Man Disappeared for Website Content
July 26, 2002
Another US citizen (this time from Denver) has been "disappeared"
by the new U.S. government, on charges of "aiding terrorism",
simply for operating a website, http://www.stopamerica.org
James Ujaama's website contains dissenting views about U.S. foreign
policy. Views which a growing number of Americans are beginning
to agree with.
"Our campaign will not end until America's foreign policy
has ended. We are Americans united against war. We want the killing
to end and America's foreign policy makers brought to justice
for the attempted genocide of more than 500,000 innocent children
in Iraq. America's foreign policy makers have brought hate to
the people of the United States. We the people of the United States
charge this government and their coalition with conspiracy to
commit genocide and crimes of terrorism against Muslim people
in our names."
Founder's Message, E. J. Ujaama
Minutes After This Jail Interview,
Ujaama Was Taken To A Secret Location
By Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News
July 24, 2002
Denver native James Ujaama flatly denied Tuesday that he has ties
to terrorist networks bent on bringing down the United States.
Ujaama, born here 36 years ago years as James Ernest Thompson,
asserted his innocence during an exclusive 90-minute interview in
a secure visitors area of the Denver City Jail. He spoke over a
telephone line, addressing a reporter through thick protective glass.
"All I can say is that I am not a terrorist,'' said Ujaama,
a slightly built man who spoke softly at first, but whose fervor
built as the interview continued.
"I'm not associated with terrorists, but by the road we are
taking right now, America has become the terrorists."Ujaama
likened himself to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and every
other activist, civil rights leader or statesman who suffered police
persecution as the reward for standing firm in his beliefs.
"This is the price we all pay, when we tell the truth,"
said Ujaama, who condemns the American government as corrupt and
the bombing campaign in Afghanistan as unjustified.Ujaama, who moved
with his mother to Seattle when he was 5, was arrested by a swarm
of gun-toting federal agents late Monday afternoon at his grandmother's
He has been told he is being held as a "material witness,"
although no one has told him what case he is alleged to be a material
witness to. Published reports, however, have said that federal authorities
believe he took laptop computers to the Taliban in Afghanistan and
worked on a British Web site that advertised the "Ultimate
Jihad Challenge," a U.S.-based paramilitary training course.As
he spoke Tuesday, Ujaama wore a faded white T-shirt bearing the
words "stop the war," and "stopamerica.org."
He admitted launching the "stopamerica.org" Web site
last November while staying in London, where he has lived intermittently
since converting to Islam in 1996.
"Some people told me 'stop America' might be too strong,"
he said. "I don't want to 'stop America.' I want to stop American
At the time of his arrest, Ujaama said he was developing a new
Web site and "political action committee" to be called
"peaceamerica.org." He confirmed Tuesday he has visited
Karachi, Pakistan, several times in recent months, but he denied
being a terrorist, having ties to terrorists or harboring any terrorist
Instead, he said, his primary activity in Karachi has been launching
a Web and software development company, while also exploring other
avenues for economic development.
Of his arrest, Ujaama said, "I think it's a shakedown. It's
a form of our government's abuse of its power."
"They're fishing," he added. "They're fishing, because
that's all you can do when you've got nothing. They want me to come
up with some lies, or something. They probably think I know a lot
more than I really do."Ujaama, his hair cropped close and his
jawline sporting a scruffy beard, confirmed that his disillusionment
with American society and some aspects of its government prompted
him to change his name, convert to Islam and move to London in 1996.
Ujaama said he moved from London to Denver on June 5 or 6 and had
hoped to make his birthplace his home base.
He said he has a 12-year-old son, a 1-year-old daughter and has
been married six years. He declined to say where his immediate family
is living, citing concerns about their safety."I always wanted
to live in Denver," he said. "I love it here. I've wanted
to think about this as a place where I can come back to, where I
can contribute to my family and to my city." In discussing
his arrest, he said that his aunt, Carola Webb, was present at the
time. Questioned whether he was related to Denver Mayor Wellington
Webb, he smiled and said, "That's for you to find out."
Mayoral spokesman Andrew Hudson confirmed later in the day that
Carola Webb was once married to the mayor's son, Allen Webb Sr.
Although he steadfastedly denied terrorist ties, Ujaama refused
to discuss whether he has ever met with members of the Taliban,
or even where he was on Sept. 11.
On those and similar questions, he said he wanted to talk to a
lawyer before saying more.
His reaction to the events of Sept. 11, he said, was much the same
as that of most other Americans.
"I was in shock," he said. "I didn't believe it.
I could not believe it."
But Ujaama repeatedly blasted the Bush administration and asserted
Americans still have not heard the truth about its ties to corporations
that have been caught up in accounting scandals and devastating
bankruptcies in the past year.
"Our government has gone completely berserk, and it's in a
quest to line a few people's pockets," he said.
Ujaama called the interview to a halt only when a jail sergeant
told him his time was up.
"They told me they're flying me today to Virginia," he
said, as he stood to return to his cell.
Thirty minutes later, jail officials said Ujaama was no longer
in their custody, but would not say where he had been moved.
1991, Ujaama lionized as hero
By Karen Auge
Denver Post Staff Writer
July 24, 2002
A decade ago, James Ujaama was called an American hero.
He was a self-made success, an entrepreneur, a crusader in the
war against the drugs and gangs that had invaded his inner-city
Seattle turf. A role model, The Seattle Times called him in a glowing
That year, at age 25, Ujaama used $2,000 of his own money to publish
a book he wrote called "The Young People's Guide to Starting
a Business Without Selling Drugs."
In the foreword to the book, Ujaama wrote: "When a person
lacks knowledge and vision, that person becomes a soldier in the
wrong war, an enemy to others and to themselves, incapable of being
independent and incapable of making good decisions."
Seattle bookstores sold as many copies as Ujaama could print. Schools
invited him to speak. The president of a local fried chicken franchise
called him an "inspiration" and "one of my heroes."
Eleven years later, FBI investigators believe Ujaama has become
that "soldier in the wrong war." Eleven years later, Ujaama
expressed very different thoughts in a message on his website, http://www.stopamerica.org
"We want the killing to end and America's foreign policy makers
brought to justice for the attempted genocide of more than 500,000
innocent children in Iraq. . . . We the people of the United States
charge this government and their coalition with conspiracy to commit
genocide and crimes of terrorism against Muslim people in our names."
The statement, called the "Founder's Message," is attributed
to E.J. Ujaama.
The website displays photos of what it calls victims of America's
foreign policy and attempts to explain why "The whole world
"The destruction of America's World Trade Center and attack
on its war room has been described as the greatest act of terrorism
by many and an act of heroism by others. . . ."
The boy who became James Ujaama was born James Thompson in Denver.
He and his brother, Jon Thompson, left Denver when they were toddlers
and were raised in a part of Seattle known as Central Area, the
traditional home of the city's black community. The men later took
Muslim names, becoming James and Mustafa Ujaama.
"They were raised by and large by a single mother, but she
did a hell of a job in creating a mainstream American lifestyle
for her kids," said Charlie James, a family friend and Seattle-area
The Ujaamas' mother, Peggi Thompson, is a Roman Catholic and raised
her sons in that faith, James said. She and the boys' father were
active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and ""it's
part of their heritage to question authority," Charlie James
James Thompson was "very bright, very quick on his feet. When
most kids was talking about athletics, he was talking about entrepreneurship,"
Charlie James said.
According to the Seattle Times' 1991 profile, James Thompson was
14 when he founded a home-maintenance company with his brother,
Jon. He graduated from high school in Seattle, then attended the
University of Washington for two years.
At 22, James bought a small, ailing computer store near the university,
renamed it Campus Computers, worked 14-hour days and turned a profit.
Six months later, he sold the store, pocketed $6,000 profit and
moved the business to his apartment.
Charlie James said Jon, now Mustafa, was first to discover Islam.
"He said he felt so much peace in Islam that he suggested
his brother take a look at it. And it was Mustafa who suggested
his brother go to London. It's a bigger city, an international city
and it would give James a chance to grow, spread his wings,"
Charlie James said.
Authorities have long suspected that a London mosque headed by
radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri aided Osama bin Laden. Federal
officials are reportedly now investigating whether members of Seattle's
defunct Dar-us-Salaam mosque may have conspired with representatives
of the London mosque to open a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore.
"I don't know everything James Ujaama did when he was in London,"
James said. "But I've been knowing him all his life."
And he's no terrorist, James said.
"Do they have a streak of militancy? Sure," Charlie James
said. "James Ujaama's biggest problem is that he's so damn
inquisitive that he'll go anywhere anyplace anytime. I think that's
what got him in trouble."
Charlie James also sees a government eager to demonstrate the need
for greater "homeland security" by fingering terrorists
on American soil.
"If he was a white youth doing the same thing, I don't think
it would say terrorist. But because he's a Muslim and an African-American,
it comes up terrorism," James said.
by James Ujaama Before Arrest
Friday, 19 July 2002
The following is the full, unedited text of the
statement James Ujaama e-mailed to Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist
Robert L. Jamieson Jr.
On Friday, July 12, 2002, the day of Islamic prayer gathering,
Seattle Times published on its front page 'Seattle Militants investigated
for possible ties to Al-Qaida -- Group may have scouted Oregon land
for terrorist camp.' A few days prior to that article, my brother,
was stopped by several police cars and searched. Both my brother
and I were followed, our phones tapped, our emails read and movements
monitored. Today, there is a notice to local law enforcement around
the country to notify the FBI if any of us are stopped, further
noting that we are armed and dangerous.
Just days before, some members of the minority-business community
concerned about homeland security and ethnic profiling issues, promised
funding assistance for a political action group I had started. Shortly
before the newspaper article, I received a phone call from my panicked
friend. He said, "The FBI came to my office and you should
leave. They asked me questions about you and wanted to know about
your travels. They told me not to have any contact with you."
That was the end of our campaign aimed at mobilizing the community
to put an end to 'America at War.'
Although the article did not name my brother and I, the description
it rendered was hardly unnoticeable. In fact, people close quickly
assumed they were speaking about us. This media crucifixion damaged
our business and cast suspicions among those who did not know of
our past achievements in the community. My business contacts refused
to return or respond to emails. My mother was shattered. Family
members, including an 80- year old grandmother nearly sunk into
Friends who were contacted by the FBI were told that we were terrorists.
The article and activities led one family friend to release an unauthorized
press statement to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. However, his
attempt to vindicate us and set the record straight was manipulated
by the press in order to use our names and further damage our credibility.
The press printed unsubstantiated and irrelevant information simply
to please the FBI in an attempt to fully discredit and cast doubt
on our successes as community involved, African-Americans. And their
aim, aided by the FBI, actually did the job.
The headline alone from the Seattle Times was convicting enough,
using an unfair adjective to describe us as militants. Militant
has become a dirty word used by those with hidden agendas. But it
proved to be most damaging to my brother and I, and our family name
when the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and MSNBC all ran similar articles.
I wonder where the freedom is when the media has lost all morality
and conviction, acting in their best economic interests to fulfil
political agendas and sell newspapers.
John Pilger, an accredited war journalist and author of many books,
said: "It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as
mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the
message and myths that surround it." I could not agree more
with this statement. My brother and I have been tragically demonised
by the irresponsible journalism promoted by this current federal
government administration in order to carry out its war against
innocent people of colour and end their rights to freedom of speech.
No reporter contacted my brother and I before publishing their
damaging words in a major newspaper read by more than 5 million.
I received an email from a friend as far as Turkey. He said his
mother read it from Idaho. With issues of African-Americans accounting
for disproportional imprisonment, unfair sentencing and profiling,
police brutality, lack of representation in broad media, and other
issues, it should be expected that Seattle's mainstream media would
have resisted any attempts to discredit our community and those
who have served it well. But instead, working along with the FBI,
the media has done the work of assassinating our character and cast
doubt on our community and integrity.
It cannot be disputed that both my brother and I have unselfishly
and tirelessly served our communities for more than 15 years. We
have a history of working with youth to improve our neighbourhoods
and the lives of other youth. In 1986, as teenagers Mustafa and
I started a business and donated our profits to starving children
in Ethiopia. Some years later, we started, Be Your Own Boss, No
Drugs and Gangs, teaching youth how to start their own business
and clear away from negative groups and activities.
What was conveniently left out, were the many achievements and
awards that I personally, have received for dedication to youth
and endless work in the community. For example, an urging of citizens
to remember June 10th as James Ujaama day in the state of Washington;
Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Senator
Harry Reid "in Recognition of Outstanding and Invaluable Service
to the Community"; Recognition for outstanding dedication to
youth from the Breakfast Group, a Seattle-based organization of
prominent African-American Business and Community leaders; and a
key to the City of Las Vegas.
In addition, I have received awards and recognition from Erskine
Bowles, former Director of U.S. Small Business Administration; former
Congressman James Bilbray, (NV) Small Business Committee chair;
late Seattle Public Schools Superintendent, John Stanford; former
State Senator Dwight Pelz; former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice; and many
Other achievements, the press failed to mention was the fact that
I started the City of Seattle's first entrepreneur program for youth,
and I am author of three books, mostly about entrepreneurship. I
have been passionately involved in economic development programs
since the age of 15. And my brother and I have always been politically
and socially active in our community. I was Special Assistant to
Jesse Wineberry at the time he ran for the U.S. Senate, and helped
him to win a previous unprecedented bid for the State Legislature.
Had the press contacted me, they would have found that I have not
changed except that I chose to be Muslim and work on economic development
issues overseas in communities where people are very economically
It is obvious that the media rushed into judgement reporting, and
engaged in dishonourable and discreditable journalism. But how can
my brother and I regain our reputation and repair the damage that
was done simply because we chose Islam as our way of life? How can
20 years of hard work be repaired with a few minutes of gross irresponsibility
carried out by our government leaders who are on a mission to destroy
any culture that gets in their way of world domination?
The reports of me being a cab driver were absolutely false; I never
drove a cab. Many of the false allegations and rumours were circulated
by the FBI, as a part of their fascist witch-hunt covered under
the idea of a war on terrorism. Nothing of any good that my brother
and I did was reported, instead only rumours and false allegations.
While noting that my brother and I have never been involved in any
serious crimes, another major blow against my own personal credibility
was delivered. It was the irrelevant reporting of an incident that
involved a $170 VCR. I was never convicted of stealing a VCR, yet
the newspapers put me on trial without due process' in an
attempt to discredit me. Had they given me an opportunity to explain
my side of the story, they would have found another case of store
security harassment and racial profiling, spilling over into a major
confrontation resulting in my arrest. Regarding the failure to appear,
it was my understanding that the case had been dropped and no court
case was pending. However, what did this incident that should have
been settled in a Court Room have to do with the rumours of a Federal
Grand Jury Investigation? I am supposed to be innocent until proven
My brother and I are not terrorists, and we should not have been
charged in the media and harassed. Whatever involvement the government
has alleged or leaked about us always has another side -- the truthful
side!. We are prepared to challenge the government's charges in
a Court of Law in a fair and impartial hearing. Currently, we have
not been charged with any crimes, and at this point all reports
are just rumours spread by mischievous people who have duped America
into an unjust, racist and fascist war by appealing to people's
Those who are leading efforts to remove civil and human rights
protections, are themselves suspected of crimes for which they have
not answered. I too often wonder how in a democratic and free country
a confessed former alcoholic and governor who put to death more
African-Americans than any State leader in U.S. history could win
by a questionable margin from a state headed by his brother. I too
often wonder how Americans can be so foolish as to trust a man who
is at the centre of many shady corporate deals involving shareholder
rip-offs and accounting fabrications. We still have not heard from
President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney about their roles
in Harken Energy Co. and Enron.
But here we have my brother and I under a bogus investigation,
which is very familiar to many of the members of our community who
fought for civil rights during the 60's and early 70's.
If my brother and I are guilty of any wrong it is because America's
values have become switched as in the case of when American Japanese
were hurried off into concentration camps and ostracised. And as
in the case of our approval of going into Iraq and killing more
than 500,000 children and babies. Or as in the case of national
media coverage for a missing white girl, while virtually ignoring
a similar case of a missing black girl. And as in the case of white
police officer being suspended with pay after being caught on tape
slamming the head of an African-American boy onto a car and striking
him. We cannot ever overlook these crimes of prejudice and racism.
My brother and I have listened to every revolutionist from Mao
Sae Tsung to Malcom X. Will we be charged for listening to people
who speak their minds or let off steam for crimes our country has
committed against other people? Yes, we are revolutionaries as in
the case of all entrepreneurs. My brother and I have a long history
of challenging authority when they are wrong and that will never
end until we are dead.
Here we are supposed to be the most civilized nation in the world
behaving more like barbarians after blood simply because we have
anger in our hearts and revenge on our minds. Our country has more
unprovoked aggravated crimes committed per capita than any other
place in the world. Women and minorities continue to be treated
unfairly even after civil rights progression. We speak of other
countries and how they violate the rights of their people, but yet
even in the world's most developed land, we still have racist police
officers that will stop at nothing to beat down African-Americans
and other people of colour. Have we forgotten about the man who
was riddled with bullets and laid in a pool of his own blood, all
because New York police claimed he was a carrying a gun? That gun
turned out to be nothing but keys to his front door. And for a nation
that prides itself on rights for women, a rape occurs in this country
every 6 minutes. So where is the respect for women, especially when
our children have learned to refer to their sisters, daughters and
mothers as hoochie momma's and female dogs?
The United States of America has no right to accuse any government
of crimes against humanity or to abolish their governments. This
country has a history of unleashing bombs on other countries and
fighting unjust wars hiding under a banner of false patriotism and
false pride in order to justify our cause. Our cause is simply evil
and hated all around the world. Our foreign policy causes us to
kill and call it casualties of war; and when they kill, we call
it crimes against humanity. And then we find that later we were
behind their killing and supported it as we did in the case of the
7-year war between Iraq and Iran.
Our foreign policy also makes it okay to sell drugs and ship arms
to a country that engages in apartheid and racism. We want to blame
Palestinians for blowing themselves up and call them terrorist bombers.
But how can a young boy or girl think about such tragedy if there
hasn't been something extremely traumatic in their lives where living
is no longer an option? It is extremely harsh and unforgiving that
America supports terror on Palestinian boys and girls, while claiming
to be fighting a war on terror. Israel's prime minister is no different
than the Iraqi President accused of storing weapons of mass destruction
and using it against his own people. Let us face it, America hates
Arabs and other people of colour, unless they are protecting US
Last year, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, which allows the
FBI and CIA unimaginable powers to wiretap phones, download computers,
sneak into homes and imprison people who engage in speaking out
against their government. These agencies have committed many crimes
against foreign and American people, abusing their authority. And
we are again allowing them to repeat history and unleash more crimes
against innocent people.
Ms. Laura W. Murphy, Director of ACLU said in a statement referring
to the FBI and CIA: "The historical record makes it clear that
unchecked trust in government to spy on its citizens responsibly
is misplaced. COINTEL-PRO -- created out of fear of growing social
dissidence and operating under a veil of secrecy under Director
J. Edgar Hoover, harassed and spied on a vast number of peaceful
social protest groups. Few members of any of the groups targeted
by COINTEL-PRO were ever charged with a crime."
The high profile Church Committee in 1976 essentially accused the
FBI of thought policing. Referring to the activities of COINTEL-PRO,
they concluded: "The government has often undertaken the secret
surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs,
even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts
on behalf of a hostile foreign power
Groups and individuals
have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views
and their lifestyles."
In the case of my brother and I, we fully understand that the government
has taken an unfair hostile position toward us because of our culture,
race, religion, lifestyle, political beliefs and our travels. We
demand the media follow the advice aforementioned by John Pilger,
when he discussed the role of a journalist.
According to National Association of Black Journalists, a new survey
showed newspaper editors critical of international news coverage
have charged, "in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist
attacks, newspaper editors responsible for foreign news coverage
say they are not satisfied with the job their news organizations
and other media outlets, particularly television, are doing to cover
My brother and I also understand that this war is prejudiced, racist,
unjust and filled with fascist motivated greed and hate. Therefore,
we demand that more African-Americans and other people of colour
take a leading roll in the reporting of events surrounding 9/11.
We understand that American media, made up of mostly white America,
currently lacks the cultural sensitivity and responsibility necessary
for fair and impartial journalism.
I also urge that Minorities support independent news, and minority
and community owned media. Otherwise, the media will be owned and
controlled by those who really control the government. And my last
comment is that those who have taken a position to stay away from
my brother and I, or to doubt our years of community service, we
forgive you and understand that you have families. But, please remember
that your children may one day be chosen by the government to be
called Militant' and undergo FBI and CIA harassment. Our advice
is not to let it happen when it is too late. You must be diligent
and stand out for truth and justice, even if you have to work behind
the scenes. This is surely a runaway government administration that
I strongly believe knew about the events of September 11 prior to
the attack on New York, and refused to intervene in lieu of economic
and political gains. I also do not believe that Zacharrias Moussoui
had anything to do with those events, and that he and many others
are being railroaded in an attempt to cover up the truth. And I
do not believe that if Osama bin Laadin was in China, we would have
been so bold as to attack their government the way we did Taliban.
And China has a history of human rights violations according to
If my brother and I end up being indicted or jailed, we will understand
that many famous and great leaders before us suffered the same consequences.
We are proud to stick to our Islamic convictions of standing out
for truth and justice against all consequences. In the Quran, Allah
has stated: "What is the matter with you that you do not stand
up in the Cause of Allah (One God), and for those weak, ill-treated
and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our
Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and
raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from
You one who will help." Surah A-Nisa verse 76. My brother and
I will join those who fight in the cause of Allah for truth and
justice to be supreme, irregardless that some American thinking
that it is more patriotic to accuse and convict without a fair and
E. James Ujaama
Founder of www.StopAmerica.org