CAIR and Al-Qaeda Connected; Does Anyone in Old Media Care?

Note: Though this post is primarily about Ohio's governor speaking at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Columbus last Sunday, it contains nationally significant info about connections between CAIR, Al Qaeda, and Hamas, and Old Media's non-coverage of those connections.

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On Friday ("Strickland-CAIR Update: Reported Strickland Staffer Response"), I noted how staff member "Charles" in Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's office responded in a conversation with a constituent relayed to me by a trusted source. The constituent objected to the governor's June 17 appearance at CAIR-Ohio's annual banquet -- a banquet also attended by CAIR's national chairman of the board. In part, the constituent reported the following:

"Charles of his staff stated that he did a lot of research on CAIR and they were an organization that does a lot of good and no more terrorist than the Jewish Defense Fund or Dr. James Dobson."

That trusted source also talked to Charles and his supervisor later that day. The source got an excuse that Homeland Security had been consulted about the appearance (irrelevant, in my view -- DHS can't tell a sitting governor where to appear and not appear), and little other consolation.

I meant to note this earlier, but I have to assume that Charles is really referring to the Jewish Defense League (JDL; web site; Wiki entry), as there is no "Jewish Defense Fund" I could locate.

Charles' apparent use of JDL as a terrorism benchmark is odd, given that I don't think that any state governor has attended or plans to attend a JDL banquet any time soon.

And Dobson? Evangelical Christians will hopefully take note of what one member of Minister Ted's staff really thinks of one of their top leaders.

But let's get back to CAIR. On Friday at FrontPage (HT Writes Like She Talks [WLST] via e-mail), longtime investigative reporter Paul Sperry published "Al-Qaida Angle Emerges in CAIR-Tied Terror Case."

It's a long read, but suffice it to say that Sperry connects enough dots to leave little doubt that there is both a mutually supportive AQ-CAIR relationship that even includes people associated with 9/11, and active CAIR links to Hamas terrorists.

Some snippets:

..... Federal investigators have learned that imam Mohammed El-Mezain -- who goes on trial next month with one of CAIR's founding board members -- once lived in the same small Colorado apartment complex with another imam accused of preparing some of the hijackers for their "martyrdom" operation.

El-Mezain and imam Anwar Aulaqi later moved to San Diego, where Aulaqi held closed-door meetings with the al-Qaida hijackers.

..... In 1994 ..... CAIR was spun off from a known Hamas front called the Islamic Association for Palestine, which publishes Hamas communiques, distributes Hamas recruitment videos, and hosts conferences raising money for the Palestinian terrorist group, investigators say.

..... In October 1993, eight months before CAIR was formed, the FBI covertly recorded (CAIR co-founder Omar) Ahmad and other IAP officials professing their commitment to Hamas during a key meeting in Philadelphia.

..... CAIR has repeatedly denied any association with Hamas. But don't believe it, says retired FBI special agent John Vincent, who has worked Hamas cases in Chicago, where IAP is based. "There is no question CAIR supports Hamas," he told me.

He says the evidence clearly shows that the group has aided and protected the operations of groups supporting Hamas, such as IAP and the Holy Land Foundation. Vincent argues that CAIR has managed to hide its true agenda of supporting militant Islam under the "cover" of civil-rights advocacy.

..... The Santa Clara-based chapter of CAIR has also given funds to Muslims in Chechnya, tax records show, a hotbed of al-Qaida-affiliated terrorism. Chechen terrorists in 2004 slaughtered hundreds of children at a school in Russia.

"CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups," asserts former FBI counterterrorism chief Steven Pomerantz.

CAIR's status as an unindicted co-conspirator "as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support a Palestinian Arab terrorist group, Hamas" was already well-known at the time Ted Strickland spoke at the organization's banquet. That co-conspirator status didn't deter the governor from attending, and it clearly didn't impress staffer Charles. I have to wonder if even the AQ-CAIR ties described by Sperry will be enough to convince Charles to move CAIR above JDL and Dobson on the "no more terrorist than" list.

Oh, and does Charles speak for Ted? Unless we hear otherwise, why shouldn't we assume that he does?

And maybe, just maybe, Ohio's or the nation's slumbering Old Media, which is still ignoring the story, might finally think it worth noting that the Buckeye State's governor, according to CAIR's press release, pointedly praised this terrorist-aiding organization when he spoke at its banquet:

"On behalf of all Ohioans, [my wife and I] appreciate your vision to promote justice and mutual understanding. We gather under CAIR-Ohio's theme this year, 'American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing,' to do just that, to connect and share and get to know each other better."

Don't hold your breath, since Old Media appears to be reluctant to even acknowledge the ties between CAIR and Al Qaida. Google News searches on "CAIR Al-Qaeda" and "CAIR Al-Qaida" (without quotes, from June 17 until today at about noon; the presence or absence of the hyphen does not alter the results) contain no Old Media results. New York Times searches (CAIR Al-Qaida; CAIR Al-Qaeda; again, the hyphen's presence or absence has no effect) come up empty.

Cross-posted at Bizzyblog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.