Has the U.S. Government Finished Investigating CAIR for Terror Ties?

Is the U.S. government investigating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as it said it would? If not, why not? If so, what are its findings?

Consider this syllogism:

Muslim Brotherhood membership = a possible indicator of extremism.

CAIR = a Muslim Brotherhood organization.

∴ CAIR = “possibly” an “extremist” i.e. terrorist organization.

A recently-published British government report concludes that “membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism,” according to Prime Minister David Cameron. The report also notes that the British government was mistaken in believing it shared a common agenda with the Muslim Brotherhood against al-Qaeda and militant Salafism in general. Cameron said the government would be more careful in the future not to provide legitimacy or a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The study is particularly noteworthy given that CAIR, a widely-quoted organization which poses as a civil-rights group, is a Muslim Brotherhood entity. A federal district court found it to be so, listing it under the heading “The following individuals/entitles who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and/or its organizations.” CAIR is number 11 on the list. CAIR was started with the help of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation, a terrorist organization prosecuted by the aforementioned court for aiding the terrorist group Hamas. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Muslim Brotherhood is “Hamas’ parent organization.” 

The problem is not limited to leaders from long ago: CAIR’s current executive director, Nihad Awad, participated in a Hamas meeting in Philadelphia and has voiced support for the group. Doubtless it is this mindset that caused CAIR’s reluctance to condemn Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks.

Given CAIR’s record of ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) severed ties with CAIR back in 2009 “until [the FBI] can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS.” After the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR a terrorist organization in November 2014, the U.S. State Department said it would investigate. What has it found? Why doesn’t the federal government release the reports?

Johanna Markind is Associate Counselor for the Middle East Forum.

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