Napolitano Meets with Muslim Brotherhood Leaders
As part of a new "counter-radicalization" program, the Homeland Security secretary quietly met with individuals tied to the outlawed terror group. (This is Part One of a two-part article.)
February 17, 2010 - 8:11 am
Last month, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her senior staff privately met in Washington, D.C., with a select group of Muslim, Arab, and Sikh organizations. Among the mix were three organizations directly associated with an outlawed terrorist entity — the Muslim Brotherhood.
Secretary Napolitano spent an hour and a half briefing them on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counter-radicalization and anti-terrorist programs. The intensive briefings spanned two days (January 27 and 28) and were called by the DHS.
Although there is no evidence of an exchange of classified information, this meeting was the beginning of an Obama administration program aimed at devising a new information-sharing framework with the Muslim organizations — some of them regarded as extremist because of their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The group is to meet regularly with DHS senior aides and with Napolitano. This program was imported from the United Kingdom. The Obama administration has decided to replicate the UK program to win over Muslims and to get them to collaborate with the federal government.
Although Matthew Chandler, deputy press secretary and spokesman for Secretary Napolitano, refused to comment on the meetings or identify the groups that attended the two-day session, PJ Media has learned the identities of a number of the participants and interviewed them — including those linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The program requires bringing in Muslim groups as “partners” in a two-way information sharing program.
Walid Phares, director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, criticized the partnership concept:
“Through the so-called ‘partnership’ between the Jihadi-sympathizer networks and U.S. bureaucracies, the U.S. government is invaded by militant groups.” He warned that this policy embraced by the Obama administration “is how American national security policy has been influenced” by Muslim groups, who are duping administration officials.
A former U.S. intelligence officer told PJM:
The “counter-radicalization” program is something that the other side created for us. … It initially started in Britain. The Muslim Brotherhood groups suggested it. We went over there and got it. We thought it was a great idea and now we’re using it. It’s the enemy giving us a way to destroy ourselves.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the ideological foundation for today’s terrorist organizations in the Islamic world. Founded in 1928, it is the oldest Islamic fundamentalist political group in modern times. Originally called the Society of the Muslim Brothers, today it is a hardcore supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah and considered the inspirational “father” of al-Qaeda itself.
In 1981, Islamic radicals connected with the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat after he signed a peace treaty with Israel. Just this month, Egyptian authorities arrested 13 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since the early 1990s the Muslim Brotherhood has created a network of Muslim-American front groups that operate as “moderate” in the United States. At least three of the groups that met with Secretary Napolitano have been identified by intelligence officials and congressional sources as those that have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
One of the groups meeting with Secretary Napolitano was the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA was named in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terror trial. The group was identified as a major financier of overseas Islamic terrorist organizations, particularly Hamas.
Ingrid Mattson, ISNA’s president, attended the Napolitano meeting. Mattson has been described by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) as a Muslim leader who “has an established pattern of minimizing the nature of extremist forms of Islam and rationalizing the actions of Islamist terrorist movements.”
Another Muslim leader from the meeting was Salam al-Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). MPAC has a long history of defending terrorist acts. Al-Marayati repeatedly defended the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Muslim “charity” which was convicted of nine federal criminal counts and in 2001 was identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a “Specially Designated Terrorist.”
In a 1999 PBS interview, al-Marayati called Hezbollah attacks on Israel “legitimate resistance.”