No, Efforts To Designate The Muslim Brotherhood Aren’t Abandoned

A diverse range of voices favors Washington putting the squeeze on the Muslim Brotherhood, despite debates about to how to move forward effectively.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, May 15, 2017:

If we are to believe media reports, the Trump administration has all but abandoned efforts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. While Brookings scholar Shadi Hamid trumpeted that “American experts who study the Muslim Brotherhood unanimously oppose their designation,” a wide range of opinion on the Islamist group remains, both inside and outside the Beltway.

In fact, a diverse range of voices favors Washington puting the squeeze on the Muslim Brotherhood, even if there are debates about to how to move forward in the most effective manner. Former Ambassador Dennis Ross, co-author of a leading work on the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, the terrorist group Hamas, recently wrote a stinging article targeting the tiny gulf state of Qatar for its role in financing the group. Ross notes,

Few countries have done more to promote the Muslim Brotherhood, including its Palestinian offshoot Hamas, than Qatar. The actions of the Muslim Brotherhood may vary from country to country, but it rationalizes attacks against American forces and interests, rejects the very concept of peace with Israel, and promotes religious intolerance.

Just so. While Ross doesn’t explicitly call for designating the group as a terrorist organization, he does poke holes in the view—prevalent during the Obama administration—that the Brotherhood represents a bulwark against Islamic terrorism rather than a network of support for it. That flawed approach has been the basis for much of the immense bureaucratic opposition from both the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department to designating the Brotherhood.

We’re Already Halfway There

Soon after Trump’s victory late last year, State Department and CIA memos opposing designation were leaked to sympathetic media, and fed into a fierce public relations campaign the Brotherhood funded abroad. An echo chamber of validators amplified these efforts, using self-proclaimed Islamist and counterterror experts whose think tanks receive lavish funding from Gulf States like Qatar.

Yet designating the Brotherhood enjoys a base of broad support among Republicans, from conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz to traditional centrists likes Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch, and even a handful of Democrats. Some foreign governments have also supported a designation, including the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Indeed, elements of the Muslim Brotherhood have already been designated. The effort began in 1993, when President Bill Clinton designated its Palestinian branch—better known as Hamas—as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Then, almost immediately following 9/11, U.S. counterterrorism efforts against the Muslim Brotherhood began in earnest. By the end of President Bush’s second term, numerous Brotherhood charities and organizations, both foreign and domestic, had been designated, and others criminally prosecuted for terrorism activity.

Additionally, a number of Brotherhood leaders were personally designated, including Yemeni Brotherhood leader Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani and one of the leaders of the International Muslim Brotherhood organization, Youssef Nada. Most of these designations took place without invoking the Brotherhood’s name, but they were still intentional blows to the group’s terror support network. While the Obama administration reversed some of these designations, others remain.

What the Trump Administration Should Do

Any effective policy to combat the Muslim Brotherhood would involve freeing the Treasury Department to once against begin designating and sanctioning the Muslim Brothers and their various front organizations and branches for terrorism finance and their other illegal activities.

This step can be taken as soon as key nominees are confirmed, a process that Democratic Senators have unfortunately slowed to a crawl. Just this week, Sen. Ron Wyden announced he would block the nomination of Sigal Mandelker to be undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

In addition to Treasury enforcement action, knowledgeable federal law enforcement officers within the government recognize the nature and threat of the Muslim Brotherhood. These officers investigated Muslim Brotherhood-related cases during the Bush administration, and they understand the role the Muslim Brotherhood plays in terrorism and terror finance.

This includes agents who have dedicated nearly a lifetime of federal service to investigating the Brotherhood’s terror connections. Unfortunately, the Obama administration broke up the taskforce that won key counterterrorism convictions against Brotherhood leaders, meaning some of America’s best experts on the Muslim Brotherhood have been relegated to other tasks. Restoring this taskforce for federal law enforcement is a necessary step, and could be accomplished by the Trump Department of Justice with a modicum of effort.

Perhaps most importantly, the public debate around designating the Muslim Brotherhood deserves transparency. A tranche of Brotherhood documents federal law enforcement captured, while reportedly not classified, have not been made available to the general public. They should be released immediately.

Additionally, the nature of the U.S. government’s policy towards Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood over the past decade deserves clarification. Presidential Study Directive-11, which reportedly deals with U.S. policy towards Islamist movements in the Middle East, and its associated documents should be declassified and made available for examination. Former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Pete Hokstra made this argument at a hearing in September last year.

As with the documents taken during the raid on Abbottabad when Osama bin Laden was killed, and the so-called “side deals” of the Iran deal, these documents also deserve to see light of day so a reasoned debate can begin over how the U.S. government should best respond to the threat the Muslim Brotherhood poses. These are all actions the Trump administration can begin immediately.

Finally, a role for Congress remains in this debate. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Cruz, legislation on designation remains before both the House and Senate. Hearings on the Muslim Brotherhood, its role in supporting terrorism, and U.S. policy towards the group are all not only appropriate, but well overdue as a companion to White House efforts.

It’s inaccurate to say no support exists for designating the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is fair to say the window for a successful effort is closing fast. If the Trump administration intends to keep this important part of their broader platform to make America safe again, they need to move swiftly.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.

Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Affiliates: New U.S. Administration Considers New Policies

Foundation for Defense of Democracies, May 23, 2017:

  • Clifford D. May, Founder and President, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense (2006-2011)
  • Moderator: Jenna Lee, Anchor at Fox News Channel

Video | Transcript | Photos 

The Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, and the Tools Congress Can Use to Combat Illicit Activities

  • Rep. Ed Royce (R), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Moderator: Mark Dubowitz, CEO, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Video | Transcript | Photos

The Muslim Brotherhood: Examining the Sum of its Parts

  • Mokhtar Awad, Research Fellow in the Program on Extremism, The George Washington University
  • Jonathan Schanzer, Senior Vice President, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Samuel Tadros, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
  • Eric Trager, Esther K. Wagner Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Moderator: Tom Gjelten, Correspondent, NPR News

Video | Transcript | Photos

The U.S.-Qatar Relationship: Risks and Rewards

  • Husain Haqqani, former Ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S. and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute
  • Mary Beth Long, Nonresident Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Jake Sullivan, former national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden
  • David Andrew Weinberg, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Moderator: Jenna Lee, Anchor at Fox News Channel

Video | Transcript | Photos

Closing Remarks

  • Introductions by Jonathan Ruhe, Associate Director at Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA)
  • General Charles Wald, former Deputy Commander of United States European Command
  • John Hannah, Senior Counselor, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Video | Transcript | Photos

Co-hosted by the Hudson Institute and The George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security

Mokhtar Awad is a research fellow in the Program on Extremism at The George Washington University. He specializes in Islamist and Salafist groups in the Middle East region and regional politics, with a special focus on emerging violent extremist organizations and their ideas. Prior to joining the Program on Extremism, Mr. Awad worked as a research associate at the Center for American Progress and as a junior fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His writings have appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, CTC Sentinel, and Hudson’s Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.  He regularly provides commentary to news networks including Al-Hurra, Al-Arabiya, and Al-Jazeera. Print media quotations have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, among others. Mr. Awad has provided expert testimony to the U.S. Congress and UK Parliament.

Robert Gates served as the 22nd secretary of defense (2006-2011). On Secretary Gates’ last day in office, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dr. Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, the White House, serving four presidents of both political parties. Dr. Gates served as director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. He is the only career officer in CIA’s history to rise from entry-level employee to director. Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has three times received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA’s highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

Tom Gjelten covers issues of religion, faith, and belief for NPR News, a beat that encompasses such areas as the changing religious landscape in America, the formation of personal identity, the role of religion in politics, and social and cultural conflict arising from religious differences. His reporting draws on his many years covering national and international news from posts in Washington and around the world. In 1986, Mr. Gjelten became one of NPR‘s pioneer foreign correspondents, posted first in Latin America and then in Central Europe. He covered the wars in Central America, social and political strife in South America, the first Gulf War, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the transitions to democracy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. After returning from his overseas assignments, Mr. Gjelten covered U.S. diplomacy and military affairs, first from the State Department and then from the Pentagon. He was reporting live from the Pentagon at the moment it was hit on September 11, 2001, and he was NPR‘s lead Pentagon reporter during the early war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq.

John Hannah is Senior Counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he brings two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy. During the first term of President George W. Bush, he was Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism. In President Bush’s second term, Mr. Hannah was elevated to the role of the vice president’s national security advisor. In his previous government service, Mr. Hannah worked as a senior advisor to Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the Bill Clinton administration and as a senior member of Secretary of State James Baker’s Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Outside of government, Mr. Hannah has served as deputy director and senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has also practiced law, specializing in international dispute resolution.

Amb. Husain Haqqani is senior fellow and director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute. Amb. Haqqani served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008-2011 and is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. His distinguished career in government includes serving as an advisor to four Pakistani Prime ministers. He also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka in 1992-93. Considered an expert on radical Islamist movements, Amb. Haqqani, along with Hillel Fradkin and Eric Brown, is co-editor of Hudson’s signature journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. Amb. Haqqani was formerly Director of the Center of International Relations, and a Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University. His specializations include: Diplomacy, Muslim Political Movements, International Journalism, Intercultural Relations, South Asia, Central Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle-East, and U.S.-Pakistan Relations.

Jenna Lee currently serves as a New York-based anchor on Fox News Channel’s (FNC) Happening Now, alongside Jon Scott. Ms. Lee joined the network in 2007 as a reporter for the Fox Business Network (FBN) and transitioned to FNC in 2010. At FNC, she has provided live coverage of the violent protests in Cairo, Egypt following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi, and has contributed to coverage of major stories, including the Boston Marathon bombing and the death of Osama bin Laden. During her tenure at FBN, Ms. Lee co-hosted both Fox Business Morning and FoxBusiness.com Live Morning Edition. Additionally, she served as anchor for the FBN simulcast of Imus in the Morning while also providing business news updates throughout the day for both FBN and FNC.

Hon. Mary Beth Long is co-founder and principal of Global Alliance Advisors and founder of M B Long & Associates, PLLC, an international legal and advisory firm. She is also currently a nonresident senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. From 2007-2009, Ms. Long served as the first woman confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as Chair of NATO’s High Level Group, responsible for NATO’s nuclear policy. In her defense department roles, she also acted as Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense on the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, Asia, and Southeast Asia; and was the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Counter Narcoterrorism with a budget of over $1 billion. To those credentials, she adds more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency operational experience (1986–99) on terrorism and other security issues.

Michael Makovsky is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). A U.S. national security expert, he has worked extensively on Iran’s nuclear program, the Middle East, and the intersection of international energy markets and politics with U.S. national security. In 2006-2013, Dr. Makovsky was the Foreign Policy Director for the Bipartisan Policy Center. In 2002-6, he served as special assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously, Dr. Makovsky worked as a senior energy market analyst for various investment firms. He is author of Churchill’s Promised Land (Yale University Press), a diplomatic-intellectual history of Winston Churchill’s complex relationship with Zionism. Makovsky has a Ph.D. in diplomatic history from Harvard University, an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School, and a B.A. in history from the University of Chicago.

Clifford D. May is the Founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In August 2016, he was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. A veteran foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories around the world, including from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Northern Ireland, Nigeria, Mexico and Russia.

U.S. Representative Ed Royce serves California’s 39th Congressional District. For the 115th Congress, Rep. Royce serves as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a position he has held since January 2013. He is one of our nation’s premier representatives to foreign governments around the world, and is a strong advocate of a foreign policy that keeps the American homeland safe. Immediately prior to becoming Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Royce served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, he sits on two Subcommittees: Housing and Insurance, and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

Jonathan Schanzer is Senior Vice President at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community. Previously, Dr. Schanzer worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers. A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media.

Jake Sullivan is a Martin R. Flug Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. He served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was the Senior Policy Adviser on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.  Previously, he served as deputy policy director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and a member of the debate preparation team for Barack Obama’s general election campaign. Mr. Sullivan also previously served as a senior policy adviser and chief counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar from his home state of Minnesota, worked as an associate for Faegre & Benson LLP, and taught at the University of St. Thomas Law School. He clerked for Judge Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Samuel Tadros is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. At Hudson, he is researching the rise of Islamist movements in the Middle East and its implications on religious freedom and regional politics. Prior to joining Hudson in 2011, Mr. Tadros was a Senior Partner at the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, an organization that aims to spread the ideas of classical liberalism in Egypt. Mr. Tadros has previously interned at the American Enterprise Institute, where he worked on the Muslim Brotherhood and worked as a consultant for the Hudson Institute on Moderate Islamic Thinkers, and most recently the Heritage Foundation on Religious Freedom in Egypt. In 2007 he was chosen by the State Department in its first Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.

Eric Trager, the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at The Washington Institute, is an expert on Egyptian politics and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He was in Egypt during the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolts and returns frequently to conduct firsthand interviews with leaders in Egypt’s government, military, political parties, media, and civil society. His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, and the New Republic. Mr. Trager is the author of Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days (Georgetown University Press, 2016) which chronicles the precipitous rise to power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, culminating in the election of President Mohamed Morsi in 2012, and its sudden demise just a year later. The book also assesses the current state of Egyptian politics and the prospects for a reemergence of the Brotherhood.

General Charles F. Wald is the former Deputy Commander of United States European Command, responsible for all U.S. forces operating across 91 countries in Europe, Africa, Russia, parts of Asia and the Middle East, and most of the Atlantic Ocean. He also served as Commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Chief of the United States Air Force Combat Terrorism Center, support group commander, operations group commander, and special assistant to the Chief of Staff for National Defense Review. He was also the Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at Headquarters United States Air Force, and served on the Joint Staff as the Vice Director for Strategic Plans and Policy. Prior to retiring as a command pilot, Gen. Wald logged more than 3,600 flying hours, including more than 430 combat hours over Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq and Bosnia. He is currently Distinguished Fellow at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.

Dr. David Andrew Weinberg is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he covers the six Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman). His research in this area focuses particularly on energy, terrorist finance, regional security, and human rights. A large part of his research also pertains to the Gulf states’ foreign policies toward such flashpoints as Syria and Iraq. Dr. Weinberg previously served as a Democratic Professional Staff Member at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he advised the chairman on Middle Eastern politics and U.S. policy toward the region. He also provided research support to staff at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff during the George W. Bush administration. Before coming to FDD, Dr. Weinberg was a Visiting Fellow at UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development.

Also see:

Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad documents that were seized by US forces during the attack on his residence in Pakistan, revealed Qatar’s relations with al-Qaeda. (AP)

  • What Bin Laden documents reveal about his relations with Qatar – The US administration has decided to speak out about Qatar’s relations with terrorism in the Middle East as the White House’s new administration tries to calm the situation and control the growing terrorism on the international level.

    During his visit to the Middle East, US Defense Secretary James Mattis, warned Qatari officials about their country’s continued support to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic movements that are linked to extremist organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.

    Qatar has been accused, more than once, of financing terrorist groups or turning a blind eye to the Qatari financiers such as Salim Hassan Khalifa Rashid al-Kuwari, who works at the Qatari Interior Ministry. He is accused of “transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to al-Qaeda through a terrorist network”. Kuwari was part of the US list of persons who are accused of officially financing terrorism in 2011.

  • Egypt Bans 21 Websites for ‘Supporting Terrorism and Publishing Lies’ – Among the sites blocked was the main website of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera, which has also been blocked by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Islamist Who Lobbied Congress Lauds Brotherhood Luminary

Ayat Oraby

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  May 18, 2017:

One of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters who recently tried to lobby Congress to cut off aid to Egypt’s military regime is lauding an Islamist ideological architect who inspired Osama bin Laden‘s thinking.

Ayat Orabi joined the Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) Capitol Hill lobbying mission earlier this month. In a Facebook post Tuesday, she calls Sayyid Qutb a martyr and “the most knowledgeable master of intellectual output in the history of modern Islamic movements.”

It’s consistent with Orabi’s previous radical statements. She claimed last September that Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority had declared “war on Islam,” a message that often incites violence.

Qutb taught that the Muslim world had degenerated into a state of apostasy that he called jahiliyyah, and that insufficiently Islamic regimes should be violently replaced. His manifesto Milestones advocates using jihad of the sword to clear the way for Islamic preaching. He also denounced Muslims who taught that jihad could only be used defensively as “defeatists” in his commentary, In the Shade of the Quran.

“As for those who are in a land hostile to Islam, neither their lives nor their properties are protected unless they have concluded a peace treaty with the land of Islam,” Qutb wrote.

Qutb is often praised by other EAFJ leaders. President Hani Elkadi, for example, posted an Internet meme emblazoned with Qutb’s picture on his Facebook page in 2015.

“There has to be a sacrifice, There has to be a calamity, We must be tested, Because cheap victory does not last … and no one is capable ‘to carry it’ except the mighty—Giant of Islamic thought, the martyr: Sayyid Qutb,” the post said.

EAFJ spokesman Mahmoud El Sharkawy cited Qutb later in 2015, invoking In the Shade of the Qur’an. It reads: “The banner of Allah is still there awaiting the arms that will raise it and the nation which under this banner will advance towards righteousness, guidance and success. #Sayyid Qutb #In the Shade of the Quran.”

Other American Islamists laud Qutb or see him as a role model.

“Curious u feel qutb extreme how exactly / do u mean it was his ideas=extreme?” former Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council member Mohamed Elibiary asked on Twitter in 2013.

Ahmed Rehab, executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Chicago listed Qutb next to Malcolm X as his two favorite modern personalities on his personal website. “(martyred for what they stood for, same year!)” Rehab wrote.

Milestones is included in a recommended reading list by the Islamic Circle of North America’s Southern California chapter.

It’s clear that Qutb’s influence continues in so-called “mainstream” American Muslim groups, not just among violent jihadis.

Holton: Why I Don’t Have Much Faith in Robert Mueller

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, May 18, 2017:

Robert Mueller has been appointed as a special prosecutor to investigate alleged Russian influence operations involving the 2016 US elections.

I don’t have a strong opinion on that investigation, but I do believe that all the fawning over Robert Mueller that I have seen the past 24 hours is…well…unwarranted.

That’s because I was thoroughly unimpressed by his tenure as FBI director. When selected by George W. Bush to head the FBI on 4 September 2001–one week before 9/11–the word on Mueller was that he was someone who was selected because he would not rock the boat or make too many sweeping changes.

If ever there was a wake up call to make sweeping changes, it came on 11 September 2001 and America was saddled with a guy leading the FBI who was chosen because he was a “safe” pick.

On Mueller’s watch the FBI bumbled some key counterjihad initiatives.

First of all, the FBI purged counterterrorism training materials that referred to terms like “Jihad” or “Islam” on Mueller’s watch. These decisions were arrived at because Mueller had a “stuck on stupid” habit of conducting outreach with Muslim Brotherhood operatives, some of whom winded up in jail.

Secondly, speaking of Russians, the Russians warned the FBI about the Tsarnaev brothers who then bombed the Boston Marathon and then went on a two-man jihad in the Boston area. The FBI did essentially zilch about them despite the warnings and even conducted outreach with the Boston area mosque co-founded by a man convicted on terrorism charges and described by the Justice Department as the primary Al Qaeda financier in America.

These are hardly indications of a competent guy.

Congressman Louis Gohmert was particularly tenacious in his periodic grilling of Mueller as FBI director. These videos are well worth a look to give you the details–as well as the general idea–of what I’m talking about…

Gohmert Challenges FBI Director About the Purging of Training Material:

FBI Director Unaware Boston Mosque Founded By al Qaeda Funder:

GOP’er Louie Gohmert And FBI’s Robert Mueller Explode Over Investigation Into Boston Bombers:

***

Also see:

John Guandolo Discusses The Muslim Brotherhood’s Network in America, Attacks the Media

AIM, by Alex Nitzberg, May 17, 2017:

The Muslim Brotherhood operates a nationwide network of Islamic organizations actively working to subvert America and establish an Islamic State governed by Sharia law, former FBI agent John Guandolo explained during an interview on “The Alex Nitzberg Show.” Guandolo, the founder of UnderstandingtheThreat.com, said:

“There are thousands of organizations whose stated objective, if they’re Muslim Brotherhood, is to wage civilization jihad in order to impose Islamic State here.”

He says that he conservatively estimates that “well over seventy percent” of the “over 3000 mosques, Islamic centers in the United States right now,” belong to “the Muslim Brotherhood’s network.” During the interview, Guandolo explained:

“…the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial that was adjudicated in Dallas, Texas was the culmination of a 15-year FBI investigation—it was the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial in American history ever successfully prosecuted—and it revealed that the prominent Islamic organizations in the United States are a part of a movement led by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood to establish an Islamic state under Sharia, the same objective as ISIS and Al Qaeda.”

While the case yielded “hundreds of unindicted coconspirators” Guandolo said that plans to indict “the leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Omar Ahmad, and CAIR itself” never came to fruition because Eric Holder “shut that down and we have not prosecuted anyone else since HLF was convicted…”

Many other groups could be indicted based on existing evidence Guandolo said. In addition to CAIR, he specifically mentioned the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust, the Muslim Student Association, and the Muslim Youth of North America.

Guandolo sharply criticized the media’s failure to alert the public to the terror threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s network. Asked why the media do not regularly report this information or even cover it at all, he replied:

“Well, because my experience is that the media is on the side of the socialists and the Marxists and they are not patriotic and they are not for the United States.”

He also said reporters’ laziness is a significant problem, noting that he has asked “At least a hundred journalists just in the last few years” whether they have ever researched Sharia or the Holy Land Foundation, and they have replied that they have never read about those issues.

Guandolo believes that journalists should face prosecution in some cases:

“If you can demonstrate that they have been provided the facts and they know and they continue to report and defend a terrorist group, yes, I would argue legally…that is material support of terrorism.”

Questioned about academia, Guandolo said that, “…most of our supposed great universities are havens for socialist thought…” He stated that, “the biggest problems in this war are academics who, in my personal opinion, seem to have lost the ability to reason and logically think through problems.”

The Muslim Students Association (MSA) founded in 1963 was “the very first national Islamic organization in America” according to Guandolo who explained that it “was created also by the Muslim Brotherhood cuz Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim brotherhood.”

Currently the MSA has about 800 chapters on campuses across the country. Guandolo also said that, “Americans for Palestine, AFP, is a Hamas front now on college campuses and there are new ones popping up all the time. It’s a very pro-Hamas, pro-Sharia movement going on, on college campuses right now.”

Sharia requires Muslims to wage jihad, “until the entire world is under Islamic rule,” Guandolo stated. He said that according to Islamic teaching, “…Islam is a complete way of life: social, cultural, military, political and religious all governed by Islamic law, and all Islamic law, as I just said, obliges jihad and jihad is only legally defined in Islamic law as warfare against non-Muslims.”

Islamic doctrine teaches Muslims to lie when deception is deemed necessary to accomplish “obligatory” objectives and because jihad and the creation of a caliphate under Sharia are obligatory objectives, Guandolo explained:

“So what we need to understand is the way you know an Islamic leader is lying is when he’s talking to you, when his mouth is moving.”

This license to lie makes it very difficult for the U.S. government to implement effective vetting procedures and Guandolo said America should “…stop putting Muslims in positions of responsibility until we find a way to…vet them, and I’m not sure we’re gonna find it, but you cannot put people in the positions—especially given the now 15-year history since 9/11—where so many of these people put into sensitive positions have turned out to be bad guys.”

He said “It’s the majority of the people that our government is working with, the vast majority, are batting for the other team. I mean you’d have to work to find someone that’s not—that’s a problem.”

According to Guandolo, America fails to win the war on terror because the U.S. government takes advice from the enemy:

“When we can demonstrate that one hundred percent of the advisors—Islamic advisors at the Pentagon, the White House, the FBI, the CIA—are Muslim Brothers or…part of the Muslim sisterhood, but primarily Muslim Brothers, and those are the people that we’ve relied on to advise us on how to fight the war, both overseas and domestically our counterterrorism strategy, that would explain why we’re getting thrown all over the map and why we’ve been getting…the floor mopped up with us for the last 15 years.”

Guandolo believes the United States government should label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and pursue indictments based on information from the Holy Land Foundation trial.

You can listen to my entire interview with John Guandolo on “The Alex Nitzberg Show:”

Alex Nitzberg is a freelance conservative journalist and commentator and the host of “The Alex Nitzberg Show” podcast. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A Disappointing Silence on Erdogan’s Excesses

IPT NewsMay 18, 2017:

The man with the bullhorn already had been knocked to the ground, repeatedly kicked and beaten. Then the man with a mustache, wearing a sharp suit and a handgun on his hip, raced up and launched a fierce kick, hitting the man with the bullhorn square in the face.

The man with the bullhorn was protesting visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The man with the mustache is an Erdogan bodyguard. This beat-down, captured on video by the Voice of America, took place Tuesday, just 1.4 miles from the White House, where Erdogan met with President Trump.

Nine people were injured, including two who required hospitalization. A similar, but smaller brawl broke out last year when Erdogan was greeted by protesters outside a speech at the Brookings Institution.

The State Department issued a statement Wednesday saying it would tell the Turkish government that it is “concerned by the violent incidents …. Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest.”

It’s difficult these days for stories outside the White House’s struggle to contain the Russia investigation to gain much traction.

But events in and near the White House Tuesday should not get lost in the shuffle. Even without the violence by Erdogan’s goon squad, his White House visit should concern those who expected the Trump administration to follow through on its tough talk about confronting radical Islam.

For all the talk about naming radical Islamic terrorism where it exists, there appears to have been no mention of Turkey’s ongoing support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offshoot Hamas. Rather, President Trump publicly lauded Erdogan, saying it was an honor to host him and that he looked forward to working together to create Middle East peace.

Erdogan is a favorite of U.S.-based Islamists, especially those with Muslim Brotherhood links, like Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad. That may be due, at least in part, to his view that Hamas is not a terrorist group, but a national liberation movement.

Erdogan provided a safe haven for Hamas operative Salah Arouri even after Arouri was implicated in the deadly kidnapping of three Israeli teens that led to the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. In that conflict, Erdogan predicted that Israel would “drown in the blood that they shed,” and likened the Jewish state to Adolph Hitler: “Just like Hitler tried to create a pure Aryan race in Germany, the State of Israel is pursuing the same goals right now.”

Arouri was asked to leave Turkey only last year, as part of an effort to restore diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey – relations Erdogan severed in 2010.

But that doesn’t mean Erdogan has turned a corner. In February, Turkey hosted a meeting of Hamas officials and affiliates. Last week, Erdogan repeated the baseless claim that Israel is an apartheid state, asking, “What’s the difference in Israel’s current practices from the racist and discriminatory policies implemented towards the blacks in America in the past, and in South Africa more recently?”

The ignorant talking point ignores the equal voting rights enjoyed by Israeli Arabs. The International Committee of the Red Cross rejected Erdogan’s rhetoric outright: “There isn’t a regime here that is based on the superiority of one race over another; there is no disenfranchisement of basic human rights based on so-called racial inferiority.”

In addition, Erdogan was slow to stem the tide of foreign fighters crossing his border in order to join ISIS in Syria. When he does act, he often targets U.S.-backed Kurdish forces fighting ISIS – a stateless minority Turkey oppresses.

While Erdogan and Trump praised each other publicly, ABC reports that “they made little progress to deal with their sharp differences on issues like terrorism and Syria.”

Erdogan, meanwhile, has purged tens of thousands of government employees, teachers and jailed scores of journalists in a clamp-down on any potential opposition. His crackdown is not limited to his own borders, as European critics have been targeted for arrest and surveillance.

Under his rule, Turkey’s secular education system has been weakened as religious training schools known as imam hatip grew more than 15 times in enrollment since 2003. His radical Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) wants Turkey to be governed by an Islamist authority that demands adherence to strict religious tenets.

The White House meeting lasted about 20 minutes, McClatchy reports. Beforehand, 81 members of Congress issued a statement urging the president to raise Erdogan’s human rights abuses in the meeting.

“Erdogan and his allies have mounted an assault on the rule of law, particularly using sweeping state of emergency authorities to stifle fundamental rights including free speech, undermine the independence of the judiciary, and quash any opposition to their undemocratic actions,” they wrote.

There is no indication whether that topic was discussed. After the meeting, Erdogan expressed appreciation for the president’s hospitality. That’s fine, but the failure to openly challenge Erdogan’s increasingly Islamist, authoritarian direction is disappointing. Turkey’s help is needed in the fight against ISIS. But if the United States intends to confront radical Islam, it missed a golden opportunity on Tuesday.

President Trump did ask that Turkey release jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson, the White House readout of the meeting said. The two leaders also plan to meet again next week during the president’s first official international trip.

Unless he challenges Erdogan then, the lasting images of this will be the unprovoked violence Erdogan’s armed bodyguards inflicted on peaceful demonstrators in the heart of the nation’s capital instead of a direct and honest challenge to Erdogan’s ongoing and egregious support for Islamist terrorists.

Also see:

MB Backers Hide Terror Support During Capitol Hill Visits

by John Rossomando
IPT News
May 15, 2017

When two leaders of a Muslim Brotherhood-linked advocacy group lobbied Congress on May 3, they failed to disclose their open support for the Popular Resistance Movement (PRM) and the Revolutionary Punishment Movement (RPM), terrorist groups that have carried out attacks in Egypt.

Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) President Hani Elkadi and spokesman Mahmoud El Sharkawy asked that aid to Egypt’s military rulers be cut off due to the regime’s human rights record, according to a video of one of the meetings that Elkadi posted on his Facebook page. A staffer for an unidentified member of Congress expressed sympathy with the EAFJ members and told them that his member thought President Trump should not have hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House.

The EAFJ officials’ support for violently overthrowing al-Sisi was never mentioned in the video.

Elkadi, El Sharkawy and other EAFJ members posed for photos outside the offices of Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; Robert Brady, D-Pa.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Brad Sherman, D-Calif.; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.; Kathleen M. Rice, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, D-N.J.; and the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Representatives for McCaul, Upton and Fortenberry told the IPT no one from their offices met the EAFJ delegation. The Democratic congressional offices did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Elkady and El Sharkawy’s support for the Egyptian terrorists is made clear by their social media posts.

In February 2015, they posted PRM’s bloody hand logo with a communiqué from the terrorist group to their respective Facebook pages. The communiqué claimed responsibility for attacks on two police cars, but it did not provide additional details. It included the motto: “God, Martyrs, Revolution” in Arabic. The same bloody hand logo appears on a PRM-linked Facebook page called @Popular.Resistance.EGY that the PRM uses to claim responsibility for its attacks.

The PRM reportedly was founded by three Muslim Brotherhood officials who wanted to react violently to the Brotherhood’s ouster from power by the Egyptian military in 2013. Its first communiqué came on the first anniversary of the military’s deadly assault on Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares.

“We shall pay willingly with our blood until we crush the lackeys of Israel,” the communiqué said. “Retribution for the martyrs is our right, and we shall eventually attain it. So long as people seek their rights, their rights will not be lost. Allah …. Martyrdom ….. Revolution.”

In June 2015, El Sharkawy praised the RPM – a terror group aligned with the PRM –after it killed a man because he helped police round up 40 leaders of pro-Brotherhood protests in Helwan.

“The Revolutionary Punishment Movement executes one of the traitor guides in Helwan!!” El Sharkawy wrote on Facebook.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen deny any connection with these terror movements, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) notes, but plenty of evidence points to a connection. That includes Brotherhood members issuing statements supporting their attacks.

Among the examples, is former Muslim Brotherhood parliament member Muhammad Sagheer’s 2015 statement: “To the decisive Revolutionary [Punishment] movements: [Coptic businessman Naguib] Sawiris declared that it was he who was financially supporting the Tamarrud movement [which worked to topple the Mursi regime]. I hereby tell you that his property and institutions are a legitimate revolutionary target. Rebellion [Tamarrud] will encounter retribution.”

Abu Emara, a former top Muslim Brotherhood leader, told Egypt’s Al-Bawaba newspaper that the RPM’s fighters belonged to the Brotherhood.

PRM and ISIS each claimed responsibility for an attack against police officers near Cairo on May 7, 2016. The attack was intended to mark 1,000 days since the August 2013 Rabaa massacre, PRM said. This simultaneous claim of responsibility was not an isolated incident, said researcher Patrick Poole, who just returned from Egypt where he interviewed the former head of security for the Sinai.

Poole told the Investigative Project on Terrorism that a similar incident happened in January 2016 after Egypt’s Interior Ministry raided a bomb factory on a farm outside Cairo. Evidence recovered in the raid led police to an apartment in the city of Giza where their suspects blew themselves up killing the officers.

“They were pursuing Muslim Brotherhood people and lo and behold Revolutionary Punishment put out a claim of responsibility on social media, and later so did the Islamic State,” Poole said. “In every one of those cases, whether it’s Popular Resistance, Revolutionary Punishment, both the Interior Ministry and NGO experts like [former Sinai security chief] Khaled Okasha, those groups are all part or were part of Mohamed Kamal’s network.

Kamal was the youngest member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau – its top organ – who was killed in a shootout with Egyptian police last October; authorities identified him as the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “armed wing.” He established a network of terror cells in Cairo and in Upper Egypt, mostly made up of Muslim Brotherhood youth members, Poole said.

When Kamal died, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi prayed for him as a martyr. Elkadi, one of the EAFJ officials trying to lobby Congress, shared a post showing that on his Facebook page.

Another post includes an official Muslim Brotherhood communiqué condemning Kamal’s “assassination” by the “coup criminals” with the hashtag #Kamal_martyrs.

Elkadi deleted that, but not before the IPT saved it as a screenshot.

A month later, Elkadi called for jihad.

“A question to all young people against the bloody military coup. If the summons of Jihad calls you to live for Jihad, live for success. Are you ready for the call? … Will we find one who brings his money or half for the expenses of Jihad? Will we see one who leaves everything and lines up in the ranks of the Mujahidin?” Elkadi wrote.

He publicly proclaimed his allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood in a March 2015 Facebook post.

He attended meetings of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) – a group of exiled Morsi-era Muslim Brotherhood politicians – over the May 5 weekend in Istanbul. The website of the banned Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) notes that Elkadi reported on EAFJ’s activities in America including its recent meetings on Capitol Hill.

Al Bawaba identified El Sharkawy as a member of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2015. It also alleged that El Sharkawy was responsible for funding and coordinating operations with Brotherhood members living in Turkey and Qatar.

Other EAFJ member who participated in “Egypt Day at Capitol Hill” publicly endorsed violence or intimidation.

Aber Mostafa, for example, posted the personal information of a pro-Sisi owner of an Egyptian soccer team with the word “Attaaack!” on the same day that Elkadi and El Sharkawy reposted the PRM communiqué.

Ayat Al-Orabi, a member of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council who participated in the lobbying trip, has spouted venom against Egypt’s Christians. In September, she accused Christians of “waging war on Islam,” a leading narrative terrorists use to gain recruits.

“Egypt is Islamic even if occupied by the coup gang and even if assailed by the apostate criminal lackey of the Zionist entity,” Orabi said. “They must realize that the crescent is above the cross, and Islam is above all.”

It’s clear that the EAFJ delegation visited Capitol Hill. It is not known, however, how many offices agreed to meet with them. Given the open support for jihad and terrorist groups by key delegation members, it’s a wonder they got anywhere near the halls of Congress.