Following the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has come under fire for failing to connect the dots concerning bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. But new information concerning the NCTC’s de-radicalization expert, Yasir Qadhi, raises questions about how far the rot of political correctness extends within the agency most responsible for connecting the dots.
Qadhi’s association with the NCTC came to light late last week in a report by CNN that Abdulmutallab had attended a 16-day conference in Houston sponsored by the AlMaghrib Institute, where Qadhi is a featured instructor. The report also noted that Abdulmutallab had attended two other AlMaghrib events in the UK.
Qadhi spoke to CNN on behalf of AlMaghrib, attempting to explain away the terrorist’s repeated attendance at his organization’s events. Towards the end of the CNN report came a disturbing revelation:
Qadhi, of New Haven, Connecticut, has been involved in de-radicalization efforts in the United States and was a leading participant in the U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference organized by the National Counterterrorism Center in the summer of 2008.
To say that Yasir Qadhi has been involved in de-radicalization efforts in the U.S. is a sick joke. That he was a leading participant in the NCTC’s conference on counter-radicalization is a step into the surreal. Was al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Aulaqi not available to attend? When it comes to Islamic radicalization, Yasir Qadhi is the problem, not the solution. And the NCTC only had to consult its own records to know exactly who they were dealing with.
An August 8, 2006, article in the Houston Chronicle reported on a meeting in Houston with Department of Homeland Security officials where Yasir Qadhi complained openly that he was on the terror watch list.
How might have the NCTC’s de-radicalization expert ended up on the terror watch list? Was his placement on the terror watch list some kind of mistake and an example of rampant Islamophobia? Hardly. Just last week, in response to the CNN report, a post at the Jawa Report observed that Qadhi’s Ilmquest media company had been selling more than a dozen audio CD sets by al-Qaeda cleric Aulaqi, even after the cleric had been tied to the Ft. Hood shootings (the post included a screen shot of Ilmquest’s Aulaqi products — all since removed from the Ilmquest website). Aulaqi’s sermons have also recently been sold at AlMaghrib seminars. These sales of Aulaqi’s sermons continued while Qadhi criticized Aulaqi on his MuslimMatters website.
Additionally, Qadhi has been one of the most outspoken advocates for convicted “Virginia jihad network leader” Abu Al-Tamimi, and his MuslimMatters website openly champions the cause of captured al-Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui.
Last July I wrote here at PJ Media about an upcoming appearance by Qadhi at an AlMaghrib seminar in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, noting the virulently anti-Jewish statements by Qadhi. In a sermon delivered by Qadhi in 2001, where he directed his listeners to a book entitled The Hoax of the Holocaust, he elaborated on that book’s theme of how Adolf Hitler was misunderstood:
All of these Polish Jews which Hitler was supposedly trying to exterminate, that’s another point, by the way, Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews. There are a number of books out on this written by Christians, you should read them. The Hoax of the Holocaust, I advise you to read this book and write this down, The Hoax of the Holocaust, a very good book. All of this is false propaganda and I know it sounds so far-fetched, but read it. The evidences [sic] are very strong. And they’re talking about newspaper articles, clippings, everything and look up yourself what Hitler really wanted to do. We’re not defending Hitler, by the way, but the Jews, the way that they portray him, also is not correct.