WASHINGTON – With a high-profile Christian keynote speaker, Rick Warren, the Islamic Society of North America billed its July 4 national convention here as a major outreach to non-Muslims, but it chose to eject by force an American investigating Islamist radicalism in the U.S.
Dave Gaubatz, a former Air Force special agent who has traveled the country investigating radical Islamist mosques and attempts at imposing Shariah law in the U.S., was forcibly removed from the conference after paying the $100 attendance fee.
“It was apparent I was ‘flagged,'” he told WND. “Eight or nine ISNA and other men surrounded me. They refused to tell me who they were or why they wanted me to leave. One then said CAIR wants you out. They began crowding me. I was professional and told them to step away from me, tell me who they are, and why was I being illegally detained. I told them this could have been avoided if ISNA would have emailed me a cancellation. I told them I want my $100 back. Meanwhile I was asking them some tough questions they could not answer.”
After ISNA officials let Gaubatz out of the Washington Convention Center, he was quickly surrounded by Washington police.
“I was on the street and noticed at least three D.C. patrol cars,” he said. “I took pictures. Then I started walking toward my parked car. One patrol car was following me slowly. I stopped, took a few pictures of him. Then walked to my car. I got in my car. Three patrol cars surrounded me and surrounded my vehicle. I was told to get out. I asked what was the problem. Finally one officer showed me pictures CAIR had given them and told them I was a threat. There were four pictures – three were with me in Iraq with my M-16 and 9mm, and in two I was holding AK-47s in Iraq. CAIR had [photoshopped] me helping a sick Iraqi child from the picture. Then CAIR had cropped my head shot onto a Nazi uniform, which was obvious.”
The police said members of CAIR had given them the pictures, saying he was a threat.
“I told them about the pictures, my background in Iraq, and who I was,” Gaubatz said. “They knew nothing of this. CAIR and ISNA had essentially tried to get me killed. The officer reminded me they just had the Holocaust Museum shooting. CAIR intentionally misled the officers to make them believe I was just someone who carries guns. CAIR failed to tell them these were pictures from Iraq when I was serving my country.”
Last fall, when CAIR held its 14th Annual Banquet at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel to raise funds and honor its supporters, Gaubatz led an effort to serve several top officials of the Muslim lobby group with summonses and complaints for various civil and criminal offenses.
Gaubatz also managed to capture the events on video, which was shared with WND. He personally served CAIR Director Nihad Awad at the banquet while Democratic North Carolina state Sen. Larry Shaw, a CAIR national board member, was addressing the festivities.
A video of the encounter is here:
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.”
Here is another brief clip showing the delivery of the legal documents:
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 that 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.
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.
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.
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 Washington, D.C.
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 and computers.
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 hotel.
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 Allah.”
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 case.
- 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 investigation.
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 ethnic-Palestinian.
(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 the 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 Muslim lands.”
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 the country.
“Islam 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 intentions.
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.