While the IRS has been busy bogging down conservative nonprofit groups with no connections to violent terrorist ideologies, it’s been tacitly green-lighting the nonprofit status of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which for years has been hiding the identities of major Middle Eastern donors with ties to terror organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to The Daily Caller, which released a story Saturday about CAIR’s Byzantine money-laundering shell game, the organization has gone to extraordinary lengths to obscure the sources of its funding, even as it presents a disingenuously benign face to the American public.
Despite the group’s ties to Hamas and its court-documented origins as part the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in America, CAIR officials — including Awad, its communications director Ibrahim Hooper, and others — have appeared in media, been praised by politicians and continued to claim to represent the American Muslim community.
This last claim may ring hollow, though, as CAIR’s fundraising practices are constructed in a way that makes it impossible to trace large donations from overseas, including from foreign governments.
While behaving and referring to itself as a single organization, CAIR has taken advantage of the lack of donor reporting requirements for its de-listed 501(c)(4) non-profit to collect funds from large donors who remain anonymous, then depositing the funds into its 501(c)(3) entity. This practice is referred to in the federal criminal statutes as “laundering” of funds.
When foreign funds are laundered into a US political non-profit this way, it runs afoul of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, a 1938 statute requiring “persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal.” Similarly, it is illegal under US law to shift funds from overseas in order not to report to the IRS.
On Monday, a Minnesota-based Somali community leader named Abdirizak Bihi revealed that for years CAIR has successfully blocked his efforts to alert law enforcement to the Islamist radicalization of Somalis living in the U.S.
That report came on the heels of a weekend terror attack (thought President Barack Obama still hasn’t called it by that name) that took the lives of more than 60 shoppers at an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Radicalized Americans from the very same Minnesota neighborhood where Bihi lives are reportedly among the al-Shabaab terrorists who launched that attack.
“Bihi has been working to stop radicalization of Somali-Americans for years. He has testified before Congress about the dangers of radicalization in the U.S. Somali community, working alongside the FBI and the Justice Department,” The Daily Caller reports:
But he told The Daily Caller the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has blocked his efforts for years, telling law enforcement agencies by telling them that he doesn’t know the Somali community and calling him “an Islamophobe” in a recent report.
“They say that I am a bad person, that I am anti-Muslim, and that I don’t represent a hundred percent the Somali community,” Bihi said. “They lie about my life most of the time and try to destroy my character, my capability, and my trust in the community.”
Bihi, director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, also says CAIR has tried to bring Somalis into the organization and [CAIR] denies the threat that terrorism poses.
“CAIR boasts that it’s a Somali organization,” Bihi concluded. “They can’t find a Somali to work with them.”