FBI agents guard the entrance to the Holy Land Foundation in Richardson, Texas, in December 2001 (Courtesy New York Sun)
While the Council on American-Islamic Relations has contended its designation by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terror-finance case is unjustified, the group has admitted in a legal brief it solicited donations in the wake of the 9/11 attacks for the Holy Land Foundation, the convicted American fundraising arm for the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
The admission – a previously unnoticed declaration in talk-radio host Michael Savage’s lawsuit against CAIR – was attached to a brief filed this week in the Muslim group’s suit against a father and son who carried out a six-month undercover investigation in which they obtained 12,000 pages of incriminating documents and made secret audio and video recordings. Lawyers for P. David Gaubatz and Chris Gaubatz filed a motion to dismiss the case this week that contends CAIR has no claim because it does not legally exist.
Gaubatz lawyer Daniel Horowitz, who also represented Savage, attached a copy of CAIR’s admission with the filing of his motion this week.
In the Savage case, Horowitz asserted CAIR “exploited 9/11 as it put on its website a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and below it a call for donations that was linked to the Holy Land Foundation website.”
CAIR’s Northern California branch, while denying the organization “exploited” 9/11, admitted on page 15 of its reply that its national office “offered a link to websites for Muslim and non-Muslim organizations collecting donations for 9/11 survivors, including Holy Land Foundation’s website.”
In May 2007, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to funnel more than $12 million to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. In the case, federal prosecutors also listed CAIR as a member of the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement based in Egypt that birthed al-Qaida and Hamas and other terrorist groups and seeks to establish Islamic law in America.
“In the height of cynicism, (CAIR) basically knew the money they were collecting in the name of terrorist victims was going to create more terrorist victims,” said “Muslim Mafia” co-author Paul Sperry.
In the book, the authors write, “After 9/11, as rescue workers were still pulling bodies from Ground Zero, CAIR tricked visitors to its Web site into contributing to the charitable front by telling them their donations would benefit World Trade Center victims – including New York firefighters”
CAIR’s “Donate to NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund” was a direct hyperlink to the website of Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, convicted in a scheme to funnel more than $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas (Courtesy Americans Against Hate
Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism revealed the Holy Land Foundation provided at least $5,000 in revenues to CAIR as it was starting up its operations. CAIR, in turn, solicited funds for the foundation.
Check from Holy Land Foundation to help launch CAIR
As “Muslim Mafia” recounts, FBI wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case showed CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was at an October 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in Philadelphia.
At that time, Awad was public relations director for a group created by the Muslim Brotherhood called the Islamic Association for Palestine, the IAP. At the Philadelphia meeting, IAP and Holy Land Foundation officials developed a scheme to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists and their families as charity.
The creation of CAIR can be traced back to the meeting, when IAP and Holy Land officials, according to a transcript, discussed the need to give their agenda of supporting violent jihad abroad while slowing institutionalizing Islamic law at home a “media twinkle.”
CAIR was first mentioned by name in Muslim Brotherhood documents as part of the July 30, 1994, agenda of a meeting of the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.
The minutes reveal the purpose of the meeting was to discuss “suggestions to develop [the] work of CAIR” and its “coordination” with the IAP, Holy Land Foundation — which shared its Texas offices with the IAP — and the Washington, D.C.-based United Association for Studies and Research, or UASR. Along with IAP, UASR was co-founded by the deputy chief of Hamas’ political operations, Mousa Abu Marzook.
Marzook led the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee in the America before he was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist. He and other participants at the July 1994 meeting discussed satisfying the “need for trained resources in the media and political fields” to “exert more efforts in the advancement of the Palestine Cause from the Islamic aspect.”
CAIR was incorporated less than two months later.
CAIR’s suit against the Gaubatzes claims they stole sensitive material from the group’s Washington office under false pretenses. A federal judge in Washington issued a restraining order Nov. 3 barring the Gaubtazes from further use or publication of the material and demanding that they return it to the Muslim group’s lawyers. But the FBI stepped into the case Nov. 23 with a warrant to examine the papers and recordings, apparently as part of its concern about CAIR and its terrorist links to Hamas. The bureau cut off ties to CAIR in response to the Islamic group’s role in the Holy Land Foundation case.
IMPORTANT NOTE: WND needs your help in supporting the defense of “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris against CAIR’s ongoing legal attack. Already, the book’s revelations have led to formal congressional demands for three different federal investigations of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. Although WND has procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country for their defense, we can’t do it without your help. Please donate to WND’s Legal Defense Fund now. Thank you.