Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver a keynote speech at a gathering that includes an Islamic group linked to a Muslim terrorist organization.
Holder will speak in Detroit on Nov. 19 at the first annual awards banquet of Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust, a coalition of law enforcement and community groups. That coalition includes the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Politico reported.
CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorism financing case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. Five Holy Land officers were convicted in 2008.
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"During that trial, evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders...and the Palestine Committee," FBI Congressional liaison Richard Powers wrote in an April letter to Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz.
"Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and Hamas, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995. In light of that evidence the FBI suspended all formal contacts between CAIR and the FBI."
He also wrote: "Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner."
However, the FBI's Special Agent-in-Charge in Detroit, Andy Arena, will serve as co-chair for the Nov. 19 dinner, according to agency spokeswoman Jennifer Burnside.
Asked about the FBI's severing of formal contacts with CAIR, Burnside told Politico: "Our policy doesn't prohibit the FBI [from] participating in meetings where CAIR is going to be involved."
Former terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said the Obama administration, and the previous administration, "determined it is more important to have what it can publicly hold out as ties to the Muslim community than it is to be careful about who you have the ties with."
CAIR officials have denied any links to terrorism, and along with two other Islamic groups named as co-conspirators in the Holy Land case, asked a federal judge to nullify the designation, Politico reported earlier.
The judge rejected the groups' motion.
In July, Holder surprised observers when he chose Arab American Institute President James Zogby to deliver the closing address at a Justice Department conference marking the 45th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Zogby is reportedly an opponent of the federal government's efforts to cut off funding for terrorist organizations.
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