CAIR seems to be following a risky course here. Conyers himself may be pliant, but if there are hearings, some information may come out that CAIR doesn’t want to see coming out. “CAIR seeks removal of label in terrorism case,” by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is seeking help from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. to pressure the Justice Department to change the group’s status as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case.
CAIR officials recently met with Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, and then wrote a letter asking him to lobby the new attorney general on behalf of the group, and to hold hearings.
CAIR is among several hundred Muslim groups listed as unindicted co-conspirators in a recent federal terrorism trial in Dallas into activities by the Holy Land Foundation Inc., a group linked to funding the Palestinian Hamas terrorist group. The trial recently ended in a mistrial and prosecutors have said they plan to re-try the case.
Despite its uncertain outcome, the trial has produced a large amount of information and evidence identifying U.S. and foreign groups sympathetic to or direct supporters of international Islamist terrorists.
A 1991 internal memorandum from the radical Muslim Brotherhood identified 29 front groups, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), that are part of a covert program by the Brotherhood in the United States to subvert American society.
CAIR officials have requested that Mr. Conyers ask the Justice Department to explain why it publicly identified the 306 co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial.
“Those on the list suffer negatively as a result of the label ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ as it impresses upon the typical member of the American public that those listed are involved in criminal activity,” the group said in a letter to Mr. Conyers. “In reality, those so named have neither been charged with a crime nor offered any recourse for challenging the allegation.”
The group said the conspirator designation is being used by counterterrorism advocates to block government funds from being used to conduct outreach programs to Muslim groups. Pending fiscal 2008 legislation would block the Justice Department from using any funds for participation in conferences sponsored by a group or person identified by the government as a criminal unindicted co-conspirator.
Critics in Congress opposed the Justice Department’s involvement in a conference sponsored by ISNA in September because the group was linked to the Holy Land Foundation case.
CAIR’s letter to Mr. Conyers said that “you remember many of these abusive practices from the McCarthy era and the civil rights movement.”