National Security

Will The Biden Admin Respond After Top Official In Terrorist-Linked Palestinian Group Called For ‘Defeat’ Of US?

(Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
Font Size:
  • America’s leaders have remained silent after a prominent member of Samidoun, a Palestinian nonprofit group with close ties to a U.S.-labeled terrorist group, threatened violence on the U.S.
  • “Defeating Israel means defeating the U.S. Defeating Israel means defeating Canada, these settlements that exist on the backs of the indigenous people and black people,” Mohammed Khatib, Samidoun’s Europe coordinator, said on Oct. 29.
  • “The question is whether the U.S. begins to ask for evidence in light of such rhetoric, and whether the U.S. is going to respond in any way,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

A top coordinator of a terrorist-linked pro-Palestinian organization threatened the U.S. and called for its “defeat,” but two weeks later the Biden administration has yet to respond.

Mohammed Khatib, one of the leaders of Palestinian activist organization Samidoun, urged the “defeat” of the U.S. and the European Union at a protest outside an EU parliament meeting in Brussels in late October. Samidoun has links to a prominent Palestinian resistance group that has engaged in terrorism, according to a prior DCNF investigation, and while the U.S. has addressed other Palestinian nonprofits labeled as terrorist organizations in Israel, its silence regarding Samidoun is puzzling and may neglect due diligence regarding terrorism, experts told the DCNF.

“Defeating Israel means defeating the U.S. Defeating Israel means defeating Canada, these settlements that exist on the backs of the indigenous people and black people,” Khatib, Samidoun’s Europe coordinator, said on Oct. 29.

Khatib provided the keynote remarks at the March for Liberation and Return that culminated in calls before the European Parliament to free Palestinian prisoners and end colonialism and Zionism, according to the organization. Khatib is described as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a militant leftist organization dating back to the 1960s, in Palestinian media; the U.S. labeled the PFLP a terrorist organization in 1997.

Samidoun coordinator Khaled Barakat also serves on the PFLP Central Committee and is “involved with establishing militant cells and motivating terrorist activity in Judea & Samaria and abroad,” Israel’s Ministry of Defense alleged. Samidoun denied that Barakat had ever served as a “director or chief coordinator” in the organization; Barakat was set to attend the Oct. 29 demonstration, but the Netherlands denied him entry to the EU, the Jerusalem Post reported.

In February 2021, Israel designated Samidoun as a terrorist organization, citing its role in fundraising, recruiting and publicity efforts on behalf of the PFLP. (RELATED: Group Designated As A Terror Organization In Israel Is Active In The US)

The U.S. has so far failed to address Samidoun’s persistence in the U.S. and connections to the PFLP, an oversight experts said fails to take appropriate precautions against terrorism.

“When you begin to think that this is happening in the heart of Europe, and we (the U.S.) continue to be champions of the Palestinian national movement, it certainly seems like at minimum there should be some kind of statement issued to the [Palestinian Authority] on something like this,” Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research and Middle East scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former counter-terrorism official in the U.S. Treasury Department, told the DCNF.

“The question is whether the U.S. begins to ask for evidence” of Samidoun’s complicity in terrorist activities “in light of such rhetoric, and whether the U.S. is going to respond in any way,” Schanzer added.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network advocates for jailed Palestinians around the world, including some imprisoned for attempted or successful violent attacks, according to Samidoun’s website. One such prisoner is Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, who is jailed in the U.S. for involvement in the 1982 assassinations of Israeli diplomat Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov and U.S. military attaché Charles Ray.

In addition, the organization has stagedDay of Rage” rallies across the North Atlantic, including in the U.S. Protesters shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” some waving flags bearing the insignia of the PFLP.

However, the State Department has not indicated whether it has knowledge of Samidoun’s terrorist affiliations or whether the group would be investigated further. The State Department declined to respond to questions from the DCNF.

“As for designating, organizations are designated for what they do, not what they say,” Shoshana Bryen, president of the Jewish Policy Center, told the DCNF. “So, the protest in Brussels, by itself, is not cause for listing Samidoun.”

However, “If there are links, yes, Samidoun should be listed as well,” she added.

The State Department has acknowledged Israel’s addition in October 2021 of six separate Palestinian nonprofits to the terrorist list for their suspected PFLP ties.

“We’ll be engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for these designations,” spokesperson Ned Price said, adding that the Israeli government failed to provide advance notice of its decision.

Price addressed the alleged terrorist organizations again in August 2022, after Israel raided property belonging to the six groups. Israel provided intelligence tying the organizations to terrorist activities, which the State Department and partner agencies had reviewed, he said, offering a caveat that the U.S. expected further information.

“We will review that information on a timely basis and very carefully as well,” Price said.

Then, in September 2022, an Israeli delegation held confidential discussions with State Department leaders and members of the U.S. intelligence community in an effort to convince the U.S. of the justification for the terrorist designations, Axios reported, citing three Israeli officials.

“There is reason to be frustrated” by the lack of response from U.S. leadership, Schanzer said. “They just decided to keep their mouth shut from the moment this started 7 or 8 months ago. What explains this silence?”

Samidoun, the Israeli Embassy and the Israeli Consulate General at the United Nations Assembly in New York did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact