Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson says a major U.S. Muslim group needs to be investigated as part of a wide-ranging war against ISIS.

The retired neurosurgeon called for the U.S. to formally declare war against ISIS on Tuesday and presented a seven-point plan for defeating the Islamic jihadist movement. Part of his strategy is an investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, for ties to terrorism.

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“The Department of State should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations that propagate or support Islamic terrorism as terrorist organizations, and fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of terrorism,” Carson’s said on his campaign website Tuesday. Carson’s “Seven Steps for a Safer America” says:

  • Congress must formally declare war on ISIS.
  • The U.S. should lead the formation of a military coalition in the Middle East.
  • The U.S. coalition should establish a “massive” military force of Sunni Syrian men to take on ISIS.
  • A refugee safe zone should be established in Syria.
  • Congress should establish a war-time emergency visa and immigration policy.
  • U.S. military personnel should patrol the U.S. southern border and designated areas along the northern border.
  • The U.S. should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and similar organizations as terrorist organizations, and fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper released a statement Tuesday charging Carson was “grasping at straws and seeking payback for CAIR’s previous criticism of his anti-Muslim bigotry,” a reference to the candidate’s opposition to a Shariah-law-practicing Muslim running for president.

The basis for Carson’s new proposal, however, is FBI evidence presented during the 2007 Holy Land Foundation case in Richardson, Texas.

CAIR was named a unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-fundraising scheme that raised $12 million for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

“Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters,” former FBI agent Mike Rolf said in the 2009 book “Muslim Mafia.”

A review of public records, including federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals CAIR has been associated with multiple convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

FBI agents arresting CAIR founding director Ghassan Elashi in 2002.
  • 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 was also convicted of providing material support to Hamas in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.
  • Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director’s home was raided in 2006 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, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. 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 in September 2006. In 2004, LIFE’s Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files and computers. Al-Hanooti is related to Sheik Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
    Muthanna al-Hanooti, wearing traditional headgarb

    “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 in 1993 at a Philadelphia hotel. Prosecutors added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.

    Although Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, he has praised Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs” who are “alive in the eyes of Allah.”

  • Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining that bin Laden hadn’t killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, was one of al-Qaida’s top fundraisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • 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.
    Imam Siraj Wahhaj

    “Muslim Mafia,” citing co-author’s Sperry’s previous book “Infiltration” as well as terror expert Steven Emerson’s research, reports that Wahhaj, a black convert to Islam, is converting gang members to Islam and holding “jihad camps” for them. With a combination of Islam and Uzis, he has said, the street thugs will be a powerful force for Islam the day America “will crumble.”

    Wahhaj was a key speaker at CAIR’s 15th annual fund-raising banquet in Arlington, Virginia, in 2009.

  • 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 George W. 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 counter-terror 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.
  • Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after Sept. 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. 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 case.
Nihad Awad
  • Nihad Awad: Wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR’s executive director at the Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in 1993 that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants 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. (An April 28, 2009, letter from FBI assistant director Richard C. Powers to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. – which singles out CAIR chief Awad for suspicion – explains how the group’s many Hamas connections caused the FBI to sever ties with CAIR.) 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 showed Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.
Omar Ahmad
  • 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 Philadelphia 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
Nabil Sadoun
  • Nabil Sadoun: A 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. UPDATE: In 2010, Sadoun was ordered deported to his native Jordan. An immigration judge referenced Sadoun’s relationship with Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation during a deportation hearing.
  • Mohamed Nimer: CAIR’s research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S. CAIR neglects to mention Nimer’s and Sadoun’s roles in UASR in their bios.
Mohamed Nimer
  • 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 fundraiser was a founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was blacklisted by the Treasury Department 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.
  • 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.”

Carson’s plan comes out just two weeks after the Dec. 2 Islamic terror attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 and wounded 21 at a center for individuals with developmental disabilities. Carson’s first-place opponent, Donald Trump, has since called for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration until policymakers can agree on a coherent strategy for defeating ISIS.

CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, left, and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, center.

CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, left, and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, center.

Trump’s stance has helped him nationally with primary voters, while Carson’s delayed response appears to have halted his earlier momentum.

A Monmouth University poll conducted Dec. 10 through Dec. 13 concluded Trump’s national lead sits at 41 percent compared to Carson’s 9 percent.

The retired neurosurgeon is in fourth place behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (14 percent) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (10 percent).

CAIR’s founder Ahmad, while claiming to be a moderate and patriotic American, reportedly told a group of Muslims in Northern California in 1998 that they are in America not to assimilate, but 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 paraphrased him as saying. “The Quran, 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, the reporter stands by her story, and an FBI wiretap transcript quotes Ahmad agreeing with terrorist suspects gathered at the secret Philadelphia 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.”

Hooper, CAIR’s communications director, also has expressed a desire 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.”

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