Two years ago, the executive director of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), Ghulam Nabi Fai (left), was riding high in Washington, D.C. circles. In March 2010, he hosted a pricey fundraiser in his own home for Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), the powerful chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia and co-chairman of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus.
In 2004, Fai testified before Burton’s subcommittee. Internal KAC documents show that in just 2007 alone, he had 33 meetings with members of Congress, congressional staff, the Bush administration’s National Security Council, and the State Department. He led congressional delegations to the disputed Kashmir region, and over the years nearly three dozen different members of Congress of both parties attended or spoke at Fai’s annual Kashmir Peace Conference held on Capitol Hill. KAC’s events were even broadcast live on C-SPAN.
One thing that bought Fai so much access was that Fai and the KAC board of directors generously spread campaign contributions all over Capitol Hill to members of both political parties. However, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the bulk of contributions by Fai, KAC’s board, and Fai’s associates went to Burton and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
That all changed on July 19, 2011, when Fai was arrested by the FBI not far from his Fairfax, Virginia home, where he had held the fundraiser for Burton sixteen months earlier. And just last month, a year after his arrest, Fai reported to federal prison.
According to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Sarah Webb Linden that was the basis for the criminal complaint, an extensive investigation into Fai’s activities showed that all of Fai’s efforts over the past 20 years had been illegally financed and directed by Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI.
The FBI affidavit stated that Fai was in constant contact with his Pakistani ISI handlers: since June 2008, Fai and his handlers exchanged more than 4,000 messages.
The FBI also found that Fai and KAC had received more than $4 million from the ISI since KAC’s founding in 1990 through the use of U.S.-based Pakistani-American straw donors who would donate to KAC and receive tax deductions, and then be reimbursed in Pakistan by the ISI. This was arranged through Fai’s conspirator Fazeer Ahmad, a U.S. citizen who lived in Pakistan and was charged along with Fai in the case.
These straw-donor transactions concealed that KAC was not an independent public relations effort by U.S. citizens to advocate on behalf of the Kashmiri people, but rather an influence operation run by the intelligence agency of a hostile foreign power, one intended to influence members of Congress to shape U.S. foreign policy in Pakistan’s favor. The stated targets for much of KAC’s operations were the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Read more at PJ Media