Rep. Peter King challenges Holder on Muslim terror funding
Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, New York Republican Rep. Peter T. King is demanding answers from Attorney General Eric Holder, calling on Holder to explain to why the Justice Department decided not to prosecute the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) in a Hamas terror finance case.
In a letter to Holder, King questions the credibility of Justice Department for deciding not to prosecute the aforementioned actors in United States v. Holy Land Foundation.
“I have been reliably informed that the decision not to seek indictments of the Council on American Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) and its co-founder Omar Ahmad, the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”), and the North American Islamic Trust (“NAIT”), was usurped by high-ranking officials at Department of Justice headquarters over the vehement and stated objections of special agents and supervisors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, who had investigated and successfully prosecuted the Holy Land Foundation case,” King wrote. “Their opposition to this decision raises serious doubt that the decision not to prosecute was a valid exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”
King requests that Holder respond to his questions by April 25th, including the reason Justice did not pursue cases against the three groups and Omar Ahmad (co-founder of CAIR and former head of a Muslim Brotherhood branch); the person behind the decision to drop the case and if the decision involved anybody from the executive branch; and how will concerns about these groups funding terrorists be handled in the future.
King cites a previously sealed “Memorandum Opinion Order” from United States District Judge Jorge A. Solis who refused the three group’s earlier requests not to have their names listed as unindicted co-conspirators.
“Judge Solis found that the ‘Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with [the Holy Land Foundation, ‘HLF’], the Islamic Association for Palestine (‘IAP), and with Hamas.’ The Court found that the evidence was ‘sufficient to show the association of these entities with HLF, IAP, and Hamas,’” wrote King, clarifying that that State Department has listed Hamas as a terrorist organization since 1997.
Some in the Muslim community have not reacted well to King’s questioning of the Justice Department.
“It is sad that Representative King’s personal vendetta against the American Muslim community has led him to become a mouthpiece for anti-Islam hate,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told TheDC in a statement. “This is an obvious attempt at political payback for criticism of the anti-Muslim bias in Mr. King’s recent hearing. Representative King is abusing the power of his office to carry out a political witch hunt targeting American Muslims.”
King has been at the forefront of fighting Muslim terrorism. In March King spearheaded congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization.