CAIR Smears and Tries to Silence an IPT Fellow

IPT News
March 30, 2017

Using misleading claims and engaging in rank hypocrisy, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is waging a campaign to silence an Investigative Project on Terrorism senior fellow.

CAIR issued a news release Wednesday announcing its efforts to pressure the United States Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) into dropping Patrick Dunleavy as an instructor in “The Dynamics of International Terrorism” course. Dunleavy, who served as deputy inspector general for New York State’s Department of Corrections, focuses on prison radicalization.

It’s a topic he learned about first hand, including work on “Operation Hades,” an investigation into radical Islamist recruitment both in and out of prison.

CAIR’s release, however, ignored Dunleavy’s long record of accomplishment which includes serving as a consultant for the FBI and the International Association of Chiefs of Police on the National Data Exchange Program. He also has been a featured speaker at the United States Army’s Counter Terrorism Conference.

Instead, CAIR described a letter it sent to U.S. Air Force Special Operations Commander, Lieutenant General Marshall B. Webb, demanding Dunleavy be dropped from future programs. It cited three statements CAIR sees as “Islamophobic”:

1) “To Americans [morality] means individual liberty, equal rights for men and women, religious freedom, free speech, etc. But these are contrary to the moral code of Islam.” 2) “The concept of ‘friendship,’ . . .is a relationship based on at least some degree of shared moral and political ideals. By that standard no Muslim nation is a friend of the U.S.” and 3) “To many Muslim parents, visions of violence and death are indeed the ‘better future.'”

All three come from a 2011 article Dunleavy co-authored with Peter Gadiel, whose son James was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. As we’ll show, none of these statements is Islamophobic, as each is rooted in Quranic verses or is exhibited by disturbing numbers of Muslims throughout the world.

CAIR’s credibility should be considered first.

This is an organization deemed persona non grata by the FBI in 2008, based upon evidence agents uncovered which prove that CAIR was created as part of a Muslim Brotherhood-run Hamas support network in the United States. In addition to internal documents which place CAIR under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee,” CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad – the only executive director in the organization’s 23 year existence – is on the Palestine Committee’s telephone list. He also participated in a secret 1993 gathering of Hamas supporters in America who debated ways to “derail” the fledgling, U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords that at the time offered hope for a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestine Committee members could not accept a deal that recognized Israel’s right to exist and felt politically threatened by the elevation of the secular Palestine Liberation Organization to run a newly autonomous Palestinian Authority. Participants were encouraged not to mention Hamas by name. Rather, they were instructed to flip the spelling of the name, and talk about “Samah.” As this FBI translation shows, Awad dutifully followed these instructions.

In addition, CAIR not only defends people caught supporting terrorists, it often lauds them. Among many examples, it defended Palestinian Islamic Jihad board member Sami Al-Arian for years even after his conviction for supporting the terrorist group, and in 2014, chose to honor his family with a “Promoting Justice Award.”

It continues to laud convicted Palestinian bomber Rasmieh Odeh, who was responsible for a 1969 Jerusalem bombing that killed two college students.

This is the organization that finds Dunleavy unacceptable.

Officials already have reviewed all of Dunleavy’s USAFSOS presentations and told him that they found nothing offensive, and there have been no complaints from the students who attended courses for the past five years.

It’s worth noting that CAIR relies on one five-year-old article as the basis for its complaint. Potomac Books published Dunleavy’s The Fertile Soil of Jihad in 2011 and he is frequently published by the IPT and elsewhere. The absence of any truly bigoted statements is telling.

So is CAIR’s hypocrisy. Its website features a page devoted to debunking what it calls “Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories About CAIR.” (See the IPT’s analysis of CAIR’s false claims here.) On that “misinformation” page, CAIR whines twice about “guilt by association,” including a response to the number of CAIR officials who were implicated in terrorism-related cases.

Yet, the only other reason CAIR cites to disqualify him from the Air Force training is the fact that he’s an IPT senior fellow and CAIR does not like the IPT. It’s easy to understand why. We’ve done more to expose its history and highlight the radical views of its top officials and its opposition to law enforcement counter-terrorism efforts than anyone else.

But, again, Dunleavy has written more than two dozen articles for the IPT. CAIR cited none in arguing he “does not fit the U.S. military’s standards for a subject-matter expert” working with the dreadfully “Islamophobic” IPT.

The example CAIR does cite, as mentioned above, utterly fails to make CAIR’s case. First is the statement, “To Americans [morality] means individual liberty, equal rights for men and women, religious freedom, free speech, etc. But these are contrary to the moral code of Islam.”

That could sound bad. But looking at the world today, and the treatment of women, gays and other minorities living in majority-Muslim nations, individual liberty and equal rights are sorely missing. Right now, a Twitter hashtag is calling for the death of a Pakistani blogger named Ayaz Nizami. Nizami, an atheist, was among three people arrested last week and charged with blasphemy. #HangAyazNizami trended on Twitter in Pakistan afterward.

Polling indicates a shocking number of Muslims agree that death is the appropriate punishment for apostasy. In 2013, the Pew Research Center found 88 percent support among Egypt’s Muslims and among 62 percent of Pakistanis. Majority support also exists in Malaysia, Jordan and inside the Palestinian territories. More than a third of young British Muslims agreed.

No other religion today carries such risks for those who leave. Even Scientology stops at merely disconnecting people from their families when someone leaves the church.

Both Iran and the Islamic State execute homosexuals.

Meanwhile, most American mosques still segregate men and women during prayer, often sending the women into sparse and cramped back areas and side rooms. American clerics like Yasir Qadhi advocate a Saudi Arabian lifestyle for American Muslim women. Stay home and tend to your husbands, he preached. They “should not work, because their role is as wives and mothers.”

“You please your husband,” Qadhi said. “And in return your husband will give you the far more difficult things to do of earning money and doing this and that.”

This is a Muslim American cleric prominent enough to warrant an 8,500 word New York Times profile, preaching his view of Islam’s moral code in the 21st century.

There are Muslim reformers who want to change this mindset, and advocate for genuine equality for women and minorities. CAIR, like other Islamist groups, has refused to endorse their agenda and generally pretends they do not exist.

The second Dunleavy statement CAIR singles out: “The concept of ‘friendship,’ . . .is a relationship based on at least some degree of shared moral and political ideals. By that standard no Muslim nation is a friend of the U.S.”

In the Quran, verse 5:51 instructs Muslims not to “take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. Verse 9:30 calls on Allah to “destroy” Jews and Christians.

Finally, CAIR takes issue with his 2011 statement that, “To many Muslim parents, visions of violence and death are indeed the ‘better future.'”

This is certainly true among a disturbing number of Palestinians. Parents of Palestinians killed attempting to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis speak of their pride. It is routine for deadly attacks to be celebrated with people handing out sweets on Palestinian streets. Hamas media for years has indoctrinated children into jihad, using everything from training camps to plays and video productions showing young children pretending to be in combat. Hamas television even “martyred” a Mickey Mouse rip-off, and then sent a puppet bumblebee “to continue the path of Islam, of heroism, of martyrdom and of the mujahideen.”

CAIR has never condemned this indoctrination, and on a broader level, its officials refuse to condemn Hamas by name. In fact, they take great umbrage at the suggestion this is something worth doing.

But the organization does find time to smear a veteran law enforcement official and expert on radicalization because it does not agree with his message. It does not appear that the tactic will work in Dunleavy’s case. But it’s time for law enforcement officials, the military and the media to follow the FBI’s lead and recognize CAIR for what it is and simply dismiss such baseless attacks out of hand.

‘Explanatory Memorandum’ Detractors Ignore Evidence About MB in America

mb2by John Rossomando
IPT News
March 1, 2017

Some supposedly very smart, well-informed people are making ignorant and misleading claims in the debate over designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

The Trump administration is considering designating the nearly 90-year-old Brotherhood, which seeks a global Islamic state governed by religious law known as shariah.

Reasonable people can debate the merits. But a recent Washington Post column by Arjun Singh Sethi, an adjunct Georgetown University law professor, illustrates the way false information is being pushed by some opponents.

Designation would be “exploited and manipulated for political gain” and used to target otherwise innocent Muslim American groups, Sethi argues. It would be all the more outrageous because, “The Brotherhood doesn’t have a known presence in the U.S., most Muslim Americans know very little about it and no organization active in the U.S. has been shown to have any connection to it.”

This is entirely wrong, and there are Muslim Brotherhood documents in the public domain to prove it.

Sethi takes aim at one of those documents, a 1991 “Explanatory Memorandum” which calls for a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” whereby Brotherhood members in America work toward “destroying the Western civilization from within.” The memorandum also suggests that Islam represents a “civilization alternative.”

“This memorandum, of which there is only one known copy, has been widely discredited and called a fantasy,” Sethi writes.

That one copy, however, was seized by FBI agents from the home of Ismail Elbarasse, whom prosecutors describe as the “archivist” for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. If it was a fantasy, it was deemed sufficiently exciting to preserve. In addition, its author played a prominent role in the Brotherhood’s U.S. network.

Sethi mentions none of these facts. Neither do the Southern Poverty Law Center or the left-leaning commentary website Alternet, which cited Sethi’s column to dismiss those who point to Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the United States as “conspiracy theorists.”

Sethi further claims there is no evidence to show that “three of the largest Muslim organizations in the country — the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the North American Islamic Trust [NAIT] — are affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood” except for the explanatory memo.

This statement also is objectively, demonstrably false.

The explanatory memo, like most of the information known about a Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States, became public during the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) Hamas-financing trials held in Dallas. FBI agents seized a trove of internal documents – meeting minutes, reports and proposals – written by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. In addition, electronic surveillance picked up hundreds of conversations among Brotherhood conspirators.

Their task at the time was to run a series of political groups with the aim of benefiting Hamas – the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch – politically and financially. They united under the umbrella of the “Palestine Committee.”

In court papers, federal prosecutors noted that the Holy Land trial included “numerous exhibits … establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.”

NAIT, a subsidiary of ISNA, served as a banking outlet for HLF’s fundraising.

“HLF raised money and supported HAMAS through a bank account it held with ISNA at NAIT…,” prosecutors wrote in 2008, citing financial records admitted into evidence. “ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to ‘the Palestinian Mujahadeen,’ the original name for the HAMAS military wing.”

CAIR, meanwhile, is listed among the Palestine Committee’s own entities. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad is included on a committee roster and participated in at least one significant Palestine Committee meeting.

Other groups attracted law enforcement scrutiny due to their Muslim Brotherhood ties. The International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), for example, emerged from a 1977 meeting of Muslim Brotherhood luminaries from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, according to Growth of Islamic Thought in North America: Focus on Ism’ail Raji al Faruqi, written by Muhammad Shafiq, IIIT chair of Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.

A 1988 FBI report, obtained by the Investigative Project through a Freedom of Information Act request, identifies ISNA, NAIT and IIIT officials as “members and leaders of the Ikhwan [Brotherhood].”

The FBI document summarizes an interview with an unnamed source who notes that “all Muslim organizations founded under the direction of the IIIT leadership have been organized … in ‘the Ikhwan model,'” with the aim of recruiting support for an Islamic revolution in the U.S.

“… [H]istoricaIIy members of the MSA and subsequently NAIT, ISNA and the IIIT have been IKHWAN members,” the FBI document says.

In sum, FBI investigations and internal Muslim Brotherhood documents establish that, despite Sethi’s assertion to the contrary, there is ample evidence linking ISNA, NAIT and CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood.

His dismissal of the explanatory memo is similarly misguided.

Its author, Mohamed Akram, played a prominent role on the Palestine Committee, identified in an internal 1991 document as the Central Committee secretary. He sat on the group’s “Central Committee” with Hamas political leader Mousa abu Marzook.

Akram’s name also appears immediately following Marzook’s name on the Palestine Committee’s internal telephone. In 1990, Akram reported on projects for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s board of directors known as the Majlis al-Shura. The Shura councils in various countries all “report directly to the IMB [international Muslim Brotherhood]’s leadership,” a 2010 Department of Justice affidavit filed in a deportation case said.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood maintains supporters in the United States. The IPT documented the connections between old Palestine Committee entities and the anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine.

And members of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) and Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR) openly display their Brotherhood loyalties on Facebook. EAFJ founding board member Hani Elkadi posted a cartoon of a man holding a sign with the Brotherhood logo and the words which translate to, “I am [Muslim] Brotherhood and I’m not threatened.”

Memo’s Ambitions Weren’t New

Sethi is not the first to try to discredit the explanatory memo., The Bridge Initiative, an arm of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, argued a year ago that the document was merely “one man’s utopian vision.”

“If it occupied a central place in a Muslim movement to take over America, one would think his supporters would have taken up his idea and spread it in popular and academic circles. But that’s not so,” the Bridge Initiative Team wrote.

It’s a sweeping assertion. And it’s not true. The Brotherhood has a multi-generational plan for establishing a global Islamic state. Its U.S.-based followers have repeatedly detailed their ideas for making it so.

The 1988 FBI FOIA document describes a “six phase … plan to institute Islamic Revolution in the United States” to be executed in part by the IIIT.

The scheme was rooted in a 1983 book called “The Muslim Brotherhood.” Like the “Explanatory Memorandum,” the book emphasizes institution building and Muslim evangelization (dawah) as a prelude for jihad.

“We want to make the whole world bow before the word of Allah, author Saeed Hawwa wrote. “The command of Allah is: ‘And fight with them till no mischief remains, and the religion is all for Allah.'”

Coincidentally, Akram mentions “six elements” of a general strategic plan adopted by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura council in 1987 in the “Explanatory Memorandum.” The memorandum likewise aimed to unify and direct Muslim efforts to present Islam as a “civilization alternative.”

IIIT publications still denigrate Western civilization in the name of Islam.

The “problems and challenges faced by Western civilization in the contemporary era no longer find solutions on the social and economic levels of Western civilization,” Adel Husein wrote in a 2013 IIIT paper. He suggests that Islam offers the solution: “Great revolutions are usually fueled by a solid doctrine, and Islam, in particular, embodies such a doctrine.”

Officials with other American Islamist groups advocate ideas similar to Akram’s.

Shamim Siddiqi, a past dawah director for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) similarly offered Islam as the solution. (Siddiqi remains recommended reading for ICNA members.)

In his 1989 book, The Methodology of Dawah, Siddiqi argues that Islam should be made “dominant in the USA” through the work of Muslim organizations. Muslims should help Americans view Islam as “an alternate way of life” for the problems of the day, Siddiqi wrote in his 1996 book, The Revival. Evangelizing the American intelligentsia will result in a “demand for an Islamic society and state,” he wrote.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ultimate goal is a global Islamic State, one that includes the United States. FBI agents have interviewed people with direct knowledge of those efforts and seized internal documents of a network engaged in the slow work of realizing that dream.

Those who dismiss the explanatory memorandum as one man’s fantasy either never bothered to look for corroborating evidence, or they know better and hope to fool the American people.

Also see:

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support

hamas-pleaIPT NewsJanuary 12, 2017:

As President Obama’s tenure reaches its final days, Islamists in the United States are waging a furious lobbying campaign aimed at securing the freedom of five men convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.

An open campaign urges the president to pardon five former officials from the defunct, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), casting them as victims of “anti-Muslim hysteria” triggered by the 9/11 attacks. In 2008, a jury convicted the five – Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader – of using a network of Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas to funneling money to the terrorist group.

It is not clear whether the requests to pardon the five, or to commute their sentences and release them from prison, is being considered seriously. Obama’s pardons thus far involved somewhat less serious crimes including fraud, embezzlement and non-violent drug offenses.

But advocates are pushing social media campaigns and online petitions aimed at securing a pardon, or, short of that, a commutation of the five men’s sentences to set them free. The campaign also has enlisted support from at least one member of Congress.

Left unspoken is an undeniable truth behind the pardon/commutation campaign, and behind any ongoing defense of the Holy Land Foundation: Advocates do not believe Hamas support is wrong.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is leading the charge, supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and pro-Palestinian groups.

CAIR’s appeal provided a White House switchboard number for supporters to call and request commutations. Some sites even include contact information for key members of Congress, urging supporters to emphasize the “cruelly disproportionate” length of sentences – from a low of 15 years for El-Mezain, to 65-year terms for Baker and Elashi.

CAIR’s Arizona director Imraan Siddiqi described the prosecution as “a political lynching of charity workers … Its effects still haunt American Muslims.”

After reviewing the entire record in 2011, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw it quite differently.

Pleas from the MLFA and Siddiqi ignore the exhibits – many of them internal HLF and related documents – showing the family ties between some defendants and Hamas leaders, a reliance on Hamas officials to speak at HLF fundraisers along with other, consistent pro-Hamas messages.

In addition, records show, HLF (formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund) was part of a network called the “Palestine Committee” in the United States. That committee answered to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s mandate that global chapters create “Palestine Committees” in their home countries. Their task was “to support Hamas from abroad,” the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the convictions and sentences. In the United States, that task fell in part to Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who helped create HLF and two other branches – a propaganda wing known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a think-tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR).

CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee after its 1994 founding.

“The evidence showed that the long-standing connection between HLF and Hamas began in the late 1980s when HLF arose as a fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee …” the appeals court ruling said. “This fact was notably evident from the … [internal Palestine Committee] documents, which showed that HLF was created along with the IAP.” In addition, Palestine Committee bylaws “specifically recognized HLF as ‘the official organization for fundraising.'”

HLF apologists claim the group was merely interested in helping needy widows and orphans. But, the court pointed out, the orphans included Yehia Ayyash’s children. Ayyash was Hamas’s top bomb maker, nicknamed “The Engineer,” before being killed by Israel.

“An audio tape from 1996 that was seized from HLF’s offices contained songs praising Hamas and discussions of suicide bombers as heroes,” the ruling said.

“We believe that a jury could not help but infer from the above evidence that the defendants had a close association with Hamas and that HLF acted to fund Hamas both before and after Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

Still, CAIR’s Texas chapter called the five convicted HLF officials “humanitarians,” and described their imprisonment as “an immense wrong.” It cited defense attorney Nancy Hollander’s claim that there was no evidence showing her client, HLF executive director Shukri Abu Baker, breaking the law. “Not a word from his lips that he hated Jews. Not a word from his lips that he supported Hamas. These were fictions,” Hollander said.

1933That cannot be said for Mufid Abdulqader, who performed and acted in a singing troupe that helped raise money for HLF at IAP events. In this video, admitted into evidence during the 2008 trial, he is shown wearing camouflage and a kaffiyeh as he sings, “I am Hamas, O dear ones … I swear to wipe out the name of the Zionist. And protect my land, Palestine.” Then, he pretends to strangle an actor portraying an Israeli.

Hollander failed to mention that Baker ran HLF and was responsible for who spoke and what was said at its fundraisers. Those events routinely featured Hamas leaders and activists. She also neglected to mention her client’s participation in a secret 1993 Philadelphia gathering of Hamas members and supporters who schemed about how to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo peace accord without coming off looking like terror supporters.

It was Baker who set a key ground rule for the talks, which were secretly recorded and translated by the FBI: No one should mention Hamas by name, he instructed. Instead, call it “Sister Samah,” which is Hamas spelled backward.

The gathering, Baker said, was “a joint workshop between the Holy Land Foundation and the IAP.” Participants should not mention Hamas by name.

Hollander then compared the HLF case – brought against a handful of men with documented and recorded connections to Hamas – to the mass internment of 117,000 Japanese American men, women and children during World War II.

The current campaign would settle for a sentencing commutation, essentially freeing the men on time served. The sentences, from 15 to 65 years in prison, were overly harsh, advocates say.

But the Fifth Circuit had considered this, too, rejecting defense department arguments. Its ruling noted that the probation office’s presentence recommendations included significant terrorism enhancements because HLF gave money to Hamas “in order to rid Palestine of the Jewish people through violent jihad, HAMAS’ mission.”

It added that “the trial was replete with evidence to satisfy application of the terrorism enhancement because of the defendants’ intent to support Hamas. The Hamas charter clearly delineated the goal of meeting the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with violent jihad and the rejection of peace efforts and compromise solutions. The defendants knew that they were supporting Hamas, as there was voluminous evidence showing their close ties to the Hamas movement.”

Those claiming the HLF defendants suffered an injustice, or that they somehow deserve relief, lie about this record or pretend it does not exist. To acknowledge reality is to shatter their own argument, or to come clean about their true feelings about Hamas terrorism. They know that’s a losing hand. It’s something Shukri Abu Baker talked about in that 1993 Philadelphia meeting.

They need to mislead people if they are going to be successful, Baker said.

“War is deception,” he said. “Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way … Deceive your enemy.”

CAIR: Cruz’s Muslim Brotherhood Bill Not About Terrorism

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Jan 26, 2017

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill seeking to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group is discriminatory leaders of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) claimed at a press conference Wednesday.

“We believe it has little to do with national security or terrorism,” CAIR’s spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.

He sees Cruz’s bill as part of a two-step strategy to designate the Muslim Brotherhood and attack groups and their leaders who “Islamophobes have falsely labeled as linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Hard evidence, however, links CAIR and other American Islamist groups to the Brotherhood.

A phone book introduced at 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas fundraising trial revealed that CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and fellow CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee. This committee came into existence as part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to support Hamas in America.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis noted in a 2009 ruling that the HLF trial evidence provided “at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas.”

Awad defended the Muslim Brotherhood at the press conference, saying it has been “part in parcel of the democratic process” that it believes in democracy. Banning it for ideological reasons “is nothing short of shooting ourselves in the foot as the biggest democracy or the strongest democracy in the world,” Awad said.

Cruz’s bill would direct the secretary of state to tell Congress whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization. President Trump reportedly is considering an executive order accomplishing the bill’s objectives.

CAIR also protested Trump’s proposed executive order curtailing immigration and visas from majority Muslim countries such as Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran. With the exception of Iran, all of these countries have barely functioning central governments and are in the midst of raging civil wars. It also contested President Trump’s order halting the processing of Syrian refugees and ordering the creation of safe zones inside Syria for them.

Awad cast the orders as anti-Muslim and bigoted.

“Never before in our country’s history have we purposely as a matter of policy imposed a ban on immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion or imposed a litmus test on those coming to this nation,” Awad said. “The orders will tarnish our image in the Muslim world, making us seem uncaring and hard-hearted.”

It’s not exactly without precedent. Early 20th century immigration laws barred those belonging to ideological subversives and polygamists from coming to the U.S. Ottoman authorities protested the latter for curtailing Muslim immigration to the United States.

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support

cair-plea

IPT News
January 12, 2017

As President Obama’s tenure reaches its final days, Islamists in the United States are waging a furious lobbying campaign aimed at securing the freedom of five men convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.

An open campaign urges the president to pardon five former officials from the defunct, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), casting them as victims of “anti-Muslim hysteria” triggered by the 9/11 attacks. In 2008, a jury convicted the five – Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader – of using a network of Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas to funneling money to the terrorist group.

It is not clear whether the requests to pardon the five, or to commute their sentences and release them from prison, is being considered seriously. Obama’s pardons thus far involved somewhat less serious crimes including fraud, embezzlement and non-violent drug offenses.

But advocates are pushing social media campaigns and online petitions aimed at securing a pardon, or, short of that, a commutation of the five men’s sentences to set them free. The campaign also has enlisted support from at least one member of Congress.

Left unspoken is an undeniable truth behind the pardon/commutation campaign, and behind any ongoing defense of the Holy Land Foundation: Advocates do not believe Hamas support is wrong.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is leading the charge, supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and pro-Palestinian groups.

CAIR’s appeal provided a White House switchboard number for supporters to call and request commutations. Some sites even include contact information for key members of Congress, urging supporters to emphasize the “cruelly disproportionate” length of sentences – from a low of 15 years for El-Mezain, to 65-year terms for Baker and Elashi.

CAIR’s Arizona director Imraan Siddiqui described the prosecution as “a political lynching of charity workers … Its effects still haunt American Muslims.”

After reviewing the entire record in 2011, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw it quite differently.

Pleas from the MLFA and Siddiqi ignore the exhibits – many of them internal HLF and related documents – showing the family ties between some defendants and Hamas leaders, a reliance on Hamas officials to speak at HLF fundraisers along with other, consistent pro-Hamas messages.

In addition, records show, HLF (formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund) was part of a network called the “Palestine Committee” in the United States. That committee answered to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s mandate that global chapters create “Palestine Committees” in their home countries. Their task was “to support Hamas from abroad,” the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the convictions and sentences. In the United States, that task fell in part to Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who helped create HLF and two other branches – a propaganda wing known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a think-tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR).

CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee after its 1994 founding.

“The evidence showed that the long-standing connection between HLF and Hamas began in the late 1980s when HLF arose as a fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee …” the appeals court ruling said. “This fact was notably evident from the … [internal Palestine Committee] documents, which showed that HLF was created along with the IAP.” In addition, Palestine Committee bylaws “specifically recognized HLF as ‘the official organization for fundraising.'”

HLF apologists claim the group was merely interested in helping needy widows and orphans. But, the court pointed out, the orphans included Yehia Ayyash’s children. Ayyash was Hamas’s top bomb maker, nicknamed “The Engineer,” before being killed by Israel.

“An audio tape from 1996 that was seized from HLF’s offices contained songs praising Hamas and discussions of suicide bombers as heroes,” the ruling said.

“We believe that a jury could not help but infer from the above evidence that the defendants had a close association with Hamas and that HLF acted to fund Hamas both before and after Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

Still, CAIR’s Texas chapter called the five convicted HLF officials “humanitarians,” and described their imprisonment as “an immense wrong.” It cited defense attorney Nancy Hollander’s claim that there was no evidence showing her client, HLF executive director Shukri Abu Baker, breaking the law. “Not a word from his lips that he hated Jews. Not a word from his lips that he supported Hamas. These were fictions,” Hollander said.

That cannot be said for Mufid Abdulqader, who performed and acted in a singing troupe that helped raise money for HLF at IAP events. In this video, admitted into evidence during the 2008 trial, he is shown wearing camouflage and a kaffiyeh as he sings, “I am Hamas, O dear ones … I swear to wipe out the name of the Zionist. And protect my land, Palestine.” Then, he pretends to strangle an actor portraying an Israeli.

Hollander failed to mention that Baker ran HLF and was responsible for who spoke and what was said at its fundraisers. Those events routinely featured Hamas leaders and activists. She also neglected to mention her client’s participation in a secret 1993 Philadelphia gathering of Hamas members and supporters who schemed about how to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo peace accord without coming off looking like terror supporters.

It was Baker who set a key ground rule for the talks, which were secretly recorded and translated by the FBI: No one should mention Hamas by name, he instructed. Instead, call it “Sister Samah,” which is Hamas spelled backward.

The gathering, Baker said, was “a joint workshop between the Holy Land Foundation and the IAP.” Participants should not mention Hamas by name.

Hollander then compared the HLF case – brought against a handful of men with documented and recorded connections to Hamas – to the mass internment of 117,000 Japanese American men, women and children during World War II.

The current campaign would settle for a sentencing commutation, essentially freeing the men on time served. The sentences, from 15 to 65 years in prison, were overly harsh, advocates say.

But the Fifth Circuit had considered this, too, rejecting defense department arguments. Its ruling noted that the probation office’s presentence recommendations included significant terrorism enhancements because HLF gave money to Hamas “in order to rid Palestine of the Jewish people through violent jihad, HAMAS’ mission.”

It added that “the trial was replete with evidence to satisfy application of the terrorism enhancement because of the defendants’ intent to support Hamas. The Hamas charter clearly delineated the goal of meeting the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with violent jihad and the rejection of peace efforts and compromise solutions. The defendants knew that they were supporting Hamas, as there was voluminous evidence showing their close ties to the Hamas movement.”

Those claiming the HLF defendants suffered an injustice, or that they somehow deserve relief, lie about this record or pretend it does not exist. To acknowledge reality is to shatter their own argument, or to come clean about their true feelings about Hamas terrorism. They know that’s a losing hand. It’s something Shukri Abu Baker talked about in that 1993 Philadelphia meeting.

They need to mislead people if they are going to be successful, Baker said.

“War is deception,” he said. “Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way … Deceive your enemy.”

IPT EXCLUSIVE: DHS Hires CAIR to Train French Officials

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by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 14, 2016

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) facilitated a training session last week for a French police delegation, in conjunction with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Community Engagement Office in Tampa, the Investigative Project on Terrorism has confirmed with DHS officials and other agencies.

This session stands in contrast with the FBI’s 2009 policy not to engage with CAIR outside of criminal investigations due to questions about the Hamas ties of its top executives. An FBI official wrote that “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.” That FBI policy toward CAIR remains in effect, and was publicly reaffirmed in 2013.

CAIR-Florida issued a press release Dec. 8 giving details of the event, and posted numerous photos of the French delegation on its Facebook page. The training session was devoted to showing the French officials “how to effectively challenge violent extremist individuals of all backgrounds and prevent hate crimes, while protecting civil rights and challenging profiling and discrimination,” the release said.

Several French counter-terror officials received this training, including a representative of France’s Ministry of the Interior and many police chiefs.

1915They presented Nezar Hamze, CAIR-Florida’s regional operations director, with a medallion bearing the French national colors and inscribed: “Public Safety Departmental Directorate at Bouches-du-Rhone / Discipline – Valor – Devotion.”

“We appreciated the opportunity to communicate how restricting liberty encourages hate crimes and violence and that preserving liberty and civil rights is key to preserving peace and security,” CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly said in the release.

This indicates that the thrust of this training was devoted to discouraging counter-terror activities within Muslim communities, which CAIR often has falsely represented as infringing upon the civil liberties of Muslims. CAIR officials repeatedly urge Muslim Americans not to cooperate with the FBI.

DHS and the State Department participated in this CAIR training of French officials despite the well-documented record of CAIR’s ties to terrorists. Internal Muslim Brotherhood records obtained by the FBI place CAIR and its founders at the core of a Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the United States known as the Palestine Committee.

CAIR’s Powerful Ties

CAIR officials enjoyed close relations with the Obama administration despite the FBI’s evidence linking it to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas. DHS/State Department coordination with CAIR is nothing new. The State Department sent CAIR officialsabroad to conduct foreign outreach.

The State Department hosted CAIR officials in October 2015 to discuss Syria and “the need … to challenge [alleged] aggressive Israeli actions targeting the Al Aqsa mosque compound, one of the holiest sites in Islam.”

Top CAIR officials repeatedly received White House invitations and participated in White House conference calls. DHS collaborates with CAIR on numerous non-public projects, and funnels anti-terrorism funds allocated by Congress.

CAIR received a sub-grant of $70, 324 from DHS in 2015, records show.

Hassan Shibly: Terrorist Apologist

Considering Shibly’s statements that Islamist ideology has nothing to do with terrorism and the rash of jihadist attacks that have rocked France since January 2015, his involvement in the training should be cause for alarm.

In an April 21, 2013 interview with OnIslam, Shibly said that, “American political scientists have made it very clear that those who commit acts of terrorism have nothing to do with religion and are often motivated by political, not religious, reasons. Actually, such attacks can never be justified and truly are nothing more than the result of having a twisted and sick mind.”

In a June 2014 blog post, Shibly argued that the purported “FBI entrapment program targeting the Muslim community” was an example of tyranny that strayed away from the “great ideals of liberty, equality and justice.”

In his view, the FBI manufactures terrorists through sting operations such as that against Sami Osmakac, convicted in 2014 on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of a fully automatic firearm.

“I’m concerned that the government’s own tactics turned him into a greater threat than he could have been on his own,” Shibly told the Tampa Tribune in a June 3, 2014 article. “There’s no need to enable a Hollywood-style plot … Would Osmakac have had the ideas and the means to do this crime but for the government informant?”

Shibly also is helping a family sue the FBI, alleging an agent unjustly shot and killed a friend of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev after hours of questioning in his Orlando home in 2013.

Independent investigations, requested by CAIR, completed by the Justice Department and a Florida state attorney found that Ibragim Todashev, a “skilled mixed-martial arts fighter,” attacked the agent shortly after acknowledging involvement in a separate triple-murder case in Massachusetts. Todashev continued charging after being shot, prompting the agent to fire more.

Shibly rejected the findings, saying only Todashev could “contradict the government’s narrative,” but he was dead.

Kareem Shora: CAIR’s Ally at DHS

CAIR-Florida posted this image of Hassan Shibly and Kareem Shora at the French delegation program.

CAIR-Florida posted this image of Hassan Shibly and Kareem Shora at the French delegation program.

According to a source, Kareem Shora played a key role in organizing the French delegation’s CAIR training. Shora serves with the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) and a Community Liaison Council with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

He has a long record of denying the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. Last July, for example, Shora claimed that it was an “unfortunate reality” that Muslims were portrayed as “more vulnerable” to “potential recruitment to terrorist activities…including those represented by Daesh.” Instead of devising ways to counter this “unfortunate reality,” Shora said that the DHS was trying to “promote the notion” that Muslims were no more likely than anyone else to be recruited into terror organizations:

“It’s not because they’re Muslims. They represent nothing of Islam. Daesh represents nothing of Islam or a state for that matter, quote unquote. So I think our position, as U.S. government, is to advocate that point every opportunity we get. And from a Homeland Security perspective, in order to build a society that’s resilient to all threats, regardless of the nature of that threat, our job is to make sure that these communities don’t end up being categorized as being vulnerable, because they are in fact the ones most suffering as a result of those attacks.”

Shora helped leading Islamist figures attend DHS meetings, including Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and, Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America, records obtained by the IPT through the Freedom of Information Act show.

DHS could have turned to any number of organizations and people to work with the French delegation. Choosing an Islamist group whose ties to a terrorist group rendered it persona non grata with the FBI is either a sign of dangerous incompetence or institutional arrogance.

Keith Ellison’s Disinformation Campaign

ipt2by Steven Emerson
IPT News
December 2, 2016

Confronted by his own words and facing a direct threat to his bid to become the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison flagrantly lied Thursday. We are releasing the full audio and transcript to prove this.

Two days earlier, the Investigative Project on Terrorism released audio of Ellison during a 2010 political fundraiser, criticizing what he saw as the inappropriate and disproportionate influence Israel carries over American foreign policy.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million,” said Ellison, D-Minn. “Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?”

In a statement Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it found Ellison’s comments “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” That’s because, “whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives.”

In an open letter to the ADL, Ellison falsely claimed that “the audio released was selectively edited and taken out of context.” He also claimed that he was merely “responding to a question about how Americans with roots in the Middle East could engage in the political process in a more effective way.” And then he chose to attack the messenger.

None of Ellison’s comments are true.

We have released the full audio of his remarks (click here to hear them and to read a complete transcript) to show no edits were made and to show the full context. Let him also explain this other clearly anti-Semitic comment he made: “But it makes all the sense in the world when you see that that country has mobilized its diaspora in America to do its bidding in America.”

Ellison and Context

As we reported, Ellison’s 2010 comments came during a fundraiser for Esam Omeish’s state assembly campaign. Omeish is a former president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group created by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. In 2007, Omeish was forced to resign from a Virginia immigration panel after the IPT produced video of him praising Palestinians in 2000 for learning that “the jihad way is the way to liberate your land.” A second video, shot two months earlier, shows Omeish congratulating “our brothers and sisters in [Palestine] for their bravery, for their giving up their lives for the sake of Allah.”

Just this week, Omeish posted a paean to the Muslim Brotherhood on Facebook.

Nihad Awad, the only executive director the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has ever had, also attended the Omeish fundraiser. Court records show Awad was a member of a Muslim Brotherhood created Hamas support network in the United States called the Palestine Committee. So was CAIR, the organization he leads.

Awad attended a pivotal 1993 gathering of committee members in Philadelphia, convened to discuss ways to “derail” the U.S. brokered Oslo Accords.

Palestine Committee members opposed it because it included recognition of Israel’s right to exist and because it empowered the secular Fatah movement over the Islamists in Hamas. We know this because the FBI secretly recorded the meeting.

He has never explained why he joined the otherspresent in referring to Hamas in the agreed-upon, yet crude code of reversing the spelling and speaking about “Samah.”

Six months later, Awad appeared in Miami, where he publicly stated that, after some research, “I am in support of the Hamas movement more than the PLO.”

When Keith Ellison stands before Omeish and Awad and asks whether it makes sense that America’s Middle East policy “is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people,” or when he says “that country [Israel] has mobilized its diaspora in America to do its bidding in America,” the context seems pretty clear.

Democrats should choose the candidate they think can best lead their party to success in the future. They might decide Ellison fits that description.

They do so armed with greater understanding of Ellison’s true feelings toward an issue pivotal for a lot of voters of all political persuasions.