State Department Waging “Open War” on White House

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, 

  • “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.” — Foreign policy operative, quoted in the Washington Free Beacon.
  • Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Rex Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict President Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.
  • “Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.” — Veteran foreign policy analyst, quoted in the Free Beacon.

The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress.

The repayment demand, championed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was described as an underhanded attempt by the State Department to derail a campaign pledge by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to improve relations with the Jewish state.

The dispute is the just the latest example of what appears to be a growing power struggle between the State Department and the White House over the future direction of American foreign policy.

The controversy goes back to the Obama administration’s September 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel, which pledged $38 billion in military assistance to Jerusalem over the next decade. The MOU expressly prohibits Israel from requesting additional financial aid from Congress.

Congressional leaders, who said the MOU violates the constitutional right of lawmakers to allocate U.S. aid, awarded Israel an additional $75 million in assistance in the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017.

Tillerson had argued that Israel should return the $75 million in order to stay within the limits established by the Obama administration. The effort provoked a strong reaction from Congress, which apparently prompted Tillerson to back down.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) “strongly warned the State Department that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) added:

“As Iran works to surround Israel on every border, and Hezbollah and Hamas rearm, we must work to strengthen our alliance with Israel, not strain it. Congress has the right to allocate money as it deems necessary, and security assistance to Israel is a top priority. Congress is ready to ensure Israel receives the assistance it needs to defend its citizens.”

A veteran congressional advisor told the Free Beacon:

“This is a transparent attempt by career staffers in the State Department to f*ck with the Israelis and derail the efforts of Congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild the US-Israel relationship. There’s no reason to push for the Israelis to return the money, unless you’re trying to drive a wedge between Israel and Congress, which is exactly what this is. It won’t work.”

Another foreign policy operative said: “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and President Donald J. Trump (right) on February 1, 2017. (Image source: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.

August 10. The State Department hosted representatives of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group established by the Muslim Brotherhood with the aim of mainstreaming political Islam in the United States. Behind closed doors, they reportedly discussed what they said was Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the removal of all Israeli control of the Temple Mount and holy areas of Jerusalem. Observers said the meeting was part of larger effort by anti-Israel organizations to drive a wedge between the Trump administration and Israel. The USCMO includes a number of organizations, including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which promote “extreme anti-Israel views” and “anti-Zionist” propaganda, and which support boycotts of the Jewish state.

July 19. The State Department’s new “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016” blamed Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jews. It attributed Palestinian violence to: “lack of hope in achieving statehood;” “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank;” “settler violence;” and “the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount.” The report also characterized Palestinian Authority payments to the families of so-called martyrs as “financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners…to reintegrate them into society.”

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) called on the State Department to hold the PA accountable in State Department Country reports: “The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism…. At the highest level, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership incites, rewards, and, in some cases, carries out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. In order to effectively combat terrorism, it is imperative that the United States accurately characterize its root cause — PA leadership.”

June 14. Tillerson voiced opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that such a classification would complicate Washington’s relations in the Middle East. During his confirmation hearings on January 11, by contrast, Tillerson lumped the Brotherhood with al-Qaeda when talking about militant threats in the region. He said:

“Eliminating ISIS would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our homeland and our allies. The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran.”

June 13. During testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson said he had received reassurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as martyrs. One day later, Palestinian officials contradicted Tillerson, saying that there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis.

May 22. Tillerson sidestepped questions on whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, while telling reporters aboard Air Force One they were heading to “Tel Aviv, home of Judaism.” Asked directly whether he considers the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, Tillerson replied: “The wall is part of Jerusalem.”

May 15. In an interview with Meet the Press, Tillerson appeared publicly to renege on Trump’s campaign promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:

“The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding what such a move, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have.”

Tillerson also appeared to equate the State of Israel and the Palestinians:

“As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine. And so I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process.”

Critics of this stance have argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would, instead, advance the peace process by “shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”

March 8. The State Department confirmed that the Obama administration’s $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority, approved just hours before Trump’s inauguration, had reached its destination. The Trump administration initially had vowed to freeze the payment.

In July 2017, the Free Beacon reported that Tillerson’s State Department was waging an “open political war” with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters:

“The tensions have fueled an outstanding power battle between the West Wing and State Department that has handicapped the administration and resulted in scores of open positions failing to be filled with Trump confidantes. This has allowed former Obama administration appointees still at the State Department to continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda.”

A veteran foreign policy analyst interviewed by the Free Beacon laid the blame squarely on Tillerson:

“Foggy Bottom [a metonym for the State Department] is still run by the same people who designed and implemented Obama’s Middle East agenda. Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.”

Notable holdovers from the Obama administration are now driving the State Department’s Iran policy:

Michael Ratney, a top advisor to former Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria policy. Under the Trump administration, Ratney’s role at the State Department has been expanded to include Israel and Palestine issues. Ratney, who was the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2015, oversaw $465,000 in U.S. grants to wage a smear to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in 2015 parliamentary elections, according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Ratney admitted to Senate investigators that he deleted emails containing information about the Obama administration’s relationship with the group.

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., a career foreign service officer who serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Shannon, the State Department’s fourth-ranking official, has warnedthat scrapping the Iran deal would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. “Any effort to step away from the deal would reopen a Pandora’s box in that region that would be hard to close again,” he said. His statement indicates that Shannon could be expected to lead efforts to resist any attempts to renege or renegotiate the deal; critics of the deal say that Iran’s continued missile testing has given Trump one more reason to tear up his predecessor’s deal with the Islamist regime.

Chris Backemeyer is now the highest-ranking official at the State Department for Iran policy. During the Obama administration, Backemeyer made his career by selling the Iran deal by persuading multinational corporations to do business with Iran as part of an effort to conclude the Iran nuclear deal.

Ratney, Shannon and Backemeyer, along with Tillerson, reportedly prevailed upon Trump twice to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. The Jerusalem Post explained:

Washington was briefly abuzz on the afternoon of July 17 when rumors began to circulate that President Trump was eager to declare that Iran was in breach of the conditions laid out in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA).

Those receptive antennas were further heightened given the previous signals sent. After all, the State Department already released talking points to reporters on the decision to recertify Iran. The Treasury Department also had a package of fresh sanctions on over a dozen Iranian individuals and entities ready to announce to appease the hawks who were eager to cut loose from the deal.

But Trump didn’t want to recertify Iran, nor did he want to the last time around in April. That evening, a longtime Middle East analyst close to senior White House officials involved in the discussions described the scene to me: “Tillerson essentially told the president, ‘we just aren’t ready with our allies to decertify.’ The president retorted, ‘Isn’t it your job to get our allies ready?’ to which Tillerson said, ‘Sorry sir, we’re just not ready.'” According to this source, Secretary Tillerson pulled the same maneuver when it came to recertification in April by waiting until the last minute before finally admitting the State Department wasn’t ready. On both occasions he simply offered something to the effect of, “We’ll get ’em next time.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone InstituteFollow Soeren Kern on Twitter and Facebook

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How Can US Leaders NOT Know About Islam?

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Aug. 28, 2017:

When Understanding the Threat (UTT) conducts its 3-day “Understanding and Investigating the Jihadi Network” two things are always true at the end of the course:  (1) the attendees tell us none of them – including FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force agents/officers – were aware of the information presented prior to attending the course, and (2) they all believe the information is critical to protecting their communities.

How is this possible?

In the last few weeks, UTT has written articles, given numerous media interviews, produced UTT’s Radio Show, and related information via social media detailing the failure of our government to identify the Islamic threat and deal with it in a factual/reality-based manner.

This produced numerous questions from UTT followers, media, and others asking “How is it possible U.S. leaders are so ignorant of Islam and sharia?”

The answer is simple: 100% of our enemy states they are muslims waging jihad to establish an Islamic State under sharia.  They call the means to do this “Civilization Jihad,” and the U.S. Islamic Movement – primarily led by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood – does this by controlling the narrative about Islam inside our system.  The MB controls the narrative by controlling the information our national security professionals receive as it relates to “terrorism” and related matters.

Inside the government, there is no training which provides employees of the State Department, FBI, CIA, DHS, DIA, National Security staffs, Pentagon, military commands, or other key components of the government factual information about sharia (Islamic Law) and its role in this war.  Nor is there substantive training related to the massive jihadi network in the United States, primarily led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

How did we get here?

In 2006, UTT’s John Guandolo (an FBI Special Agent at the time) created and implemented the first training inside the U.S. government which detailed:  sharia as the enemy threat doctrine, what it is, its authority in Islam, and what it says; the Muslim Brotherhood history, network, key organizations and leaders, modus operandi, and examples of penetrations and operations inside the United States; funding channels for the Global Islamic Movement; and investigative and strategic solutions to this threat.

The program was a resounding success and all the graduates believed it should be given to all government employees and law enforcement officers.

In the fall of 2006, John Guandolo notified coordinators of a 9/11 event they should reconsider including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) because they operate as a Hamas entity.  Leaders of CAIR called leadership at FBI Headquarters who called the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) who, in turn, called the Special Agent in Charge of WFO and Mr. Guandolo was reprimanded.

And so it continues today across our government.

The primary Islamic advisors regarding the Islamic threat inside the White House, State Department, CIA, FBI, DHS, national security staffs, and others are Muslim Brotherhood (MB) operatives or muslims ideologically aligned with the MB.

The key universities where senior government officials (including military generals) receive their masters and doctorate degrees in Middle East Studies and related topics – like Georgetown and Harvard – are bought and paid for by Saudi Arabia (The Kingdom Group).  No truth about sharia is being taught there.

There is no discussion of Islamic sharia – with the exception of propaganda being taught by muslim professors – at the military war colleges, the Joint Forces Staff College, boot camps, basic officer trainings or anywhere else in the military.

The U.S. Marine Corps’ 9 month long Command & Staff College does not even mention the word “jihad.”

Muslim Brother Arif Alikhan served as the DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy and was a Professor of Homeland Security & Counterterrorism at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

In 2011, there was a directed purge of all training materials inside the Department of Justice, FBI, DHS, and the military after known Muslim Brotherhood groups the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained to the White House about “offensive” materials being included in government training discussing Islam.  FBI Director Mueller, DHS Secretary Napolitano and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey (US Army) all ordered the “offensive” materials purged.

Inside the government, those who speak truth and follow facts/evidence leading to sharia (Islamic Law) as the basis for why the enemy is fighting are rejected.  In the case of DHS employee Philip Haney, his investigations uncovered thousands of organizations and individuals who were involved in planning and organizing jihadi activities inside the United States.  DHS officials removed over 800 records of jihadis and jihadi organizations which were put into DHS’s system by Haney.  Then DHS went after Haney with numerous internal investigations to shut his work down.

Former DHS Investigator Philip Haney

Read the article Mr. Haney wrote in the Hill about this here.  Mr. Haney’s book See Something, Say Nothing further details his experiences.

So how would our leaders come to understand the threat?  How would FBI agents, CIA case officers, or DHS employees?

From the time they enter government service, and during their daily work, the message is that this war has nothing to do with “real Islam.”

The factual basis for understanding the enemy threat doctrine – Sharia – is nowhere to be found in the U.S. government, and so the very people charged with protecting American citizens remain ignorant of the threat of Islam.

This is the intentional outcome of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s decades long campaign.

Why is the State Dept Undermining President Trump’s Egypt Policy?

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug. 23, 2017:

President Trump has been very clear that he wants to pivot away from Obama’s backing for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And the Arab Spring’s whole democratization program.

Senator McCain has been equally clear that he wants to double down on it.

Guess whom the State Department is listening to?

Egypt passed a law restricting foreign funding of NGOs. Egypt joins a number of countries, including Hungary, Poland and Israel, that are working to curb the influence of the Leftist/Islamist network which operates internationally through non-profit NGOs. Each such effort has led to hysteria and angry threats from the political figures associated with those networks.

Now the State Department is taking action against Egypt over the NGO law.

Officials said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had decided to withhold $65.7 million in military assistance and $30 million in economic aid to Egypt that has been on hold since fiscal 2014, the officials said. That money will be reprogrammed, meaning it will now be sent to other countries, they said.

At the same time, the officials said Rex Tillerson had signed a waiver saying that $195 million in military assistance to Egypt is in the U.S. national interest but had decided to hold off on spending it. Under federal law, Tillerson had until the end of this fiscal year, Sept. 30, to either sign the waiver, certify that Egypt is meeting the human rights conditions or return the money to the Treasury. The waiver gives Egypt additional time to meet the requirements for the $195 million, which Congress appropriated for fiscal year 2016.

When Trump met with el-Sissi in the White House in April he made no mention of Egypt’s human rights record in the post-meeting statement, an omission that many took as a sign that the issue was not a priority for the administration. Yet, two months later, two senators from Trump’s Republican Party slammed as “draconian” the law that effectively bans the work of non-governmental organizations and urged that it be repealed.

Can you guess who those 2 senators are?

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called it “draconian legislation” and they said the US Congress should in response “strengthen democratic benchmarks and human rights conditions on the US assistance to Egypt.”

US Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, and nine other senators sent Trump a letter on June 19 urging the president to press Sisi on the issue.

Unless I missed something, President John McCain is not in the White House. So why is Tillerson listening to him instead of to Trump?

According to Egyptian officials, this is an effort to stem funding to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Alaa Abed, chairman of the Free Egyptian Party’s parliamentary bloc, told The Daily Caller in a recent interview that although the idea behind NGOs is charitable and very needed in his country, a good number of them have taken a wrong turn.

“And the proof of that are the billions that have been given to these NGOs without any noticeable results that you can see,” Abed said.

According to Abed, about 48,000 NGOs are in Egypt and some are supported by the state. Of that number, though, “Only 500 receive foreign funds and 10 operate within the norms of the law…the rest (490) take the money into their pockets and 30 or 40 use the money to transfer to the [Muslim Brotherhood] or small terror cells.”

It obviously also starves some leftist NGOs of funds.

Why is McCain so agitated over it? The media won’t tell you. Few sources will.

But McCain chairs the International Republican Institute. The IRI was a Reagan idea to fight Communism. It’s since gone way off course and was involved in the Arab Spring. Sam LaHood was at the center of it. The international advisory board includes Mo Ibrahim whose daughter is a board member of the Clinton Foundation.

The question here is who is running the country. Whom did American vote for?

It was Trump who was running against nation building. Particularly of the ugly kind we’re seeing here. But Tillerson is obeying President McCain instead of President Trump. Our foreign policy is still being made by the same old people. That’s why the Iran deal is in place (and has not been made public), it’s why Israel is still being pressured to make concessions to terrorists and there’s yet more pressure on Egypt’s President Sisi to open the door to the same folks who brought you the Arab Spring.

It’s why Tillerson backed the Muslim Brotherhood’s backers in Qatar while Trump initially backed pressure on the terror state.

T o change the outcome, you have to change the policy. To change the policy, you have to change the people. Under McMaster and Tillerson, the foreign policy will be set by President McCain, not President Trump.

***

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IT staffers may have compromised sensitive data to foreign intelligence

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (left) and Imran Awan

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Aug. 19, 2017:

Federal authorities are investigating whether sensitive data was stolen from congressional offices by several Pakistani-American tech staffers and sold to Pakistani or Russian intelligence, knowledgeable sources say.

What started out 16 months ago as a scandal involving the alleged theft of computer equipment from Congress has turned into a national-security investigation involving FBI surveillance of the suspects.

Investigators now suspect that sensitive US government data — possibly including classified information — could have been compromised and may have been sold to hostile foreign governments that could use it to blackmail members of Congress or even put their lives at risk.

“This is a massive, massive scandal,” a senior US official familiar with the widening probe told The Post.

Alarm bells went off in April 2016 when computer security officials in the House reported “irregularities” in computer equipment purchasing. An internal investigation revealed the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars in government property, and evidence pointed to five IT staffers and the Democratic Congress members’ offices that employed them.

The evidence was turned over to the House inspector general, who found so much “smoke” that she recommended a criminal probe, sources say. The case was turned over to Capitol Police in October.

When the suspected IT workers couldn’t produce the missing invoiced equipment, sources say, they were removed from working on the computer network in early February.

During the probe, investigators found valuable government data that is believed to have been taken from the network and placed on offsite servers, setting off more alarms. Some 80 offices were potentially compromised.

Most lawmakers fired the alleged “ringleader” — longtime IT staffer Imran Awan — in February. But Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chief, kept Awan on her payroll until his arrest last month on seemingly unrelated charges of defrauding the congressional credit union.

For more than a decade, Awan, his wife, two relatives and a friend worked for 30 House Democrats. They included New York City pols Gregory Meeks, Joseph Crowley and Yvette Clarke and members of the sensitive Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees.

The Democrats who hired the five suspects apparently did a poor job vetting them. Awan’s brother Abid had a rap sheet with multiple offenses, including a conviction for DWI a month before he was hired, and filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

Most had relatively little IT experience. Yet they hauled in a combined $4 million-plus over the past decade. One, a former McDonald’s worker, was suddenly making as much as a chief of staff.

“These lawmakers allowed an insider threat to come into the House,” the official charged. “Computer equipment was stolen, taxpayers were robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and sensitive data was compromised and possibly sold overseas.”

On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Imran Awan on four seemingly unrelated felony counts including bank fraud, conspiracy and making false statements. They also indicted his wife, Hina Alvi. FBI agents seized hard drives and other evidence from their Virginia home.

The indictment says the couple wired close to $300,000 in fraudulently obtained funds to Pakistan in January, as the Capitol Police investigation heated up.

FBI agents last month collared Awan, 37, at the Dulles International Airport airport as he tried to board a flight to Pakistan. Alvi, 33, fled to Pakistan in March.

Now that prosecutors have Awan hung up on the fraud charges, they will try to squeeze him harder in the larger cyberespionage investigation, according to the US official, who expects additional charges and arrests in the case.

Awan’s lawyer, Christopher Gowen, who has worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaigns as well as the Clinton Foundation, maintained that his client was only indicted “for working while Muslim.”

The investigation has touched Democratic leaders including Wasserman Schultz, who has been accused of protecting Awan. She stuck by her close aide, despite being briefed several months ago by House administrators and security officials about his “suspicious activities” on the Hill, sources say.

Wasserman Schultz attempted to downplay his alleged conduct, saying he was “transferring data outside the secure network, which I think amounted to use of apps that the House didn’t find compliant with our security requirements.” Such transfers though, could be a serious, potentially illegal, violation.

The US Attorney’s Office in Washington has taken possession of a laptop issued to Awan from Wasserman Schultz’s office, according to the sources, and she has reportedly retained counsel.

Earlier this year, she badgered the Capitol Police chief to return the laptop to her, even threatening him with “consequences.”

The congresswoman could not be reached for comment, but she recently told a local paper that scrutiny of her Muslim aide was motivated by “racial and ethnic profiling.”

Awan had access to Wasserman Schultz’s e-mails at both Congress and the DNC, where he had been given the password to her iPad. After DNC e-mails and research files were stolen during the presidential election, Wasserman Schultz reportedly refused to turn over the server to the FBI and instead called in a private firm to investigate and ID the hackers. The firm blamed the Russian government, while admitting, “We don’t have hard evidence.” The corrupted DNC server, held in storage, still has not been examined by the FBI.

Wasserman Schultz denies the DNC turned down the FBI’s assistance or that her congressional or DNC e-mails were compromised by Awan.

“This whole investigation pivots off Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” the official said.

“It’s clear that large bytes of data were moved off the secure network,” said another source close to the investigation, adding that Awan and the other four staffers under investigation had “full and complete access” to lawmakers’ e-mails, calendars, schedules, hearing notes, meeting notes and memos and other sensitive information.

Investigators are trying to determine if any classified information was compromised. Although the network that was breached is an unclassified system, it’s possible that members or staff cleared to handle classified information inadvertently sent such information in e-mails after getting classified briefings, sources believe.

“Logic dictates that sensitive data was compromised,” the senior official speculated. “An accused criminal with close ties to Pakistan had full and complete control over data that went out over the network.”

Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

State Dept. Hosts Muslim Brotherhood Coalition

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Aug. 14, 2017:

Islamist groups still have an open door to the State Department under Secretary Tillerson. A coalition of Muslim Brotherhood groups is boasting that it was granted a visit to the department to provide their perspective on the Temple Mount crisis.

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) is an umbrella of Islamist extremist groups that was formed in 2014 so they can operate as a single body. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood had been hoping to achieve such unification since at least 1991 when the Brotherhood expressed this desire in a secret memo uncovered by federal investigators.

Most of the groups in the USCMO are listed by the Brotherhood as being fronts for its “Islamic Movement” in America. The memo described “their work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

The USCMO says it met with State Department officials to influence them to pressure Israel. As documented by the Clarion Project, USCMO and other Islamists in America are lying about the recent Temple Mount crisis.

The coalition said it discussed “Israel’s denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem.” USCMO was pleased with the reception it got from the State Department, saying it was “encouraged by the constructive dialogue.”

Secretary of State Tillerson opposes designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and has been siding with Qatar, contradicting President Trump in the process. Qatar is spending hand over fist to hire lobbyists, particularly former Trump campaign officials.

The USCMO organizations represented at the meeting included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North AmericaAmerican Muslims for Palestine, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and the Muslim Ummah of North America.

The Justice Department says CAIR is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and designated it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, another Brotherhood entity convicted for financing Hamas. ICNA’s own texts show its subversive radical agenda.

The representative at the State Department meeting for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muzammil Siddiqi, said in 1996 that Muslim involvement in U.S. should be geared towards establishing theocratic sharia (Islamic) law everywhere. Siddiqi used to be the president of the Islamic Society of North America, another group that was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial and listed as a Brotherhood entity.

As for AMP, some of its officials previously served with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s pro-Hamas Palestine Committee. Congressional testimony in 2016 pointed out the “significant overlap between AMP and people who worked for or on behalf of organizations that were designated, dissolved or held civilly liable by federal authorities for supporting Hamas.”

Perhaps the strongest evidence linking USCMO to the Brotherhood is the fact that it enlisted a known member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood for its political efforts in Illinois named Sabri Samirah. The Jordanian Brotherhood is very radical and linked to Hamas. Samirah used to be the chairman of a now-defunct Hamas front in the U.S., the Islamic Association for Palestine.

The U.S. government was concerned enough about him to ban him from coming back to the U.S. from Jordan in 2003, even though he lived in America as a non-citizen since 1987. The U.S. government revoked his work visa in 1999 and denied his appeal in 2001. He then lied on his application for residency.  He was permitted to return in 2014.

Other radical organizations in the USCMO coalition include the Muslim Alliance in North AmericaMuslim American Society, the Muslim Legal Fund of America, the Mosque Foundation, the American Muslim Alliance, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, the Islamic Society of Boston and the North American Imams Federation.

Its board is full of Islamists from these organizations. One is Siraj Wahhaj, the radical imam of the Masjid Taqwa mosque in New York. Another is Mazen Mokhtar, who was jailed on charges related to tax fraud (but whose indictment laid out his connections to terrorism). Mokhtar has declared support for Hamas and suicide bombings and ran a website that helped fundraise for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

USCMO is an ally of the Islamist government of Turkey. Another member is the Turkish American Cultural Society. In September, it hosted Turkish President Erdogan and the USCMO president was there to show his “respect and love” to Erdogan. Erdogan is now essentially a dictator and state sponsor of terrorism, particularly of Hamas and the Brotherhood.

USCMO is openly supportive of Erdogan. In 2015, the coalition took a stand against Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. One USCMO member, the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, promoted a rally on that same exact day to thank Erdogan for supporting the Brotherhood.

The Center for Security Policy has published a comprehensive study of the USCMO’s links to Islamic extremism and terrorism, including the Brotherhood and Hamas.

It is not known who USCMO met with at the State Department or what vetting process took place (if any).

This story is the latest in a series about concerning developments within the Trump Administration.

Major danger signs for Israel are emerging, particularly from the State Department and National Security Adviser McMaster.

It is also concerning that the Department of Homeland Security praised CAIR in a letter in May, with the author claiming it was written at the behest of then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly, who is now Trump’s chief of staff.

Hopefully, the attribution to Kelly was just a consequence of standard procedure, but that still wouldn’t excuse Kelly from failing to change DHS policy towards CAIR during his six months there. However, CAIR’s condemnation of Kelly is an encouraging sign.

The Trump Administration is still young and many positions are still not filled. Almost one-third of senior State Department spots are still empty. And as the strike on a Syrian airbase showed and multiple firings have shown, the administration is very capable of rapid changes. These problems don’t have to be permanent. 

The Trump Administration needs an across-the-board education in these matters and oversight by those who understand Islamism so problematic policies, processes and personnel can be identified. Reviewing this meeting with the USCMO would be a good place to start.

Tillerson’s State Department hosts CAIR, radical Islamic groups

OPEN SUPPORTERS OF HAMAS TERROR GROUP MEET WITH STATE OFFICIALS.

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Aug. 10, 2017:

The Council on American Islamic Relations, a Hamas-tied Muslim Brotherhood front group, met with officials from the State Department Thursday to discuss the ongoing situation in Jerusalem, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) posted online.

The delegation was brought together by an umbrella conglomerate of Islamist outfits known as the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). They went to the State Dept. to discuss the “ongoing Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis and Israel’s denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem, which is holy to the three Abrahamic faiths,” the AMP website said.

In July, Palestinian terrorists stormed outside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and assassinated two Israeli police officers, setting off a diplomatic firestorm that would result in Israel securing the facility with metal detectors (which would later be removed due to international pressure).

Represented at the meeting included a CAIR official and members of other suspected Muslim Brotherhood front groups, such as the Islamic Circle of North America and the Islamic Shura Council of North America.

The delegation included Osama Abu Irshaid, a leader at AMP and an open supporter of Hamas. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson reported that he once served as the editor of “Al-Zaitounah” periodical, which Emerson describes as “pro-Hamas propaganda.”

Emerson has compared AMP as a whole to a “Hamas-support network” that mimics the Hamas-funding organizations that federal prosecutors shut down during the George W. Bush administration.

Another member of the delegation, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, once called for Islamic law to dominate the world, declaring: “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”

Oussama Jamal of USCMO, another member of the group, has accused the U.S. government of promoting a “Zionist agenda.” After the 9/11 attacks, he pondered, “How certain are we that it was Arabs who were behind it?”

As Rex Tillerson’s underlings and colleagues welcome the aforementioned radicals, he has thus far successfully blocked efforts to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. In June, Tillerson falsely claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has moderated itself by “renouncing violence.” Far from renouncing violence, Muslim Brotherhood leaders continue to call for “open jihad” against perceived enemies.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.

State Department Officials Quitting Over “Complete and Utter Disdain for our Expertise”

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 3, 2017:

The New York Times reported last Friday that “an exodus is underway” in the State Department. The Times didn’t think this was good news; it gave space to one career diplomat who lamented that there was “complete and utter disdain for our expertise.”

This could be the best news to come out of Washington since the Trump administration took office.

We can only hope that with the departure of these failed State Department officials, their failed policies will be swept out along with them. Chief among these is the almost universally held idea that poverty causes terrorism. The United States has wasted uncounted (literally, because a great deal of it was in untraceable bags full of cash) billions of dollars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries in the wrongheaded assumption that Muslims turn to jihad because they lack economic opportunities and education. American officials built schools and hospitals, thinking that they were winning over the hearts and minds of the locals.

Fifteen years, thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars later, no significant number of hearts and minds have been won. This is partly because the premise is wrong. The New York Times reported in March that “not long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001…Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton economist, tested the widespread assumption that poverty was a key factor in the making of a terrorist. Mr. Krueger’s analysis of economic figures, polls, and data on suicide bombers and hate groups found no link between economic distress and terrorism.”

CNS News noted in September 2013 that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

Yet the analysis that poverty causes terrorism has been applied and reapplied and reapplied again. The swamp is in dire need of draining, and in other ways as well. From 2011 on, it was official Obama administration policy to deny any connection between Islam and terrorism. This came as a result of an October 19, 2011 letter from Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates to John Brennan, who was then the Assistant to the President on National Security for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism, and later served in the Obama administration as head of the CIA. The letter was signed not just by Khera, but by the leaders of virtually all the significant Islamic groups in the United States: 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relief USA; and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The letter denounced what it characterized as U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam.” Despite the factual accuracy of the material about which they were complaining, the Muslim groups demanded that the task force “purge all federal government training materials of biased materials”; “implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training”; and moreto ensure that all that law enforcement officials would learn about Islam and jihad would be what the signatories wanted them to learn.

Numerous books and presentations that gave a perfectly accurate view of Islam and jihad were removed from coounterterror training. Today, even with Trump as President, this entrenched policy of the U.S. government remains, and ensures that all too many jihadists simply cannot be identified as risks, since the officials are bound as a matter of policy to ignore what in saner times would be taken as warning signs. Trump and Tillerson must reverse this. Trump has spoken often about the threat from “radical Islamic terrorism”; he must follow through and remove the prohibitions on allowing agents to study and understand the motivating ideology behind the jihad threat.

The swamp needs draining indeed. This news from the State Department, and the New York Times’ grief over it, are good signs that the U.S. is on its way back on dry land.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.