The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that the U.S. law enforcement community has severed relations with a leading Saudi-financed lobbying group.

The FBI has cut ties with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), regarded as the leading U.S. Muslim lobby group, believed to be largely financed by Saudi Arabia.

The Bush administration decided to sever contacts with CAIR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and all 30 of its branches late last year.

“The FBI has had to limit its formal contact with CAIR field offices until certain issues are addressed by CAIR’s national headquarters,” said FBI spokesman John Miller. “CAIR’s leadership is aware of this.”

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The FBI decision marked a major shift in the policy of the U.S. law enforcement community toward the Saudi-financed Muslim lobby, which organized anti-Israeli demonstrations during the war with Hamas in January.

“This is an unfortunate legacy of the Bush administration’s misguided and counterproductive efforts to marginalize mainstream American Muslim organizations,” CAIR said.

As late as 2007, FBI representatives attended the fundraising banquet of CAIR’s new branch in Oklahoma. By Oct. 2008, the FBI decided that it would end cooperation with CAIR chapters.

“As you know members of the United States government, especially those serving in a law enforcement capacity, have a duty to be judicious in our activities as representatives of the federal government,” the FBI said in a letter by special agent James Finch. “As a result, if CAIR wishes to pursue an outreach relationship with the FBI, certain issues must be addressed to the satisfaction of the FBI.”

CAIR failed to provide details of its ties to the Hamas movement or regime in the Gaza Strip. The group has been identified as a suspected financier of Hamas.

In January, the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, reporting the FBI decision, sent a letter to every House member regarding CAIR.

The “Dear Colleague,” letter warned House members and their staffers not to meet with CAIR representatives.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.