Exclusive: Concerns Mounting Over Ground Zero Mosque Funding

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New and disturbing questions are mounting about the source of funding for the so-called Ground Zero mosque and cultural center.

The developer of the mosque near Ground Zero said he’s picky about where he gets his money.

“We will not take money from Iran, we will not take money from Hamas,” Sharif El-Gamal said.

Well, it turns out that he might not be that picky.

The man who reportedly put up a “significant” amount of the $4.8 million El-Gamal used to buy the mosque’s Park Place building owns Bronx medical companies that were charged with bilking State Farm Insurance of over $1.7 million by filing reportedly bogus claims for treating car accident victims.

The 2007 civil “RICO Fraud Against Insurance Company” case filed by State Farm names El-Gamal’s money man, Hisham Elzanaty, as one of the defendants, along with three companies he is charged with fraudulently incorporating.

State Farm charged that Elzanaty and his companies knew that “the consultations and tests were performed pursuant to a fraudulent, predetermined protocol designed to maximize the charges to State Farm and other insurers, not because they were medically necessary or designed to benefit…the insured.”

As opposition to the mosque has mounted, so too have questions about where the money is coming from. Some 71 percent of New Yorkers told pollsters this week that they want State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate the sources of the funding.

“Because I think the terrorists think that’s their trophy down there,” Greenwich Village resident Jimmy Reardon said.

El-Gamal and Elzanaty have not been linked to terror groups, but Elzanaty apparently donated $6,000 to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development – a group that was shut down by the feds because of its ties to terrorism.

A lawyer for State Farm told CBS 2 he couldn’t talk because the case was settled confidentially, but said, “the court filings should tell the story.”

Elzanaty and his attorney didn’t return calls seeking comment, nor did El-Gamal.


One Comment

  1. Rastus says:

    elabbasa you state “He has no Idea about the tolerance of Islam and don’t differenciate between Islam itself and some radicals like him with Islamic names and IDs”. Does not tolerance extend to freedom of religion as Muslims are given in America? Then why do we not see the same tolerance given to Muslims in America in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan etc etc. As I stated in my previous post, try building a church in any of the countries I mentioned and see how far you would get. So much for “tolerance of Islam” in Islamic countries.

  2. elabbasa says:

    I do understand Pastor Terry Jone’s openion. He wants to express his anger and BURN not LEARN. He has no Idea about the tolerance of Islam and don’t differenciate between Islam itself and some radicals like him with Islamic names and IDs. The idea saying that Quran teaches violence and cruelity is completely wrong, because the Holly Books are from same source (ONE GOD), message to humanity in different languges to different nations on different times and situations!!!!!!!! The message is to beleive in God the creator. So Islam is the same religion carried by all Messangers and Prophets, to human beings.
    Allah says in Holly Quran:
    “How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.”
    “Mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth written in your Scriptures, the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you know (the truth) “.
    “Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], “O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims.”
    “When death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: “What will ye worship after me?” They said: “We shall worship Thy god and the god of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma’il and Isaac,- the one (True) Allah: To Him we bow (in Islam).”
    “Remember when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam , held in honour in this world and lifeafter.”
    Such praising and honour expressed to Mary the Virgin and Jesus not to be burnt.It will not harm Islam but hurting Pastor Terry Jones himself being exposed to the media.
    “Do not be grieved, [O Muhammad], by those who hasten into disbelief. Indeed, they will never harm Allah at all. Allah intends that He should give them no share in the Hereafter, and for them is a great punishment.”
    “Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned “Allah says.
    God Bless beleivers who planned to build Community Cultural Center for all American citizens with prayer to worship God and ask forgiveness for the victims of Ground Zero of different nations and ages. Also to pave the way for doubtful disbeleivers to LEARN not BURN the Holly Books (Godspell).

  3. Rastus says:

    Please explain how a 6000 dollar donation to a terrorist group is not a link to a terrorist group”

    I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about? Would you care to elaborate?

  4. Louis says:

    Please explain how a 6000 dollar donation to a terrorist group is not a link to a terrorist group.

  5. Rastus says:

    JesusBuiltMyHotRod, your name says it all. Greek Orthodox churches are not affiliated with terrorist organizations (or do you have “secret” knowledge?). You further state “Google ‘catholic missionaries’ and see how many countries come up that they have to ‘save’ from other religions”. I thought we were discussing CURRENT events and not what happened 500 years ago. Catholicism has evolved (notwithstanding some truly perverted priests). Islam has not – they still believe in suicide bombings, DELIBERATELY taking out civilians, stoning of gays and adulterers, marrying 9 year old girls etc etc. Try building a church in Saudi Arabia and see the “tolerance” you would be given.

  6. Ariely says:

    Are you still the “CHANGE” president?
    Obama- Don’t be Islam ambassador

    Require the Muslims to
    A: Stop using Islamic cultural centers to disconnect people from their connection to governments and promote Islam worldwide
    **Mosques and Islamic centers are used to promote the narrative of imposing by sward worldwide
    ** Hubs of hate preaching and teaching worldwide
    **Recruiting in-house terror activists
    Muslims fighting all cultures&religions worldwide
    From:– India to Russia–Philippines to England–Thailand to New York–Uganda to Nepal–Argentina to China–France to Kenya-all 58 Muslim countries
    15.981 Islamist attacks since 9/11
    Islamist worldwide kill attacks summary
    Have you seen any Muslim demonstrating against this ideology?

    B: Cleverly using the free religion, speech, media west values to promote the ideology that stands against those values
    It is clash between the mentality of the middle Ages and the mentality of the 21 century.
    Civilization and backwardness,
    Barbarity and rationality,
    Freedom and oppression,
    Democracy and dictatorship,
    Human rights and violation of these rights

    C: Stop chasing all other religions in Muslim ruled countries.
    Provide the same rights they are demanding for Muslims worldwide to non Muslims in Muslims ruled countries
    D: Build a shrine of peace&equality between all human being open to all religions in Mecca

  7. Martin Koschuttnig says:

    JesusBuiltMyHotRod wrote: And oh, its not like they didn’t already HAVE mosques right in the immediate area BEFORE the towers were built.]

    Yeah and then explain the need for a much larger place! According to the islamic fairy-tales, a prayer in the moooske is 50 times more effective then a prayer at some other location. Taken this in account, one can safely assume, that any Muslim living near the proposed NY Mega-Moooske must have already some place serving as a mooske. And somehow Ican’t imagine that large numbers of New Yorker will in the near future convert to Islam .

  8. miles says:

    If this country can not see that what a slap in the face this would be to allow the building of this mosque then everyone needs to look a bit harder. What the building would represent to the world is that we are a weak country and that Islam won. When we allow the Muslim community to step forward on our sacred ground and erect a place they say is for them to worship in, that is true, they meet and plan or pray to kill more americans.

  9. Patrick says:

    Ongoing projects to build Muslim Community and Youth Centers have stated ” ideals that include service to humanity, speaking out against injustice, and promoting a high moral standard amongst society” through “the implementation of a program that seeks to achieve these ideals which they call Iqamat-ud-Deen, the establishment of the Islamic system of life. ” Is it not prudent to investigate contributors who seek to establish the Islamic system of life in the United States of America?

  10. rollie fingers says:

    just build it, fill it with Muslims, then torch it…what so hard about that?

  11. sami says:

    Building a mosque in the vicinity of ground Zero is unacceptable. Ground zero is a historical place where Islamic faith resulted in death of thousands of our people. Muslims also died there because of believers of Islam. We do not want to see more Islam. Practice of Islam will be a danger for our secular society. Muslims are fine, but Islamaization of Muslims or Others will be a great threat for USA.

    1. juan says:

      HAHAHA, “Muslims are fine, but Islamaization of Muslims…will be a great threat”. What does that mean. That’s like saying Christians are fine, but Christifying of Christians is bad.

  12. Dan Te says:

    Love you stupid libturds. You have absolutely no problem with the FBI investigating finances on those neo-Nazi religious groups. But someone burns a whole group of libturds alive in tall buildings and it’s all a-ok, do not investigate them.

  13. Mel says:


    How can you oppose a mosque two blocks away from ground zero? Does it honor the site to have a Burger King closer to ground zero? To have a strip club closer to ground zero?

    Listen up…What other religious body builds it’s religious institution at places where it considers it has “conquered” it’s enemy?

    Connect the dots.

    1. JesusBuiltMyHotRod says:

      LOL! What other religion? Read any good history books lately? Its just not called conquering anymore… Google ‘catholic missionaries’ and see how many countries come up that they have to ‘save’ from other religions.

  14. Eddie says:

    Margaret, you’re a fool. You probably believe we deserved 9/11 as well. If you’re too naive that this Mosque will serve as a propaganda tool and a trophy for the terrorists…………….you’re a fool. Thank God 71% of other NYers believe otherwise and not duped.

    1. JesusBuiltMyHotRod says:

      Eddie, you’re the fool here. Not once did she say you shouldn’t look into where the funding is coming from. I’m with the 71% that believe we should know where the $$ comes from for building this center. Yes ‘Thank God’ oh wait… which God? Your God and yours alone? Sounds like a bigot to me. In fact, like Margaret suggests, perhaps we should also investigate the funding of oh, say, Greek Orthodox churches too. No I bet we won’t find any skeletons in that closet (or little boys)….
      And as far as propaganda goes, I think several hundred thousand dead Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan might be just a little more of a motivation for the terrorists than this cultural center. Perhaps you should take your witch hunt there. And oh, its not like they didn’t already HAVE mosques right in the immediate area BEFORE the towers were built. Thank God some NYers believe in freedom of religion still.

  15. margaret duncan says:

    If Jim Jones had led the attack on Ground Zero, would Americans be opposed to building a Christian Church nearby because Jim Jones killed people based on his skewed version of Christianity? I don’t think so.

    How can you oppose a mosque two blocks away from ground zero? Does it honor the site to have a Burger King closer to ground zero? To have a strip club closer to ground zero?

    Did you oppose Michael Milikin donating to his religious institutions? Or anyone else for that matter? Think of all the criminals over the years who have contributed to Christian institutions.

    How can you claim to support our troops, who are trying to work with our Muslim allies in Iraq and Afganistan when you oppose allowing people to practice the Muslim faith in a community center a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. Is this a way to honor the innocent persons killed, including rescure persons, at ground zero who were Muslim?

    Can you stoop any lower?

    1. Nataya says:

      Did a team of strippers and hamburger cooks fly airplanes into the World Trade Towers? What have you got against strippers and/or hamburger cooks anyway? It is no secret where THEIR money comes from.

      Furthermore, there are more than 1,460 mosques in the United States and at least 100 mosques in New York City. No one has opposed them. If the leaders of this mosque TRULY want to build bridges of understanding, they might make a very good beginning by demonstrating some sensitivity to the hundreds and thousands of families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001, in a massacre committed by extremist Muslims who believed they were doing what their religion required them to do.

      Move this proposed mosque a few blocks further away from Ground Zero — the site of a Muslim massacre of “infidels” — and most of the opposition will calm down.

    2. basha says:

      But what if Jim Jones mosque was funded by Kool-Aid?!

    3. gcr says:

      Islam IS NOT A RELIGION!! It is an ideology that dominates and totally controls its adherents and runs totally contrary to democracy or individual free choice. Sure, there are many Muslims who seem to ‘moderate’, but in fact they are actually ‘borderline apostate’ to the teaching of the qu’ran and the hadiths.

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