In January 2009, the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, reporting the
FBI decision, sent a letter to every House member regarding CAIR. The "Dear
Colleague," letter warned House members and their staffers not to meet CAIR
The FBI decision marked a major shift in the policy of the U.S. law
enforcement community toward the Saudi-financed Muslim lobby, which
anti-Israeli demonstrations during the war with Hamas in January 2009. Since
2002, the FBI has consulted with CAIR on outreach to the Muslim community.
"This is an unfortunate legacy of the Bush administration's misguided
and counterproductive efforts to marginalize mainstream American Muslim
organizations," CAIR said.
As late as 2007, the FBI attended the fundraising banquet of CAIR's new
branch in Oklahoma. By October 2008, the FBI decided that it would end
cooperation with CAIR chapters.
"As you know members of the United States government, especially those
serving in a law enforcement capacity, have a duty to be judicious in our
activities as representatives of the federal government," the FBI said in a
letter by special agent James Finch. "As a result, if CAIR wishes to pursue
an outreach relationship with the FBI, certain issues must be addressed to
the satisfaction of the FBI."
Officials said the FBI decision came in wake of the conviction of
directors of a U.S. Muslim charity accused of funneling millions of dollars
to Hamas. During the trial, the FBI described CAIR as a front group for
CAIR has also been sued by former Muslim clients on charges of fraud.
The Muslims said they paid CAIR thousands of dollars for a promise of U.S.
Muslim lobbyists said the new administration of President Barack Obama
would be pressed to overturn the FBI decision. Obama has pledged to improve
U.S. relations with Muslims throughout the world.
"We look forward to better relations with the Obama administration,"