing in Manhattan for non-payment of apartment rental deposits to customers that were supposed to be in escrow.

Court records from Florida to New York State reveal that Sharif and his younger brother, Samir “Sammy” El-Gamal, 35, a partner with him in his company SoHo Properties, both have a history of numerous tax and debt issues, dating from at least 1994 to the present. In one case, a NY Police officer arrested Sharif in 1994 for “promoting prostitution.” He pleaded guilty to a mis-demeanor of disorderly conduct. In another instance, Sharif told a court he didn’t hit a tenant from whom his brother and he were trying to collect back rent. He said to police, the tenant’s “face could have run into my hand.” 4

The brothers’ background does not suggest billionaire real estate project preparation. Sharif waited tables at the restaurant Serafina, while Sammy waited tables at Tao. Then Sharif worked as a waiter at Michael Jordan’s, named after basketball star. But he, ostensibly a devout muslim, was fired for arriving reeking of alcohol, among other things. This is around when Sharif started acquiring a criminal record, say people familiar with his career.5

The geopolitical manipulation

The entire ‘911’ Mosque controversy has been made into world news by CNN and other select media. The US head of the military command in Afghanistan, General Petraeus got into the fray with a plea to the Florida pastor not to burn Korans, a move which naturally led several other wanna-be preacher bigots to say they too planned to burn Korans on the ninth anniversary of the World Trade Center event. The President, Barack Obama, got into the act by praising the building of the mosque as a symbol of Americans’ religious freedom and tolerance.

At the end of the day it all fueled a “Clash of Civilization” tension across America, and had the convenient effect, whether the mosque is built on the site or not, of reinforcing the US Government version of the collapse of the World Trade towers on September 11, 2001, namely that the destruction was carried out by two commercial hijacked jets being deftly rerouted into the two towers. And that the Boeing jets had been allegedly hijacked by 19 Arab students, armed only with paper box cutters, who had just been trained at a Florida flight school to fly small Cessna-size private planes. By keeping alive the myth of the “Second Pearl Harbor,” as George W. Bush once called 911, perhaps some people such as Barack Obama or General Petraeus hope to keep attention on the need for US military occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even spreading the war beyond Afghanistan.

One interesting question in the entire business is who put up millions of dollars for the sleazy El-Gamal brothers’ Soho Properties to pay $5 million cash for the property and to buy the other property for $46 million? Did the very established Witkoff Group, whose head, Steven Witkoff was selected as “Man of the Year” by The Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1998, and who do major deals from London to New York not do a due diligence research on their new potential clients? Or is this all play money games using intelligence agency or other fake companies to create the explosive scenario at the anniversary of 911? These are some of the interesting questions to ask.


1 Soho Properties, accessed in

2 Dana Rubenstein, SoHo Properties Buys Chelsea Building for $45.7 M., The New York Observer Real Estate, November 9, 2009, accessed in
3 Tom Liddy, Ripoff Mosque Man Sued, New York Post, September 4, 2010.
4 Asra Q. Nomani , Rift Imperils Ground Zero Mosque, August 30, 2010, Yahoo News, accessed in
5 Ibid.

September 15, 2010 - Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering


  1. Let me guess. The El-Gammel brothers are the offspring of Anne Frank’s love child. (It’s all soap opera themed, so why not?)

    Comment by Eric Vaughan | September 16, 2010

  2. Asra Nomani shares with Barack Osama Obama the cover up and protection of ICTS International’s involvement with Richard Reid ‘the shoe bomber’ in the death of Daniel Pearl who was investigating Reid at the time of his beheading.Richard Reid was allowed into Israel a few months before 9/11 and his boarding of an American flight to the U.S. wuith his ‘shoe bomb.More recently on Christmas 2009 ICTS allowed the Nigerian ‘crotch bomber ‘ to board flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Detroit with his ‘crotch bomb’.
    I have already criticised Mayor Bloomberg for protecting international stock fraudsters and money launderers in NY
    BOTH MOSLEM AND ISRAELI.And of course mosques,synagogues and churches should be investigated if their finances are
    questionable.So should Mayor Bloomberg’s own offshore or onshore accounts if neccessary.

    Asra Nomani is nothing but a right wingnut tied to elite interests
    such as the international criminal Rupert Murdoch and Georgetown
    University that represents the worst of Islamic and Judaic ‘culture’
    and right wing Christian scum who are no better.
    Georgetown’s James Angel has been linked to the liars such as NTU and
    Agora Inc founder James Dale Davidson and their NAANSS or National
    Association against Naked Short Selling that was replaced in 2005 by
    Geico billionaire’s son Patrick Byrne’s NCANS or National Coalition
    Against Naked Shorting and his Overstock.con who are nothing but
    thieves using stocks for money laundering.
    (One example of money laundering fraud against American investors that
    Asra’s Georgetown University openly aided and abetted and profited
    from is Samaritan Pharmaceuticals.)
    Asra Nomani should as an ex WSJ ‘reporter’ be exposing the fraud that
    is at Georgetown University,(a one time Catholic university
    parasitised by disreputable characters such as herself,James Angel and
    even SEC attorneys such as John Reed Stark who has allowed so much
    cyberfraud such as Samaritan Pharmaceuticals to operate in the firt
    place !).
    I have no idea if Daniel Pearl was a lying Zionist like his father
    Judea,(a grown university ‘educated’ white guy who lies about being a
    ‘semite’) or not.But Asra, like Judea, avoids discussing the fact that
    Daniel Pearl’s supposed reason for being in Pakistan in the first
    place was to investigate Richard Reid ‘the shoe bomber’. And if that
    was what got him killed in Pakistan in the first place, was his
    intention to then go next to Israeli where Richard Reid,(just before
    he got on that plane from DeGualle Paris airport with his ‘shoe bomb
    to the U.S.) was coincidentally,( just like Asra Nomani),treated like
    a Moslem guest of honor, or not ?
    So Asra Nomani, was Daniel Pearl about to expose Israeli and ICTS
    International complicity in allowing Richard Reid ‘the shoe bomber’ to
    board that plane before he was beheaded by Mansoor Ijaz’s contacts
    (and if so he was a real American heroe unlike his father who is a
    hateful Zionist),or was he(like you) in a cover up mode for ICTS
    International and thus the Israel security,(stocks) and
    securities,(safety),criminals of convisted(in Israel) money launderer
    Menachem Atzmon’s ICTS International who allowed 9/11 to happen by
    allowing those flights that hit the WTC to take off from Logan BOSTON
    IN THE FIRST PLACE ?! To me Asra Nomani,you represent the very kind of
    danger to America our U.S.Constitution was destroyed for and replaced
    by Israel’s and Michael Chertoff’s Patriot Act to combat.But of course
    you are in league with ICTS and Chrtoff or you would speak up.And
    Daniel Pearl was either a Zionist,(like his daddy Judea),working
    against the American public to cover up Richard Reid’s trip to Israel
    for the Israelis of ICTS that allowed him to board the plane in Paris
    for the U.S. in the first place or he was a real American heroe who
    rebeled against his father and Zionists and lost his head for it.Which
    is it Asra? Recently ICTS (Christmas 2009) who allowed 9/11 to happen
    and allowed Reid to board in Paris wih his ‘sho bomb’ allowed the
    Nigerian ‘crotch bomber’ to board flight 253 from Schiphol Airport in
    Amsterdam to Detroit.Which is it Asra ?
    Also Asra, after being treated so harshly by Israel’s allies in Saudi
    Arabia (at’ the mound of the rock’ or whatever you call it), were you
    treated better at Al Aqsa Mosque by your Israeli guests and friends
    when you worshipped there ? Are did they allow you to worship there or
    are you in fact a hypocrite who uses your Islamic religion just for
    stirring up anti Islamic sentiment and disinformation for your Zionist
    masters ?

    non answer from Asra Nomani:

    Dear TonyRyals,

    Honestly, I don’t really get where you’re coming from. But, sadly, I
    never visited Israel with Danny. I went after Danny’s murder with my
    family, after we had completed the hajj in Saudi Arabia. I had a gun
    pointed to my head as I walked through the checkpoint to get into the
    Dome of the Rock, where I wish all people could pray.

    It’s easy to level conspiracy theories upon others. But I would gently
    suggest that the truth is far often much more boring. Right now, my
    highest priority is figuring out how to get my son weighed in for the
    “ankle biter” divison of tackle football and still get to Kings
    Dominion with a friend on Sunday. Boring.

    I’m not part of some grand conspiracy. I agree Mansur Ijaz is an
    interesting character. One day, I will pick up the phone to do a
    reported profile on him.

    Until then, thanks for writing, Asra


    Christmas Camel by Procol Harum

    While madmen in top hats and tails
    impale themselves on six-inch nails
    and some Arabian also-ran
    impersonates a watering can

    Some Santa Claus-like face of note
    entreats my ears to set afloat
    my feeble sick and weary brain
    and I am overcome with shame
    and hide inside my overcoat
    and hurriedly begin to quote
    while some Arabian sheikh most grand
    impersonates a hot-dog stand

    The Red Cross ambulance outside
    can only mean that I must hide
    ’til dusk and finally the night
    when I will make a hasty flight
    across the sea and far away
    to where the weary exiles stay
    and some Arabian oil-well
    impersonates a padded cell

    Comment by Tony Ryals | September 19, 2010

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