Monday's refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal by defendants in the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) case not only ended the defendants' hopes for legal relief, but it likely dashed similar hopes for key Islamist organizations named as un-indicted co-conspirators (UCC) in the prosecution.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and ISNA's related North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) were all named UCCs. The designation allowed prosecutors to get statements into evidence that were part of the conspiracy, even if the groups and individuals named were not charged.
These organizations asked the presiding judge to purge their names from the list, and ISNA and NAIT even took his denial to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld his decision. While the courts found that the list should not have been filed in public, the courts refused to remove anyone's name. U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis found "ample evidence" linking CAIR, ISNA and NAIT to Hamas.
Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and a federal judge, in a criminal trial involving charges of material support for Hamas, has ruled that co-conspirator organizations, even though un-indicted, were associated with that FTO. The Supreme Court decision is likely to be the last word on the case.
The FBI officially cut off ties with CAIR in 2008 citing concerns about evidence linking the group to Hamas. That disassociation continues today, though indications are some FBI field offices have inexplicably disregarded the FBI Headquarters' directive.
In view of the Supreme Court ruling affirming the HLF convictions, it might be time to consider if those FBI publicly expressed concerns about CAIR links to Hamas might now be translated into genuine investigative efforts instead of mere termination of outreach activities.