In April 2008, Omer Subhani, then-communications director of CAIR-Florida, stated: “[I]f any CAIR officials have done any wrong doing then they should be punished. … If they have done wrong then our government should go after them.” Less than two months later, the United States Justice Department named CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) as a co-conspirator in a federal terrorism trial dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas.
In January, Fox News reported that the FBI had “severed its ties” with all CAIR chapters. Now, Parvez Ahmed, the former national chairman of CAIR’s board of directors, has come out with his own thoughts on punishment for the group. Ahmed served as CAIR’s national chairman from May 2005 until his resignation in June 2008. His departure was not without controversy and his parting words were not complimentary. In an interview with the Florida Times-Union, Ahmed said he became “a little burned out pushing so hard” for CAIR to be more “open and transparent.”
Ahmed’s time away from CAIR hasn’t stopped the FBI from considering him a person of interest. Following the Fox News report, the intelligence agency paid Ahmed a visit. In an article he wrote for the Fayeteville Observer, Ahmed stated, “I was surprised to see an FBI agent stop by my office in Jacksonville, seeking reasons for my resignation as CAIR chairman.”
Ahmed’s departure came shortly before the federal retrial against the Hamas charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). The Justice Department named CAIR a co-conspirator. This no doubt could have triggered the FBI inquiry. During the first HLF trial, a number of documents were released implicating CAIR. Given this fact, it is curious why Ahmed would pose a challenge to the government regarding CAIR’s “terrorist ties.”
Ahmed wrote in the Observer piece, “If CAIR has ‘terrorist ties,’ as Reps. Sue Myrick and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Paul Broun of Georgia claim it does, then the FBI should not be ‘limiting’ contact with CAIR, but rather should shut the organization down.” He then made a similar statement in an article he penned for the Huffington Post: “If CAIR has ‘terrorist ties’ as some members of Congress claim then the FBI should shut CAIR down.” If the government were to take Ahmed’s challenge seriously, CAIR would no longer exist.
CAIR was founded by leaders of the American propaganda wing of Hamas, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). In an article in the February-March 2000 issue of The Link entitled “Muslim-Americans in Mainstream America,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad stated, “[Then-IAP President] Omar [Ahmad] suggested to me that we leave the IAP and concentrate on combating anti-Muslim discrimination nationwide. … In June 1994, we used a modest donation as a starting budget to open the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, D.C.”
A July 1994 document issued shortly after CAIR’s creation was placed into evidence at the first HLF trial. It showed that CAIR was established as part of Mousa Abu Marzook’s American Palestine Committee. At the time, Marzook was the global head of Hamas, and the committee’s mission — amongst other pro-Hamas matters — was to raise funds for Hamas from American shores. CAIR has had a number of terror-related representatives who were deported from or who are serving jail sentences in the United States:
- Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer was convicted of working with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) — the group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks — in a plot to murder Americans and Indians overseas. Ten days before Royer was due to lead a September 24, 2001, press conference as CAIR’s national civil rights coordinator, he was in contact with LeT. And just two days prior to the press conference, Royer had an AK-47-style rifle and 219 rounds of ammunition in his car.
- Less than a year after listing his occupation on a political donation as “CAIR/Director” (Northern Virginia), Abdurahman Alamoudi became part of a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Alamoudi helped recruit participants and assisted in the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance the operation.
- Ghassan Elashi — a founder of CAIR’s Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas chapter and a chairman of CAIR’s parent organization, the IAP — was one of the defendants at the HLF trial and was found guilty on all charges.
- In September 2003, Bassem Khafagi pled guilty to bank and visa fraud and was later deported to Egypt. According to the Associated Press, at the time of his arrest he was CAIR’s community affairs director.
- Rabih Haddad, a CAIR-Michigan fundraiser, was arrested on December 14, 2001, the same day that the Global Relief Foundation (GRF) — the organization he co-founded — was shut down by the U.S. government for financing Hamas and al-Qaeda. On July 14, 2003, he was deported to Lebanon.
CAIR has existed in America as a fifth column terror support network with clear connections to the terrorist organizations themselves. There is overwhelming evidence that proves CAIR has the “terrorist ties” that Ahmed spoke of in his articles for the Observer and the Post. Whether or not Ahmed wants CAIR to be shut down, his challenge to the FBI is a legitimate one that should be taken seriously.