Convicted terrorist's wife spotted at Columbia protest

The mayor blames 'outside agitators' for campus unrest over the anti-Israel demonstration.

Convicted terrorist's wife spotted at Columbia protest
X/Sami Al-Arian
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Mayor Eric Adams claimed Wednesday that the New York Police Department had identified "outside agitators" who were not Columbia University students among the protesters who occupied a campus building, leading to a law enforcement raid to clear them out the previous night.

In separate interviews, Adams said one of the individuals present at the protest encampment was the wife of a man previously convicted on federal terrorism charges related to supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, the New York Post reports.

"One of the individuals' husband was arrested for and convicted for terrorism on a federal level," the mayor told MSNBC, without naming the person. He repeated the claim on CBS, saying, "One of them was married to someone that was arrested for terrorism."

Social media posts earlier showed that Nahla Al-Arian, wife of Sami Al-Arian, had been present at the anti-Israel protest's tent encampment on Columbia's campus last week. In 2005, Sami Al-Arian pleaded guilty to raising funds for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization.

It was unclear if Nahla Al-Arian was among the hundreds of protesters arrested when police cleared the occupied academic building on Tuesday night after weeks of escalating tensions over the demonstration. Adams suggested that identifying details were being withheld by law enforcement intelligence operations, saying, "I'm going to let the Intelligence Division do their job on what information should be released and what information should not be released."

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