The al-Qaeda Islamist ally in Somalia, Al-Shabaab, whose terrorists attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, this past weekend may have received assistance in avoiding law enforcement surveillance in the United States from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), according to a public-interest organization's report on Monday.
The terrorist group Al-Shabaab from war-torn Somalia invaded an upscale Kenyan shopping center and murdered non-Muslim shoppers, some of whom were Europeans and Americans, according to several news organizations including Examiner.
According to officials at Judicial Watch, an "Inside the Beltway" group that investigates and exposes government and political corruption, the Islamist group Al-Shabaab "has a powerful and influential advocate in the United States -- the Muslim 'civil rights' group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)."
"It’s unlikely that the mainstream media will mention the connection, but it’s deep and it involves interfering in federal probes involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S., like the ones carrying out the attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Northern Nairobi," according to the Judicial Watch report.
"CAIR has also wielded its power to silence critics of the al-Qaeda offshoot -- Somalia’s Al Shabaab -- that stormed into the mall, murdered at least 68 and took dozens of hostages," the report stated.
Several of the Al-Shabaab terrorists are believed to be Somalis from Minnesota, according to a CNN report on Monday. In fact, CNN names two suspects: 22-year-old Ahmed Mohamed Isse of St. Paul and 24-year-old Abdifatah Osman Keenadiid of Minneapolis.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AR), one of many House Republicans, has questioned whether President Barack Obama and his administration’s review of counterterrorism training policies put politics above homeland security and the protection of the American people, according to an Examiner news story.
Rep. Franks said he was deeply disturbed by what he called the FBI’s training manual reviews without the input of the appropriate House committees. The Arizona Republican stated that he wishes to know the details of what individuals and organizations advised the FBI during the revision process.
“The FBI must not permit outside parties to censor the true or critical material from FBI training curricula just because someone feels it to be politically incorrect,” he told the Congressional Quarterly. “We want to know who these outside reviewing parties are, what their affiliations are, and whether they are being permitted in some instances to overrule the judgment of seasoned FBI trainers.”
In the last few years the FBI and members of the U.S. Congress, such as Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., have launched investigations and hearings into the alleged radicalization of the Somali American community in Minnesota. Al Shabaab recruits young men in local mosques and ships them off to train and fight in Somalia.
For example In a case involving a radicalized American Muslim who served in an Army intelligence unit, a criminal complaint was filed in Maryland federal court charging the male resident of Laurel, Maryland, with attempting to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, according to an Examiner news story.
But CAIR, a group accused of being a front for Hamas, has interfered with the U.S. government’s investigation into this operation. A few years ago it actually hampered an FBI probe into the disappearance of dozens of Twin Cities Somali men. Many in the local Somali community denounced CAIR’s actions, saying that the group was actually discouraging them from cooperating with the FBI.
"One can only wonder how much protection [Americans] who practice Catholicism and Christianity would receive from this Administration and its media sycophants -- such as TV host Bill Maher -- when they verbally attack Christians," former police commander and military officer, Mike Snopes told Examiner.
Judicial Watch noted that during congressional testimony, the uncle of one of the missing men—recruited and radicalized by Al Shabaab — blasted CAIR for instructing the Somali American community not to cooperate with law enforcement and standing blindly behind the mosque that radicalized his nephew.
Abdirizak Bihi told the House Committee on Homeland Security:
“CAIR held meetings for some members of the community and told them not to talk to the FBI, which was a slap in the face for the Somali American Muslim mothers who were knocking on doors day and night with pictures of their missing children and asking for the community to talk to law enforcement about what they know of the missing kids."
CAIR has also tried to silence critics of Al Shabaab in parts of Minnesota that have been impacted by the Al Qaeda affiliate. A few years ago CAIR blasted two Minneapolis Muslim activists for participating in a seminar (“Al Shabaab: An Islamic Extremist Terrorism Organization”) about the Islamic terrorist group in Somalia. Among other things CAIR said the seminar failed to distinguish between Islam and terrorism and that it offered inaccurate and biased information about Muslims and Somalis, according to Judicial Watch.