Homeland Security

American Muslim Leader Announces Meetings with Turkish, Iranian Dictators

As the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York City this week, a number of related side and private events will be taking place. One of those events will be meetings between Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the dictators of Turkey and Iran.

Awad announced the meetings on his Twitter account this past Saturday:

In recent years Awad has publicly cheered and congratulated Turkey’s Islamist dictator Recep Erdogan as he has waged a widespread crackdown on dissent, imprisoning tens of thousands of citizens. Targets of mass arrests have been teachers, doctors, judges, police, and military officials.

As I noted earlier this month, Turkey has now become the largest jailer of journalists in the world, responsible for imprisoning one-third of all jailed journalists worldwide:

Amidst this political purge in Turkey, Awad has repeatedly appeared with Erdogan here in the U.S., and at Erdogan’s political rallies in Istanbul during the crackdown.

When Erdogan opened a $100 million mosque outside Washington, D.C., in April 2016, Awad was invited to lunch with the Islamist dictator, as a photo from the event shows:

Last year I reported that the $100 million mosque in Lanham, Maryland, is controlled and operated by the Diyanet — Turkey’s Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Diyanet mosques are currently being targeted for surveillance by several Western governments, after reports emerged that Turkish intelligence is using the mosque networks to spy on dissidents in the Turkish diaspora.

That notwithstanding, Awad met with the head of the Diyanet earlier this year:

Awad was also an attendee at a meeting with Erdogan and American Muslim leaders during the UN General Assembly in 2016:

During that meeting, Awad had a picture snapped with Erdogan:

When Erdogan consolidated power after an attempted coup in July 2016 and began his purge across Turkish society, Awad was in Istanbul just a few weeks later at one of the dictator’s rallies, which he ironically described as “safeguarding democracy”:

Erdogan and Rouhani are hardly the first dictators that Awad has tried to court.

As was reported back in 2011 as the U.S. and other NATO allies were trying overthrow Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi, members of Congress revealed that Awad had previously sent a letter to Qaddafi in 2009 requesting $1 million for a CAIR-related project.

But some Islamic states are wary of CAIR and its agenda. For instance, UAE designated CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014:

That UAE designation was highly problematic for the Obama administration, since officials admitted to meeting with CAIR “hundreds” of times:

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke was promptly dispatched to denounce the UAE’s designation of CAIR:

That in itself was problematic, as the FBI had repeatedly told members of Congress that it had severed all official ties with CAIR after the successful terror financing prosecution in 2008 of the Holy Land Foundation. During the trial, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns testified that CAIR was a front for the terrorist group Hamas:

Justice Department prosecutors argued in trial briefs that CAIR was part of the conspiracy to provide “media, money, and men” to Hamas:

CAIR was even named by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators in the prosecution:

The federal judge hearing the Holy Land Foundation case agreed with prosecutors, stating that they had provided “ample evidence” of CAIR’s ties to Hamas:

Yet one of the first actions of the Holder Justice Department, as I reported first here at PJ Media, was to scuttle the prosecution of CAIR executives:

In 2013, a Justice Department inspector general investigation found that several FBI offices had entirely disregarded the official policy of cutting ties with CAIR without any censure by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The statute of limitations has expired for prosecuting Nihad Awad for material support for terrorism related to the Holy Land Foundation case. But his soliciting funds from Islamic dictatorships and other foreign principals, and his regular meetings with officials from those states, would run afoul of Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) requirements.

For proof, all the Justice Department would need to do is check Awad’s Twitter feed and CAIR press releases.