"Concerns Raised Over D.O.J. Sponsorship of Islamic Convention"
by Steven Emerson
August 29, 2007
Multimedia for this item
SEAN HANNITY: Joining us now is the founder of the first counter-terrorism web site, InvestigativeProject.org, terrorism analyst Steve Emerson is back with us.
Steve, I really – I know the government is inefficient. I know they spend our retirement money. I know they don't manage things very well, Medicare, Social Security.
But tell me that our Justice Department is not going to co-sponsor a convention with this group that is an unindicted co- conspirator in this terror case. Tell me this is false, the Washington Times got it wrong, Audrey Hudson got it wrong. Tell me it's wrong.
STEVEN EMERSON: I wish I could tell you they got it wrong. But unfortunately, they got it right.
The Justice Department enlisted itself as a co-sponsor of the upcoming Islamic Society North America (ISNA) conference that is held – that's going to be held this weekend.
It is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, as detailed and revealed by the Justice Department's own papers, and was listed as an unindicted co- conspirator. And its links to Hamas in the past have been absolutely unimpeachable.
The question is, why would justice do this? And my only response is two things. One is that there is tremendous naiveté – when a group says they're against terrorism, somehow we just automatically believe them.
And two, they're people that have an ulterior agenda.
HANNITY: But, alright, now that we know and now that it has been exposed, and now that we know that, hey, if I was this unindicted co-conspirator group, and I was in this case in Texas, the first thing I would say is, "Even the U.S. government partners with us and sanctions us through this activity here."
Why don't they now admit they made a mistake and say, "Oops, sorry," and fix it?
EMERSON: Well, they've got 48 hours to do so. A letter was sent today by Congressman Pete Hoekstra and Sue Myrick to Attorney General Gonzales, deeply protesting this association and asking them to revoke its sponsorship of this event this weekend.
And I think – I think you're 100 percent right, Sean. They will use it as a defense to undermine the government's case.
HANNITY: But now they're one of 300 unindicted co-conspirators in this case. The group CAIR, which we have discussed at length on this program, is also one of them here.
You know, but the case of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), we're talking about top officers accused of raising money for the terrorist group Hamas here. These are not insignificant ties or charges or allegations.
EMERSON: No they aren't – not at all. The documents show that the Islamic Society of North America worked intimately with the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which actually sponsored those rallies that you just showed in the beginning of the show, of kids calling for a jihad and martyrdom throughout the United States.
ALAN COLMES: By the way, Steve, the Islamic Society of North America has put out statement after statement after almost every incidence of terrorism over the last few years, unqualifyingly condemning those acts of terrorism.
And doesn't unindicted co-conspirator mean that the government just doesn't have enough evidence against a particular group to do anything about it? That's what unindicted co-conspirator means. They can't indict.
EMERSON: No, it doesn't say can't indict; they said that they didn't indict.
COLMES: They don't have the evidence.
EMERSON: No, it didn't – no, the government – sometimes, the government lists people and in the future, they do indict.
COLMES: They're unindicted because they don't have the evidence to indict. That's what that means.
EMERSON: You don't know that, Alan, and I don't know that.
COLMES: Well, they'd be indicted if they did. If they had the evidence, they'd indict them, right?
EMERSON: There are sequences, Alan. And you don't know that there couldn't be a sequence here. All I'm suggesting here is that the material and evidence the government has submitted into court overwhelmingly shows that ISNA's claims that it's against violence and terrorism are lies. It's deception.
COLMES: Well, they've made that claim over and over. And again, unindicted means they don't have enough evidence to indict. The head of ISNA, by the way...
EMERSON: That's not the – listen, unindicted co-conspirator is not a clearance for being – someone being peaceful, ok?
COLMES: Because they have nothing to indict. If they had the evidence to indict, they'd indict. The head of ISNA accuses you, and this is his words, or her words, I should say, being hell-bent on marginalizing Muslim Americans and distorting their image to instill fear in the American public.
EMERSON: She's confusing ISNA with the American Muslim community. She wants to assume, and she wants you to believe, and the Justice Department to believe, that ISNA is the only representative organization of Muslims, and I dispute that.
COLMES: That's not what they're saying.
EMERSON: No? She is saying – she's saying that my attack on the organization is an attack on Islam. It's not. It's an attack on ISNA.
COLMES: You're attacking 300 organizations. You're attacking them, you're attacking CAIR, you're attacking Holy Land, you're attacking these 300 unindicted co-conspirators.
EMERSON: I am absolutely. All those groups that have ties to terrorism, I'm attacking. In the same way that David Duke is a racist – I would attack him. He hasn't been indicted. So don't tell me that unindicted co- conspirator is a sign of acquittal.
COLMES: Right, but If the government had enough evidence, they would shut these charities down, and they haven't done so, correct?
EMERSON: The government is starting to shut them down and has shut down the Holy Land Foundation.
COLMES: They haven't shut down ISNA. They haven't shut down the 300 that you have referenced.
EMERSON: Most – many of them don't exist any longer, Alan. If you had read the list and you would actually follow the evidence, you would see that.
COLMES: They're unindicted co-conspirators.
EMERSON: Alan, you're fixated on that as a sign of acquittal.
COLMES: I'm putting out the facts. They're unindicted co- conspirators, Steve.
EMERSON: They're guilty of – they are guilty of sponsoring or being associated with terrorist groups, period.
HANNITY: We are...
EMERSON: That's why they're unindicted co-conspirators.
HANNITY: All right. Steve, always good to see you.
Thank you for being with us. Appreciate your time.