DETROIT, April 27 (UPI) -- The FBI says it has limited its work with the United States' largest Muslim civil rights organization after alleged links to Hamas were aired.
The FBI has suspended much of its contacts with the Council on American Islamic Relations, which has 35 field offices in 19 states, after prosecutors at a Dallas trial last year presented evidence that two CAIR officials took part in a 1993 meeting about how to represent the Palestinian militant group in the United States, The Detroit News reported Monday.
"The FBI has had to limit its formal contact with CAIR field offices until certain issues are addressed by CAIR's national headquarters," Assistant FBI Director John Miller told the newspaper. "CAIR's leadership is aware of this. Beyond that, we have no further comment."
CAIR officials, however, deny it is a front for Hamas, pointing out that U.S. President Bill Clinton did not even designate the group as terrorist organization until 1995.
"Probably not even 1 percent of CAIR's work in the past 15 years has been related to the grievances of Palestinians," Dawud Walid, the executive director of CAIR-Michigan, told the News. "This does not reflect the work of an alleged front group for people in the Gaza Strip."