A senior Council on American-Islamic Relations official appointed by New
York Mayor Michael Bloomberg bleached his CAIR experience from his resume,
but his controversial past led to his dismissal as a panelist in next week’s
New York debate on airport profiling broadcast by Bloomberg Television,
WND has learned.
Omar T. Mohammedi, a commissioner with the New York City Commission on
Human Rights was dumped from the debate featuring former Homeland
Security Secretary Michael Chertoff after panelists raised concerns about
his work for CAIR, which the federal government has named an unindicted
co-conspirator in the largest terror-financing case in U.S. history.
Mohammedi omitted his CAIR background from his
biographical sketch posted on the human-rights commission website. He
served as president and general counsel of CAIR’s New York chapter.
Mohammedi also served as the lead attorney in a discrimination lawsuit CAIR
financed against US Airways on behalf of the so-called Flying Imams. CAIR’s
national office in Washington put Mohammedi in touch with the imams.
Internal memos show Mohammedi participated in conference calls regarding the
case with CAIR’s national director, Nihad Awad.
“Should CAIR issue a statement on behalf of the imams? Mohammedi recommends
against the imams issuing a statement as it could be used against them in
court,” CAIR executives recorded in the minutes of their Nov. 30, 2006,
conference call with Mohammedi.
In a memo to CAIR executives, Mohammedi proposed launching a campaign to
“discredit people” critical of the imams, such as Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. “We
should discuss the possibility of having a major campaign against Peter
King,” he wrote.
Mohammedi’s close involvement with CAIR, which the FBI says is “a front
group for Hamas,” is missing from his human-rights commission bio, which states
that he is “an attorney who specializes in employment discrimination and
corporate and real estate transactions.”
The FBI has severed ties with CAIR until it can demonstrate it is not a
Mohammedi, along with the mayor and others
“Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a
connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view
CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” advised assistant FBI Director
Richard Powers in a 2009 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot killed in the hijacked 9/11 flight
that hit the Pentagon, says it’s possible that Bloomberg was not aware of
Mohammedi’s background when he named him to the commission.
“That happens, unfortunately, as local governments cast about for someone to
partner with in the Muslim community,” she said. “CAIR and other similar
groups have capitalized on the government’s desire to engage.”
Messages left with the commission were not returned. When Mohammedi’s
appointment was announced, the commission announced: “Mayor Bloomberg’s
recent appointments to the City Commission on Human Rights represent the
most diverse, highly qualified group of professionals in the agency’s
Mohammedi was scheduled to appear with Burlingame in a televised debate on
airport profiling sponsored by the Rosenkranz Foundation in New York. But
she protested Mohammedi’s inclusion on the panel with her and Chertoff. And
the foundation, unaware of his CAIR past, recently replaced him.
“I don’t know about Michael, but I have a problem with Mohammedi,” she
complained to the debate organizers. “He was the president of CAIR-New York.
CAIR, as you many know, was identified in the 2007-2008 Holy Land Foundation
trial, the biggest terrorist support case in the history of the Justice
Department … CAIR was identified as a Hamas front group.”
She also noted that the 1997 White House Commission on Aviation Safety and
Security, convened by President Clinton and presided over by Vice President
Al Gore in the wake of the TWA Flight 800 explosion, appointed CAIR
executive director Awad as an adviser on passenger screening.
“The panel’s recommendations essentially rendered any effective passenger
screening impossible, and paved the way for 9-11,” Burlingame said.
Subsequent federal court evidence revealed that Awad attended a meeting with
Hamas leaders in a Philadelphia hotel in 1993.
Mohammedi was the lead attorney who argued the discrimination case against
US Airways, the FBI and airport police on behalf of the six imams who
claimed their rights were violated when they were kicked off a US Airways
flight as a potential security threat. Passengers and crew said the imams
behaved suspiciously, and the pilot called police to escort them off the
plane. A Clinton-appointed federal judge forced a settlement in the case
that allegedly favored the imams.
“It was clear that the entire incident was staged in order to bring the
suit,” Burlingame said, “and CAIR was involved from minute one.”
Burlingame also noted another controversial incident involving Mohammedi
that was first reported in the book, “Muslim Mafia.” In 2006, as CAIR’s
in-house lawyer, Mohammedi fired off a memo to top CAIR executives proposing
the organization file a lawsuit against the U.S. and Israel “for conspiring
to commit murder, kidnapping, property damage and acts of terrorism.”
The alleged crime? Israel’s counteroffensive against Hezbollah terrorists in
Lebanon, who in 2006 launched unprovoked and relentless rocket attacks
“Defendants would include the United States and certain officials in the
Bush administration and Israel and certain officials in its administration,”
wrote Mohammedi in an August 2006 memo to Awad and then-CAIR Chairman Parvez
Ahmed. And the plaintiffs, he suggested, would include Muslims harmed by
Israel’s military counterstrikes against Hezbollah positions, ostensibly
including the terrorists themselves.
Mohammedi, who could not be reached for comment, proposed filing the claim
under the same federal racketeering and corruption statute, known as RICO,
that the FBI and U.S. attorneys have considered using to prosecute CAIR and
other Muslim Brotherhood front groups.
CAIR has refused to condemn Hezbollah or Hamas, by name, as terrorist
“In light of all this,” Burlingame wrote the debate organizers, “I do not
wish to share the stage with someone who is making a career of engaging in
activities aimed at supporting terrorists, propagandizing for them and
against American interests.”
Mohammedi’s “lawsuit on behalf of the imams was a direct attempt to weaken
our aviation security system,” she continued. “The irony of having a
terrorist-supporting propagandist engaged in a debate on aviation security
is more than I am prepared to endure.”
The debate, sans Mohammedi, is scheduled for Monday in New York.