Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Tue, March 4, 2014
How the GOP Came to Embrace the Muslim Brotherhood Lobby
Islamism is not a partisan issue. Special interests, major companies and foreign powers have long tried to affect both political parties—and the Muslim Brotherhood lobby is no different. Ten former senior officials, including a former CIA director, have issued a joint statement with meticulous documentation about how the Republican Party was and is influenced by this lobby.
When the Muslim Brotherhood arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s, it recognized that violent action is counterproductive. Instead, it began political organizing so it could lead the growing Muslim-American community and use it to affect U.S. policy.
In the 1980s, the FBI recruited a confidential source deep inside the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood lobby. He warned that the Brotherhood established a network of front groups including the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Muslim Students Association,Islamic Society of North America and North American Islamic Trust. One of the chief objectives was to penetrate the U.S. government with sympathizers and IIIT already claimed success.
The network was so impressive that Pakistani intelligence bred itsown influence operation from it in 1990 with the Brotherhood’s support. It donated to campaigns on both sides of the political aisle and met with officials involved in foreign policy.
The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood drafted a secret plan in 1991 that defined its “work in America as a kind of grand jihad…in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” It was not a doctrine of violence, but of activism based on aligning with non-Muslim political forces. It listed about 30 of “our organizations and the organizations of our friends” to accomplish it. This document was recognized as authentic by the U.S. Department of Justice as was introduced as evidence in the Holy Land terror financing trial.
In 1993, the FBI wiretapped a secret meeting of top Brotherhood operatives in Philadelphia. A key theme was deception and secrecy in support of their non-violent activism. In the words of one participant, the objective was “forming the public opinion or coming up with a policy to influence…the way the Americans deal with the Islamists, for instance.”
The Brotherhood decided that a new front with an apparently clean track record was necessary. Two of the participants in that meeting founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations the following year. By 1994, the infrastructure of the Brotherhood lobby was in place, though it would continue to expand with new organizations and name changes.
The Influence Peddlers
The most senior elements of the Brotherhood lobby handled outreach to the Clinton Administration and both political parties, especially the presidential campaign of then-Texas Governor George W. Bush.
Sami al-Arian was a central figure. He admits having been a Muslim Brotherhood member from 1978 to 1982, but his involvement in the American lobby continued after that. In a 1992 letter, al-Arianacknowledged that his organization and IIIT, the aforementioned Brotherhood front, were essentially one and the same. He was convicted in 2006 of the charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization.
Another central figure was Abdurrahman Alamoudi and his American Muslim Council. He developed intimidate ties to both political parties, despite his support of terrorist groups. In 2004, he was indicted on terrorism-related charges. He later wrote from his prison cell, “I am, I hope, still a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the U.S.A,” as reported by the Grand Deception documentary.
In 2000, Alamoudi was asked by an Islamic website how Muslims should “decrease the influence of the Zionist lobby on presidential candidates.” He said they must elect sympathetic candidates like Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA).
Rep. Campbell spoke at the Brotherhood lobby’s events and touted their causes. He became the example and was rewarded with political support and donations to his Senate campaign in 2000, including a fundraiser that brought in $35,000. The man guiding Campbell was Suhail Khan, his campaign coordinator in 1995 and press secretary and legislative assistant from 1996 to 1999.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.
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