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CAIR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
WASHINGTON – A federal judge has determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate the most prominent Muslim group in America as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator.
According to a federal court ruling unsealed Friday, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas,” a federally designated terrorist group that has murdered at least 17 Americans and injured more than 100 U.S. citizens.
The 20-page order, signed by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis, cites “ample evidence” that CAIR participated in a “criminal conspiracy” led by the Holy Land Foundation, Hamas’s main fundraising arm in the U.S. As a result, the judge refused CAIR’s request to strike its name from documents listing it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
“The four pieces of evidence the government relies on do create at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas,” Solis wrote in his July 2009 ruling.
The evidence includes documents introduced by the government showing CAIR and its founding chairman Omar Ahmad have operated as key members of Hamas’ U.S. wing, known as the “Palestine Committee.” In addition, FBI wiretaps and agent testimony have placed both Ahmad and CAIR’s acting executive director – Nihad Awad – at a secret meeting last decade with Hamas leaders in Philadelphia. Meeting in a hotel room, participants hatched a scheme to disguise payments to Hamas suicide bombers and their families as charity.
CAIR founding chairman Omar Ahmad, who arranged and led the secret Hamas meeting in Philadelphia
“The attendees agreed not to mention the word Hamas but to refer to Hamas as ‘Samah,’ which is Hamas spelled backwards,” Solis said. “The Philadelphia conference essentially laid out the path that the Palestine Committee would take to accomplish its goal of supporting Hamas in the future.”
During the meeting – which was organized and led by CAIR founder Ahmad – the Hamas operatives agreed to form CAIR as an outwardly benign front group skilled in media manipulation. “They did not want to be viewed as being aligned with terrorist groups,” he said.
The judge did not dispute “press accounts and blog entries” that “CAIR is a criminal organization that supports terrorism,” according to the ruling.
The government’s evidence undermines CAIR’s public face as a “civil-rights advocacy organization,” while corroborating the findings of the bestselling book, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.” The book chronicles the undercover investigation of P. David Gaubatz and his son, who interned at CAIR’s national headquarters.
CAIR has sued the Gaubatzes for trespassing, but has not denied any of the book’s explosive findings tying CAIR closer to terrorism.
According to Politico.com, a federal grand jury in Washington is actively hearing evidence against CAIR emerging from the Holy Land trial, while also reviewing the thousands of pages of evidence gathered in the “Muslim Mafia” investigation. Prosecutors subpoenaed the evidence shortly after the book was published last fall.
CAIR, which has not been charged with a crime, denies allegations it works for Hamas – even as it refuses to condemn the terrorist group by name.
“CAIR is not a front group for Hamas,” insisted CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, “or any of the other false and misleading associations our detractors seek to smear us with.”
CAIR maintains it is simply a Muslim-rights group, but the Justice Department says it is a front group not only for Hamas, but for its parent the radical Muslim Brotherhood – a worldwide jihadist movement that prosecutors say has a secret plan to impose Shariah law on the U.S.
“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg in a separate court filing.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, implicated in a major terror case, shakes hands with undercover intern Chris Gaubatz at CAIR headquarters in Washington.
In 2007, U.S. prosecutors first named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal scheme led by the Holy Land Foundation to funnel more than $12 million to Hamas suicide bombers and their families. A jury in 2008 convicted the charity and its leaders on all 108 felony counts.
“CAIR has been identified by the government at trial as a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization – a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew,” said assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Jacks, who recently won an award from Attorney General Eric Holder for convicting the Holy Land terrorists.
The Holy Land revelations prompted the FBI to sever ties with CAIR until it can demonstrate it is not a terror front.
“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.
Media outlets – including Fox News, which is financed by the same Saudi prince funding CAIR – continue to invite Awad and other CAIR leaders on the air to argue against airport profiling and other issues on CAIR’s agenda. Fox has offered CAIR guests full segments unopposed by critics and without viewer caveats regarding CAIR’s court-documented terror connections.