Senators Praise FBI's CAIR Freeze
February 24, 2009
Three United States Senators have written to FBI Director Robert Mueller praising a decision last year to cut off contacts with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and inquiring about other groups linked to a Hamas-support network in the U.S.
Republicans Jon Kyl of Arizona, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and New York Democrat Charles Schumer signed the letter dated Tuesday, which asked Mueller for additional information about the decision.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) broke the news last month that concerns over CAIR's roots in a Hamas-support network prompted FBI leadership to cut off contact with the advocacy group last summer.
In a letter obtained by the IPT, the head of the Oklahoma City field office cancelled a meeting with a group of local Muslim community outreach groups due to CAIR's involvement.
"[I]f CAIR wishes to pursue an outreach relationship with the FBI, certain issues must be addressed to the satisfaction of the FBI. Unfortunately, these issues cannot be addressed at the local level and must be addressed by the CAIR National Office in Washington, D.C.," the Oct. 8 letter from Special Agent in Charge James E. Finch said.
"We certainly support that action," the senators wrote, "and it would be helpful to us to understand the situation more fully." They asked whether the policy applies to FBI field offices as well as headquarters and whether there are exceptions. In addition, they asked whether the FBI has contacts with other organizations listed as un-indicted co-conspirators in the HLF case and whether other federal agencies knew about the Bureau's policy.
"Obviously, we believe this should be government-wide policy," they wrote.
Five House members also noted the FBI policy, sending their colleagues a letter warning them to "think twice before meeting with representatives of CAIR."
Evidence tying CAIR and its founders to the Hamas-support effort was disclosed during the prosecution of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). CAIR and its chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmad, were named un-indicted co-conspirators in the HLF case. Both Ahmad and CAIR's current national executive director, Nihad Awad, were revealed on government wiretaps as having been active participants in early Hamas-related organizational meetings in the United States. During testimony, FBI agent Lara Burns described CAIR as a front organization.
In a press release, Kyl said the senators want to "clarify the FBI's decision-making process and new policy, and help determine if further action by other federal government agencies is necessary."
Reader comments on this item
It's about time they got it right
Submitted by Woody, Mar 23, 2009 18:23
There is not one single Muslim organization in the United States that is not somehow associated with one terrorist group or another. When are the Senators and Congress going to wake up. Islamism is 100% completely about destroying our country and any others that do not subject themselves to Islamic rule. Wake up people, that's not to say that all Muslims are terrorists just that Islamism is, was and always will be the terrorist sect of Muslims.
This is good
Submitted by Don, Feb 25, 2009 19:29
But where are the other 97 senators?
At last some common sense
Submitted by Kate Sullivan, Feb 25, 2009 14:52
Thank the FBI and the senators for at last getting of the pot and
recognizing that this organization does not have good intentions
for our country.
Next Step on CAIR
Submitted by Andrew Cochran, Feb 24, 2009 16:39
The next step, as I wrote in my new post on The Counterterrorism Blog, is for either President Obama's OMB to issue a memorandum to the agencies forbidding all ties, or for Congress to add it to the FY 2009 omnibus approps bill still outstanding. Congrats on your great work on this and keep going!!