A few days ago, Jennifer Rubin, writing at Pajamas Media, wondered: "Why is the Justice Department Cozying Up to Islamic Radicals?"
Rubin obtained a copy of an email seeking volunteers at the DOJ to represent the department in its booth at the Islamic Society of North America's convention. ISNA is no moderate Islamic fellowship, Rubin noted. Because of the excellent work done by federal prosecutors and organizations such as Steve Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), we know that ISNA has longstanding ties to radical groups around the world.
For example, ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. That trial resulted in the conviction of five former HLF officials who, among other illicit activities, were soliciting funds on behalf of Hamas, a radical wing of the Muslim Brotherhood that seeks the destruction of Israel.
As the Emerson's IPT has noted:
Federal prosecutors identified ISNA as a "member organization" of the "U.S. Muslim Brotherhood" on its list of Unindicted Co-conspirators and/or Joint Venturers.
That is, federal prosecutors believe that the ISNA is a Trojan horse, operating on U.S. soil to collect funds for international extremism and terrorism, as well as to influence American public opinion.
Despite ISNA's disturbing ties, Rubin noted, the DOJ has repeatedly made "outreach efforts" to the organization. This occurred during the Bush years and has continued on in the Obama administration. An ISNA employee was even invited to speak at Obama's inaugural prayer service.
If ISNA's ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood won't dissuade the DOJ from befriending the organization, perhaps the group's ties to an al Qaeda charity will.
In a must-read exposÃ© on the financial ties between Saudi Arabia, including members of the royal family, and al Qaeda, the New York Times linked to several supporting documents today. One of these documents is a dossier prepared by German criminal investigators in 2003. The Germans investigated the financial dealings of an organization called the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), which moved hundreds of millions of dollars around in its sponsorship of terrorism.
TWRA was run by senior Bosnian government officials, and sponsored the relocation of hundreds, if not thousands, of jihadists to Bosnia to fight in the 1990s. While carrying out some legitimate humanitarian functions as a cover, TWRA was really a front for global terrorist operations.
And the ISNA was likely one of its donors.
The German criminal investigators' entry on ISNA reads (see this page on the Times's web site):
Islamic Society of North America
Four credit entries by check were identified, whose sender where (sic) all indicated as "Dyewood Center I.S.N.A." In total an amount of USD 102,197.85 was credited. This organization is likely to be the "Islamic Society of North America", headquartered at Plainfield, Indiana, USA.
German criminal investigators concluded that ISNA's six-figure donation to TWRA was split into four transfers between July and October of 1992.
What was TWRA doing at the time? It was funding the terror network that executed the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and orchestrated a follow-on attack against landmarks in the New York metro area.As Evan Kohlmann explains in his book, Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe:
During the 1995 trial of conspirators charged with involvement in a terrorist plot to attack landmarks in New York, Clement Rodney Hampton-el, an American Muslim who trained in the Afghan camps run by Al-Qaida, confirmed that he had been smuggling money into the United States obtained from the Third World Relief Agency for the purpose of financing the military training in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania of Arab-Afghan mujahideen destined for Bosnia. Several graduates of these makeshift camps helped organize and carry out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. TWRA had ties to al Qaeda members and supporters the world over. Kohlmann notes that Osama bin Laden was suspected of donating "large sums of money" to TWRA to fund the jihad in Bosnia. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, whose jihadists executed the World Trade Center bombing and organized the follow-on landmarks plot, was caught on tape talking to TWRA officials. TWRA "volunteered to spread" Rahman's message and sell the Blind Sheikh's "militant videotapes and sermons in mosques throughout Europe," Kohlmann reported.
There's more, of course. But it would take pages to summarize TWRA's international jihadist activities, from transiting terrorists around the globe to arranging for massive arms shipments. In addition to Kohlmann's book, TWRA's violent legacy, including ties to al Qaeda, are spelled out in elaborate detail by John Schindler in his book, Unholy Terror. Schindler was formerly one of the NSA's top analysts on the Balkans. He includes pages of details on TWRA's terrorist activities.
This is the organization that ISNA financially supported. In turn, the DOJ believes it should work with ISNA for some unknown reason.
As Rubin asks: "what is the Justice Department doing soliciting employees through the Justice Department email system to attend a convention at which ISNA can propagate its views?"