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The Department of Justice has presented evidence to four inquiring Congress members to support the agency’s belief that the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations was founded as a front group in the U.S. for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
A letter last month from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich responded to a request by Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., and three of her House counterterrorism-caucus colleagues to reveal why CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas, the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.
Weich presented trial transcripts and an exhibit that “demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, and the Palestine Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and Hamas, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.”
The other signatories of the letter with Myrick were Reps. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Paul Broun, R-Ga.
Weich’s letter affirms letters the FBI sent last April to Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., explaining the bureau’s decision to suspend all formal contacts with CAIR. Evidence presented at the Holy Land Foundation trial, the FBI said, “demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders (including its current President Emeritus and its Executive Director) and the Palestine Committee.”
The trial established that the Palestine Committee was formed by the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, the movement that spawned al-Qaida, Hamas and most of the major jihadist groups of the 20th century. The Brotherhood, formed in the 1920s after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, states its aim is to establish Islamic law throughout the world.
The letter from Myrick and her colleagues was prompted by the WND Books’ expose “Muslim Mafia,” which presents firsthand evidence of CAIR’s connection to the Brotherhood and its role as a front to spread Islam in the U.S.
Weich pointed the Congress members to two excerpts of Holy Land Foundation trial testimony from FBI Special Agent Lara Burns regarding conversations by members of the Muslim Brotherhood about CAIR’s formation.
One transcript is from a wiretap of a 1993 meeting in Philadelphia in which Hamas supporters sought to establish Muslim organizations in the U.S. “whose Islamic hue is not very conspicuous.”
Holy Land Foundation President Shukri Abu Baker said, according to the transcript: “And let’s not hoist a large Islamic flag, and let’s not be barbaric-talking. We will remain a front so that if the thing happens, we will benefit from the new happenings instead of having all of our organizations classified and exposed.”
Burns also describes an exhibit that shows CAIR, just weeks after its creation, listed on a July 30, 1994, meeting agenda for the Palestine Committee.
Burns said it was the first time CAIR’s name appeared in internal Palestine Committee records seized by the FBI.
The Holy Land Foundation trial ended in 2007 with a deadlocked jury, but the retrial in 2008 resulted in guilty verdicts on 108 counts.
CAIR petitioned the court to have its name removed from the list of unindicted co-conspirators but was denied last year.
Weich told the Congress members he also was aware of their Nov. 23 letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller “concerning a request for an investigation into the possible illegalities of CAIR.”
The assistant attorney general said he had been “assured that the information has been assigned to appropriate FBI entities for additional review.”
A federal grand jury is investigating CAIR for possible violation of laws that ban financial dealings with terrorist groups or countries under U.S. sanctions, according to a filing in the Muslim organization’s lawsuit against a co-author of “Muslim Mafia” and his son.
A letter attached to the filing, signed by Lynn Haaland, assistant U.S. attorney for the National Security Section in Washington, referenced CAIR’s possible violations of 50 U.S.C. sections 1701-1706, which are part of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Under the 1977 act, which empowers presidents to deal with extraordinary threats during peacetime, President George W. Bush signed an executive order 12 days after the 9/11 attacks that blocked property and barred transactions with anyone who commits, threatens to commit or supports terrorism.
CAIR is suing “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz and his son, Chris, for recovering 12,000 pages of incriminating CAIR documents meant for a shredder.
Myrick and her House colleagues also have formally asked the House sergeant at arms to investigate evidence from “Muslim Mafia” that CAIR has conspired to plant interns inside Congress targeting sensitive security-related committees.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The CAIR legal attack on WND’s author is far from over. WND needs your help in supporting the defense of “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz, as well as his investigator son Chris, against CAIR’s lawsuit. 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.