Rep. Frank Wolf was a little insulted by the “insufficient” response he got when he asked the FBI about specifics behind its decision to cut off ties to the Islamic group CAIR. At this point, the FBI can ignore him or reply with a more detailed answer. Thing is, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for the FBI to tick off a Congressman who has been a big supporter of the agency.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism
WASHINGTON – A U.S. Congressman who serves on a committee controlling the FBI’s budget is blasting the Bureau’s response to a set of questions regarding an FBI freeze on contacts with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported January 29 that evidence tying CAIR and its founders to a U.S.-based Hamas support network prompted the Bureau to sever routine outreach meetings with the organization. That evidence was part of the government’s prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which ended in November with the conviction of five former officials on 108 counts.
“[I]f CAIR wishes to pursue an outreach relationship with the FBI, certain issues must be addressed to the satisfaction of the FBI. Unfortunately, these issues cannot be addressed at the local level and must be addressed by the CAIR National Office in Washington, D.C.,” an October letter from Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge James E. Finch said. Similar letters were issued in other states.
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, (R-VA), wrote to the FBI on Feb. 2 asking for details about the FBI move. He addressed his questions to Michael Heimbach, an assistant director for the Counter Terrorism Division. Among them: whether there were conditions that could end the freeze, and what were the “certain issues” referenced by Finch that needed to be addressed by CAIR.
FBI spokesman John Miller responded in a four-paragraph letter dated today, but hand-delivered last Friday:
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