A number of groups within the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have been found to have links to a Palestinian organisation outlawed in the United States, Israel, Canada, Australia, and the EU, the Daily Caller reported on Wednesday.
As per the report, BDS leaders are coordinating with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Palestinian resistance movement designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organisation.
Samidoun, a pro-BDS international activist group that advocates the rights of Palestinian prisoners and operates in the US, among other countries, is understood to have "extensive ties" with the PFLP.
Samidoun's international coordinator and coordinator for Europe are said to be PFLP members and have worked with Khaled Barakat, himself a supposed PFLP member and the leader of a campaign to free Ahmad Sa'adat.
The latter is a long-time PFLP secretary general, who is serving a 30-year prison term for "security-related" political offences and is linked to the 2001 assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi (although he was not charged in Ze'evi's case). The Barakat-led campaign insists that Sa'adat was convicted for his political activity and "in his capacity as a Palestinian leader".
Additionally, a 2017 Samidoun rally in New York reportedly featured a videotaped message from Leila Khaled, the PFLP member notoriously known for hijacking two commercial flights in 1969 and 1970.
According to the Daily Caller, the PFLP won't dwell upon its coordination with Samidoun in English-language publications, unlike in those written in Arabic.
Samidoun is also believed to be connected to Palestinian-born Belgian activist Mustapha Awad, who was convicted in Israel on terror-related charges. The group reportedly refers to Awad as its activist on its Arabic-language website.
Meanwhile, its US coordinator, Joe Catron, was found to have met with Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim US lawmaker who openly endorses the BDS movement. Catron also appears to have met with Tawfiq Abu Naim, Hamas's security chief in the Gaza Strip.
Another BDS-affiliated group suspected of coordination with Palestinian militants is Americans for Palestine (AMP); it helped organise the Catron-Abu Naim meeting, the Daily Caller alleges, and has links to the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAF), a now-defunct US-based non-profit accused of raising money for Hamas.