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By Patrick Poole
August 20, 2007
Three officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Ohio admit to going unannounced to a man's home to confront him over a bumper sticker on his car - a testament, they claim, of their tolerance and moderation. The incident occurred last year, but the CAIR trio involved - Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR national vice chairman, Asma Mobin-Uddin, CAIR-Ohio president, and Abukar Arman, CAIR-OH board member - have recently recounted this incident to the local establishment media as an example of how they "invite dialogue".
Others, however, believe the incident is additional proof that CAIR regularly resorts to threats, intimidation and demonization to silence its critics. Earlier this month, attorneys for CAIR sent a letter threatening legal action against the Young Americans Foundation if they allowed NY Times bestselling author and JihadWatch director, Robert Spencer, to speak at their conference on "The Truth of the Council on American-Islamic Relations". This thuggery is reminiscent of CAIR's 2004 lawsuit against independent journalist Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR, a suit which was dropped by CAIR in order to avoid responding to required interrogatories about its historic ties to HAMAS and role in terror financing.
re: Robert Spencer -- An Open Letter from David Horowitz and Front Page Mag.com
I need your help. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - whose very founders have been arrested in connection with terrorist activities - has decided to silence once and for all its harshest and bravest critic: the Freedom Center's Robert Spencer.
CAIR is using legal threats to extort groups who ask Robert to speak at their gatherings and tell the truth about Islamic Jihad.
You may recall, not long ago I asked Robert, a fearless patriot, to come join the Freedom Center team. Spencer's powerful internet site, Jihad Watch, was taking on radical Islam in ways no one in on the planet was doing - daily, sometimes hourly, exposing their financial underpinnings and digging deep to reveal the roots of Islamofascism's evil and terror.
Robert is so good at what he does terrorists issued a fatwa - a legal decree in sharia law requiring any Muslim to kill Spencer if they had the chance. The fatwa's closing line is nothing less than bloodcurdling:
"May Allah rip out his spine from his back and split his brains in two, and then put them both back, and then do it over and over."
However, rather than striking fear into Robert's heart, the death decree has made him more forcused and dedicated to exposing the "religion of peace" for it truly is.
Recently Robert was invited to speak at a conference hosted by the Young America's Foundation in Washington, D.C. YAF the leading conservative organization for high school and college-aged Americans.
A day before Robert was to deliver a talk titled "The Truth About the Council on American-Islamic Relations," YAF officials found an ominous letter on their FAX machine.
A powerful Washington, D.C. law firm told YAF that Robert was, in essence, a hate-filled liar and that CAIR had ordered the law firm "to purse every available and appropriate legal remedy to redress any false and defamatory statements that made" at the conference.
In other words: silence Robert Spencer or be sued. It doesn't get much more threatening than this and still remain within the bounds of the law.
To help Robert, we are creating a special Jihad Watch Defense Fund to counter these threats. Your contribution of $35, $50, $100, $200, $500 or more right now will help us raise the $250,000 we need to ensure two things:
Send the message that you and other Americans are not intimidated by the politically correct radical left and that Jihad Watch and Robert Spencer are financially ready to combat what can only be described as legal extortion.
Keep Robert and Jihad Watch doing what they do best: exposing groups like CAIR who mask themselves as friends of our country, when Robert consistently reveals their lies and connections to groups and individuals who support Islamofascism.
You know well how the radical left works. Anyone who dares speak out against them becomes a target for lies, vilification, and threats.
Robert takes these threats in stride. But legal challenges, no matter how scurrilous, are costly. We must be willing to do what needs to be done to meet this challenge.
And one more thing you and I must consider. Recently you may have read that the editor of the Oakland Post was murdered for doing his job - revealing the violent nature of a local Black Muslim group.
The murder of this journalist demonstrates clearly the evil threat that hangs over our friend Robert Spencer each day. You and I can take great pride in working to help him and Jihad Watch.
The CAIR-OH incident is without known precedent, harassing a private citizen at his home because CAIR officials did not like one of his bumper stickers. One of the trio, Abukar Arman, has described how they set upon their unwitting victim:
Several months ago, a non-Muslim fellow in the inter-faith community brought to the attention of CAIR-Ohio a picture of his neighbor's truck with a bumper sticker that read "Jesus loves you, and Allah wants you dead".
Some of us thought that the appropriate thing to do was to get media involved and use this truck owner as a poster-child of the prevalent assertive ignorance that is widening the post 9/11 political divide between Muslims and non-Muslims. Others, on the other hand, saw this as an opportunity for human contact, discourse, and to build bridges of understanding.
The latter opinion prevailed.
Therefore, I had the privilege of being one of three Muslims (2 male and a female with Islamic veil) who paid a neighborly visit to the truck owner.
What ensued was an interesting discourse that I found to be very educational (its final outcome notwithstanding).
The truck owner was a former Marine officer who served in Somalia and Iraq. Initially, as he opened the door, he was visibly apprehensive (and rightfully so).
We greeted him and introduced ourselves. We reassured him that we were only interested to get to know him, address any questions or perhaps grievance that he may have, and to give him a chance to meet and dialogue with ordinary Muslims.
Long story short: in a conversation that took place right outside his door and lasted for over an hour, the former Marine talked about how he was very suspicious of Muslims and how, both in Somalia and in Iraq, he and other Americans who "came to help these two countries had their hands bitten…" He talked about how he did not believe there were any moderate Muslims and how organizations such as CAIR were deliberately silent about condemning terrorism. He also talked about being alarmed by the growing Muslim population in Central Ohio and how they may be hiding a terrorist who has in his possession a "briefcase nuke". He said, "I don't want to see a giant mushroom in Columbus" [I will come back to this point].
Lastly, he talked about his career in the private sector…how he worked as a "corporate anti-terrorism expert" and a "consultant to a numerous multinational corporations"...
Arman admits that the original intention was to make this two-war veteran a "poster-child" of Islamophobia and publicly to vilify the man by enlisting the help of the local media - all because they didn't agree with the sentiments the man expressed via a bumper sticker. He also admits that the man was visibly leery of his late-night visitors showing up on his doorstep, what they probably would argue is proof of his Islamophobia.
What makes this situation and Abukar Arman's comments even more appalling is that the former Marine had served in the UN-backed peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Arman's native country, to protect the people there from the warlords that had taken over the country and who were starving the people by the tens of thousands. Additionally, the former Marine had been reported to CAIR by one of his neighbors who was a friend to the CAIR officials in the "inter-faith community".
But imagine if the roles in this case were reversed: imagine if Robert Spencer, Andrew Whitehead and myself showed up on the doorstep of any of these CAIR officials - unwelcome and unannounced - to confront them about their repeated statements of support for extremism, bigotry and terrorism: Ahmad Al-Akhras for his public defense of convicted terrorists, including his "long-time friend", convicted and deported Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Fawaz Damra; Asma Mobin-Uddin for promoting several hate sites with rabidly anti-Jewish content on her own personal website; or Abukar Arman, for his vocal public support of HAMAS, Hezbollah and the al-Qaeda-backed Islamic Courts Union. Would they see such action as "inviting dialogue", or would they instead denounce such an "invitation to dialogue" in a flurry of CAIR press releases as a "hate crime" that would merit restraining orders and warrant federal criminal charges?
With their opponents on the working end of this tactic of cultural terrorism, however, they enthusiastically recount this act of intimidation, attempting to paint their "neighborly visit" as a peaceful effort to "engage" non-Muslims. The establishment media has been quick to pick up this twisted narrative. Earlier this month, in a front page Columbus Dispatch article on Mr. Arman, Mobin-Uddin cites this incident of confronting a man at his home as evidence of Mr. Arman's "kindness":
"Mr. Arman is a man of the greatest integrity, kindness and responsibility," Mobin-Uddin said.
She recalled a visit with Arman a few years ago to the home of an ex-Marine who displayed an anti-Muslim bumper sticker.
"We stood and talked with the man on his doorstep for an hour and a half. Mr. Arman never raised his voice. He told the man, 'You know, sir, I have four children. I've lived in this country for decades. If I knew someone who was going to put a bomb somewhere, I would be the first one to jump on them.' "
This isn't the first time, however, that the Columbus Dispatch has pulled out this story as an example of the tolerance and moderation of the CAIR trio and their cohorts.
In an Orwellian-titled article this past April, "Changing Hearts, Minds", Ahmad Al-Akhras gave his analysis of his and his comrades' late-night "invitation to dialogue" to an attentive Dispatch reporter:
Changing minds isn't always as pleasant as sharing some snacks and laughs.
Last year, Ahmad Al-Akhras and two other community leaders knocked on the door of a man whose car bore a bumper sticker that read: "Jesus loves you. Allah wants you dead."
Al-Akhras is president of the Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio and is the vice chairman of the national Council on American-Islamic Relations.
They spoke to the ex-Marine for more than an hour at his doorstep, telling him they had 11 children between them and cared strongly about America's safety, Al-Akhras said.
"More than 95 percent of the time, we agree on things," Al-Akhras said of Muslims and non-Muslims.
He isn't sure that visit did any good.
It should be evident that going to a man's home, particularly someone entirely unknown to you, to confront them about the content of their bumper stickers is not an invitation to dialogue, but jackboot thuggery reminiscent of the Nazi SA Storm troopers. One of them admits that rather than painting a symbol on the man's house or business to show their disapproval for his religious statements (much as the SA would mark Jewish homes or businesses with a Star of David and the word "Juden"), they considered calling in the media to condemn this two-war Marine veteran and expose him to public scorn all because they didn't like his bumper sticker.
CAIR has repeatedly demonstrated that their methodology and discourse must rely on increasingly shrill rhetoric to get public attention and publicly attacking anyone who questions their troubling ideology. Nor has CAIR ever hesitated to inflame a situation to further its own agenda to the detriment of the rest of the community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As their own supposed constituency continues to abandon CAIR, such now that their membership is less than two thousand nationwide, CAIR will need to resort to more confrontational and escalating tactics to keep the establishment media's attention in order to disseminate their message of hate, alienation and conflict.
CAIR's Islamophobia patrols: coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Patrick Poole is an independent journalist who contributes to a number of publications and serves as a consultant to law enforcement on the domestic terror threat from Islamic radicalization. His past work in public policy received coverage from a number of national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, ABC News, the Baltimore Sun, WIRED News , the National Post (Canada), The Guardian (UK), and Jungewelt ( Germany). He is the Executive Director of Central Ohioans Against Terrorism and he maintains a blog, Existential Space.
By Stephen Emerson and The Investigative Project on Terrorism
August 9, 2007
Dallas--In testimony Tuesday, FBI Agent Lara Burns reported before the jury in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was listed as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee, right alongside HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). Agent Burns further testified that CAIR received money from HLF - a claim that Nihad Awad blatantly denied in a congressional testimony in September of 2003.
Burns also said that both Omar Ahmed and Nihad Awad, CAIR co-founders who today serve as CAIR's chairman emeritus and executive director, respectively, were also listed as individual members the Brotherhood's Palestine Committee in America.
Awad and Ahmed are further connected to the Palestine Committee based on their positions as president and public relations director of the IAP, a Hamas front group that was responsible for the dissemination of propaganda, and has since been closed down as a result of a multi-million dollar civil judgment in a trial involving the murder of an American teenager by HAMAS terrorists.
CAIR, which touts itself as America's premier Muslim civil rights organization, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial. Burns' testimony so far has placed both Ahmed and Awad at a 1993 Philadelphia meeting where the HAMAS members and supporters discussed a strategy to kill the Oslo Peace Accords, which threatened to marginalize HAMAS. The group also discussed ways to improve HAMAS fundraising in America.
Government testimony regarding the role of CAIR reflects the prosecution's attempt to prove that the HAMAS network in America was established through the Palestine Committee, or what the indictment called "a sub-group of active Muslim Brotherhood members of Palestinian origin." The leader of this Committee was Musa Abu Marzook, a Specially Designated Terrorist since 1995, and Hamas' current Deputy Political Bureau Chief. Through this committee, a number of organizations were established to promote HAMAS politically and financially, including HLF, IAP and UASR.
What is the Palestine Committee
In 1988, the head of the Palestine Section (a.k.a. the Palestine Body) of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Levant came to America, where he met with fellow Muslim Brothers and established the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. This is revealed in a1991 letter seized from the home of unindicted co-conspirator Ismail Elbarasse.
An October 1992 internal memo (also seized from Elbarrasse's home) explains: Palestine is the one for which Muslim Brotherhood prepared armies - made up from the children of Islam in the Arab and Islamic nations to liberate its land from the abomination and the defilement of the children of the Jews and they watered its pure soil with their honorable blood which sprouted into a jihad that is continuing until the Day of Resurrection and provided a zeal without relenting making the slogan of its children "it is a Jihad for victory or martyrdom."
The Palestine Section of this memo explains the founding of the Section and notes that Palestine Committees were being established all over the world:
At the end of the seventies, the Shamm [Levant] Countries Movement opened a new section which was called "The Palestine Section" to oversee the affairs of the Ikhwan inside the Occupied Territories. It was considered the liaison between the followers of the Movement inside and outside.
In the beginning of the eighties, the Islamic action for Palestine experienced distinguished leaps. At the inside level, groups and apparatuses were formed to confront the Zionist enemy and they carried different names then such as "The Palestinian Mujahedeen" and other names. At the outside level, a number of associations, Islamic youths and students unions were formed to ally [sic] the masses in order to render the Palestinian cause victorious.
The memo calls on the Palestine Committees, to work to "increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas" to "fight surrendering solutions," and to publicize and focus on "the savagery of the Jews."
The amended bylaws attached to the 1991 letter explains that the Palestine Committee in America will be composed of the heads of the following organizations and committees:
CAIR was not created until 1994 which explains why it is not listed here.
- Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
- Occupied Land Fund (OLF, which later changed its name to the HLF)
- United Association for Studies and Research (UASR)
- Rehabilitation and Coordination Committee
- Political Work and Foreign Relations Committee
- Money and Investments Committee
The remarks at the end of the bylaws note that the International Shura Council (leadership council) directed them to achieve eight goals. Among them were:
-"Collecting of donations for the Islamic Resistance Movement from the Ikhwan and others."
-"Bringing to the media light the case of [HAMAS founder] Sheik Ahmad Yasin and his ailing condition."
-"Making use of what relationships the Ikhwan have in all fields and gatherings to serve the cause."
Additionally, the internal memo notes that the president of IAP was a member of a section affiliated with the executive council. This establishes that these organizations, including IAP, were members of the Palestine Committee established by the Muslim Brotherhood, and that their leaders sat on the Committee.
In another development yesterday, prosecutors introduced a wiretap conversation between defendants Shukri Abu Bakr and Ghassan Elashi, in which they discussed IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson. Emerson first uncovered the ties between HLF and HAMAS in his 1994 PBS documentary, Jihad in America.
In the Aug. 2, 1995 call, Abu Bakr and Elashi discuss a Dallas Morning News editorial concerning U.S. plans to extradite Hamas political leader Musa Abu Marzook, who had been arrested while entering the country at John F. Kennedy airport in New York on an Israeli request that he face murder charges there.
Elashi reads from the editorial, which called for Marzook to be deported, but not to Israel. To release him, the editorial said, would send a message that America offers refuge to terrorists. According to a government transcript of the call, Elashi invokes Emerson's name after the editorial: "Sadly, Arab and Islamic organizations in America are perceiving the action against Mr. Marzook as 'anti-Islam' and 'anti-Arab.'"
"He says 'sadly,'" Elashi repeats. "Doesn't that bring you to Steven Emerson?" "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Abu Bakr responds. "Don't be surprised if Steven Emerson is the one who wrote it."
Elashi also expresses concern that the Morning News "is referring to us in a way or another" when it mentions the FBI has noted terrorist cells were operating in North Texas.
Contributing Editor Steven Emerson, President of The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and the author of five books on these subjects, most recently "Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US." Steve also writes for the Counterterrorism Blog.
By JOSH GERSTEIN
June 4, 2007
Federal prosecutors have named three prominent Islamic organizations in America as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas.
Prosecutors applied the label of "unindicted co-conspirator" to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the North American Islamic Trust in connection with a trial planned in Texas next month for five officials of a defunct charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
While the foundation was charged in the case, which was filed in 2004, none of the other groups was. However, the co-conspirator designation could be a blow to the credibility of the national Islamic organizations, which often work hand-in-hand with government officials engaged in outreach to the Muslim community.
A court filing by the government last week listed the three prominent groups among about 300 individuals or entities named as co-conspirators. The document gave scant details, but prosecutors described CAIR as a present or past member of "the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee and/or its organizations." The government listed the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust as "entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood."
The secretary-general of the Islamic Society of North America, Muneer Fareed, said his group was surprised to be named in the Texas case. "I can tell you categorically that the current administration of ISNA, as well as its stakeholders, they have no connection to my knowledge with any Holy Land foundations," he said.
Mr. Fareed denied his group has any ties to Hamas, though he said it is difficult to police all 300 mosques under his umbrella. "We might have a kid whose dad was president of Hamas for all I know," he said. "How do you verify these things?"
The Islamic official expressed frustration at the lack of detail in the prosecution's filing. "Perhaps there's some evidence. I just don't really know what it is," he said.
Spokesmen for CAIR did not respond to messages seeking comment yesterday. Efforts to contact the North American Islamic Trust were unsuccessful.
The identification of the alleged co-conspirators could aid prosecutors when the Holy Land Foundation and five of its officials, Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulraham Odeh, go to trial on July 16 in Dallas. Statements by and about co-conspirators are exempt from rules barring hearsay.
Judge A. Joe Fish will have to decide whether to accept the government's description of the alleged conspiracy.
The practice of publicly naming unindicted co-conspirators is frowned on by some in the legal community, chiefly because there is no trial or other mechanism for those named to challenge their designation. Justice Department guidelines discourage the public identification of unindicted co-conspirators by the government.
"In all public filings and proceedings, federal prosecutors should remain sensitive to the privacy and reputation interests of uncharged third-parties," the Justice Department's manual for prosecutors says. When co-conspirator lists have to be filed in court, prosecutors should seek to file them under seal, the guidelines say.
In practice, the lists are often made public. A list of co-conspirators was released in connection with the federal trial in 2005 of a former college professor, Sami Al-Arian, on terrorism support charges. However, when Enron executives went on trial last year, the list of alleged co-conspirators was kept under seal. Prosecutors on the Holy Land Foundation case could not be reached yesterday and did not respond to an e-mail.
The inclusion of the Islamic groups on the list of alleged conspirators could give ammunition to critics of the organizations. CAIR, in particular, has faced persistent claims that it is soft on terrorism. Critics note that several former CAIR officials have been convicted or deported after being charged with fraud, embargo violations, or aiding terrorist training. Spokesmen for the group have also raised eyebrows for offering generic denunciations of terrorism but refusing to condemn by name specific Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah.
In addition, one of the Holy Land Foundation defendants, Ghassan Elashi, founded CAIR's Texas chapter. CAIR's Washington office was also set up in 1994 with $5,000 in seed money from the foundation, according to congressional testimony by a researcher into Islamic extremism, Steven Emerson.
Last year, Senator Boxer of California, a Democrat, withdrew an award she gave to an official at a local CAIR chapter. She said she had concerns about statements by some CAIR officials and about claims of financial links to terrorism. Many FBI officials meet regularly with CAIR representatives and clerics from the Islamic Society of North America.
A New York Times article published in March said unidentified government officials believed that the criticism of CAIR was unwarranted. A former FBI official, Michael Rolince, said yesterday that the co-conspirator designation might prompt CAIR to be more direct in denouncing terrorism but was no reason to cut off all contact with the group.
"People could say the same thing about the FBI. They're not all choirboys," he said. "We don't go into this with blinders on."
Separately, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, Steve McGonigle, is fighting the prosecution's efforts to call him as a witness at the Holy Land Foundation trial.
In filing to quash the subpoena last week, Mr. McGonigle said prosecutors want to question him about an interview that he conducted in 1999 with the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. Yassin, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in 2004, denied any connection between Holy Land Foundation and Hamas.
However, Mr. McGonigle reported that records showed that the foundation sometimes singled out the families of Hamas "martyrs" for assistance.
Mr. McGonigle's lawyer said his client could be targeted by terrorists if he forced to testify. "A journalist who is perceived to have acted as an agent for the U.S. Government will almost inevitably be placed at a substantially greater risk when on assignment in the Middle East," the attorney, Paul Watler, wrote.
By Daniel Pipes
June 27, 2003
For several years, one of my severest and most persistent critics has been one Randall ("Ismail") Royer, an American convert to Islam. Here's a typical comment of his from his weblog dated Sept. 17, 2002: after calling me a "pop bigot" he comments on my "War on Campus" article with the following elevated and elegant commentary: "[Pipes] has served up another steaming shovelful of fertilizer. What a joy it is to read this guy. His stuff requires no real effort to deconstruct, no deliberate propaganda analysis to realize how he intends to deceive the reader."
I mention this unsavory person because today he was indicted and arrested for his association with terrorism, specifically his having joined the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba, traveled to Pakistan, done propaganda work for it, and "fired at Indian positions in Kashmir." In addition, the indictment also states that Royer "possessed in his automobile an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition" in September 2001. The grand jury charges that Royer "did unlawfully and knowingly begin, provide for, prepare a means for, and take part in a military expedition and enterprise to be carried on from the United States against the territory and dominion of India, a foreign state with whom the United States was at peace."
It's also worth noting that Royer was working for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), militant Islam's most aggressive political organization in North America, when he began training with Lashkar-e-Taiba. (He served there variously as a communications specialist and a civil rights coordinator; see an IslamOnline "Live Dialogue" for him sharing a by-line with CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad.) This means that CAIR now has a record of at least two former employees indicted and arrested in 2003 on terrorism charges; the other was Bassem Khafagi, CAIR's director of community relations before his arrest this January. Oh, and one must not forget that a member of CAIR's advisory board, Siraj Wahhaj, was named as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments nearly a decade ago. So, CAIR not only apologizes for terrorism but is now implicitly accused of having more direct links to it. (June 27, 2003)
Defendant Randall T. Royer, shown at far right at a hearing in June, faces at least 20 years in prison. Credit: William J. Hennessy Jr. for The Washington Post
July 9 update: Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg argued in court, reports Karen Branch-Brioso in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that Royer is "dangerous … and should be kept in jail pending trial." As proof, Kromberg offered several pieces of evidence, including these two: (1) Royer's admission in his testimony before a federal grand jury in St. Louis last year that he fought with jihadists in Bosnia under one Abu Zubar, who had been "sent by Osama bin Laden to Bosnia." (2) Ramon Royer, Ismail's father, having rented a room in his St. Louis-area home in 2000 to Ziyad Khaleel (also known as Ziyad Sadaqa), a student at Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. Khaleel bought the satellite phone carried to Afghanistan by Tarik Hamdi (on which, see my article, "Bin Laden and Herndon, Virginia") and used by Al-Qaeda for planning the two U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa in August 1998. Kromberg said this showed how "the connections between Lashkar-e-Taiba and al-Qaida are manifold."
July 12 update: Royer's attempt to get out on bail was denied yesterday, and so will have to remain in jail until the expected November trial. The key reason for the bail refusal, according to The Washington Post, is that the judge was "not satisfied with Royer's explanation of why he had an AK-47-style rifle and more than 200 rounds of ammunition when stopped by Alexandria police" in September 2001. If convicted, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds, Royer faces up to 55 years on the weapons charges alone.
Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR's Texas chapter and businessman convicted of terrorism-related charges.
July 31 update: A feisty organization called Anti-CAIR put out a notice today pointing to the fact that when Royer was driving around the Washington, D.C. area in September 2001 with an AK-47-style rifle and more than 200 rounds of ammunition, he was not a former CAIR employee but an active one, as indicated by a USA Today story from that time referring to him as "Ismail Royer of the Council on American-Islamic Relations." So, to sum up: CAIR now can boast one former employee and one active-duty employee arrested on terrorism charges, plus one member of its advisory board named as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in a foiled terrorist attack.
August 26 update: In a breakthrough in the "paintball case," three of Royer's associates plead guilty, reports the Washington Post, admitting to such charges as conspiracy, discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, attending a Lashkar camp in Pakistan, illegally transportating a firearm in interstate commerce, and transfering a firearm for use in a crime of violence. Presumably, this development enhances the prosecution's case against the hold-outs, including Royer.
Sept. 9, 2003 update: Bassem Khafagi, the former CAIR employee, pleaded guilty today at a plea hearing of (1) making "false material statements" on his nonimmigrant visa application on Nov. 8, 2000, in Kuwait City, Kuwait and (2) passing bad checks for thousands of dollars at two U.S. banks in early 2001. Khafagi faces up to a $250,000 fine on the visa fraud conviction and 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each of the two counts of bank fraud. His sentencing is scheduled to take place on December 4.
Sept. 10, 2003 update: Matthew Epstein of the Investigative Project points out today in testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee ("Saudi Support for Islamic Extremism in the United States") that a fourth CAIR-connected person has been indicted on terrorism, money laundering or fraud related charges. Ghassan Elashi was, according to articles of incorporation filed with the Texas Secretary of State on September 29, 1998, a founding board member of CAIR's Texas chapter. Then, in December 2002, Elashi and his four brothers were charged with "illegal exports, making false statements on export declarations, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist, conspiracy, and money laundering."
Following the arrest of the Elashis, Steve McGonigle of the Dallas Morning News revealed (in "Aid push made for 5 tied to Hamas: Backers seek to raise $500,000 for Muslim brothers' legal team," currently available here) that CAIR's Texas chairman Mohamed Elmougy defended them: "All I can tell you is the community is behind the Elashi brothers, and they are caught in a kind of political game." CAIR was also active in funding Elashi's defense via a nonprofit entity called the Muslim Legal Fund of America. The Muslim Legal Fund of America's website, McGonigle notes, "lists its board of directors as a former board chairman of CAIR, a current CAIR board member, [and] a former president of the Dallas chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America."
Sept. 23, 2003 update: A fourth member of the alleged conspiracy pleaded guilty yesterday, reports The Washington Post. In addition to closing in on the remaining seven alleged members, the confession by Muhammed Aatique contains two points of interest. First, he answered in the affirmative to the judge's question "Did you understand that one of the countries against whom you might ultimately have to pick up arms could be the United States?" Second, he acknowledged that the paintball games the group had played were "conducted as sort of a military training," an admission that takes on added interest when one recalls Royer's sarcasm on this very point: "Ooooh, gosh, they have weapons," he told The Washington Post back in June. "I really resent the idea that a Muslim with a gun - he's a threat. A Jew with a gun - he's not a threat." Royer, a former spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sure has a way with words.
Sept. 25, 2003 update: The seven remaining men who have not pleaded guilty, including Royer, were accused in a new, 32-count indictment with conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban by battling U.S. troops in Afghanistan. At a meeting in Virginia shortly after 9/11, one unidentified co-conspirator is quoted saying that U.S. military forces in Afghanistan "would be legitimate targets of violent jihad" and that the group had a duty to fight them. These charges considerably up the ante; previously, the group had been indicted only on charges of helping Lashkar-e-Taiba against India.
Nov. 13, 2003 update: U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff today sentenced Bassem Khafagi to the 10 months of time already he has already served in prison, reports the Associated Press. It also indicates that "An immigration judge ordered Khafagi deported in August. He is expected to be deported soon to his native Egypt, where he is to join his wife and U.S.-born children."
Jan. 16, 2004 update: Back in August 2003, not long after his arrest, Royer stated that U.S. government "policy is to look for any tiny thing they can bust people on, to arrest them, to have them under control." Well, today that "tiny thing" turned out not to be so tiny. This is the day that Randall Todd Royer entered his surprise plea in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, of guilty to one count of using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and with carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony. He faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. Royer said he took "full responsibility for my actions" as he entered the plea. His lawyer, John Nassikas, said Royer admits that an object of the conspiracy was to fight against India in violation of U.S. law. His lawyer, John Nassikas, said Royer admits that an object of the conspiracy was to fight against India in violation of U.S. law. His father, Ramon Royer, explained Randall's guilty plea as choosing to accept the lesser charges rather than face the more severe charges at trial. "It's a trade-off between that less than 20 years or, if he went to trial, he had a chance to go to jail for the rest of his life. What he had to put in balance is four kids and a wife - and whether he'd ever see them again."
Jan. 23, 2004 update: The plot thickens with the news, provided in fullest form in the Syracuse Post-Standard, that CAIR's former director of community relations Bassem Khafagi - whom last we heard from above on Sept. 9 when he pleaded guilty to two criminal counts - is connected to Rafil Dhafir, the Syracuse-area oncologist accused of illegally sending money to Iraq via a charity called "Help the Needy." Specifically, Khafagi and Dhafir jointly "owned a Sir Speedy printing franchise in Ann Arbor, Mich., until 1998." The connection between the two - one an Islamist and the other accused of being a Saddam Hussein agent - appears to be their affiliation to the Michigan-based Islamic Assembly of North America. A major article on this organization in the Washington Post quotes court papers describing it as engaged in the "dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism."
Mar. 4, 2004 update: In addition to the six "paintball" defendants who previously had pled guilty, three more of them today were convicted by a court in Virginia, one of them of conspiring to assist the Taliban. (One was acquitted and one more awaits trial.) This occasion brings the court case to near-closure and prompts some reminiscing about the skeptical reactions that some observers had about the government's case.
For example, when Randall Todd ("Ismail") Royer, a CAIR functionary and also a leader of the "Virginia jihad network," or "paintball brigade" was arrested in 2003, Reason magazine web editor Tim Cavanaugh was disturbed. Days later, in "Wahhabi Who? The strange case of Ismail Royer," Cavanaugh wrote that for him, the "real mystery" of the case was the involvement of Royer, "whose prior writings give little indication that he was a jihadist." Cavanaugh then cited a number of Royer's articles and characterized them as "outspoken … but pretty far from militancy" and concluded that until Royer's arrest a week earlier, "I'd have named Royer as somebody presenting the kind of moderate Islamic point of view everybody claims to want to hear. I'm still not sure I should be revising that view." To gild the lily, Cavanaugh quoted Ashraf Nubani, a Virginia attorney advising Royer, to the effect that Royer's "moderate views are not just something that he's prepared for this situation. These are opinions he has been saying in public for ten years."
Cavanaugh's affection for Royer extended to a sideswipe of author Stephen Schwartz (who had denounced Royer for his Wahhabi outlook and harassment of non-Wahhabi Muslims), writing, "just one person seems relieved that Ismail Royer" had been arrested. "That person would be Stephen Schwartz." (Cavanaugh seems to have missed the opening salvo in this weblog entry, where I also expressed relief at the arrest.)
But when Royer pled guilty to federal charges involving weapons and explosives on January 16, 2004, Tim Cavanaugh was strangely silent. Come on Tim, how about reminding your readers that you made this mistake? How about acknowledging that Schwartz was right in exposing that Royer claimed Wahhabism "is a figment of the imagination of extreme Sufis, Westerners, and others who feel threatened by authentic Islam"? And that Schwartz was right to denounce Royer's "harassment of the Saudi dissident Ali al-Ahmed of the Washington-based Saudi Institute".
More broadly, those inexpert in Islam, like Cavanaugh, only make fools of themselves when they defend what they imagine is the "moderate Islamic point of view" of criminal extremists like Royer.
Apr. 9, 2004 update: The U.S. Department of Justice announced today Royer's sentencing:
Royer, 31, pled guilty in January 2004 to a two-count criminal information charging him with aiding and abetting the use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and with aiding and abetting the carrying of an explosive during the commission of a felony. … Royer was sentenced today to 20 years in prison. Judge [Leonie] Brinkema sentenced him to serve 10 years in prison on both counts, and the sentences are to run consecutively. In addition, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release.
The press release goes on to point out that the government's investigation of "the Virginia jihad network" that Royer belonged to is continuing and that, under the terms of his plea agreements, Royer is "required to cooperate fully with the government in the investigation and prosecution of other individuals associated with this network."
Apr. 29, 2004 update: Joe Kaufman breaks the news at FrontPageMag.com today of what may be a fifth CAIR associate arrested for terrorism-related activities (the others are Randall Royer, Bassem Khafegi, Siraj Wahhaj, and Ghassan Elashi). His name is familiar and his arrest was back in 2002; the news is his connection to CAIR. He is Rabih Haddad, executive director of the Global Relief Foundation until its closing by the feds and Haddad's own arrest and eventual deportation. Kaufman found the following statement at a well-informed and apparently reliable website:
Rabih Haddad is an effective fundraiser for the mosques in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and for the Ann Arbor chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group.
Kaufman mentions this piece of evidence in the course of showing an extensive web of ties between CAIR on the one hand and Global Relief and another shuttered "Islamic charity," the Holy Land Foundation. He concludes from these connections that "in late 2001, CAIR appeared to be in violation of United States law, as in regards to the providing of material support to terrorists."
July 7, 2004 update: Ghassan Elashi - a founding board member of CAIR's Texas chapter - was convicted today of terrorism-related charges, along with four of his brothers (Bayan, Basman, Hazim and Ihsan). Specifically, they conspired to use their Dallas-are computer services business, InfoCom Corporation, to send seven illegal high-tech shipments to Libya and four to Syria, both of whose governments are declared state-sponsors of terrorism. In addition, InfoCom stood accused of undervaluing the value of shipments to help Middle Eastern customers avoid paying customs duties. As the Dallas Morning News sums up the three weeks of testimony, government witnesses established that the Elashi brothers "had run their company, InfoCom Corp., like an outlaw enterprise with little or no regard for export laws or lying to the government." Ghassan, InfoCom's vice president of international marketing, was convicted of three counts of conspiracy, one county of money laundering and two counts of making false statements about shipments. Another CAIR link to terrorism is thus established. Looking ahead, Ghassan and two brothers (Basman and Bayan) face another federal trial on charges alleging they knowingly did business with Mousa Abu Marzook of the terrorist group Hamas.
To sum up the state of CAIR's legal play: two of its associates (Ghassan Elashi, Randall Royer) have been convicted on terrorism-related charges, one (Bassem Khafegi) convicted on fraud charges, two (Rabih Haddad, Bassem Khafegi) have been deported, and one (Siraj Wahhaj) remains at large.
July 10, 2004 update: CAIR's Dallas-Fort Worth chapter responded to the Elashi verdict with the predictable mix of vitriol and victimhood, the Dallas Morning News reports. Khalil Meek of the chapter's board of directors told a news conference,
We believe that these convictions indicate a growing disparity and climate of injustice for Muslims. … This is not justice. This growing trend of selective prosecution only furthers much of the community's view that this is nothing but a witch-hunt against the Muslim community.
He added portentously:
This is not justice. … The injustice waged against this family, by which over 20 children were robbed of their fathers for their crime of being Muslims in America, is only part of the tragedy we witnessed. The other victim in this ordeal is justice itself.
It would be too much, I guess, to ask CAIR to hang its head when one of its board members is convicted of breaking the law by trading with state-sponsors of terrorism. But then again, perhaps its reaction suggests CAIR does not consider sending seven illegal high-tech shipments to Libya and four to Syria such a bad thing.
July 27, 2004 update: Almost three years after the U.S. government closed down the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, it today indicted this largest of American Islamist "charity" organizations and charged seven of its officers, including Chairman Ghassan Elashi, with providing more than $12.4 million to individuals and organizations linked to Hamas from 1995 to 2001. Charges in the 42-count indictment include conspiracy, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, tax evasion, and money laundering.
As usual when one of CAIR's own is indicted or convicted on a terrorism-related charge (Elashi was a founding board member of CAIR's Texas chapter), it stayed mum except to declare that it would "monitor" the indictments to make sure the seven "are granted all their legal rights." In a classic case of changing the subject, CAIR goes on to blame the indictment on "pro-Israel organizations and individuals" and to assert that the U.S. government "should not use evidence apparently tainted by foreign intelligence sources from a nation that has its own political agenda."
July 28, 2004 update: Newspapers have provided detailed coverage of the HLF indictment; perhaps the most complete is that provided by Toni Heinzl of the Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Dec. 16, 2004 update: I mention a threatened lawsuit by CAIR against the Cornell Daily Sun in an update today at "CAIR's Growing Litigiousness." It bears noting that the article that CAIR is complaining about, written by Sara Townsley, states that "five of its leaders have been deported, indicted, or convicted on terrorism charges." Townsley does not list those five, but five is the same number I list in my April 29, 2004 update of this entry, where I noted that the fifth of them, Rabih Haddad, "may be" associated with CAIR. My evidence at the time was not strong enough to assert the connection.
Now it is. In his Oct. 19, 2004, response to Townsley's listing, CAIR national legal director, Arsalan T. Iftikhar, on his own brings up Rabih Haddad's name and asserts defensively that Haddad "was deported on immigration, not terrorism charges" - thereby inadvertently confirming that Haddad was indeed associated to CAIR.
Dec. 30, 2004 update: CAIR is a defendant in an amended filing of a 9/11 class action lawsut. I provide details, draw some implications, and note CAIR's legal troubles ahead due to Anti-CAIR's counter suit at "CAIR Named as a Defendant in 9/11 Terror Lawsuit."
Feb. 7, 2005 update: In an important investigative report, Todd Bensman and Robert Riggs of CBS-Channel 11 News in Dallas find that three Elashi brothers (Ghassan, Basman, and Bayan) are more implicated in Islamist terrorism than had hitherto been known. They are closely associated with the directors and employees of a monthly internet publication, Alsunnah magazine, published by the Birmingham, England-based Centre for Islamic Studies. Alsunnah (properly transliterated As-Sunna, meaning the Way of the Prophet) is notorious for encouraging suicide attacks on American, British, and other coalition troops in Iraq, as well as attacks on Israelis. The magazine also calls for violent jihad to create a universal Islamic state. The magazine called for the overthrow of the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, and so was banned there.
Since 2002, Alsunnah's web site has been hosted by a Richardson, Texas-based internet service company, Synaptix Corp., and Bayan Elashi is the journal's primary administrative contact. Synaptix' local directors are either close relatives or former employees of the Elashi triad, including their mother, Fadwa Elafranji, and Ghassan's wife, Majida Salem. Synaptix's articles of incorporation list John M. Janney, the man who stole www.DanielPipes.com from me during 2000 (for that story, see "About www.danielpipes.org"), as a director.
Channel 11 quotes Sajjan Gohel, of the London-based Asia-Pacific Foundation, about Alsunnah. "Its openly aggressive attitude towards Israel has encouraged British Muslims, British Pakistanis, to go off to far away lands to carry out activities of militancy." In early 2003, Israeli military forces seized stacks of leaflets on the West Bank produced by the centre that called on shahids to kill Americans in Iraq and solicited funds for a bank account connected to the centre. Gohel specifically notes that Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, two Birmingham-area suicide bombers who attacked Mike's Place in Tel Aviv in April 2003, leaving three dead and 50 wounded, are believed to have read Alsunnah.
With focused, specific research like this, CAIR's links to the very most radical of Islamist movements are coming to light.
Feb. 7, 2005 update: CAIR is in total denial about Royer. Here is an exchange this evening on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes with Ahmed Bedier of CAIR's Florida office:
SEAN HANNITY: Did you not have a spokesman for your group at one time, a guy by the name of Royer that was on your staff that was convicted?
AHMED BEDIER: I think several years ago we had that individual in our group. And if you're inciting that somehow we're responsible for the actions or behavior of the individuals after they left our organization, that would be similar to somebody that worked for FOX five years ago and then commits a crime and FOX would be responsible for it.
Apr. 4, 2005 update: At the first day's trial of Ali al-Timimi, 41, who the U.S. government accuses of urging Muslims to move to Afghanistan to help defend the Taliban agains American forces, finds al-Timimi's lead defense lawyer, Edward MacMahon, shifting the blame to Randall Royer. As reported by AP's Matthew Barakat, here is what happened:
MacMahon said the real villain in the case is Randall Royer, a convert to Islam and a Muslim activist who had fought in Bosnia and trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba. Royer, a St. Louis native, was at the Sept. 16, 2001 meeting and had a long history of encouraging fellow Muslims to train with Lashkar, which the United States designated a terrorist entity in December 2001.
Apr. 13, 2005 update: More legal woes for Ghassan Elashi (a founding board member of CAIR's Texas chapter). To refresh the memory: Ghassan and four of his brothers were convicted on July 7, 2004 of supporting terrorism by sending seven high-tech shipments to Libya and four to Syria (the five still await sentencing). And today, Ghassan and two brothers were convicted of supporting terrorism by sending money to Mousa Abu Marzook, one of the leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group. Ghassan and one brother (Bayan) were found guilty of all 21 counts they faced, including conspiracy, money laundering and dealing in property of a terrorist. Another brother (Basman) was convicted of three counts of conspiracy and acquitted of other charges. The brothers are free pending their sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 1. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in jail.
Ghassan Elashi left the courtroom without comment. CAIR also kept its silence. And so did the mainstream media; although it widely carried the news of the Elashis' conviction, to the best of my knowledge not one old news source indicated the CAIR connection.
Apr. 26, 2005 update: For completeness' sake, let it be known that Ali al-Timimi, 41, a Ph.D. in computational biology and a self-professed Islamic scholar whom prosecutors described as enjoying "rock star" status among his followers in Virginia, was convicted today on all ten counts against him, including soliciting others to levy war against the United States and inducing others to use firearms in violation of federal law. The firearms convictions require mandatory life imprisonment without parole. Al-Timimi became the tenth member of the "Virginia jihad network" to be convicted; two were acquitted.
Aug. 13, 2005 update: In a rare response to my stating that "five persons associated with CAIR have been convicted, listed as an unindicted co-conspirator, or deported on terrorism-related charges," the CAIR rep in Sacramento, Basim Elkarra, replied, as paraphrased by Andrew Adams of the Lodi News-Sentinel: "a few members of CAIR may have been convicted for terrorist connections, but with more than 100,000 members, it's hardly fair or accurate to try and create terror links for the whole group based on just a few people." Elkarra is then quoted: "We can't take account for every single member."
Comment: Do I really need to point out that I am discussing not members but employees and board members?
Aug. 15, 2005 update: A sixth CAIR person connected to terrorism? That is the claim filed by the plaintiffs in Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka, et al. today in their "Amended RICO Statement Applicable to Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and CAIR-Canada." On p. 15, it names Mohammad Nimer as one of CAIR's "proven links to Islamic Terrorists." He works as the director of CAIR's Research Center and "also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the United Association for Studies and Research ('UASR'). The UASR is the strategic arm of Hamas in the United States."
Dec. 23, 2006 update: Elkarra dealt with the connections to terrorism one way and now Ibrahim Hooper, one of CAIR's central figures, deals with it in his own inimitable style. Here is an excerpt from a just-published article about me in Philadelphia magazine, January 2007 issue:
Pipes has long accused [CAIR] of being on the wrong side in the war on terror, a charge that CAIR's Hooper says is based entirely on innuendo and guilt by association - "on what my Great Aunt Tilly did in 1902."
Comment: I wonder how much longer CAIR's poobahs can blow off this problem with distortion and sarcasm, and when they will have to deal with it seriously.
Dec. 29, 2006 update: Nihad Awad found another, more aggressive way to respond to the terrorism-connection charges:
Nihad Awad, CAIR's top Washington official, vigorously denied the charges that CAIR has any links to terror groups and said the allegations are based on a "deliberate smear campaign" by individuals who cannot brook any criticism of the Israeli government. "We feel that the same crowd who is pushing these smears against CAIR is the same crowd as the neocons that pushed us into the Iraq war," he says. "They are trying to smear the Muslim community and they are trying to silence its voice. This takes us back to the McCarthy era."
Mar. 2, 2007 update: Corey Saylor, CAIR's government affairs director, has implicitly recognized that CAIR associates engaged in terrorism. Here is an excerpt from an article today by William Bender, "Sestak takes heat over appearance at CAIR banquet." Taylor
said Royer and Elashi were not working on behalf of the group, which he said condemns "any act of terrorism, whoever commits it."
"Some people try to hold us responsible for the actions of people that are associated with our organization. That's absolutely ludicrous," Saylor said. "You don't hold all of Enron responsible for what Ken Lay did."
June 4, 2007 update: Federal prosecutors have named CAIR and two other Islamic organizations, the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust, as one of the "unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers" in a criminal conspiracy to support Hamas, a designated terrorist group.
In a filing on May 29, prosecutors described CAIR as one of 53 "individuals/entities that are/were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee and/or its organizations." They listed ISNA and NAIT as two of seven "entities who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood." Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun reports that spokesmen for CAIR did not respond to requests for comment.
This development occurred in connection with the trial, scheduled to start on July 16 in Dallas, of five officials (Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Ghassan Elashi, Mufid Abdulqader, and Abdulraham Odeh) of the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, accused of sending funds to Hamas. This court filing listed some 300 individuals or organizations as co-conspirators.
What is an unindicted co-conspirator? Someone by and about whom hearsay is permissible in the courtroom. Here is a definition by legal journalist Stuart Taylor, discussing an entirely unrelated case:
The prosecutor is saying in essence in court … that we believe this man was part of the criminal conspiracy, along with the people who are on trial. We haven't indicted him but the relevance of that for the purposes of the trial is that [it] lets them get in more evidence about the unindicted co-conspirator's … out-of-court statements than they otherwise could. It's a way around the hearsay rule. … For example, if they want … one of their witnesses, to talk about what [a person] said to him, ordinarily that would be barred by the so-called hearsay rule. You can't … testify in a trial about what somebody else said out of court. That rule has a lot of exceptions. One of the exceptions is if the person who you're trying to quote … is named by the prosecution as an unindicted co-conspirator, then you can talk about what he said out of court.
Substitute "organization" for "man" and "person" and this description applies to the situation of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT.
- CAIR being named as an unindicted co-conspirator complements the fact that many of its staff and associates are associated with terrorism, as I have documented in this entry.
- It is only logical that CAIR, whose origins lie in the Islamic Association for Palestine, which was founded by Hamas, be legally investigated in connection with Hamas.
- This may be the first time since 1994 that the press could not find a CAIR spokesman for a comment. And in its daily "American Muslim News Briefs" sent out today, CAIR conspicuously does not mention its own predicament.
- If it turns out that there is substance to the CAIR-HLF connection, then CAIR will be caught out by the changed political and legal environment since 9/11. Put simply, Islamists can no longer get away with they what could before then. (I elaborated this in a different context at "Nike and 9/11.")
- Whatever the future brings, this designation will hang as a permanent albatross around CAIR's collective neck.