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Denver 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,

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



30 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 Denver home.

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 ""

He admitted launching the "" 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 foreign policy."

At the time of his arrest, Ujaama said he was developing a new Web site and "political action committee" to be called "" 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 ambitions.

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.



James Ujaama
James Ujaama

In 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 1991 profile.

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, -

"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 hates America."

"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 activist.

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 said.

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.


Statement 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 depression.

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 others.

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 disadvantaged.

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 guilty!

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 worst fears.

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 interests.

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 international news."

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 U.S. officials.

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 just trial.

Thank you.

E. James Ujaama
Founder of



Further Links


" was taken down three months ago. Anticipating the site going down after it became clear that James Ujaama would be indefinitely detained by the FBI, I took it upon myself at InterNation to save what I viewed as his most important pages..."

You can visit the saved website at


Indymedia (rockymountain):