Not only did he have the political establishment fooled for 20 years, he had the media establishment snookered as well.
However, while the diplomatic sensitivities of the Fai case, the protection of the Obama administration, and self-interest were all possible contributing factors to the media’s sitting on the biggest spy scandal on Capitol Hill in recent memory, there is a more evident motive as to why the media took a pass.
Ghulam Nabi Fai was not only active in leadership roles in many of the largest Islamic groups in the U.S. — particularly those leading the U.S. government’s Islamic “outreach” efforts. These groups also actively aided in his operations.
The ProPublica exposé noted some of these ties:
The late Ismail Raji al-Faruqi was a professor specializing in Islam at Temple and would soon help found the International Institute of Islamic Thought. (The institute later came under investigation in a federal probe into terrorism funding, although no charges were filed.) Another professor, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, a respected Islamic scholar, was trying to “Islamicize” the social sciences, Fai said.
At Temple, Fai became president of the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. & Canada, an organization started in part by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had spread from Egypt through the Middle East. Some branches of the Brotherhood were hardline; others, more moderate.
Fai also started working for the ISI in about 1985 while at Temple, according to correspondence cited by the FBI, although the affidavit does not make clear what he was doing.
After earning his doctorate in 1988, Fai joined the advisory council for the Islamic Society of North America, an umbrella group started by the Muslim Students Association that also received Saudi funding. [PP – as federal prosecutors noted, Fai falsely claimed to have received his doctorate and presented himself as “Doctor”, but in fact he never obtained the degree.]
But that’s not all:
Incorporation documents filed in Maryland in April 1990 show Fai was one of three people who established the Kashmir center. A second founder was Rafia Syeed, the wife of Sayyid Syeed, one of the organizers of ISNA. The third founder’s father, who retired from the Pakistani military, also held a key post in a charity run by Fai’s alleged accomplice, Zaheer Ahmad. The Syeeds did not reply to requests for comment. The third founder, Mohammad Bilal Yousaf, denied knowing Fai. “I have never heard of Dr. Fai before, only what’s been reported in the media,” he said.
IRS filings show the group got startup funds from two board members and a $20,000 loan from the North American Islamic Trust, an ISNA-linked group that holds titles to about 300 U.S. mosques, Islamic centers and schools.