Our friend, U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias (as well as Democratic guv candidate Pat Quinn) campaigned today alongside a coalition that includes two highly controversial groups with suspected ties to Islamic terrorism.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is a coalition that includes two groups with possible links to terrorism: the Arab American Action Network and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In September, the FBI raided the home of the executive director of the Arab American Action Network on suspicion of ties to Palestinian and South American terror groups. From ABC 7 Chicago:
As executive director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, Mr. Abudayyeh is a well-known advocate for immigrant rights. When federal officers raided his North Side home last week, along with residences in Minneapolis, they were looking for funding links between Abudayyeh and the radical Islamic group Hamas that took power in the Gaza Strip three years ago.
CAIR is also suspected of ties to terrorism, which prompted the FBI to cut ties with the group in 2009. Earlier this year, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich sent a letter to four members of Congress who asked for details on why CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-finance trial against the Holy Land Foundation and its former officials.
Weich included trial transcripts and exhibits "which demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, and the Palestine Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and HAMAS, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995."
The Anti-Defamation League recently named CAIR to its top 10 list of anti-Israel organizations in America. From the ADL’s website:
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): Along with advocacy for fair treatment of Muslims in the United States, some of the largest Muslim American organizations commit significant resources and attention to condemning various Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit with offices around the U.S., has a long record of anti-Israel rhetoric, which has, at times, crossed the line into anti-Semitism. Their rhetoric has included public statements casting Jews and Israelis as corrupt agents who control U.S. policy and are responsible for the persecution of Muslims in the U.S. CAIR has also accused Israel of genocide, described Israel as a terrorist state and portrayed terror-related trials in the U.S. as evidence of undue Israeli political influence. CAIR was founded in 1994 by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas-affiliated anti-Semitic organization, and has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts in the U.S. to support Hamas. In 2007, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, during which evidence was produced by the Federal prosecutors demonstrating that CAIR and its founders were part of a group set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas. CAIR has participated in and endorsed many rallies where support for terrorist organizations was expressed, and continues to offer a platform to conspiratorial Israel-bashers through its affiliated California-based publication, InFocus News. In response to the Israeli Navy's raid of a flotilla of ships heading to Gaza in May 2010, the executive director of CAIR-Chicago accused Israel of a "failure to apply Jewish values" and CAIR's Southern California executive director, Hussam Ayloush, posted a message on Facebook calling for "ending this failed destructive and racist experiment called Zionism."