He was a fundraiser for a group convicted of providing material support to Hamas, yet Kifah Mustapha recently received tours of secure FBI facilities in and around Washington.
Mustapha's two-day trip earlier this month was arranged by the FBI's Chicago office, whose officials escorted Mustapha and about two dozen others on tours of the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI facility in Quantico, Virginia and FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building. A news report noted that Mustapha "asked some of the most pointed questions" during the trip to Washington, including queries regarding the FBI's use of deadly force and racial profiling.
While Mustapha describes an improving relationship with the Bureau, things aren't going so well between the imam and the Illinois State Police (ISP). Earlier this year, the ISP rescinded an offer to Mustapha to become the state's first Muslim police chaplain, citing his connections to the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). HLF was convicted in November 2008, along with five of its officials, of funneling money to Hamas.
The imam was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial under a list of members of the Palestine Committee and/or its organizations. Evidence showed that the Palestine Committee was a coalition of American Islamist groups and leaders created by the Muslim Brotherhood to help Hamas politically and financially.
Mustapha served as a fundraiser and Illinois representative for HLF until the U.S. froze the group's assets in 2001. Court documents show that Mustapha raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization. Additionally, he recalled personally donating money to HLF during a civil deposition. Mustapha also served on a volunteer committee for the Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas propaganda wing in the U.S.
The Chicago imam has also helped raise money for a group considered an inappropriate outreach partner by the FBI, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Mustapha has helped CAIR lead fundraising efforts at a 2009 CAIR-Michigan banquet, a 2007 CAIR-Chicago banquet and most recently, a CAIR-Chicago banquet in April.
In an April 2009 letter the FBI explained its decision to suspend formal ties with CAIR:
"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."
Mustapha was a key fundraiser for an organization now convicted of funneling money to Hamas and has fundraised for an organization considered suspect by the FBI because of its leadership's ties to Hamas. Yet, Chicago's FBI office took the imam on a privileged tour of some of the most sensitive counterterrorism operations centers in the country.
The FBI did not pay for Mustapha's trip.