Prayer Leader's Group Linked to Hamas

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The leader of a controversial Muslim group has been selected to offer a prayer at one post-inaugural event this week.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America or ISNA, has been chosen by the Obama Inaugural committee to offer a Muslim prayer at a prayer service Wednesday, with other ministers at Washington's National Cathedral.

Click play for more with CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

Federal prosecutors say the group she leads has ties to the group Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Obama's people downplayed the association, however. A spokesperson for the inaugural committee said that Mattson, "has a stellar reputation in the faith community."

Terrorism Investigations

The ISNA, which is based in., was listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in a terrorism investigations in 2007 and July 2008. Neither the ISNA group or Mattson have been charged with anything.

But federal prosecutors in Dallas wrote in July that they had "a wide array of testimonial and documentary evidence expressly linking" the group to Hamas and other radical groups."

The ISNA describes itself as "the nation's largest mainstream Muslim community-based organization." In court documents, Mattson's group says it does not condone terrorism.

ISNA Trains Chaplains for Prisons, Military

The ISNA helps certify Muslim chaplains for federal prisons. Mattson leads a program at the Hartford Seminary that trains Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military.

She recently served on a committee of 36 leaders that included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and two former Republican congressmen. The committee developed a report released last year on how the U.S. can fight extremism in the Muslim world.

Sources: The Associated Press, CBN News

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