Read into it what you will
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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ 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