By Patrick Poole:
In Part One, I explored the court documents in the case of Ghulam Nabi Fai, the executive director of the Kashmiri American Center (KAC) who admitted in a 26-page Statement of Facts at the time of his plea deal last December that he was an influence agent working for the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI. He penetrated the halls of Congress and successive administrations over a 20-year period to help shape U.S. foreign policy in Pakistan’s favor.
As noted in the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Sarah Webb Linden that was the basis for the criminal charges filed in federal court against Fai, he was in constant communication with his ISI handlers, exchanging more than 4,000 emails between June 2008 and his arrest in July 2011. According to the FBI, the ISI spent more than $4 million funding Fai’s operation, funneling money to straw donors in the Pakistani-American community. The operation was coordinated by Zaheer Ahmad, a U.S. citizen living in Pakistan who was charged along with Fai in the case.
As I noted in Part One, while the establishment media reported on Fai’s arrest, the story virtually disappeared from all of the leading news outlets. But while the U.S. media was ignoring the scandal entirely, the matter was the subject of considerable media scrutiny in Indian and Pakistani media.
Several months after Fai’s arrest, an extensive investigative piece (the only one ever published on the topic) by ProPublica noted Ahmad’s ties to Pakistani nuclear scientist Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood. Mahmood had met with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri prior to 9/11, wanting to help al-Qaeda obtain nuclear weapons. Ahmad told the ProPublica researchers:
In a phone conversation, Ahmad said he was free and working at Shifa. “Until this case is finished, I can’t discuss this,” Ahmad told a ProPublica reporter. “And it could be dangerous for you, too.”
Two days after the ProPublica exposé appeared, a bombshell report from the Hindustan Times placed Ahmad (Fai’s conspirator) at the meeting with Mahmood, Bin Laden, and Zawahiri just weeks prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Two days after that Hindustan Times article appeared tying him to the meeting with al-Qaeda leaders, Ahmad, who was living in Pakistan, dropped dead from a “cerebral hemorrhage”.
So within one week the following happened: ProPublica published an exposé examining Fai’s efforts on Capitol Hill on behalf of Pakistani intelligence; another report tied Fai’s charged conspirator in the case with meeting with Osama bin Laden just weeks prior to the 9/11 attacks; and the conspirator dropped dead.
Yet that was not sufficient to stoke the curiosity of the American media.
Why did this story get buried?
To summarize what we know of Ghulam Nabi Fai:
- He came to the U.S. to study under one of the top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Ismail Faruqi, who founded the International Institute for Islamic Thought, which was identified by U.S. Customs as the hub of terrorism financing in the U.S.
- Fai later served as national president of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), during which time, according to an email cited in the FBI affidavit, he began serving on behalf of his Pakistani ISI masters.
- He then served on the Shura Council for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
- The wife of ISNA’s longtime Secretary General and present Director of Interfaith Outreach Sayyid Syeed was one of the original incorporators of KAC. Syeed had preceded Fai as national president of the MSA.
- According to IRS filings, KAC’s Pakistani intelligence influence operation was launched with a $20,000 loan from the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which owns the property to hundreds of mosques around the country.
No doubt these organizations would say that their associations with Fai are ancient history and that they had no knowledge that Fai was operating on behalf of Pakistani intelligence.
But Fai’s involvement with these organizations continues to this day.
Federal prosecutors told the court in a sentencing memo that Fai’s cooperation with the FBI was lacking following his plea deal, particularly noting his lack of cooperation regarding “his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Pakistani terrorist groups.” (p. 9, fn. 3)
The story of the Pakistani ISI’s 20-year penetration into the heart of Congress, the State Department, the National Security Council, and the Pentagon should have been big news, especially since the U.S. government has identified the ISI as a terrorist organization in military tribunal documents.
But it wasn’t.
The media savaged Rep. Michele Bachmann and her congressional colleagues for daring to request an investigation into organizations that the U.S. government has gone into federal court and identified as front groups for the international Muslim Brotherhood yet somehow still considers helpful outreach partners. The story of how these same Islamic groups and leaders rushed to the support of Ghulam Nabi Fai and hailed Pakistan intelligence’s influence man on Capitol Hill as a hero even after admitting his crimes should be equally major news.
But it’s even worse than that. Fai was not only supported by these Islamic organizations, he served in senior leadership of these very organizations, which the U.S. government continues to consult with to help shape our domestic and foreign policy. These very same organizations are welcomed into the halls of Congress, the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon to this day.
That’s the reason I believe the story of Ghulam Nabi Fai, the Kashmiri American Council, and the Pakistani ISI is the biggest D.C. spy scandal you’ve never heard about.
The staggering implications of what federal prosecutors presented in court about this matter under any other circumstances would have shaken Washington, D.C., to its core. Instead, the political and media establishment closes their eyes in self-imposed blindness.
And in the end, it will be the American people who reap the consequences.
Read it all at PJ Media
Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia.