Meanwhile, for the benefit of my readers who may not be familiar with her case, Dr. Ehrenfeld is a scholar who is a leading expert in how terrorism is financed. She has authored many articles and a few books on the topic. In a recent book, she connected Saudi Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz to the funding of terrorism.
Sheikh bin Mahfouz is one of the world's wealthiest men. A multi-billionaire, he has a reputation of taking his complaints about people who link him to terrorism to the United Kingdom, where his attorneys make the most tenuous of links between the offending author and the United Kingdom in order to establish the jurisdiction of UK courts over the matter. The Sheikh's attorneys then sue the offending author under UK libel laws, which greatly favor the plaintiff.
In Dr. Ehrenfeld's case, the matter was not contested, and Sheikh bin Mahfouz was awarded a victory by default. He now holds over Rachel's head the possibility of seeking to collect damages in New York, where Dr. Ehrenfeld resides and works. It is now difficult for Dr. Ehrenfeld to find a publisher for her work.
From an article that has been posted at Dr. Ehrenfeld's website, The American Center for Democracy, entitled Saudi wields British law against U.S. author, we learn the story:
Rachel Ehrenfeld writes about terrorism for a living. But now she is the one who feels targeted.
Her modest midtown Manhattan apartment is filled to the ceiling with books, most having to do with global terror networks and Mideast conflict. Sitting at her desk, she gazes out at the Hudson River. She says she has a hard time placing her work. She says she has been blacklisted. If she travels to England, she fears she will be arrested.
"I feel like a leper," she said.
Ehrenfeld faces a $225,000 judgment obtained in a British court in a libel suit brought by a former banker to the Saudi royal family, billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz. "That's the Damocles sword effect. He's holding it above my head to intimidate me and others," she said.
The source of the trouble is Ehrenfeld's book, "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It," published by Bonus Books. In it, she named bin Mahfouz as a financier of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Bin Mahfouz responded by suing Ehrenfeld -- not in the U.S., but in England, which is friendlier to libel claims.
Bin Mahfouz maintains Ehrenfeld's statements about him are false and reckless and says she is perpetuating myths that have followed him around the globe, endangering his business affairs.
It isn't the first time bin Mahfouz has been tied to bin Laden -- or the first time he has responded by filing a lawsuit. On his personal Web site, he lists the lawsuits he has filed and corrections and apologies he has obtained from some of the leading newspapers in the world.
Ehrenfeld calls bin Mahfouz a "libel tourist" who has used British law to try to halt her investigative work. She has the support in written court filings of Amazon.com, PEN American Center, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and others who worry that litigants such as bin Mahfouz have a chilling effect on American publishers who sell books globally.
Libel Tourism is a term that applies to the actions of people like Sheikh bin Mahfouz who seek a jurisdiction favorable to their legal processes.
However, I use the term Libel Terrorism, since the obvious objective is to terrorize through legal means so the infidel world cannot speak the truth about terrorism, and, if we can't talk or write about it honestly, how can we defend ourselves against it?
Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, whose name features in a widget in my sidebar, is thus a Libel Terrorist. While the "little people" of the Islamic World are sent by the "big people" like Sheikh Osama bin Laden to martyr themselves for Islam, the other "big people" like Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz stay well away from the dangerous part of the jihad, but conduct their own terrorism via money and legal battles.
The New York Legislature seems to agree. The state Senate last month passed a bill to enable New York writers and publishers to block enforcement of any British libel judgment. The state Assembly is taking up the legislation.
In court papers, bin Mahfouz's lawyers say the Saudi financier never intended to get at Ehrenfeld's assets in New York and would drop his claims if she would apologize and destroy unsold copies of the book. But when asked by a federal appeals court to waive his right to enforce the judgment in the U.S., bin Mahfouz declined. His lawyers insist that Ehrenfeld is the one who has stoked the controversy to promote book sales.
Of course, it was Sheikh bin Mahfouz and his legal battle that drew attention to the matter. What upsets him is that this infidel -- specifically, this infidel woman -- refuses to submit to his intimidation.
Please visit Dr. Ehrenfeld's site to learn more about the connections between terrorism and organized crime, among other issues that she addresses. Specifically, there is a great deal of news there about her legal counterjihad against Sheikh bin Mahfouz. While there you can make a contribution to her legal defense fund; this page gives links to information about the legal counterjihad and information on how to donate.
As I am cleaning up my sidebar to make room for future posts, I am now placing this list of links from 2007 in this post, and this index will take the place of these links in the sidebar widget where I have links to posts about Dr. Ehrenfeld's case. Please review these posts, which are in reverse-chronological order (oldest on the bottom), for more background on the struggle between one of the wealthiest men in the world, a Financier of Holy Terror, and a scholar-hero who battles him in this epic David-vs-Goliath contest.
Notice also that my sidebar has a link to a short movie with addresses the Ehrenfeld case.
Rachel is defending our freedoms. Please visit her website and support her.