CNN Host Don Lemon attempted to invoke the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as part of his televised ambush of former Reagan official and head of Center for Security Policy Frank Gaffney last night. Lemon played a clip of Nihad Awad, CAIR’s Executive Director, before asking why Gaffney opposed CAIR. When Gaffney attempted to explain that CAIR was a Muslim Brotherhood organization with ties to Hamas, Lemon flatly denied it saying, “There is no direct knowledge that we had that CAIR has anything to do with the Muslim brotherhood.”
It should be understood from the outset that CAIR’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas, are absolutely indisputable. Anyone who baldly asserts to the contrary, as Lemon does, is either totally ignorant of the available facts or is lying.
CAIR was founded in 1994 by three men, Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafiq Jaber. All three men were leading members of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). IAP is described in documents recovered by the FBI and submitted into evidence at the Holy Land Foundation Trial as an organization of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
A 1991 Memorandum entitled, “A Suggestion to Amend the bylaws of the Central Committee,” and submitted at trial as Elbarasse Search-7 described IAP as the “official organization” representing the “popular side” of the Palestine Committee’s efforts. Remarks listed at the bottom of the page openly describe collecting donations for the “Islamic Resistance Movement” (AKA Hamas) “from the Ikhwan and others.” Ikhwan is Arabic for brothers and used to refer to Brotherhood members.
IAP is also connected directly to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and Hamas in the 1992 “Islamic Action for Palestine” memo, introduced into evidence as “Elbarasse Search 5. That memo describes the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee as supporting jihad in Palestine, and in particular Hamas, with “media, money, men and all that.”
Deported Hamas operative, and now Deputy Chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau Mousa Abu Marzook was IAP Chairman, and the FBI submitted evidence at trial showing that Marzook had supplied IAP with tens of thousands of dollars.
The U.S Government’s Trial brief for the Holy Land Foundation succinctly described IAP as a “media and propaganda organization” of the Palestine Committee.
CAIR Founder Omar Ahmad, and Nihad Awad both appear in the “Palestine Section” Phone Directory introduced into evidence as “Ashqar Search 1.” Ahmad’s name appears under the name Omar Yahya, an alias Ahmad admitted to using.
In 1993, members of the Palestine Committee and its affiliated organizations held a meeting in Philadelphia that was placed under surveillance by the FBI. The FBI recorded open statements about Hamas, including under the code phrase “Sister Samah.” Hamas spelled backwards, as testified to by FBI Agent Lara Burns.
Burns would also testify that CAIR was formed in the aftermath of the Philadelphia meeting.
Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad were both present at the 1993 meeting according to the FBI. Omar Ahmad spoke at the meeting (recorded and entered into evidence as Philly Meeting 15E) about working in the media, and said the problem was that the committee had “stopped working underground,” and that deception was needed, “the media person among us will recognize that you send two messages; one to the Americans and one to the Muslims.”
Following CAIR’s creation, the organization’s name appeared on a handwritten document titled, “Meeting Agenda for the Palestine Committee 7/30/94” seized in a search by the FBI and submitted at trial as Elbarasse Search-19.
Looking at the sum total of all of the submitted evidence during the Holy Land Foundation Trial, Federal Judge Jorge Solis declared that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish connections” between CAIR, IAP and the terrorist organization Hamas.
Shortly after CAIR’s founding in 1994, Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director, was videotaped publicly declaring support for Hamas.
In response to a CAIR filed amicus brief in the appellate case against
Sabri Benkahla, the government’s brief responded by noting, “…from its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to a request for information from then Senator John Kyl and other lawmakers about CAIR by saying that it had cut off contact with CAIR’s National Headquarters because “evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders (including its current President Emeritus [Omar Ahmad] and its Executive Director [Nihad Awad]) and the Palestine Committee.”
The evidence of CAIR’s participation in a conspiracy to support Hamas through its role as a member of the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is unassailable. The evidence that the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood exists as a real and knowable network of individuals and organizations is likewise unassailable.
It can only be either ignored, or responded to by attacking the messenger.
Which is exactly the route CNN and Don Lemon chose to take.