The U.S. Justice Department has provided "ample evidence" that the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been involved in a conspiracy to support the terrorist group Hamas, according to a federal court ruling unsealed Friday.
"The four pieces of evidence the government relies on do create at least a prima facie case as to CAIR's involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas," U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis wrote in his 20-page, July 2009 ruling.
Consequently, the court denied CAIR's request to have its name removed from documents listing the group as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.
Among the evidence provided by the Justice Department are documents showing CAIR operated as a key member of the "Palestine Committee," the U.S. wing of Hamas. Also, both CAIR's founding chairman Omar Ahmad and acting executive director Nihad Awad were placed at a clandestine meeting with Hamas leaders in Philadelphia.
"The attendees agreed not to mention the word Hamas but to refer to Hamas as 'Samah,' which is Hamas spelled backwards," Solis said. "The Philadelphia conference essentially laid out the path that the Palestine Committee would take to accomplish its goal of supporting Hamas in the future."
CAIR bills itself as an Islamic civil rights group whose goal is "to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding."