CAIR Steps in to Handle Legal and P.R. for Orlando Terrorist’s Family

CAIR microphone (Jessica Gresko / Associated Press)
Jessica Gresko / Associated Press

According to a report at CounterJihad, calls to Seddique Mateen, father of Orlando jihadi Omar Mateen, and other relatives “are now redirected to a phone number for a CAIR attorney, and another CAIR lawyer is sitting in on FBI interviews with suspects at Mateen’s radical mosque in Fort Pierce, Fla. – even though the FBI has suspended formal ties to CAIR over the group’s association with terrorist groups.”

CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation.

Despite this status, which has been upheld by a federal judge, CAIR has a habit of involving itself aggressively in Islamic terrorism cases.

As CounterJihad notes, they held a press conference for “family members to help spin their story before investigators had a chance to talk to them” in the San Bernardino jihad case, moving within hours of the the attack to “lawyer up key witnesses and suspected co-conspirators in the plot, including relatives and friends of the shooters along with leaders of their mosque.”

In Orlando, CounterJihad reports CAIR is supplying a lawyer, Omar Saleh, who is a friend of the Mateen family, and also a “longstanding member” of their mosque. In fairness, it would be unusual for a friend of the family to refuse to offer assistance in such a time of need.

Saleh also sat in on the first known FBI interview conducted in association with the Orlando massacre, another member of Mateen’s mosque, as reported by Reuters.

More intriguing than pro bono legal assistance is the amount of narrative control CAIR seems to be exercising, including a great deal of energy devoted to the narrative that Omar Mateen was an indifferent attendee of services at the mosque, not particularly religious, and a shy individual nobody could have pegged as a potential terrorist.

As CounterJihad notes, that is very different from the accounts given by other acquaintances of Mateen, including mosque attendees who described him as a regular at services for many years, including on the night before the nightclub attack.

The major argument advanced by CAIR after every Islamic terrorist attack is that the terrorists had nothing to do with Islam, and there is nothing suspicious about any Islamic organization they were affiliated with. That message would be better delivered by an organization with fewer ominous affiliations than CAIR, whose chimerical relationship with the U.S. government remains a constant source of bewilderment.


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