The "moderate" image of some high-profile US Muslim groups continues to collapse as the Senate steps up hearings on Islamist terror networks inside the United States and as federal investigators find increasing alleged connections to terrorism.
As the Center for Security Policy has been warning for more than two years, the connections with these groups to a prominent Republican activist and to White House outreach operations led by Karl Rove, may prove harmful to both President Bush and the nation.
In recent days, former officials of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that senior figure in the American Muslim Council (AMC) - which an FBI spokesman had previously characterized as one of the most "mainstream" Muslim groups in the country - has been held since June as a major player in the financing of international terrorism.
That senior terrorist figure is AMC advisory board member Soliman Biheiri, an Egyptian whom a federal prosecutor says "came here as the Muslim Brotherhood's financial toehold in the US." The goal is to spread a global Islamic theocracy. The Muslim Brotherhood, according prosecutors, spawned both al Qaeda and Hamas.
"The case of Soliman Biheiri has become the spearhead of a two-year investigation into whether Islamic activists and their wealthy Saudi backers assembled an empire of dozens of well-funded businesses and charities in this country to support terrorists and their causes," according to the Wall Street Journal. "The Justice Department says those elements converged around Mr. Biheiri, head of a now-defunct New Jersey investment firm who has been charged with immigration fraud and held in US custody since mid-June."
Significantly, Rove and the Republican activist, Grover Norquist, have ignored warnings from national security experts that the organizations they were courting, including CAIR and the AMC, were tied to terrorists. Both have been behind a barrage of attacks on the Justice Department's fight against domestic terrorism and against Attorney General John Ashcroft personally - this as Norquist's group, the Islamic Institute, takes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from a Wahhabi regime in the Persian Gulf.
Both Rove and Norquist reportedly are behind an effort to pressure President Bush to slow down the war against the terrorists, called the "No More War in '04" strategy. Given the connections with so many people now under federal investigation or in jail, one must ask what really motivates the nature and timing of such activity.