How many people do you know personally who have been convicted of supporting terrorism?
How many people associated with your company have been convicted of supporting terrorism?
How many people associated with organizations in which you are a member or a leader have been convicted of supporting terrorism?
If you’re like most Americans, the answer to all three questions is probably none. If you’re like me and most other Arab-Americans, the answer is still probably none.
What would you say about an organization linked to at least three people convicted of supporting terrorism?
Would it begin to raise more than suspicions in your mind?
Would it send a very serious message to you that such an organization should be viewed with caution and relied upon as a source of information and analysis only with the gravest warnings?
I think so.
There is such an organization in America – and it continues to be used as a source by major media in this country. Its spokesmen continue to get face time on television without any caveats. In fact, it continues to be billed as an American-Muslim “civil rights” group.
I’m talking about the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a powerful, wealthy and influential pro-Islam lobby actively working in the media and political spotlight.
Last week, a third person associated with CAIR was found guilty of supporting terrorism.
His name is Gassan Elashi. He was convicted along with two brothers in Dallas of channeling funds to a high-ranking official of the terrorist group Hamas. Elashi was a founder and board member of the Texas chapter of CAIR – and, astonishingly, the third CAIR figure to be convicted on federal terrorism charges since Sept. 11, 2001.
At some point, the law of averages and the statistical improbability that this is just some incredible coincidence needs to be addressed by CAIR and the media and political elite who turn to this organization regularly as if it truly represents the diverse voices of Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans.
Elashi, by the way, as chairman of the Holy Land Foundation, was convicted last year of making illegal technology transfers to two terror-sponsoring states, Libya and Syria. Just before the Holy Land Foundation was indicted by the U.S. Justice Department, it was threatening to sue me and my news organization for defamation for exposing its connections to terrorism.
Founded in 1994, CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association of Palestine, identified as a “front group” for the Hamas terrorists, according to Steve Pomerantz, former chief of the FBI’s counterterrorism section.
Another ex-FBI counterterrorism chief, Oliver “Buck” Revell, has called the Islamic Association For Palestine “a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants.”
CAIR advisory board member Siraj Wahhaj was named by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White on Feb. 2, 1995, as one of the “unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments,” including the World Trade Center in 1993.
Other CAIR figures convicted of terror-related crimes include Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, a communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator, and Bassem Khafagi, former director of community relations.
Royer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he trained in Virginia for holy war against the United States and sent several members to Pakistan to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida.
Khafagi was arrested in January 2003 while serving with CAIR and convicted on fraud and terrorism charges.
I wonder how many CAIR employees and organizers need to be convicted on terrorism charges before it is no longer taken seriously as a Muslim “civil-rights” group by the press and political establishment and before the federal government opens an investigation of the organization itself.