“The Senate Finance Committee has asked the Internal Revenue Service to turn over confidential tax and financial records, including donor lists, on dozens of Muslim charities and foundations as part of a widening congressional investigation into alleged ties between tax-exempt organizations and terrorist groups, according to documents and officials.” This from the Washington Post.
“. . . The Senate-led probe follows more than two years of investigations by the FBI, the Treasury Department and other federal agencies into the activities of Islamic charities suspected of having ties to al Qaeda; the Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as Hamas; and other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. The United States has frozen more than $136 million in assets allegedly linked to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups and has effectively shut down the operations of the largest U.S.-based Islamic charities. . . .
Predictably, “many Muslim leaders and attorneys for the charities complain that the government’s tactics have unfairly smeared law-abiding Muslims and have dried up financial support for groups that try to provide medicine, food and other goods to the Middle East and elsewhere. Several representatives of the groups said the Senate Finance Committee’s probe is needlessly intrusive and will scare away more contributors.
“‘The Muslim community would view this as another fishing expedition solely targeting Muslims in America,’ said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington. ‘Are they now going to start a witch hunt of all the donors of these now closed relief organizations, so that Muslims feel they’re going to be targeted once more based on their charitable giving?'”
Ibrahim, you could allay a great deal of the suspicion that leads to these “fishing expeditions” by making CAIR the leading anti-terror group in the U.S., throwing its considerable wealth into efforts to eradicate terrorism from the American Muslim community. I won’t be holding my breath.
“Committee staffers said the investigation is based not on ethnicity or religious affiliation but rather on concerns that the groups may have ties to terrorists or their supporters. ‘This is not a fishing expedition targeting Muslims,’ one Senate aide said. ‘All the groups we’re looking at are suspected of having some connections to terrorism or of doing propaganda for terrorists. We’re not presuming anybody’s guilty.’ . . .
“The foundations and charities named by the committee in its request include many that remain targets of ongoing investigations by U.S. authorities. Among them are the SAAR Foundation and its affiliated entities, a defunct network of organizations based in Northern Virginia; Global Relief, whose founder was deported to Lebanon; and the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the largest Muslim charity in the United States, which was singled out by President Bush for allegedly supporting Hamas. Its assets have been frozen. Other groups on the list include the Muslim World League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the Islamic Society of North America.”