US

CAIR collects millions from foreign donors thanks to non-profit shell game

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) conceals donations from overseas through a series of shell organizations, according to documents from court actions involving the Muslim advocacy group.

Since its founding in 1994, CAIR has presented itself to American Muslims and the media as a single organization centered on American concerns. But it shows a different face to the IRS, with multiple corporate entities that conceal the large financial donations that come to CAIR from Middle East sources.

As a registered lobbying group, CAIR is required to report to the IRS contributions over $5,000. Its shifting 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) branches, however, make it possible to collect millions of dollars from oil-rich Muslim nations without disclosure. Documents show CAIR has received millions of dollars in overseas contributions and tens of millions in pledges from overseas.

CAIR’s convoluted structure and funding machinations are dizzying. Today, the original Council on American Islamic Relations doesn’t exist at all. In June 2013, CAIR changed its name to the nondescriptly named Washington Trust Foundation, Inc. (WTF).

“Plentiful legal evidence, acquired in the course of a lawsuit—plus CAIR’s own official filing documents to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and IRS—make clear that CAIR has engaged in a thinly-disguised money laundering operation,” David Reaboi, vice president for strategic communications at the Center for Security Policy, told The Daily Caller.

“In addition to violating its 501(c)(3) regulations, CAIR’s undisclosed and hidden foreign donations amount to violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act as well,” Reaboi continued.

CAIR formed in 1994 by filing with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and soon after obtained 501(c)(4) status from the IRS as a non-profit lobbying organization.

The year before, the organization’s two founders — current Executive Director Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad — were captured on FBI wiretaps of high-level Hamas leaders, discussing the need for a public relations effort supporting that group. On the recorded meetings and phone calls, the terrorist group was referred to, in code, as “Samah,” as the participants made covert efforts to fund and promote its activities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the tune of millions of dollars.