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Column: Source Tells Politico Bush Justice Dept. Nixed Prosecution of Islamic Group Tied to Hamas


By Josh Gerstein
Politico

Under President George W. Bush, the Justice Department considered and rejected criminal charges against the Council on American-Islamic Relations for alleged support of Hamas, a knowledgeable source told POLITICO Monday.

The decision not to indict CAIR came in 2004 as prosecutors in Dallas were preparing to seek an indictment of the Holy Land Foundation and five of its officials, the source said. Some prosecutors wanted to include CAIR and others in the case at that time. However, senior Justice Department officials elected not to, the source said. (The Attorney General at the time was John Ashcroft.)

The disclosure of a Bush-era decision not to indict CAIR is noteworthy because some conservatives have alleged in recent days that a Justice Department decision last year to decline prosecution of CAIR, co-founder Omar Ahmad, and others was motivated by politics and a desire to preserve outreach efforts to U.S. Muslim groups.

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