WASHINGTON (Jul. 7)
Col. Hassan Jeru-Ahmed, director of the Blackman’s Development Center, is suing the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League for $24 million for alleged conspiracy to libel and ruin his professional and personal reputation, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. Hassan’s legal advisor, who identified herself only as Cent. Moira of the Blackman’s Liberation Army, claimed that the ADL had inspired a letter-writing campaign by Jews all over the country to get their Congressmen to urge the cut-off of Federal funds to the Blackman’s Development Corp. An ADL spokesman told the JTA today. “We have not been served with anything and therefore cannot comment until we know what the suit is all about.”
Capt. Moira told the JTA that more than 50 Congressmen have complained to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as a result of the letter campaign and that one sent Hassan a copy of a letter from a constituent. According to Moira, the Jewish Community Council of St. Louis wrote Rep. William Clay, (D.Mc.) that Hassan was using as HEW training grant to train his Blackman’s Liberation. Army in the use of small arms and guerrilla tactics. She said the letter, dated June 21, was one of the bases for the libel suit. She said other counts of the suit are based on letters from Jason Silverman, ADL regional director, to HEW Secretary Elliot Richardson and a letter from Richardson to ADL national chairman Seymour Graubard saying that Hassan’s training grant was being cut off pending an audit. Subsequent statements from HEW made it clear that the cut-off had nothing to do with charges of anti-Semitism levelled by the ADL against Hassan but with Hassan’s particular bookkeeping procedures.
Last week Hassan threatened to sue the Government unless HEW restored a $197,847 grant to the Blackman’s Center which, among other things, conducts a narcotics rehabilitation program. HEW postponed its audit for two weeks to give Hassan time to get his books in order. Hassan was not available for comment today. Last week he accused the ADL of “systematically trying to turn the white and Jewish community against us.” Moira told the JTA that the Blackman’s Center was on the verge of bankruptcy because of the alleged ADL drive to cut off its funds. Capt. Moira described herself as an attorney for the Federal Government. She said she did not use her true name in the Blackman’s Army because the agency which employs her might disapprove. Moira said she took a summer leave of absence in order to help Hassan on a full-time basis.