Former President Jimmy Carter is the featured keynote speaker at this weekend’s Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.
The Justice Department recently implicated ISNA, which claims to be America’s largest Muslim organization, as the lead conduit in a scheme to illegally pass on $12 million to Hamas, the Palestinian terror group established to annihilate the State of Israel. Hamas is officially designated a terrorist group by the US government.
The Justice Department officially designated ISNA as an un-indicted co-conspirator as part of its successful 2007 trial of those accused of coordinating fundraising efforts for Hamas in the United States through the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation. A federal judge turned down a subsequent ISNA appeal to reverse the designation, claiming there was “ample” evidence that Holy Land officials clearly “operated from within ISNA.” Key evidence presented at the trial were checks written to known Hamas terrorists and deposited into ISNA accounts from where they were passed on to Hamas.
Shukri Abu Bakr, now serving a 65-year sentence following his conviction on multiple counts of providing material support to Hamas, admitted to working from inside ISNA’s headquarters as he served as Hamas’s top operative in the United States.
Providing any support or assistance to a designated foreign terrorist organization is a violation of Section 18 of the U.S. Code § 2339B and is punishable by imprisonment of not more than fifteen years. If the death of any person results from providing such support, the penalty increases to imprisonment for any term up to and including life.
US civil rights expert Alan Dershowitz claims that fundraising for ISNA may constitute violation of Section 18, which would put Jimmy Carter “very close to, if not across the line” of criminal activity.
The 89-year-old former president has become an increasingly venomous critic of Israel. In addition to writing a 2006 book that accused Israel of “perpetrating even worse instances of Apartheid than we witnessed in South Africa,” he has more recently accused the Jewish state of deliberately starting the current war with Hamas in order to stop the terrorist group from what he called its “encouraging moves toward peace.”
A three-page memo produced at trial fingered both Abu Baker and ISNA as working together for the “coordination and accounting” of Hamas’s deadly suicide bombing campaign that killed and wounded thousands of Israelis between 2000 and 2003, during the so-called “2nd Palestinian Intifada.”
Several ISNA board members who will welcome President Carter to their event are themselves still officially registered as unindicted co-conspirators: Jamal Badawi for his role in Holy Land Foundation trial and Siraj Wahhaj for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
ISNA’s 2014 Convention will held for the first time in Michigan, home to both the country’s largest and fastest-growing Muslim population. Michigan Governor Rick Synder is scheduled to welcome delegates at the conference’s opening session on Friday.
Also featured at this weekend’s ISNA convention are Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the national leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim member of the US Congress.