The Counterterrorrism Blog has reported on documents and testimony in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terrorism financing case showing that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its founders Omar Ahmed and CAIR executive Nihad Awad were members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee”, founded in 1988 by the head of the Palestine Section of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Levant who came to America and met with fellow Muslim Brothers. The background to these events was explained in an internal memo as:
At the end of the seventies, the Shamm [Levant] Countries Movement opened a new section which was called “The Palestine Section” to oversee the affairs of the Ikhwan inside the Occupied Territories. It was considered the liaison between the followers of the Movement inside and outside. In the beginning of the eighties, the Islamic action for Palestine experienced distinguished leaps. At the inside level, groups and apparatuses were formed to confront the Zionist enemy and they carried different names then such as “The Palestinian Mujahedeen” and other names. At the outside level, a number of associations, Islamic youths and students unions were formed to ally [sic]the masses in order to render the Palestinian cause victorious.
According to the CT website, the memo calls on the Palestine Committees, to work to “increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas” to “fight surrendering solutions,” and to publicize and focus on “the savagery of the Jews.”
Other organizations and individuals that were part of this committee were said by the government to be part of the Hamas network in the U.S.. A previous post has discussed a 1993 meeting in Philadelphia which was attended by leaders in this network including Ahmed and Awad the purpose of which was “to develop a strategy to defeat the Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, and to continue and improve their [HAMAS] fund-raising and political activities in the United States.” A government agent also testified that CAIR received funds from the Holy Land Foundation which had previously been denied by Nihad Awad. Much of this information was known in some form prior to the HLF trial although not in such great detail or backed up with such extensive documentation. CAIR is one of the most prominent organizations said to represent U.S. Muslims.