More Political Decision-Making at Justice?

Did the Obama Justice Department refuse to prosecute a radical Muslim with alleged terrorist ties for political reasons? That question is at the center of a new Judicial Watch investigation.

Recently we filed a lawsuit against the DOJ for failing to respond to our request for public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The documents relate to a decision by the DOJ not to prosecute the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its co-founder Omar Ahmad, who has been linked by federal investigators to the terrorist group Hamas.

Importantly, the decision not to prosecute reportedly was made over the objections of special agents of the FBI and prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, Texas.

On May 9, 2011, we sent a FOIA request to the DOJ’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) and here’s what we’re after:


  • “The March 31, 2010 memorandum entitled ‘Declination of Prosecution of Omar Ahmad’ from Attorney General David Kris to Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler.”
  • “Any and all communications, contacts, or correspondence between the Office of the Attorney General (AG), the Office of Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Office of the Associate Attorney General (Assoc. AG) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or any CAIR groups concerning, regarding, or relating to the prosecution or declination of prosecution of Omar Ahmad.”
  • “Any all communications, contacts, or correspondence between the Office of the AG, the Office of the DAG, or the Office of the Assoc. AG and the U.S. Congress concerning, regarding, or relating to the prosecution or declination of prosecution of Omar Ahmad”
  • “Any and all communications, contacts, or correspondence between the office of the AG, the office of the DAG, or the office of the Assoc. AG and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas concerning, regarding, or relating to the prosecution or declination of prosecution of Omar Ahmad.”

On May 9, 2011, Judicial Watch also filed a similar request with the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) seeking access to contacts and correspondence between the NSD and CAIR, Congress, and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Texas regarding the decision not to prosecute. (The time frame for these requests is January 20, 2009 to May 1, 2011.)

Both DOJ divisions have acknowledged receipt of Judicial Watch’s request and were required to respond by June 14 and June 13, 2011, respectively. However, to date, both have failed to produce responsive documents or indicate when a response is forthcoming.

And who is Omar Ahmad?

Ahmad served as senior executive on the Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization of U.S.-based Hamas support groups. Moreover, according to sworn testimony by an FBI agent during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which was convicted in 2008 of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, Ahmad moderated a conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October 1993, during which participants discussed ways to support Hamas.

A ruling by U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis in the Holy Land Foundation lawsuit referenced the specific purpose of the Philadelphia meeting:

The Philadelphia conference essentially laid out the path that the Palestine Committee would take to accomplish its goal of supporting Hamas in the future. Wiretaps from the Philadelphia conference reflect that Ahmad participated…in a number of meetings related to the goals, strategies, and American perception of the Muslim Brotherhood. Topics discussed included redefining the perception of the suborganizations due to their work for the Palestinian cause, and the legal hurdles…faced when raising funds for Hamas and other Palestinian causes or when taking orders from overseas leaders.

Judge Solis also declined an attempt by CAIR to remove the organization’s designation as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation lawsuit, ruling that the government “has produced ample evidence to establish the associations” of CAIR with Hamas.

The American people have a right to know why the Obama DOJ decided against prosecuting a terrorist-connected Muslim extremist over the objections of federal investigators

The case against Ahmad and CAIR is substantial and it certainly appears they were let off the hook in order to appease radical Muslims. Given the politicization of the DOJ under Eric Holder, should we expect anything different?

The Obama DOJ is ignoring illegal immigration laws to curry favor with the illegal immigration lobby. The Obama DOJ dropped its substantial voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers to curry favor with the NAACP and its constituents. The Obama DOJ announced it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act to curry favor with the gay lobby (as Politico recently pointed out). All are considered key voter demographics for the Obama campaign in 2012.

So why not ignore the connections of a terrorist sympathizer if it’ll earn support from Muslim voters (and appease our enemies abroad, such as the Muslim Brotherhood)?

Regarding our fight for documents, the pattern of this DOJ is to stonewall even the most basic requests for information under the law. The cover-up and secrecy in this administration is, frankly, like nothing we’ve ever seen.

For more information on CAIR and other Islamic terrorist-front groups, click here to read a Judicial Watch special report entitled Muslim Charities: Moderate Non-Profits or Elaborate Deceptions? You’ll see that Ahmad is referenced, along with CAIR.

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