[This post refers to original posts from Doug Farah and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on the Counterterrorism Blog.]
Picking up on Doug's post, and deferring to his sources on the matter, I have also confirmed that the Department of Justice's counter-terrorist folks were not consulted on their agency's presence at this year's ISNA convention, and I can report that various officials I spoke with on this matter are furious and have registered protests with proper officials up the chain.
Further, notwithstanding Daveed's belief that the prosecution's efforts in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) case will not be harmed by this decision, the fact that the DOJ has an official presence, sponsorship or otherwise, at a convention held by an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, can be used by defense attorneys to argue that the prosecutors are not on the same page as other sections within the DOJ, who are not at all concerned with ISNA and its participation in the Hamas fundraising conspiracy.
Additionally, the unindicted co-conspirators themselves can exploit this apparent inconsistent approach, arguing (falsely) that a band of overzealous prosecutors are merely engaged in a "war against Islam," since other elements within the same agency are more than happy to engage Muslim Brotherhood front groups, who apparently pose no threat nor were a part of the larger conspiracy. This is just the latest in another example of the shortsightedness of various government agency outreach programs, not taking into account the long term consequences of short term goals.
Despite copious evidence presented at the HLF trial that ISNA used its financial subsidiary, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), to divert funds to top Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook, his wife, as well as Hamas-run institutions such as the Islamic University of Gaza, and the Islamic Center of Gaza, which was founded by Hamas' late co-founder and spiritual leader, Ahmed Yassin, defense attorneys can use DOJ's partnership with ISNA to undermine the significance of its financial ties to Hamas leaders and institutions.
The consequences of remaining silent, or downplaying the importance of a section of the DOJ officially legitimizing an American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, with a history of extremism and terrorist ties, are all too dangerous and real, and will extend beyond the immediate problems the sponsorship/official presence poses to the prosecutors' efforts in the HLF trial.