For years, a handful of national security experts, NGOs, and members of Congress have been trying to raise a red flag over what they suspected were active influence operations by the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
(The RAND Corporation defines influence operations as “the collection of tactical information about an adversary as well as the dissemination of propaganda in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent.”)
On June 13, 2012, five members of Congress called for an investigation into Muslim Brotherhood influence operations in the Obama administration. The five members– Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Tom Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)– were widely criticized for doing so, even by their own Republican leadership, including John McCain (R-AZ), John Boehner (R-OH), and Mike Rogers (R-MI).
At the time, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said, “It’s not right to question the loyalty of fellow Americans without any evidence.” Well, now we have the evidence.
The New York Times published a comprehensive article on September 7th entitled, “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.” The article documents multi-million dollar donations to Washington-based think tanks that include the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council, by foreign governments as a way of buying influence in Washington.
For example, the government of Qatar made a $14.8 million donation to the Brookings Institution. It is a matter of public record that Qatar is a key funder and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and, indeed, that supporting Muslim Brotherhood parties has been a cornerstone of Qatar’s foreign policy.
According to Middle East Monitor, The Emir of Qatar, Shaikh Tamim bin-Hamad, said that support for the Muslim Brotherhood is a “duty” for which no thanks are necessary. Qatar is home to the pro-Brotherhood channel Al Jazeera, to Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qatar has directly funded a number of Muslim Brotherhood entities, including Hamas and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar has also provided refuge to many exiled Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
While The New York Times does not make explicit the link between Qatar’s position on the Muslim Brotherhood and its support for the Brookings Institution, the Times does report that the former prime minister of Qatar sits on the Brookings board and that Brookings staff meet regularly with Qatari government officials about the center’s activities. The report says that Qatar’s large donations to Brookings buy something of a guarantee that Brookings will burnish the image of Qatar. It does not go into specific policies or positions that Brookings has advanced as a result of this alliance. But a close look at Brookings’ publications makes clear that promoting the Muslim Brotherhood has been a key part of that agenda.
In particular, Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center, has consistently argued that the United States must learn to live with political Islam and that supporting the “non-violent” Muslim Brotherhood is the West’s only way of forestalling further radicalization and future threats from the “violent” Islamists such as Al Qaeda. For example, in one article, Shahid argued that the U.S. should exert its influence in Egypt and Jordan to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in the upcoming elections: “With much-anticipated elections in both countries scheduled for 2010 and 2011, the Obama administration as well as the U.S. Congress have the opportunity to weigh in and address the question of Islamist participation, something they have so far avoided doing.”
The fact that the New York Times has provided proof of foreign-government influence operations in America’s national security community should now raise serious concerns about some major policy decisions in recent years, where foreign interference was suspected but never proven.
Read more at Breitbart