by Steven Emerson
On Nov. 16, 2014, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unusual step of designating the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Muslim American Society (MAS) – as terrorist organizations.
In December 2014, CAIR met with top officials of the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Justice Department, asking them to pressure the UAE to remove them from the list, according to reliable sources intimately familiar with the communications. On December 22, 2014, CAIR issued a press release asserting that “the two American Muslim organizations and the U.S. government pledged to work together to achieve a positive solution to the UAE designations.”
In response to a letter sent by CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad sent to Secretary Kerry protesting the UAE designation, Kerry responded on May 5, 2015 in a letter to Awad stating, “Let me reiterate, first, that the U.S. government clearly does not consider CAIR to be a terrorist organization. As your letter noted, the Department of State rejected this allegation immediately after the UAE designations were announced in November, and we will continue to do so….U.S. officials have raised the issue of CAIR’s inclusion on the UAE’s terror list with UAE officials on multiple occasions…”
That portion of the letter now appears on CAIR’s website. But at the time that the letter was sent to CAIR, according to knowledgeable sources, there was an agreement between CAIR and the State Department to keep the letter secret. An excerpt from it was posted on CAIR’s website only in May 2016, a year after it was received. The IPT has learned that Kerry and CAIR made this agreement to keep the letter secret so as to protect Kerry from public embarrassment. In light of CAIR’s numerous ties to Hamas and other unsavory aspects of its record, Kerry had good reason to believe that the letter could cause a public relations disaster for him.
Whatever influence the State Department exerted on the UAE did not work. There has been no indication CAIR and MAS were removed from the Gulf state’s terrorist list.
Read it all at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.