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Columbia ‘Rot’ on Display as Deported Terrorist Professor Praises Wife Joining Mob: ‘Very Determined’

The wife of a former computer science professor who pleaded guilty to providing support to terrorists joined protesters at Columbia University in Manhattan last week, earning a shout-out from her radical husband who was deported to Turkey after serving federal prison time.

The NYPD acknowledged a woman with ties to a convicted terror supporter was present without naming names.

“Last week, there was the wife of somebody who had been convicted for material support to terrorism on campus,” Assistant NYPD Commissioner Rebecca Weiner said during a news briefing Wednesday morning. “And we have no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing on her part, but that’s not somebody who I would want necessarily influencing my child if I were a parent of somebody at Columbia.”

Sami Al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor who admitted to conspiring to aid the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in 2006, shared a photo of his spouse at Columbia’s West Lawn encampment on X on Friday.

“My wife Nahla in solidarity with the brave and very determined Columbia University students,” he wrote.

Police said the woman they referenced was not accused of any criminal wrongdoing, but it was not immediately clear how or why she was able to access the encampment. The campus was on lockdown and only open to students and faculty and for limited visits by the media.

“Whoever brought her in wanted her to be seen,” said Liora Rez, the founder and executive director of StopAntisemitism, a watchdog organization. “It’s spreading like wildfire now that a convicted terrorist’s spouse was allowed to enjoy a beautiful day in New York on campus, openly, without any consequences, despite the fact that Columbia’s administrators swore up and down that only students and faculty were allowed on campus.”

Al-Arian’s brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar, was jailed for three years on suspicion of terrorism before the U.S. deported him in 2003, the Associated Press reported at the time. He is Nahla’s brother.

Al-Arian, who a federal judge once called a “master manipulator” and leader in the terror group, spent 30 years in the U.S. before his arrest in 2003, according to the Justice Department. After a 57-month prison sentence, he agreed to be deported to Turkey as part of his plea deal for a single charge on what began as a 17-count federal indictment.

Then-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in 2006 that the disgraced professor had denied involvement with the terror group for a decade before prosecutors had enough evidence to bring charges.

“In his guilty plea, Al-Arian admitted that, during the period of the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s, he and several of his co-conspirators were associated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” the DOJ said in a statement after his sentencing. “He further admitted that he performed various services for the PIJ in 1995 and thereafter, knowing that the PIJ had been designated as a Specially Designated Terrorist and that the PIJ engaged in horrific and deadly acts of violence.”

Those activities included helping members of the terror group file for immigration benefits, helping conceal their identities from authorities, and helping an Islamic Jihad member navigate a federal court proceeding.

Two years before his arrest, the University of South Florida (USF) announced it would fire him due to concerns about his radicalism, but he fought the university in a labor dispute until a federal grand jury indicted him on racketeering charges, according to the school’s faculty union.

“There is an internal rot with anti-American faculty, and Sami Al-Arian is such a perfect example,” Rez told Fox News Digital. “Now, fast-forward to 2024, and we literally have this screaming in our faces that there are duplicates of Sami Al-Arian from Columbia to Harvard … mimicking this exact rhetoric pushing pro-Hamas, pro-terror, anti-American, Marxist views.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams appeared to have had enough with the chaos during a news briefing Wednesday morning, hours after the NYPD cleared out mobs of anti-American and anti-Israel agitators who barricaded a building at Columbia University and replaced a U.S. flag at City College with the Palestinian colors.

“My uncle died defending this country, and these men and women put their lives on the line, and it’s despicable that schools will allow another country’s flag to fly in our country,” Adams, a former NYPD captain, told reporters.

“So, blame me for being proud to be an American, and, I think, Commissioner [Kaz] Daughtry for putting that flag back up. We’re not surrendering our way of life to anyone.”

USF, where Al-Arian once worked, has seen its own anti-Israel demonstrations in recent days, including Tuesday when police deployed tear gas to quell the chaos and said some of the suspects taken into custody were in their 30s, FOX 13 Tampa Bay reported.

Police said one of them, 39-year-old Atah Othman, brought a gun to one of the demonstrations on school property.