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Prayer speaker linked to Hamas

Associated Press / January 18, 2009
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WASHINGTON - A Muslim scholar chosen to speak at President-elect Barack Obama's post-inaugural prayer service Wednesday is the leader of a group that federal prosecutors say has ties to terrorists.

Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, is one of many religious leaders scheduled to speak at the prayer service.

Mattson has been the guest of honor at State Department dinners and has met with Pentagon officials during the Bush administration. She also spoke at a prayer service at the Democratic national convention in Denver. But in 2007 and in July, federal prosecutors in Dallas filed court documents linking the Hartford, Conn.-based Islamic society to Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist group.

Neither Mattson nor her organization have been charged. Linda Douglass, an inaugural committee spokeswoman, would not discuss the case or say whether the committee knew about it.

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