DIRTY HANDS: The only law enforcement official to testify at Peter King’s congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization has ties to Terrorist Front Group CAIR, unindicted co-conspirators in a federal Hamas financing trial.

Predictably, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca advocated on behalf of Muslims at the highly-publicized hearing, conducted by the House Committee on Homeland Security. Not surprising considering Baca, elected to run the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, regularly attends fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to meet the goals of his agency’s Muslim Community Affairs Division.

Judicial Watch First elected in 1999, Baca joined forces with CAIR to stay on “positive terms” with the Muslim community after the 9/11 attacks. Never mind 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 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. Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Abdeen (L) and Deputy Sheriff Morsi (2nd L) listen as Religious Director Said Seddouk gives a sermon during Friday prayers at the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley in Rowland Heights, California April 2, 2010. A growing school of thought among counterterrorism specialists, and within the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, argues that law enforcement should engage more deeply with the Muslim community.

Now back to the sheriff’s testimony at the Muslim radicalization hearing. 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. 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. Reuters –At a recent congressional hearing on homespun terrorism, Indiana Representative Mark Souder tore into a little-known Los Angeles County sheriff named Lee Baca. Souder, a Republican member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, pointedly asked why Baca had attended several fund-raisers for an American Muslim group that some describe as a front for Hamas, which is designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. “The question is, at what point do you start giving legitimacy to groups who fund Hamas?” Souder said. He was referring to Baca’s association with the Council On American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which says it does not support terrorism. Raising his voice and pointing his finger at the congressman, Baca exploded: “For you to associate me (with terrorism) somehow through some circuitous attack on CAIR is not only inappropriate, it is un-American.”

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. Rah! Rah!

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.

Watch the dirty sheriff squirm as he is questioned about his pals at CAIR