When one thinks about a terrorist attack, things like the events of 9/11, and the recent attack in Manchester come to mind. There is also an emerging type of terrorist links that often go undetected in the United States. These are neighbors, co-workers and even local officials with links to terror supporters working to influence local laws and activities. It seems more and more often, candidates with direct ties to groups that the FBI has identified as supporting terrorist groups are running for office in town and cities across the country.
One such race is the one to fill Christine Hensley’s seat on the Des Moines City Council. Hensley recently made it official that she was not going to run to keep her seat, and this will be the end of 24 years on the City Council. This is the Ward III seat, which represents the southwest side of town as well as the entire downtown area. Somali refugee Abshir Omar is now in the running for the seat. He identifies as a Democratic Socialist.
According to a news article about Omar:
“Omar, a Des Moines resident since 2012, was born during the Somalian civil war, fled with his family to a refugee camp in Kenya and, after being approved for a refugee visa, settled in Seattle, according to a news release.
He attended Iowa State University and is president of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, the release states. He has also served on the United States Student Association board and as vice president and founder of the Renton Teacher Academy Foundation, it states.”
Even before examining the issue with Omar’s leadership within the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), there are red flags from his vision of the position. As a part of his campaign information, Omar stated he plans to:
“…to help build a brighter future for people whether they are fleeing persecution or poverty. I want ensure that the city of Des Moines is prioritizing the needs of all its residents and not just the corporate establishment.”
Within those short statements, Omar has made it clear where his priorities and loyalties lie. It is not to the businesses within the downtown area that are within his would-be district. It is also not with the overall population of the city, but instead those who he sees as being like him. He is hoping to take that seat on City Council as a way to make the refugee plight a top priority in the area.
The issue of Omar being the president of the Iowa chapter of CAIR brings several over issues into play. The overall organization has already been identified as having ties to terrorist supports by the FBI. Because of their troubling activities, the FBI has listed the CAIR as an organization they will not work with. Is it safe or wise to invite a member of a group that the FBI will not work with to take a seat on City Council?
As the FBI listed CAIR as an organization they no longer work with, the group went to court to have this designation removed. A federal court upheld the connections made between CAIR and the terrorist group Mamas. According to recently released documents:
“A federal judge has determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate the most prominent Muslim group in America as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator.
According to a federal court ruling unsealed Friday, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas,” a federally designated terrorist group that has murdered at least 17 Americans and injured more than 100 U.S. citizens.”
As if the ties to terrorism are not enough, there are even more issues with the bigger CAIR organization. This includes a pending fraud trial related to the now-closed Washington DC headquarters of CAIR. Initially, the suit tied to widespread fraud and abuse of customers was thrown out, but a judge reinstated the case. The larger group now faces charges of widespread fraud.
It is mind-blowing that a candidate with ties to an organization that the FBI has concerns with is quietly running for office. It is also a problem that this same group is fighting charges of fraud as Omar pushes their agenda to further the plight of refugees instead of bettering the district he hopes to represent on City Council.