Will the Justice Department stay stuck on stupid? Audrey Hudson has a follow-up:
Republican lawmakers are urging the Justice Department not to participate in a convention held by the Islamic Society of North America — a group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing terrorism-financing case.
In a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Reps. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sue Myrick of North Carolina called the Justice Department’s involvement a “grave mistake.”
“In light of the threat that our nation is currently facing from radical jihadists, and because of the president’s commitment to fighting the war on terror on all fronts, we believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda,” the lawmakers said.
ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in the ongoing terrorist financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and five of its officials in Dallas. In the letter, Hoekstra and Myrick noted that, shortly after the co-conspirator list was made public, DOJ canceled a June 27 event that was to feature a high ranking ISNA official.
Newsweek reported about that cancellation on Aug. 8, saying officials were concerned that “it could create a new embarrassment for the embattled attorney general.”
On Monday, the Washington Times broke the news that the Justice Department was among the sponsors of this weekend’s ISNA convention. The story quoted unnamed DOJ officials who said they were outraged at the sponsorship, especially since it comes as the HLF trial continues. In addition, the Times notes, one convention session is on “the threat and reality of U.S.-sponsored torture.”
Evidence submitted in the Dallas federal courtroom shows that ISNA was established in 1980 by American members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious order founded in Egypt that seeks to establish an Islamic Empire governed by Shari`ah, or Islamic law, that would eventually encompass the entire world. The letter correctly noted that the Muslim Brotherhood has provided the ideological underpinnings for almost all modern Sunni Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and Hamas.
Other evidence shows that ISNA used a financial subsidiary, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), to divert funds to top Hamas official Musa Abu Marzook, his wife, as well as Hamas-run institutions such as the Islamic University of Gaza, and the Islamic Center of Gaza, which was founded by Hamas’ late co-founder and spiritual leader, Ahmed Yassin.
ISNA’s support for Marzook during his detention in the U.S. drew thanks from Marzook himself. This came in June 1997; more than two years after the U.S. designated HAMAS a terrorist organization, making any transactions with it or support for it illegal. Marzook was arrested and detained in 1996 after Israel requested his extradition. He wrote that efforts by ISNA and other U.S. groups, including several members of the Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, had “consoled” him.
Add your voice. Here’s contact info for the DOJ:
Phone: (202) 514-2151 Ask for Rena.
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to [email protected]
Tim Sumner at 9/11 Families for a Safe and Secure America weighs in, and points to an extract from the ISNA’s Program for the convention. For crying out loud.
Jeffrey Imm at the Counterterrorism Blog explains “Why DOJ’s Involvement in ISNA Conference Sends The Wrong Message:”
From a counterterrorism perspective, there are five key facts that are the basis for why DOJ’s involvement in the ISNA conference is wrong:
1. The ISNA organization has a history of ties with Jihadists. This is why ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in the ongoing case of US. v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, et. al.
2. Evidence submitted in the Dallas federal courtroom shows that ISNA was established in 1980 by American members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has provided Jihadist ideological underpinning for various Jihad organizations
3. Other evidence showed that ISNA used a financial subsidiary, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), to divert funds to Hamas’ Musa Abu Marzook, and other Hamas-run organizations, with top HAMAS official Mousa Abu Marzook thanking ISNA
4. ISNA’s conference session on “the threat and reality of U.S.-sponsored torture”
5. ISNA conference main speakers include individuals with a history of dealing with extremist views:
— Muzammil Siddiqi – Steven Emerson’s article “Muzammil the “Moderate” states that “when Siddiqi was President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in 1997, his organization received special thanks from Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who wrote that ISNA supported him through his jailing and extradition process, writing that such efforts ‘consoled’ him.” As Steve Emerson’s column points out, “Siddiqi has made numerous pro-jihad statements in the past and has denied that 9/11 was carried about by Muslims.” Muzammil Siddiqui has been a member of Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), whose members have been connected to Islamic extremism and terrorism.
— Siraj Wahhaj – a character witness for convicted 1993 World Trade Center terrorist “blind sheik” Omar Rahman, and a man who reportedly called for replacing the American government with a caliphate
— Abdalla Idris Ali – has been on the board of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have openly supported terrorist groups, such as Hamas
— Ihsan Bagby: “we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country… because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”
— Zaid Shakir: “Every Muslim who is honest would say, I would like to see America become a Muslim country”
Furthermore, the argument over whether DOJ is a “sponsor” rather than a “paying exhibitor” is more semantics than substance.
Read the whole thing.
Charles Johnson’s looking for a Democrat, any Democrat, who’ll join the GOP opposition to the Justice Department’s decision to participate in the ISNA conference.