CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, August 2, 2016:
In mid-July Rep. Rep. Mark Meadows (R.-N.C.) announced that conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus appear to have reached a deal with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, over McCaul’s signature bill H. R. 5611, known as the “Homeland Safety and Security Act.”
McCaul’s bill had riled conservative House members and critics of the Obama Administration’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program for providing millions of dollars to create a CVE office in Department of Homeland Security, and for failing to focus on Islamic terrorism in favor of the generic Administration preferred nomenclature of “violent extremism.”
The bill was then amended to include references to “radical Islam” and Islamic terrorism to replace generic extremism language, as a nod to critics. But these changes were largely textual, not structural, and didn’t address concerns that Countering Violent Extremism funds would be directed to Muslim community organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and terror finance.
Rep. Meadows told Breitbart News on July 11th of a recent conference with Homeland Security Chairman McCaul, Rep. Scott Perry and Rep. Barry Loudermilk where the decision was reached to update the bill to include a number of conservative priorities.
An agreement was reached to include language to direct the U.S. State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Designation of the Brotherhood is also the subject of another bill authored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart in the House and currently supported with 64 co-sponsors, and being included as part of a Homeland Security legislative package may be the designation bill’s best hope for passage.
Additionally, H.R. 5611 will also, according to Meadows, include language prohibiting unindicted co-conspirators in the landmark Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Trial from participating in CVE grant programs.
These are issues of great concern to critics of CVE, who have repeatedly pointed out that CVE participants from the Muslim community have included Muslim Brotherhood groups, including those led or founded by unindicted co-conspirators.
An example of this includes 2010 DHS Homeland Security Advisory group member Mohamed Magid, a frequent visitor to the Obama White House, past president and executive council member of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an HLF unindicted co-conspirator. A Federal judge noted that the U.S. government had supplied “ample evidence” during the Holy Land Foundation trial for associating ISNA with the terrorist group Hamas.
Other examples include the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), a CVE partner for the city of Boston, one of the three “model cities” represented by the Obama Administration’s CVE effort. ISB was founded by convicted Al Qaeda financier Adurrahman Alamoudi, and included as trustees Yusuf Al Qaradawi, and Jamal Badawi, all three of which were unindicted co-conspirators, and has been the mosque of choice for multiple terrorists including the Boston Marathon bombers.
These changes are major improvements over the original McCaul bill, and the Chairman should be applauded for accepting the constructive criticism for the betterment of the bill. The agreement over H.R. 5611 would represent an injection of sanity into the Obama Administration’s otherwise deeply flawed CVE program.
Challenges remain, including the bill’s inclusion of a ‘No Fly/No Buy” style program, which invokes the ire of constitutionalists and 2nd Amendment advocates.
Additionally, both the prohibition against Holy Land Foundation unindicted co-conspirators in CVE grant programs, and pressuring the State Department on the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood are amendments likely be extremely unpopular in the Senate. House Republicans will need to hold the line in any future conference committee in order to see they remain in the final version.
Even if the bill should pass and reach the President, it would require an engaged and knowledgeable Congress to hold the Obama Administration, and subsequent administrations, accountable for their positions, and tough oversight to insure they are upheld.
MORE ABOUT INFLUENCE: THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN AMERICA