Congressional Muslim Staffers Delete Website

Posted: December 4, 2010 in Congressional Muslim Staffers Delete Website, Keith Ellison, Politicians and Islam

Congressional Muslim Staffers website disappears after outed hosting terrorists on Capitol Hill

Posted on December 3, 2010 by creeping

We covered the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association many times, even noting their propensity for inviting terror-linked individuals and groups to the Capitol building.

The Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, (D-Islam), sponsored group appears to have deleted their entire website after Fox News published an article identifying numerous terrorists and terror-linked individuals that CMSA invited to their “prayer” sessions on Capitol Hill.

Excerpts from that Fox piece, Some Muslims Attending Capitol Hill Prayer Group Have Terror Ties, Probe Reveals, below:

An Al Qaeda leader, the head of a designated terror organization and a confessed jihadist-in-training are among a “Who’s Who” of controversial figures who have participated in weekly prayer sessions on Capitol Hill since the 2001 terror attacks, an investigation by FoxNews.com reveals.

The Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA) has held weekly Friday Jummah prayers for more than a decade, and guest preachers are often invited to lead the service. The group held prayers informally for about eight years before gaining official status in 2006 under the sponsorship of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of two Muslims currently serving in Congress. The second Muslim congressman, Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., joined as co-sponsor after he was elected in 2008.

Among those who FoxNews.com determined have attended the prayer services during the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations are:

Anwar al-Awlaki, the notorious Al Qaeda cleric believed to be hiding in Yemen and the lone American on the U.S. government’s capture or kill list, who conducted a prayer service on Capitol Hill shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Randall “Ismail” Royer, a former communications associate for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who confessed in 2004 to receiving jihadist training in Pakistan. He is serving a 20-year prison term.

Anwar Hajjaj, former president of Taibah International Aid Association, which was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and U.N. in 2004.

Esam Omeish, the former president of the Muslim American Society, who was forced to resign from the Virginia Commission on Immigration in 2007 after calling for “the jihad way,” among other remarks.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who was forced to step down from a national terrorism committee post in 1999 for pro-terrorist comments.

Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director, who attended a Hamas meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 that was wiretapped by the FBI.

Johari Abdul Malik, Dar al-Hijrah imam, who made statements in support of convicted and suspected terrorists who attended his mosque.

Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim scholar banned from the U.S. for six years beginning in 2004 for his alleged ties and donations to terror groups. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted Ramadan’s ban in January.

—  Abdulaziz Othman Al-Twaijri, the head of a division of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, considered a foreign agent by the U.S.

It is unclear who else has attended these services, because there appears to be no public record of those CMSA has invited to Capitol Hill. The group’s website, included in the official congressional staff associations directory, displays an error message. And out of the more than 25 people associated with CMSA whom FoxNews.com contacted for this article — members, participants, guests, listed officers, congressional sponsors and Muslim advocacy groups — only one person was willing to speak.

“The U.S. Capitol ought to be one of the most transparent and public bodies, yet they get some public criticism about who they’re bringing in and they pull down their website,” said Patrick Poole, an anti-terrorism consultant to law enforcement and the U.S. military who has written about CMSA for the conservative blog Pajamas Media.

“That’s not behavior conducive to people drawing public salaries and working in the halls of Congress,” Poole said.

But a portrait of the Jummah prayer meetings can be gleaned through video footage, news reports, court records and social media posts. And what emerges is a “Who’s Who” of controversial characters cycling through the doors of the Capitol on the invite of CMSA.

“There is a pattern of seriously bad actors not just being involved with, but leading this organization,” Poole said.

“There really needs to be some kind of investigation into who else CMSA is or has been bringing onto the Hill.”

…video shot by Roll Call in April 2010 shows another set of controversial figures, including Anwar Hajjaj, who led the prayer.

We embedded that video, and you can watch it in this post, Muslims convert U.S. Capitol into mosque.

Hajjaj, tax filings show, was president of Taibah International Aid Association, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2004 for its ties to a network funneling money to Hamas.

Hajjaj and Usama bin Laden’s nephew, Abdullah bin Laden, co-founded World Assembly of Muslim Youth, which the FBI has deemed a “suspected terrorist organization” since 1996, according to a complaint filed in New York federal court on behalf of the families of Sept. 11 victims. The judge refused to dismiss the charges against the World Assembly in September, saying the charges against it were “sufficient to demonstrate that they are knowingly and intentionally providing material support to Al Qaeda.”

Hajjaj’s involvement with CMSA dates back at least to 2006, according to reports.

And there are others.

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