Is the man the Obama administration appointed on October 4 as key investigator for the terror attacks in Benghazi an Islamist-sympathizer? According to recently published reports, the new chairman of a State Department’s “Accountability Review Board,” which is heading the federal investigation into the Benghazi terror attacks, has been accused of being an “apologist for Islamic terrorism who has a cozy relationship with Iran.”

What’s more, the man in question — former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering — has documented ties with the controversial group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR, of course, is a documented Muslim Brotherhood affiliate and was named unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial — the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history.

To make matters worse, Pickering is also co-chairman of the board of George Soros’ International Crisis Group who has ties to other Islamic organizations as well, including the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has been described as pro-Iran “front group.”

NIAC lost what Matthew Vadum at FrontPageMag describes as ”an important defamation case in federal court last month in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Pickering, who is a member of NIAC’s advisory board, formerly served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1997 to 2000). He was featured in a report “Rise of the Iran Lobby,” by former CIA officer Clare M. Lopez, who was recently featured on the Glenn Beck Program to discuss the motivations behind the terror-attacks on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

Pickering’s Islamic-connections came to light after a report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism was published, exposing what it called the “scores” of established, radical Islamists who met with senior administration officials over the course of hundreds of White House visits.

“Ambassador Pickering’s positions on Iran include calls for bilateral talks without preconditions and a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran,” Lopez wrote.

As noted by Vadum, Pickering was, as of Tuesday evening, poised to participate in a panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia.”  Along with Pickering, the discussion featured Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby, American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who serves as chairman of the Cordoba Initiative. Vadum characterized Khan and Rauf as “prime movers behind the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.” Further, he notes:

Khan is known for her over-the-top attacks on those who question the wisdom of building a Muslim holy site so close to the place where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in an Islamist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Asked in 2010 if America was “Islamophobic,” Khan replied that “It’s not even Islamophobia, it’s beyond Islamophobia — it’s hate of Muslims,” she said.

Meanwhile Soros-funded organizations including the International Crisis Group are tirelessly working to champion the defeat of America’s alleged xenophobic bent and rampant Islamophobia. Perhaps there are no coincidences.