A Close Look at Obama's New Islamic Partners

Following up on Jennifer Rubin's exclusive Pajamas Media article -- concerning the efforts of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division to recruit employees to man their booth at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) annual conference in Washington, D.C. -- it bears examining exactly who the Obama administration and the DOJ are partnering up with. The Investigative Project on Terrorism notes that ISNA appears to be the new lead partner for the administration's Islamic outreach after a top FBI official met with an ISNA vice president last week.

In response to Rubin's report, Thomas Jocelyn of the Weekly Standard observed that ISNA's name has come up in a current German terror finance investigation. It is believed that the Islamic group had donated $100,000 to the Third World Relief Agency at the very same time that TWRA was funding the terror network behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

According to Steve Emerson in his New York Times bestselling book, Jihad Incorporated, ISNA was also responsible for providing $170,000 in start-up cash for the Islamic African Relief Agency. The U.S. Treasury Department designated them a global terror finance entity in 2004 for providing direct support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Hamas.

The DOJ Civil Rights Division officials pushing this new outreach to ISNA must have short memories, as they have apparently forgotten that the DOJ filed a brief with the federal court last summer defending its designation of ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator. They argued that documents entered into evidence during the Holy Land Foundation trial showed that ISNA and its affiliate, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), had been directly involved in the transfer of money between HLF and Hamas. Prior to incorporation, HLF had operated as a direct subsidiary of ISNA as the Occupied Land Fund and used ISNA's Plainfield, Indiana, mailing address. Those ISNA/HLF connections prompted Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR to air a two-part series investigating ISNA's ties to terror.

As reported by Newsweek, in 2007 the DOJ had to abruptly cancel a Muslim outreach meeting with Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez because a top-ranking ISNA official was going to be in attendance. Just weeks before that event, DOJ prosecutors had named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror finance trial in Dallas.

The Department of Homeland Security also found itself embarrassed when it sponsored a booth at the 2007 ISNA annual conference. ISNA organizers placed their recruiting booth directly beside that of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist supremacist group which is banned throughout the Middle East. That embarrassment could have been avoided had they heeded the advice of Congressman Pete Hoekstra and Congresswoman Sue Myrick, who sent a letter to the attorney general asking him to withdraw DOJ sponsorship of the 2007 conference because of ISNA's support for terrorism and Islamic extremism.

The Bush administration came under fire after ISNA official Muzzamil Siddiqi and other known supporters of Islamic terrorism appeared with Bush at a prayer service just three days after the 9/11 attacks. One of those leaders, Abdurahman Alamoudi, was later convicted on terrorism support charges and is serving a 23-year federal prison sentence. Alamoudi was identified in 2005 by the Treasury Department as the top al-Qaeda financier in the U.S. He too had been a leading Islamic partner of the U.S. government; he was personally responsible for establishing the Department of Defense's Islamic chaplain program. He served as a State Department "goodwill ambassador" to the Islamic world, taking half a dozen trips to the Middle East at taxpayer expense before his arrest and conviction.

The DOJ institutional amnesia apparently extends back decades, as witnessed by a declassified FBI report from the 1990s obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which observed that the "annual ISNA conferences provided opportunities for the extreme fundamentalist Muslims to meet with their supporters."