CAIR, a Washington, D.C.-based Muslim organization the government classifies as an unindicted terror co-conspirator – and which has, in fact, seen several of its leaders imprisoned on terrorism convictions – scoffed last week at congressional charges it was attempting to plant interns and staffers in key Capitol Hill offices to influence policy.
Last Tuesday, four lawmakers held a Capitol Hill press conference demanding three separate federal investigations of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., founder of the Congressional Anti-terrorism Caucus which has over 100 members both Democrat and Republican, was joined by Reps. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., John Shadegg R-Ariz., and Paul Broun R-Ga., in calling on the Justice Department to share with Congress findings that caused the FBI to officially sever ties with CAIR. The four also requested that the Capitol’s sergeant at arms determine whether CAIR had infiltrated congressional offices, and that IRS investigate the legality of CAIR’s non-profit status.
One document obtained during the investigation, cited by Myrick during the press conference, outlined a CAIR plan to launch an influence operation against members of key congressional committees, while planting CAIR staffers and interns inside congressional offices. Myrick and the others were particularly concerned that the CAIR memo focused especially on judiciary, intelligence, and homeland security committees.
In response, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper laughed, ridiculing the claims of the Congress members and accusing “Muslim Mafia’s” authors of racism and bigotry. He also claimed he’d received a faxed death threat, which he displayed during televised interviews.
Others leapt to CAIR’S defense, like DEMOCRAT Rep. John Conyers, Jr., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who said, “Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism.”
Even much of the media coverage echoed CAIR’s ridicule of “Muslim Mafia” and the congressional calls for investigation, while portraying the group as a moderate, everyday D.C. lobby group. Politico’s article was so favorable and one-sided, in fact, that CAIR showcased it on its website, along with MSNBC’s mocking, sarcastic attack on “Muslim Mafia” and the four Congress members, whom host Rachel Maddow compared with Sen. Joe McCarthy.
Inexplicably absent from most news reports was any mention of CAIR’s long and sordid history of terror connections, for which reason the FBI broke off ties with the organization last year.
The U.S. government has named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case, a scheme to funnel $12 million to Hamas. Federal prosecutors also listed CAIR as a member of the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
But that’s just the beginning. As former FBI agent Mike Rolf acknowledges in “Muslim Mafia,” “CAIR has had anumber of people in positions of power within the organization that have been directly connected to terrorism and have either been prosecuted or thrown out of the country.” According to another FBI veteran familiar with recent and ongoing cases involving CAIR officials, “Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters.”
Indeed, a review of the public record, including federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals that CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.
‘Spies’ on Capitol Hill?
“The alarm on the Hill isn’t over Muslim staffers but CAIR-sponsored staffers – people who happen to be Muslim who have worked for a front group with proven ties to terrorism,” author Sperry said. “That’s the issue, and CAIR knows it, which is why they’re so desperate to change the subject.”
The CAIR document cited by Myrick and other congressmen, obtained during the “Muslim Mafia” undercover investigation, says: “We will focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community. (For example, congressmen on the judiciary, intelligence, and homeland security committees.) … We will develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in congressional offices.”
According to “Muslim Mafia,” Internal CAIR communications and other documents reveal that CAIR has strategically placed operatives inside the federal offices of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., and Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., among others. Here are some that have been placed in congressional offices between 2006 and 2009:
Sestak aide Adeeba al-Zaman, for one, booked the congressman to speak at a $50-a-plate CAIR fundraiser in Philadelphia where he praised CAIR and Islam’s supposedly “peaceful” tenets. Sestak, a retired vice admiral, shared the spotlight with another special guest that night in April 2007 at the posh Hilton Philadelphia. As he and his congressional staff looked on, CAIR’s national chairman presented an award to the founder of Bridges TV – Muzzammil Hassan – who recently confessed to murdering his wife by decapitation.
Before serving as Sestak’s outreach coordinator, al-Zaman was communications director of CAIR’s Philadelphia chapter. Her stepfather serves on the organization’s board and also heads a local mosque, the Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, which is controlled by the Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, according to federal court documents.
Over at the Senate, CAIR has cultivated Muslim moles inside the offices of key Democrat leaders – including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on human rights. His aide Reema Dodin – who’s in regular contact with CAIR – is a Palestinian rights activist who organized anti-Israel rallies as a campus radical at UC Berkeley.
Commenting on the 9/11 attacks as a leader of the radical Muslim Students Association – which was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members – Dodin explained away the suicide attacks as a tragic but inevitable response to U.S. support for Israel, which she says is “angering” Muslims the world over.
“No one wants to stop and think that these young men, in the prime of their lives, choose to do this to themselves. “Maybe if you start to look at Palestinian (terrorists) as human beings,” she added, “you will stop the suicide bombers.”
Dodin went on to justify violent jihad. “Islam does teach that you must defend yourself,” she said. “You cannot lie down and allow yourself, your home, your property, your family, and your people to be consistently oppressed.”
At the same time, she condemned U.S. strikes against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, complaining that the military was “just going to hit innocent civilians.”
All told, there are now upwards of 50 Muslim activists working on Capitol Hill today, according to “Muslim Mafia.” Their growing presence raises alarms, counterintelligence officials say, because a stated goal of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is the infiltration of key government agencies and institutions like Congress.
Indeed, during a secret Muslim Brotherhood meeting he organized last decade, CAIR founder and former chair Omar Ahmad expressed the need to strengthen “the influence with Congress.” He argued for using Muslims as an “entry point” to “pressure Congress and the decision makers in America” to change U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and other policies.
The same FBI wiretaps reveal that CAIR’s other founder and current leader, Nihad Awad, early on proposed sponsoring internships and fellowships as a vehicle for infiltrating government “institutions.”
Until it recently ran out of money, CAIR had been doing exactly that – sponsoring congressional fellowships. In 2007, CAIR budgeted $50,000 for two fellows, according to an internal spreadsheet. It filled at least one of those fellowship positions that year.
In a 2007 report to Awad, a copy of which was obtained during 2008’s undercover operation, CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor reported that he “placed Samia Elshafie in the office of Representative Jackson-Lee.” Elshafie has acted as the congresswoman’s office contact for human rights issues.
Saylor, in a recent on-camera Fox News Channel interview, repeatedly refused to condemn the terror groups Hamas or Hezbollah.
Since the election, Saylor, a white Muslim convert, has worked with Jihad F. Saleh, a top Meeks aide and program coordinator for the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, to promote more Muslims into positions of power. They think the Muslim-friendly 111th Congress and the Obama administration offer fertile ground for planting agents for the cause.
“The past election was a watershed for the Muslim community,” says Saleh, a black Muslim convert previously known as Benny “B.J.” Williams.
Saleh, 34, has been busy conducting workshops for “Muslim professionals” to “capitalize” on the change in power and “ensure that Muslim Americans are prominent in the Obama administration.”
As Larry Shaw, CAIR’s national chairman, said recently: “We look forward to partnering with the Obama administration.”WND
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