U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is in the spotlight after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold him in contempt because he is refusing to provide documents related to the Fast and the Furious scandal. But there's another scandal you should know about. For over one year, he has refused to hand over documents about the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx), vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, confronted Holder about the matter on Thursday, June 21. Rep. Gohmert wants Congress to have access to documents from the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history. Five Foundation officials were found guilty of funding Hamas and evidence introduced by the federal government shows it was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood's secret "Palestine Committee" in the U.S.
Three prominent Muslim-American organizations were labeled by the federal government as "unindicted co-conspirators" in the trial-the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The documents requested by Rep. Gohmert for the past year were provided to the Holy Land Foundation's defense team, yet are being denied to Congress.
"They are terrorists, and we wanted the documents you gave to the terrorists. We are a year later, and we still don't have them," complained Rep. Gohmert. Holder replied that he'd only provide what is already available publicly.
Watch Rep. Gohmert grill holder at a Congressional hearing on the subject:
Rep. Gohmert is one of five members of Congress requesting investigations into the influence of Muslim Brotherhood-tied organizations and individuals in the U.S. government. As I reviewed here, this influence is far-reaching. It is very possible that the documents from the Holy Land trial would be embarrassing to many government officials, not to mention businesses and interfaith groups that have embraced Brotherhood entities. At the very least, they could provide further justification for the labeling of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT as "unindicted co-conspirators."
The documents were originally requested on April 27, 2011 after reporter Patrick Poole broke the blockbuster story at Pajamas Media that Justice Department political appointees blocked the prosecution of one CAIR co-founder and, according to his high-level Justice Department source, other groups and individuals listed as "unindicted co-conspirators."
Poole learned that Assistant Attorney General David Kris wrote a memo dated March 31, 2010 titled, "Declination of Prosecution of Omar Ahmad," an individual who was present at a Muslim Brotherhood meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 to discuss how to support Hamas. The idea to create a new group was put forward at this meeting and Ahmad co-founded CAIR the next year. Ahmad was also personally listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land trial. The given reason to drop the prosecution was potential jury nullification but the source is certain that it was a political decision.
According to Poole's source, "It was always the plan to initially go after the [HLF] leaders first and then go after the rest of the accomplices in a second round of prosecutions." The original trial resulted in a mistrial, pushing back the planned prosecutions. The Obama Administration then came into office and they were stopped.
After the report broke, the Administration claimed that its predecessor had decided not to indict CAIR in 2004. Poole explains that this is true but it was because "They decided to get the bigger fish after they convicted the smaller fish." Rep. Peter King confirmed that FBI officials and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Texas, which prosecuted the Holy Land Foundation, were ready to begin the second round of prosecutions and were outraged at how the political appointees stopped them.
Congressional sources later told Poole that Assistant Attorney General David Kris also dropped the prosecution of several officials involved with the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Muslim Brotherhood front, and the SAAR Foundation/SAFA Group, which has disbanded since the federal government raided their offices. They were to be prosecuted on charges related to tax evasion and money laundering because Sami al-Arian, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in the U.S., refused to testify and reveal their terrorist connections.
Poole reported that one of these protected officials is Jamal Barzinji. In October 2011, former Virginia Governor and current Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine spoke at an event honoring Barzinji. His ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are very well-documented. FBI documents all the way back from 1987-1988 identify him as a Brotherhood operative. He is also a founder of the radical Dar al-Hijrah mosque, which Treasury Department records say "is a mosque operating as a front for Hamas operatives in the U.S."
Rep. Gohmert slammed Holder for not prosecuting these groups and individuals when there is a "mountain of evidence" against them. He further revealed that "at least one of which now says it is working inside your [Holder's] agency to help advise on the purge of counter-terrorism training materials."
The role of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has already been discovered. MPAC was founded by Brotherhood ideologues and works in tandem with the aforementioned groups, but was not labeled as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land trial. Rep. Gohmert was apparently referring to CAIR, ISNA or NAIT.
On February 8, ISNA was part of an interfaith group that met with the FBI Director about the training materials. A FBI spokesperson said the agency would consider a proposal from the group to create a committee to review the materials. More recently, the White House's new Director for Community Partnerships, George Selim, said that "There is [sic] hundreds of examples of departments and agencies that meet with CAIR on a range of issues."
Fast and the Furious isn't the only controversy Holder is refusing to show documents about, but it's probably the only one you're hearing about.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's National Security Analyst and a fellow with the Clarion Fund. He is the founder of WorldThreats.com and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.