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Ex-CAIR director nabbed in Fla. child-sex trafficking sting

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Ahmad Saleem, driving a car with an “Invest in Children” specialty license plate, pulled up to a house in Clermont, Fla., planning to meet and have sex with a 12-year-old girl he had been chatting with online.

Like 100 others who were nabbed in a two-county sting dubbed “Operation L and P,” he was arrested, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

But Saleem stands out from the rest.

ex CAIRHe was the Orlando regional director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The sting was a two-county cybercrime operation involving Lake and Polk counties that focused on online prostitution and sex with underage children.

“A Polk County sheriff’s detective posed as a girl online and talked with Saleem, who said he wanted to have sex with the girl and then traveled to Lake County for an expected meeting,” the Sentinel reported.

In addition to his ties with CAIR Florida, Saleem is a University of Central Florida psychology graduate, where he was president of the Muslim Students Association, according to a profile on the CAIR Florida website.

He is also the founder of the Saleem Academy, an organization “empowering Muslim youth globally.”

Saleem was no longer with CAIR at the time of the arrest and his profile had been removed from it’s site.

CAIR Florida moved to distance itself from Saleem, telling the Sentinel that he only worked at the organization for a short time before abandoning his post.

The group’s official statement:

“CAIR Florida is shocked and deeply concerned by the serious crimes Ahmad Saleem is alleged to have committed. We trust in the legal system to hold to full account any and all persons found guilty.

CAIR Florida takes the safety and security of the community very seriously and as such we attempt to thoroughly vet any potential employment candidates through standard hiring practices.

Ahmad Saleem briefly worked for CAIR Florida as a community organizer for two months earlier this year until he abandoned his position in April. Accordingly, CAIR Florida removed him as an employee from our website and began recruiting a new candidate for the position prior to learning of the allegations against him.”

As for the sting, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd let it be known that more of the same is in store for pedaphiles.

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“This was a warning and a message that we are after these types of people with a vengeance,” Judd told reporters Tuesday during a news conference.

“If we didn’t get you in this operation, you better be sure we will in the next one. We are after you.

“Leave our children alone.”

Editor’s Note: A statement from CAIR has been added to this post and a correction was made to clarify that Saleem formerly held a position with the organization.

Tom Tillison


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