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FBI ‘Bridges’ to Terror By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Prior to 9/11, few understood the scope and capabilities of Al-Qaeda.  One of those worthy few was John O’Neill.  PBS dubbed him “The Man Who Knew,” as he warned a friend, on the eve of the attacks, “We’re due for something big.”  Starting in 1995, in his position as chief of the FBI’s counter-terrorism section, O’Neill became absorbed with tracking the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and his global network of terrorists.  But that search ended, shortly after a plane slammed into the building that he was stationed at, the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  It was there that John Patrick O’Neill lost his life, while trying to do what he did best – be a hero.  In an act that could only be seen as a way to dishonor his memory, the organization he gave his blood and guts for took part in an event being sponsored by one of the defendants in the lawsuit for his murder.

On April 13, 2006, the FBI led a nationally televised townhall meeting on Bridges TV, a U.S.-based Muslim television network, located in Orchard Park, New York.  The press release, sent out two days before the meeting, labeled it “a historic event in American history” and the “first-of-its-kind.”  [According to the release, it will be re-broadcast worldwide via U.S. State Department television.]  Representing the FBI was Paul Moskal, the division chief of the FBI’s office in Buffalo, and Thomas Ginter, the FBI’s local recruitment director.  The sponsor for the meeting was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the moderator was the director of CAIR’s Ohio office, Adnan Mirza.  CAIR is currently named as a defendant in the John O’Neill lawsuit, brought forward by his family and filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

In Estate of John P. O'Neill, Sr. et al. vs. Al Baraka Investment and Development Corporation, it is stated, “Council on American Islamic Relations and CAIR Canada (collectively, CAIR), have aided, abetted, and materially sponsored al Qaeda and international terrorism… In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb, and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States.”


Indeed, CAIR has a profuse track record with regards to its terrorist connections and affiliations.  The organization was created by a front group for the Palestinian Hamas.  In its short existence, CAIR has lost a Civil Rights Coordinator, a fundraiser, a Director of Community Relations, and a founding Director of its Texas Chapter, all through conviction or deportation.  The FBI had a hand in bringing to justice every one of these individuals.


Much of this information was provided to the FBI’s Buffalo office, yet the event still went on as planned.  According to agent Moskal, he was “offended” that there were concerned citizens that had warned him ahead of time not to attend.  He stated, “I was very offended.  I mean, what’s the FBI’s international reputation?”  But where was his offense at what CAIR and its officials had been involved in, and where was his compassion for his fellow agent – one of the best the FBI has ever employed?


Furthermore, where was the concern from the FBI about the venue where the meeting was being held?  Apart from the disturbing fact that CAIR has direct involvement with Bridges TV – CAIR’s Executive Director, Nihad Awad, is an advisor for Bridges – the station openly boasts of its Islamist-oriented programming.


On the homepage of the Bridges TV website, Siraj Wahhaj, a man that was named as a potential co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, is featured on the network and saluted as a “Prominent Scholar.”  And on its website, the station proudly displays a “testimonial” from Eric Vickers, the former Executive Director of the American Muslim Council, who said, in February of 2003, that the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was an act of divine retribution against Israel.  Bridges has also worked with the likes of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group tied to the violent Muslim Brotherhood that was the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation into terrorism financing.


Before and after the townhall meeting, CAIR sent out e-mails and posted “news briefs” about the event.  This is in keeping with CAIR’s practice of exploiting anything that grants the organization an air of legitimacy.  Unfortunately, the FBI and other government agencies allow themselves to be exploited.


While the FBI works diligently to protect America from her many enemies, the bureau has, as well, been all too willing to reach out to those that espouse the beliefs – and in some cases are affiliated (as the O’Neill family is attempting to prove) – with those that attacked us on 9/11.  The Bridges TV/FBI/CAIR episode is but one of many instances of this occurring.


At a time when we are at war with Muslims overseas, it is quite understandable for the American government to want to put on a good face and interact with those mainstream Muslim organizations here at home.  However, in order to do that, our government has to settle for those that represent a radical strain of Islam; not one of these groups represents otherwise. 


It is with this in mind that one must consider the alternative (not having any interaction) as being far greater than the reward for doing so.  For if we continue on this course of trying to make friends with the enemy, in the end, we will never know who the real enemy is.


John O’Neill knew.  Hopefully, someone else with any kind of influence figures it out soon.


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Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.

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