The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that the Air Force Academy alter a panel of speakers slated for a terrorist symposium this week, saying it's an unbalanced presentation dominated by anti-Muslim speakers. But recently, and for at least the third time, federal prosecutors have called out CAIR as part of a covert Muslim Brotherhood effort in the United States. First, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas-support trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). CAIR was listed among "entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee." Then, when the group petitioned to remove its name from that list, prosecutors said such relief "will not prevent its conspiratorial involvement with HLF, and others affiliated with Hamas, from becoming a matter of public record."
Now, in a federal court filing from December, federal prosecutors have described CAIR as "having conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists." The government also stated that "proof that the conspirators used deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists was introduced" in the Dallas Holy Land Foundation trial last year and the Chicago trial of the Hamas men in 2006.
The government also stated that another organization, the Muslim American Society (MAS) was "founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States." This appears to be the first time the US government has officially described the true origins and ulterior agenda of the Muslim American Society. (For a backgrounder on the Muslim American Society by the Investigative Project, go to our dossier.)
CAIR and MAS Freedom Foundation had offered amicus, or friend of the court, briefs for the pending appeal of Sabri Benkahla, convicted in 2007 of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Benkahla was part of a group of Northern Virginia men who trained to fight with the Taliban against the United States. He was acquitted of supplying services to the Taliban but later convicted on the perjury and obstruction charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison. That sentence included a "terrorism enhancement" after the trial court found his false statements impeded a terrorism investigation. In seeking court approval to file their supportive briefs, CAIR and MAS said they were specifically concerned about the sentencing enhancement. It is "being applied to punish Muslim scholars and activists as if they had committed terrorism crimes," CAIR's motion states, and that could chill political speech and activities.
Federal prosecutors used their response to the brief to remind the court of the both organizations' questionable stand on the issue of terrorism itself. In a footnote, the government brief points out:
In describing themselves, Amici Brief at 1, CAIR and MAS omit reference to a shared background that limits their membership to those of a particular political bent, and undercuts their credibility. The Muslim Brotherhood is a generally covert international organization whose credo is "Allah is our goal; the Qur'an is our constitution; the Prophet is our leader; Struggle is our way; and death in the path of Allah is our highest aspiration. See, e.g., Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism, 208-09 (Yale University Press 2006).
MAS was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. See, e.g., Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Sam Roe and Laurie Cohen, The new face of the Muslim Brotherhood - the Muslim American Society, CHI. TRIB., Sep. 19, 2004, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/chi-0409190261sep19,1,7870150,print.story
Moreover, from its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists. See Government's Memorandum in Opposition to CAIR's Motion for Leave to File a Brief, etc., in United States v. Holy Land Foundation . . . et al, Cr. No. 3-04-cr-240-G (N.D. Tx. September 4, 2007), available at http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/479.pdf. Proof that the conspirators agreed to use deception to conceal from the American public their connections to terrorists was introduced at both the Texas trial in 2007 and also at a Chicago trial the previous year. United States v. Ashqar, et. al., No. 03-978 (N.D. Il. 2006).
A dozen other men have been convicted of crimes in what was known as the "Virginia Paintball" case. Among them is Randall Royer, a former CAIR employee sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to weapons and explosives charges. The case centered around a group of men urged by their spiritual leader Ali Timimi to fight against American troops in Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.