Nihad Awad, director of CAIR, being served a subpoena
WASHINGTON – When the Council on American-Islamic Relations held its 14th Annual Banquet at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel tonight, it was planning to raise funds and honor some of its supporters, but instead several top officials of the Muslim lobby group were served with a summons and complaint for various civil and criminal offenses.
The dramatic surprise, caught on video, was a result of the research work of the Mapping Sharia Project, headed by Dave Gaubatz. He personally served CAIR Director Nihad Awad at the banquet tonight while Democratic North Carolina state Sen. Larry Shaw, a CAIR national board member, was addressing the festivities.
Four CAIR clients have filed a federal civil complaint alleging criminal fraud and racketeering against CAIR, a self-described public interest civil rights law firm. The lawsuit also names CAIR’s national leadership as individual defendants.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that Morris Days, the “resident attorney” and “manager for civil rights” at the now defunct CAIR MD/VA chapter in Herndon, Va., was in fact not an attorney and that he failed to provide legal services for clients who came to CAIR for assistance and who had paid for CAIR legal services.
While attorney David Yerushalmi represents the four plaintiffs in this particular lawsuit, two of whom are African-American Muslims, the complaint alleges that, according to CAIR internal documents, there were hundreds of victims of fraud scheme by CAIR and Days.
According to the complaint, CAIR failed to conduct a background check on Days prior to hiring him and when the group discovered the fraud, it set about a cover-up.
The suit charges CAIR officials purposefully concealed the truth about Days from their clients, law enforcement, the Virginia and D.C. state bar associations and the media. When CAIR got irate calls from clients about Days’ failure to provide competent legal services, CAIR is charged with fraudulently deceiving clients about Days’ relationship to CAIR, concealing the fact that CAIR had fired him for criminal fraud.
“The evidence has long suggested that CAIR is a criminal organization set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas to further its aims of stealth Jihad in the U.S.,” Yerushalmi said referring to the fact that CAIR has been named by the federal government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial. “But our investigation and this complaint makes clear that CAIR’s criminal activities know no bounds.”
Yerushalmi alleges CAIR has engaged in a massive cover-up of a criminal fraud in which hundreds of CAIR clients have been victimized.
“The fact that CAIR has victimized Muslims and non-Muslims alike demonstrates that CAIR is only looking out for CAIR and its ongoing effort to bilk donors out of millions of dollars of charitable donations thinking they are supporting a legitimate organization,” he said.
The complaint also alleges that in addition to covering up the Days fraud scheme, CAIR officials in D.C. forced angry clients who were demanding a return of their legal fees to sign a release that bought the client-victims’ silence by prohibiting them from informing law enforcement or the media about the CAIR-Days fraud. According to the agreement, if the “settling” clients said anything to anyone about the fraud scheme, CAIR would be able to sue them for $25,000.
The four plaintiffs contacted their attorney David Yerushalmi only after they had spoken to Gaubatz, a private researcher who had been investigating CAIR for its connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and its ties to global jihad.
The complaint identifies CAIR as a racketeering enterprise under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which is a criminal racketeering statute that allows victims to sue the defendants in civil court. In addition to damages, the plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief under this and other statutes to shut down CAIR and to prevent the individual defendants from engaging in public interest legal work in the future.
The named defendants are: the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network Inc. (dba CAIR); Nihad Awad aka Nihad Hammad, who serves as executive director of CAIR National; Parvez Ahmed, who was the chairman of the board of CAIR National during the relevant time period; Tahra Goraya, who was the national director of CAIR but who has since resigned; Khadijah Athman, who is the manager of the “civil rights” division of CAIR; and Nadhira al-Khalili, Esq., who is in-house legal counsel for CAIR. All were handed subpoenas this evening.
According to the complaint, CAIR’s in-house Washington, D.C.-based attorney Khalili was directly involved in taking the legal files out of the CAIR Virginia office and concealing them in the D.C. office.
Also named as defendants are Ibrahim Hooper and Amina Rubin, CAIR’s director of communications and coordinator of communications, respectively. According to the complaint, these two were directly responsible for issuing fraudulent press releases about the Days fraud scheme, thus aiding and abetting the CAIR cover-up.
CAIR officials were not available for comment tonight.
Also addressing the dinner was Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the nation’s first Muslim member of Congress. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, reportedly turned down an invitation to address the banquet.
As WND previously reported, CAIR allegedly defrauded a number of Muslims recently seeking help with citizenship delays, and then threatened to sue them if they complained to the media, according to a security watchdog group which has obtained internal CAIR documents.
The former legal director of CAIR’s Maryland/Virginia chapter shook down Muslim hardship cases for thousands of dollars without providing promised services, officials with the Mapping Sharia Project charge.
CAIR, a nonprofit group, promoted the services of the employee, Morris L. “Jamil” Days, whom it publicly described as a civil-rights attorney, even after discovering Days was unlicensed and was fraudulently representing CAIR’s clients.
CAIR’s board allegedly covered up the scandal by paying defrauded Muslim families partial restitution payments while insisting they sign agreements releasing CAIR from legal liability, officials said.
A video of the encounter is here:
Earlier this year, the board also fired Days and closed the chapter’s offices in Herndon, Va. The chapter director, Khalid Iqbal, is no longer with CAIR.
CAIR refused to respond to the allegations, which came to light only after American Muslims provided evidence to the Mapping Sharia Project.
“I really don’t know anything about this,” CAIR spokesman Ahmed Rehab said. He referred questions to CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper, who declined comment.
Earlier this year, CAIR launched a $250,000 fundraising campaign that included a promotional on its website touting its mission to help Muslims, particularly those confronting citizenship problems.
“Everyday, CAIR works hard to defend the rights of American Muslims who encounter a delay in gaining citizenship,” the group said.
In fact, CAIR has “victimized” poor Muslim immigrants, says Gaubatz.
“CAIR continues to put Muslim Americans at risk through the pretense that they represent them in any way,” Gaubatz said. “CAIR is receiving support from big foreign donors, not because of their effectiveness in discrimination cases, but because of their false image in the media.”
Gaubatz says CAIR, which last year was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terror-financing case involving Hamas, controls some $7 million in real estate assets in Washington through a limited liability holding company that includes silent Middle Eastern investors.
He says his group has filed a formal complaint against CAIR concerning the alleged fraud with the District of Columbia.
WND has previously reported on CAIR’s extensive ties to terrorism and extremism. Although CAIR is a nonprofit organization, it does not disclose complete directories of its staff or advisory boards, and even refuses to make its federal tax filings readily available to the public. But a review of federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals that Washington-based CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.
“Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters,” said one FBI veteran familiar with recent and ongoing cases involving CAIR officials.
WND has reported that at least 14 CAIR officials have been caught up in terror investigations.
Congressional leaders say they are warning lawmakers and other Washington officials to disassociate from the group due to its growing terror ties.
“Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.
CAIR itself recently was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas. In the Holy Land Foundation case, federal prosecutors also listed CAIR as a member of the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. The government will retry the Holy Land case, which ended in a hung jury.
“There was a lot of evidence presented at the recent Holy Land Foundation trial which exposed CAIR and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” Myrick said.
Still, CAIR is lobbying House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and other sympathetic members of Congress to pressure the Justice Department to expunge its name from the case, arguing the negative publicity has hurt membership and fundraising.
The federal judge during the trial refused a written request by the group to strike its name from the list of co-conspirators. The petition is still pending before the court.
Here is another brief clip showing the delivery of the legal documents:
CAIR, which runs 33 offices and chapters nationwide, also recently helped defeat an anti-terror plan by Los Angeles police to map the local Muslim community for extremist neighborhoods.
Critics counter that CAIR has no legitimate voice to make such complaints, because the group is itself an extremist organization that has employed or appointed to its boards of directors and advisers an inordinate number of radical co-conspirators, suspected and convicted terrorists, and other criminals.
Indeed, the list is long and growing, and includes:
- Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director’s
home was raided last year by FBI agents in connection with an active
terrorism investigation. Agents also searched the offices of his
advocacy group, Focus on Advocacy and Advancement of International
Relations, which al-Hanooti operates out of Dearborn, Mich., and
FAAIR claims to be a consulting firm raising awareness of Sunni
grievances in Iraq, but investigators suspect it’s a front supporting
the Sunni-led insurgency.
Muthanna al-Hanooti, wearing traditional headgarb
Al-Hanooti, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq, formerly helped
run a suspected Hamas terror front called LIFE for Relief and
Development. Its Michigan offices also were raided last September. In
2004, LIFE’s Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files
Al-Hanooti is related to Shiek Mohammed al-Hanooti, an
unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He
currently leads prayers at a Washington-area mosque that aided some of
the 9/11 hijackers.
The FBI alleges al-Hanooti, an ethnic-Palestinian who also
emigrated from Iraq, raised money for Hamas. In fact, “Al-Hanooti
collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,” according to a 2001
FBI report, and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a
secret Hamas fundraising summit held last decade at a Philadelphia
Prosecutors recently added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.
Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, although he’s praised
Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs” who are “alive in the eyes of
Earlier this year, his younger brother, Hamid al-Hanooti, was
found dead in Iraq after reportedly being held by local security forces
as a suspected terrorist.
- Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator
for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after
9/11 as part of an investigation into terrorist financing, money
laundering and tax fraud. Her husband Mohammed Jaghlit, a key leader in
the Saudi-backed SAAR network, is a target of the still-active probe.
Last decade, Jaghlit sent two letters accompanying donations –
one for $10,000, the other for $5,000 – from the SAAR Foundation to
Sami al-Arian, now a convicted terrorist. In each letter, according to
a federal affidavit, “Jaghlit instructed al-Arian not to disclose the
contribution publicly or to the media.”
Investigators suspect the funds were intended for Palestinian
terrorists via a U.S. front called WISE, which at the time employed an
official who personally delivered a satellite phone battery to Osama
bin Laden. The same official also worked for Jaghlit’s group.
In addition, Jaghlit donated a total of $37,200 to the Holy
Land Foundation, which prosecutors say is a Hamas front. Jaghlit
subsequently was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the ongoing
- Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR
director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting
terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining bin Laden
hadn’t killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa,
was one of al-Qaida’s top fund-raisers in America, according to the
U.S. Treasury Department.
- Nihad Awad: For the first time, wiretap
evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR’s executive director at a
Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists that was secretly
recorded by the FBI. Participants allegedly hatched a plot to disguise
payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving.
During the meeting, according to FBI transcripts, Awad was recorded
discussing the propaganda effort. He mentions Ghassan Dahduli, whom he
worked with at the time at the Islamic Association for Palestine,
another Hamas front. Both were IAP officers. Dahduli’s name also was
listed in the address book of bin Laden’s personal secretary, Wadi
al-Hage, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the
U.S. embassy bombings. Dahduli, an ethnic-Palestinian like Awad, was
deported to Jordan after 9/11 for refusing to cooperate in the terror
Awad’s and Dahduli’s phone numbers are listed in a Muslim
Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing
“important phone numbers” for the “Palestine Section” of the
Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit shows Hamas fugitive Mousa
Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.
- Omar Ahmad: U.S. prosecutors also named
CAIR’s founder and chairman emeritus as an unindicted co-conspirator in
the Holy Land case. Ahmad too was placed at the Philly meeting, FBI
special agent Lara Burns testified at the trial. Prosecutors also
designated him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine
Committee” in America. Ahmad, like his CAIR partner Awad, is
(Though both Ahmad and Awad were senior leaders of IAP, the Hamas
front, neither of their biographical sketches posted on CAIR’s website
mentions their IAP past.)
- Nabil Sadoun: A current CAIR board member,
Sadoun has served on the board of the United Association for Studies
and Research, which investigators believe to be a key Hamas front in
America. In fact, Sadoun co-founded UASR with Hamas leader Marzook. The
Justice Department added UASR to the list of unindicted co-conspirators
in the Holy Land case.
- Mohamed Nimer: CAIR’s current research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S.
(Tellingly, CAIR neglects to mention Nimer’s and Sadoun’s roles in UASR in their bios.)
- Rafeeq Jaber: A founding director of CAIR,
Jaber was the long-time president of the Islamic Association for
Palestine. In 2002, a federal judge found that “the Islamic Association
for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.” In his capacity as IAP
chief, Jaber praised Hezbollah attacks on Israel. He also served on the
board of a radical mosque in the Chicago area.
- Rabith Hadid: The CAIR fund-raiser was a
founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was
blacklisted by Treasury for financing al-Qaida and other terror groups.
Its assets were frozen in December 2001. Hadid was arrested on
terror-related charges and deported to Lebanon in 2003.
Siraj Wahhaj: A member of CAIR’s board of advisers,
Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing. The radical Brooklyn imam was close to convicted
terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and defended him during his trial.
He was also a featured speaker at tonight’s dinner.
- Randall “Ismail” Royer: The former CAIR
communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator is serving 20
years in prison in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network, which he
led while employed by CAIR at its Washington headquarters. The group
trained to kill U.S. soldiers overseas, cased the FBI headquarters, and
cheered the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. Al-Qaida operative Ahmed
Abu Ali, convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush, was among
those who trained with Royer’s Northern Virginia cell.
- Bassam Khafagi: Another CAIR official, Khafagi
was arrested in 2003 while serving as CAIR’s director of community
affairs. He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming
from a federal counterterror probe of his leadership role in the
Islamic Assembly of North America, which has supported al-Qaida and
advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in
prison and deported to his native Egypt.
- Ghassan Elashi: One of CAIR’s founding
directors, he was convicted in 2004 of illegally shipping high-tech
goods to terror state Syria, and is serving 80 months in prison. He’s
also charged with providing material support to Hamas in the Holy Land
Foundation trial. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed
capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Marzook.
- Hamza Yusuf: The FBI investigated the CAIR
board member after 9/11, because just two days before the attacks, he
made an ominous prediction to a Muslim audience.
“This country is facing a terrible fate and the reason for that is
because this country stands condemned,” Yusuf warned. “It stands
condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest
people forget, Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the
CAIR, which receives financial backing from Saudi and Emirati
royalty, denies charges that it has a secret agenda to Islamize
America. But a Muslim Brotherhood document declassified in the Holy
Land case reveals that CAIR’s parent was among Muslim organizations
enlisted in a secret plot to destroy the American system from within
and eventually take over the country.
Written early last decade in Arabic, the manifesto lays bare
the subversive role of CAIR’s forerunner, the Islamic Association for
Palestine, and other Muslim groups in America to carry out a “grand
Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from
within and sabotaging its miserable house by the hands of the
believers, so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made
victorious over all other religions.”
CAIR’s founder Ahmad, while claiming to be a moderate and
patriotic American, last decade told a group of Muslims in Northern
California that they are in America to help assert Islam’s rule over
isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become
dominant,” a local reporter quoted him as saying, adding, “The Koran,
the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in
America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
Ahmad insists he was misquoted. However, an FBI wiretap
transcript quotes Ahmad agreeing with terrorist suspects gathered last
decade at the secret Philly meeting to “camouflage” their true
He compared it to the head fake in basketball. “This is like
one who plays basketball: He makes a player believe that he is doing
this, while he does something else,” Ahmad said. “I agree with you.
Like they say, politics is a completion of war.”
What’s more, Hooper, CAIR’s communications director, also has
expressed his wish to overturn the U.S. system of government in favor
of an “Islamic” state.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like
the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the
future,” Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star
Tribune. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m
going to do it through education.”
Though conceding he made the remark, Hooper argues that he’s
never advocated violence. He says he and Muslims like him should work
instead through the media and use “education” to help turn America into
an Islamic state.
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