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By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
March 28, 2011

The only law enforcement official called to testify at the controversial congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization on March 17 is allegedly "tight" with an Islamic group that raised money for Hamas and was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance trial, according to a public-interest legal organization that investigates and prosecutes public corruption.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca advocated on behalf of Muslims at the highly-publicized hearing, conducted before Congress Peter King (R-NY) and the House Committee on Homeland Security, which he now chairs.

Baca testimony was not surprising, since being elected to run the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, he regularly attends fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to meet the goals of his agency’s Muslim Community Affairs Division.

First elected in 1999, Baca joined forces with CAIR to stay on “positive terms” with the Muslim community after the 9/11 attacks. Nevermind that the group was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists -- Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber -- who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine.

CAIR has extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists, was labeled a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation and is largely funded by Islamic terrorist-supporting countries.

"The Mayor of Los Angeles and the people of L.A. and the nation are probably unaware that several CAIR executives have either been incarcerated in the United States or deported because of their criminal activities," said former Detective Mike Snopes who now runs a security consulting firm.

It may seem odd for a top U.S. law enforcement official to have such a cozy relationship with this sort of group. Then again Baca is also tight with L.A. poker clubs, though his department is responsible for enforcing gambling laws. The lucrative casinos, allegedly run by Latinos who hire illegal aliens, make generous political contributions to the sheriff, shower him with expensive gifts and give handsomely to his youth charity.

The Homeland Security committee’s top Democrat (Mississippi’s Bennie Thompson) invited Baca to advocate on behalf of maligned Islamists worldwide and the sheriff stepped up to the plate. He assured that all terrorists are not Muslim and warned that radicalization is an issue that affects all groups regardless of religion, according to Judicial Watch.

Baca took the opportunity to “deliver very good news,” about the Muslim community in Los Angeles; that it’s an “active participant in the securing of our homeland.” Taxpayers in the sprawling county of about 10 million should also take note that to “further solidify international relationships,” members of the sheriff’s department have embarked on “professional diplomacy efforts” to Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Armenia, Russia and Morocco among others. Baca didn’t offer any examples of how the costly trips abroad have helped keep his county safe.

The good sheriff did take the opportunity to do a bit of cheerleading for President Obama, who has conducted a series of aggressive Muslim outreach efforts since moving into the White House.

“At this time in our history, with billions of dollars being spent on wars against terror, our nation should follow President Obama's example and serve as instruments of goodwill to Muslims throughout the world,” Baca said.

"So much for the boisterous accusations from the politically-correct left that the hearing (“The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response.”) amounts to modern-day McCarthyism, stated Judicial Watch.

An Alleged Shady History

Sheriff Leroy David "Lee" Baca was elected Los Angeles County's 30th Sheriff against his former boss Sherman Block, who had died in office days prior to the election but remained on the ballot. Baca was sworn in on December 7, 1998.

He started his law enforcement career as a deputy sheriff with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department in 1965 and rose through the ranks serving as sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander and chief prior to being elected sheriff. In November, 2010, he was re-elected to a fourth term.

He has been criticized for proposing a half-percent sales tax increase in 2004 to hire more deputy sheriffs, placing friends on the payroll, taking of gifts and for releasing inmates from the Los Angeles County Jail.

In 1999, Baca established a special reserves program. According to the Los Angeles Times, the program was designed to cater to celebrities, executives, star athletes and other "notable persons."
Some members of the Sheriff's Department said they were worried that the program would be abused, particularly by those seeking a backdoor way to secure a concealed weapons permit in Los Angeles County.

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Within a month of Baca swearing in his first new celebrity reserve deputies, one of his recruits, Scott Zacky, had been suspended and relieved of duty for brandishing a firearm in a confrontation outside his Bel-Air home. The program would eventually be suspended. Less than six months later, another member of the special celebrity reserve unit was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of international money laundering. No well-known celebrities joined the program, and less than 20 little-known wealthy individuals actually participated. It was suspended in November, 2006.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca advocated on behalf of Muslims at the highly-publicized hearing, conducted before Congress Peter King (R-NY) and the House Committee on Homeland Security, which he now chairs.