Federal prosecutors have named the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an unindicted co-conspirator in support of the terrorist group Hamas. CAIR joins Islamic Society of North America and The North American Islamic Trust as accused terror-supporting organizations in the case against The Holy Land Foundation's officers, as well as 300 other individuals and entities:
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. ...
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.
That identification will make some politicians nervous, but none more so than Keith Ellison of Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District. Ellison received their endorsement, after which he flew to Florida in order to speak to the group -- while CAIR barred the press from covering the event. He didn't bother explaining himself to Minnesota voters about his ties to the group during the election, but then again, he had plenty of assistance from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the New York Times in pushing back against his critics.
Their inclusion as a conspirator in the effort to fund Hamas should come as no surprise to people who have followed this story since 9/11. CAIR originally showed its support for Americans in 9/11 by encouraging donations to relief efforts -- and then sending people to the Holy Land Foundation -- the same group that is at the center of this prosecution -- for those donations. When they got caught, they changed the link to the Global Relief Foundation, which also got shut down by the feds for supporting terrorist groups.
The Holy Land Foundation has deep ties to CAIR. Its founder, Mousa Abu Marzook, also founded CAIR's parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine. Ghassan Elashi, HLF's chairman at the time of its closure, founded the Texas chapter of CAIR. Rabih Haddad co-founded the Global Relief Foundation -- and raised funds for CAIR. CAIR had direct links to both banned foundations, and at its most senior levels.
It's about time that CAIR got outed, and in a manner which shows the editorial boards of papers like the NY Times and the Strib as the saps and suckers they are. It's also time for Keith Ellison to explain his ties to CAIR and to either repudiate them or to resign his office.