Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Congressman Joe Sestak abets legal Islamism hires CAIR staffer - Group removes speakers names from poster leaves only his
Congressman Joe Sestak abets legal Islamism hires CAIR staffer - Group removes speakers names from poster leaves only his
CAIR staffer poses security risk - 5 group members were prosecuted for terrorism related charges
March 2, 2007
MIM: After a journalist called Sestak's Philadelphia office CAIR -Philly removed the other speakers names from this online poster. They were former ambassador Edward Peck, CAIR National Director Parvez Ahmed, and Rafael Narbaez the head of The American Ansar Foundation. See: http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2739
Update: 3/7/07 This event noticed was posted on on March 5th and shows that CAIR is deliberately hiding the identities of the other three speakers whose names were removed from the poster above on Thursday March 1st after a journalist and concerned individuals were calling Sestak's office to protest his appearence at the CAIR fundraiser.
CAIR Gains Partner In Cultural Jihad, Congressman Joe Sestak [D-Penn]
By Beila Rabinowitz
March 2, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Constituents who call Congressman Joe Sestak's office to protest his planned speaking gig at the Council for American Islamic Relations may be in for a nasty surprise. The staffer on the phone could be none other than CAIR office director and former media coordinator Adeeba Al Zaman, since Sestak has decided to employ her.
According to CAIR's website:
"From April 2005 until September 2006 Adeeba was CAIR's first full time employee director of communications. She was hired to develop the organization from the ground up…Adeeba is currently a Congressional staffer for Congressman Joe Sestak of PA District 7." http://www.cairphilly.org/index.php?Page=staff-adeeba&Side=about
Congressman Sestak [D-Penn] is receiving calls from constituents urging him to cancel his appearance at CAIR's April 7th fundraiser.
Sestak cannot help but be aware of CAIR's documented terror ties. Senator Barbara Boxer's [D-CA] recently made headlines by rescinding an award to the group on the grounds that "they refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah and did not acknowledge that Bin Laden was behind the 9/11 attacks."
She told the press that her staff had uncovered "a laundry list" of problems with the group and cited the fact that several of their members had been convicted on terrorism related charges, including their communications director and civil rights coordinator Ismail Randall Royer who is serving 20 years in prison for attempting to 'wage jihad against the United States'. Boxer also acknowledged: "We made a bad mistake not researching the organization."
Callers to the Congressman's office in both Philadelphia and DC are being told by staffers that their concerns are 'being noted' and in an unusual move were also asked to provide their home addresses.
In media interviews, Sestak has belligerantly claimed that many of the calls to his office have been supportive of his appearance, however what the Congressman fails to point out is that CAIR's Philadelphia office director Iftehkar Hussain and his wife Bushra sent out a mass email calling upon Muslims to show support for Sestak's decision to speak at the fundraiser, hence CAIR has joined with him in gaming the process with the intent of manipulating the story. http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18027017&BRD=1675&PAG=461&dept_id=18171&rfi=6
From: "Iftekhar Hussain" Subject: KINDLY CALL JOE SESTAK AT 610-892-8623 to THANK HIM Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 01:57:26 +0000
Dear Friend, Peace to you!
I am writing to ask for your support on an urgent issue.
Congressman Joe Sestak is taking heat from some anti-Muslim constituents for having accepted an invitation to CAIR-PA, Philadelphia Chapter's annual banquet on April 7, 2007. Why should he support CAIR-PA? Check out CAIR-PA's website to learn more about the work that it does to build tolerance and understanding in Pennsylvania: http://pa.cair.com. Don't let him walk away with the message that he shouldn't support some of the most urgent civil rights and interfaith work in the state!
WE NEED TO SUPPORT HIS COMMITMENT TO THIS WORK, BY PHONE ONLY. Please follow these easy instructions:
Make a two-minute phone call now:
Contact Congressman Joe Sestak at 610-892-8623 and tell him
1. You are a voter If you are a voter in the 7th District, that is great but not necessary. [the 7th district contains the western and northwestern suburbs of Philadelphia. It is comprised of the majority of Delaware County (except for the City of Chester and some of the eastern boroughs), a portion of Chester County east of West Chester, and a portion of southern Montgomery County in the affluent Main Line area]
2. You understand that he has accepted an invitation to speak at CAIR-PA's annual banquet
3. You want to express your support and enthusiasm for his participation in this event, which demonstrates his support for one of the state's most important civil rights and interfaith organizations.
Thank you and Best Regards
Your friends, Iftekhar and Bushra
Congressman Sestak's callous disregard for his constituent's concerns and documented evidence of CAIR's terrorism ties is all the more ominous in light of his decision to employ a member of the group.
The presence of a CAIR staffer in the Congressman's office has obvious national security implications - 5 members of the group have been prosecuted on terror related charges.
We consider Joe Sestak's actions in this matter to be reckless and his response intentionally deceptive.
CAIR is a Saudi Wahhabist funded front for Hamas and is in the vanguard of the push to Islamize the United States. The organization's goal is to replace the Constitution with Shar'ia.
As Dr. Daniel Pipes noted in an article titled "How the West Could Lose"
"Should Islamists get smart and avoid mass destruction, but instead stick to the lawful, political, non-violent route, and should their movement remain vital, it is difficult to see what will stop them." http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4227
Congressman Sestak's response to this controversy means that he chosen to side with the Islamists. His constituents can only conclude that he is now serving another master - CAIR's cultural jihad.
MIM: In an article headlined "Sestak Takes Heat over appearence at CAIR banquet" the Congressman defended his decision to speak at the fundraiser claiming he that 'most of the 50 to 60 callers this week' thanked him for reaching out to Muslims. Iftehkar Hussain the director of CAIR Philadelphia who whose office staffer now works for Sestak, was behind the telephone campaign and sent emails urging Muslims to show support for him. (see above)
Sestak, D-7, of Edgmont, is a guest speaker at CAIR's April 7 banquet and fundraiser at the Hilton Philadelphia.
He said he accepted the invitation to support his local Muslim constituency, particularly in Upper Darby, and because 250 of the attendees are expected to be 7th District residents.
"If they're from my district, I will be there. ..I've talked to this community many times and I will continue to do so," Sestak said, adding that President Bush has met with CAIR representatives in the past.
News of the banquet prompted some conservative Web sites to urge readers to contact Sestak's Media and Washington, D.C. offices to tell him it is "unacceptable" to attend the event. But he said most of the 50 to 60 callers this week thanked him for reaching out to Muslims.
"Last week, I talked to the Chinese-American community," Sestak said. "The week before, I talked to the Irish community."
Perhaps the most obvious problem with CAIR is the fact that at least five of its employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities.
Randall ("Ismail") Royer, an American convert to Islam, served as CAIR's communications specialist and civil rights coordinator; today he sits in jail on terrorism-related charges. In June 2003, Royer and ten other young men, ages 23 to 35, known as the "Virginia jihad group," were indicted on forty-one counts of "conspiracy to train for and participate in a violent jihad overseas." The defendants, nine of them U.S. citizens, were accused of association with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a radical Islamic group designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State in 2001. They were also accused of meeting covertly in private homes and at the Islamic Center in Falls Church to prepare themselves for battle by listening to lectures and watching videotapes. As the prosecutor noted, "Ten miles from Capitol Hill in the streets of northern Virginia, American citizens allegedly met, plotted, and recruited for violent jihad." According to Matthew Epstein of the Investigative Project, Royer helped recruit the others to the jihad effort while he was working for CAIR. The group trained at firing ranges in Virginia and Pennsylvania; in addition, it practiced "small-unit military tactics" at a paintball war-games facility in Virginia, earning it the moniker, the "paintball jihadis." Eventually members of the group traveled to Pakistan.
Five of the men indicted, including CAIR's Royer, were found to have had in their possession, according to the indictment, "AK-47-style rifles, telescopic lenses, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tracer rounds, documents on undertaking jihad and martyrdom, [and] a copy of the terrorist handbook containing instructions on how to manufacture and use explosives and chemicals as weapons."
After four of the eleven defendants pleaded guilty, the remaining seven, including Royer, were accused in a new, 32-count indictment of yet more serious charges: conspiring to help Al-Qaeda and the Taliban battle American troops in Afghanistan. Royer admitted in his grand jury testimony that he had already waged jihad in Bosnia under a commander acting on orders from Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors also presented evidence that his father, Ramon Royer, had rented a room in his St. Louis-area home in 2000 to Ziyad Khaleel, the student who purchased the satellite phone used by Al-Qaeda in planning the two U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa in August 1998. Royer eventually pleaded guilty to lesser firearms-related charges, and the former CAIR staffer was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
A coda to the "Virginia jihad network" came in 2005 when a Federal court convicted another Virginia man, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, of plotting to kill President Bush. Prosecutors alleged that Abu Ali participated in the Virginia jihad network's paintball games and perhaps supplied one of his fellow jihadists with an assault rifle. Royer's possible role in Abu Ali's plans are unclear.
Ghassan Elashi, the founder of CAIR's Texas chapter, has a long history of funding terrorism. First, he was convicted in July 2004, with his four brothers, of having illegally shipped computers from their Dallas-area business, InfoCom Corporation, to two designated state-sponsors of terrorism, Libya and Syria. Second, he and two brothers were convicted in April 2005 of knowingly doing business with Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader, whom the U.S. State Department had in 1995 declared a "specially designated terrorist." Elashi was convicted of all twenty-one counts with which he was charged, including conspiracy, money laundering, and dealing in the property of a designated terrorist. Third, he was charged in July 2004 with providing more than $12.4 million to Hamas while he was running the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, America's largest Islamic charity. When the U.S. government shuttered Holy Land Foundation in late 2001, CAIR characterized this move as "unjust" and "disturbing."
Bassem Khafagi, an Egyptian native and CAIR's onetime community relations director, pleaded guilty in September 2003 to lying on his visa application and passing bad checks for substantial amounts in early 2001, for which he was deported. CAIR claimed Khafagi was hired only after he had committed his crimes and that the organization was unaware of his wrongdoing. But that is unconvincing, for a cursory background check reveals that Khafagi was a founding member and president of the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an organization under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for terrorism-related activities. CAIR surely knew that IANA under Khafagi was in the business of, as prosecutors stated in Idaho court papers, disseminating "radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members, and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism."
For example, IANA websites promoted the views of two Saudi preachers, Salman al-Awdah and Safar al-Hawali, well-known in Islamist circles for having been spiritual advisors to Osama bin Laden. Under Khafagi's leadership, Matthew Epstein has testified, IANA hosted a conference at which a senior Al-Qaeda recruiter, Abdelrahman al-Dosari, was a speaker. IANA disseminated publications advocating suicide attacks against the United States, according to federal investigators.
Also, Khafagi was co-owner of a Sir Speedy printing franchise until 1998 with Rafil Dhafir, who was a former vice president of IANA and a Syracuse-area oncologist convicted in February 2005 of illegally sending money to Iraq during the Saddam Hussein regime as well as defrauding donors by using contributions to his "Help the Needy" charitable fund to avoid taxes and to purchase personal assets for himself. Dhafir was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison.
Rabih Haddad, a CAIR fundraiser, was arrested in December 2001 on terrorism-related charges and deported from the United States due to his subsequent work as executive director of the Global Relief Foundation, a charity he cofounded which was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in October 2002 for financing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
Siraj Wahhaj, a CAIR advisory board member, was named in 1995 by U.S. attorney Mary Jo White as a possible unindicted coconspirator in the plot to blow up New York City landmarks led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman. In defense of having Wahhaj on its advisory board, CAIR described him as "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America." In October 2004, he spoke at a CAIR dinner.
This roster of employees and board members connected to terrorism makes one wonder how CAIR remains an acceptable guest at U.S. government events—and even more so, how U.S. law enforcement agencies continue to associate with it.