News that the FBI has cut off contacts with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is attracting media and political attention.
On Thursday, the IPT broke the story that the FBI wants CAIR officials to answer questions about their organization's un-indicted co-conspirator status in the Hamas support trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development before resuming relations. Evidence in that trial, which ended in November with the conviction of five former HLF officials on 108 counts, shows that CAIR was part of a network of Hamas support organizations in the U.S. and that founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad were individually listed on a phone list of the "Palestine Committee" created by the Muslim Brotherhood for that purpose.
On Friday, five U.S. House Republicans, including the head of the bi-partisan Anti-Terrorism Caucus Sue Myrick, sent their congressional colleagues a letter with the IPT story attached. "Members should think twice before meeting with representatives of CAIR," the letter said.
And Fox News picked up the story, reporting that the FBI confirmed the IPT's reporting: "An official at the FBI's headquarters in Washington confirmed to FOX News that his office directed FBI field offices across the country to cut ties with local branches of CAIR."
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper declined to comment to the IPT last week. However, CAIR issued a statement to FOX News blaming the freeze out on the Bush Administration: "It is not surprising that we would be singled out by those in the previous administration who sought to prevent us from defending the civil rights of American Muslims."