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New York Congressman toughens the rhetoric while seeking answers on Dallas-based Holy Land investigation

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-New York, is still waiting for Attorney General Eric Holder to explain reports that a second round of indictments in the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case were scrapped for political reasons by Obama’s Justice Department.

On Sunday, King, who had asked Holder to clear up lingering questions about the status of any criminal investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its personnel, had this to say about the matter (see 1:13 to 3:16)

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“I was contacted by people who worked in the U.S. attorneys’ office who had actually prepared an indictment of CAIR and was ready to go in 2009, and yet either Eric Holder, or someone very close to him in the Justice Department, killed that indictment, wouldn’t allow it to go forward,” King said.

“I consider CAIR to be a dangerous group,” he continued. “I think they should have been indicted.”

At issue is evidence linking CAIR to the former Richardson-based HLF, which was convicted in 2008 of being the U.S. fundraising arm of the terrorist group Hamas. The HLF defendants are appealing the convictions.

CAIR was an unindicted coconspirator in the HLF case, but was never charged with any crimes. CAIR has for years argued that it condemns terrorism, despite the FBI labeling it a front for Hamas in testimony in Dallas. A judge has ruled that HLF prosecutors violated the civil rights of Islamic groups by public releasing the unindicted coconspirator list, but also found that evidence exists to link the groups to HLF.

In the past, officials have said the age of the Holy Land evidence, much of it gathered in the 1990s (before Hamas was designated as a terrorist entity), played a significant role in why the investigation did not branch out past the charity’s former organizers to include people in other Islamic organizations. Josh Gerstein at Politico argues here that the decision not to charge CAIR was made way back under President Bush.

Still, it will be interesting to see if King is able to shake loose some sort of proof that a DOJ higher-up scuttled a court-ready case for purely political reasons. King is already on record calling for Holder’s resignation for his handling of other terrorism cases.

Meanwhile, Kings’ ramping up of the rhetoric against Holder and CAIR has led attorneys attorneys for two other prominent Muslim organizations, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to jump into the fray.

They have asked U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis in Dallas to unseal court documents detailing their arguments about why their clients should never have been placed on the government’s unindicted coconspirator list. The lawyers have asked for an “emergency” order to unseal the documents and get them out into the public domain, given the headlines King has generated with his fight with Holder.

The documents they want unsealed have, at various times, been unsealed, and I believe I have copies of them all. I’ve uploaded them after the jump. Happy reading.

–Jason Trahan/Reporter

Source: Crime Blog

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