The night should have been a coup for Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Once a poor villager from halfway around the world, Fai had become the go-to man in Washington, D.C., for his cause, Kashmir, the Himalayan region long caught in a tug of war between Pakistan and India.
The FBI was monitoring almost every move Fai made, every email he sent, every call he received. Investigators believed Fai's main donors were not well-meaning idealists but members of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, the most powerful of Pakistan's spy agencies.
Within weeks, the Justice Department would send Fai a letter of warning. Within months, he would be pulled over by New York police with $35,000 in cash in his car. And by the next year, Fai would be arrested, the unlikely central character in a scheme by a foreign government to pay more than $4 million to sway U.S. politicians and policy on Kashmir, the Justice Department says.
In 2007, Fai was given the American Spirit Medal, the highest award from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for being committed to conservative principles.
After his arrest, Fai sat down for another interview with Linden [an FBI agent].
This time, Fai admitted that he had been affiliated with the ISI for 15 years, and that no one on the Kashmiri American Council board had known the group was funded by the ISI, Kromberg said at the detention hearing. Fai also allegedly wasn't just bankrolled by Pakistani spies. Instead, Kromberg said, Fai "agreed that the ISI directs him, Mr. Fai, to go to certain conferences and to report on certain people, including some that were mentioned in the criminal complaint."
Clueless Politicians Award Medal to Enemy Agent
How incompetent are our politicians, you ask? Well, they managed to award a medal to an unregistered Pakistani ISI agent operating illegally in our country: