During testimony in that trial two weeks ago, two CAIR colleagues of Al-Akhras (vice chairman of CAIR), Omar Ahmad (chairman emeritus of CAIR) and Nihad Awad (executive director of CAIR), were both placed at a critical 1993 HAMAS strategy meeting held in Philadelphia with the express purpose of coordinating fundraising for HAMAS and putting their public relations and lobbying efforts to work within the US to undermine the Oslo Peace Accords. Ahmad and Awad are the co-founders of CAIR.
Counterterror expert Matthew Epstein has previously testified (p. 12) before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on the 1993 Philadelphia HAMAS strategy meeting, and the role that the future CAIR officials played in the event :
Future CAIR leadership was present at the infamous “1993 Philadelphia meeting,” which FBI documents describe as “a meeting in the United States among senior leaders of HAMAS, HLFRD and IAP.” According to FBI documents, the meeting was attended by future CAIR board chairman Omar Yahya Ahmed26 and future founding board member of the Texas CAIR chapter Ghassan Elashi.27 According to an FBI action memorandum analyzing wiretaps of the meeting:Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad, Ahmad Al-Akhras and Parvez Ahmed are the executive leaders of CAIR. Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad have been listed by federal prosecutors as unindicted co-conspirators in the case, as has CAIR itself. The founder of the CAIR-Texas chapter, Ghassan Elashi, has already been convicted on terrorism charges and is included in the Holy Land Foundation trial as well (Al-Akhras founded the Ohio chapter of CAIR). Because of the activity by HAMAS to disrupt the Middle East process, President Clinton designated the group as a terrorist organization in January 1995, but many US-based organizations continued to fundraise for the group.“The overall goal of the meeting was to develop a strategy to defeat the Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, and to continue and improve their [HAMAS] fund-raising and political activities in the United States. . .The fact that participants in this senior Hamas meeting would go on to organize CAIR in the United States exposes the militant Islamic disposition of CAIR leadership.
The participants decided that for fund-raising purposes, the United States theater was very valuable to them. They stated they could not afford to lose it. In the United States, they could raise funds, propagate their political goals, affect public opinion and influence decision-making of the U.S. Government.
It was mentioned that the United States provided them with a secure, legal base from which to operate. The democratic environment in the United States allowed them to perform activities that are extremely important to their cause. In discussing financial matters the participants stated a belief that continuation of the Holy War was inevitable.
It was decided that most or almost all of the funds collected in the future should be directed to enhance the Islamic Resistance Movement and to weaken the selfrule government. Holy War efforts should be supported by increasing spending on the injured, the prisoners and their families, and the martyrs and their families.”28
Mayor Michael Coleman and his spokesman, Mike Brown, have bigger concerns than Abukar Arman, especially since the Mayor has appointed Al-Akhras to a number of government boards, including the Community Relations Commission and the Street Car Working Group. Coleman’s close association with Al-Akhras puts him only one step away from a whole network of international terrorists and domestic extremists, which may not bode well in an election year.