Judge Solis explored that evidence at length in his decision, ruling against CAIR in their bid to be removed from the trial’s list of unindicted co-conspirators. For this reason, the FBI severed all ties with CAIR in January 2009. In March 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller reaffirmed this policy to the House Judiciary Committee, explaining:
We have no formal relationship with CAIR because of concerns with regard to their national leadership.
The CAIR-Ohio chapter that NOCMES has partnered with is among the most radical CAIR chapters in the country, with a long list of troubling episodes:
- In 1999, CAIR-Ohio rushed to the aid of Muhammad Al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan Al-Shalawi, the two men who the 9/11 Commission and the FBI identified as the 9/11 “dry run” hijackers. CAIR-Ohio president Ahmad Al-Akhras even made statements to Egyptian media attacking the airline for removing the men from the plane at the request of the pilot after they had repeatedly tried to enter the cockpit, claiming the men were being profiled.
- The keynote speaker for CAIR-Ohio’s 1999 annual fundraising banquet was al-Qaeda financier and CAIR national advisory board member Abdurahman Alamoudi, who pled guilty in 2004 and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. The FBI had been watching Alamoudi since 1993, when they were told by an informant that he had served as the financial conduit between Osama bin Laden and the “Blind Sheikh” terror leader Omar Abdel Rahman. Not long after his appearance for CAIR-Ohio, Alamoudi was videotaped just steps from the White House leading an angry crowd in cheers supporting Hamas and Hezbollah.
- In 2001, CAIR-Ohio held a fundraiser for the defense of cop-killer and regular CAIR speaker Jamil al-Amin, who was convicted of gunning down a Georgia deputy executing a warrant on al-Amin on weapons charges. In October 2009, the FBI said that Amin continued to lead his violent organization from the federal Supermax prison in Colorado.
- Just a few months before 9/11, CAIR-Ohio attacked the mayor of a Columbus suburb after an Israeli flag was flown on the city hall flag pole in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
- In 2006, CAIR-Ohio hosted Siraj Wahhaj as the keynote speaker at its annual fundraising dinner. Wahhaj had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial.
- Around the same time, three CAIR-Ohio executives showed up at the home of a combat veteran and former Marine to harass the man because they didn’t like the bumper stickers on his truck. At least two of the involved CAIR officials later boasted about the incident to local media.
- In 2007, CAIR-Ohio President Ahmad al-Akhras was found promoting an upcoming event for notorious 9/11 denier David Ray Griffin.
- Al-Akhras, who also served as CAIR’s national vice chairman, reportedly sent his high school-aged daughter Jana on a Hamas support convoy across the Middle East in December 2009, where the group met with several Hamas leaders and was greeted by several designated terrorists. His daughter was interviewed by al-Jazeera during the trip.
- Since the NOCMES event is occurring in Cleveland this week, it is worth noting the annual fundraising banquet for CAIR-Cleveland (led by Julia Shearson) held three years ago in April 2009 featured as its keynote speaker former Hamas fundraiser Monzer Taleb, who was personally named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. He was described in court documents as a member and “artistic head” of the Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee dedicated to supporting Hamas. Videos entered into evidence during the trial by federal prosecutors show Taleb at Hamas fundraisers singing “I am from Hamas”, and singing with a group glorifying the killing of Jews.
NOCMES’ decision to not only promote but to partner with the Hamas front and terror-supporting CAIR reinforces racist and Islamophobic stereotypes about the Muslim American community. It also underscores the radical, pro-Islamist sympathies of Middle East studies at the supporting institutions. That this effort is being sponsored by state-supported educational institutions ought to be a concern for all Ohio taxpayers.