Read into it what you will

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum -

The Is­lamic As­so­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine was founded in 1981 as a “just, com­pre­hen­sive, and eter­nal so­lu­tion” to the Mid­dle East con­flict, and main­tained close ties with the Holy Land Foun­da­tion, the largest Is­lamic char­ity in North Amer­ica at the time. It was later proven the IAP fur­thered Ha­mas’ cause.

In Septem­ber 1993, a meet­ing of IAP and other Ha­mas af­fil­i­ates was re­port­edly or­ga­nized by Shukri Abu Baker, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Holy Land Foun­da­tion, and Ab­del­haleem al-As­ghar at a Mar­riott Court­yard Ho­tel in Philadel­phia for the fol­low­ing month. In­for­ma­tion gleaned from the wire­tap re­sulted in the Holy Land Foun­da­tion be­ing des­ig­nated a “global ter­ror­ist” or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Us­ing the ho­tel registry and cam­era surveil­lance, the FBI was able to iden­tify all of the at­ten­dees — with one ex­cep­tion, “Ni­had LNU” (last name un­known). Dur­ing the two Holy Land Foun­da­tion money laun­der­ing tri­als in 2007 and 2008, FBI agent Lara Burns tes­ti­fied that the mys­te­ri­ous “Ni­had” was Ni­had Awad, CEO and founder of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions, which formed shortly af­ter the 1993 meet­ing. Tes­ti­mony by Burns placed both Awad and fel­low CAIR co-founder Omar Ah­mad at the gather-

ing. Awad claimed in a 2003 civil de­po­si­tion he couldn’t re­mem­ber if he at­tended the con­fer­ence.

Dur­ing Burns’ tes­ti­mony, Holy Land Foun­da­tion of­fi­cial Haitham Maghawri’s Amer­i­can Ex­press billing records were in­tro­duced by pros­e­cu­tor Barry Jonas, who asked the wit­ness to sum­ma­rize them for the jury. Ac­cord­ing to tran­scripts from the tes­ti­mony cir­cu­lated on var­i­ous in­ter­net sites, Burns said that “on Septem­ber 17th, 1993, the Holy Land Foun­da­tion pur­chased an air­line ticket for O. Amhad [sic] to Philadel­phia, which would be Omar Ah­mad.”

Although CAIR de­nies ever re­ceiv­ing fund­ing from Ha­mas, in a 2003 civil de­po­si­tion, Ah­mad was asked: “Did they [the Holy Land Foun­da­tion] give you any money to help start CAIR?” Ah­mad’s re­sponse: “No.” When the In­ves­tiga­tive Project’s Matthew Ep­stein pro­duced doc­u­men­ta­tion of a $5,000 money trans­fer dur­ing a Se­nate hear­ing, it was de­scribed in­stead as a “dona­tion.” A screen­shot of the al­leged dona­tion check can be viewed at https://com­­me­ File:Check­_from_ter­ror­ist_ or­ga­ni­za­tion_HLF_­to_Is­lam­ic_or­ga­ni­za­tion_CAIR.jpg.

Barely a year af­ter Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­ers in Philadel­phia saw the need for a new front or­ga­ni­za­tion in Amer­ica, CAIR opened its first of­fice.

Ed­ward C. Daven­port, Drum Point

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