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
The Muslim American Society, another participant in the DHS meeting, was founded in 1993 by Jamal Badawi, an Egyptian-born Muslim Brotherhood leader. The organization was founded in Chicago as an American chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood with the goal of introducing sharia law into Muslim-American communities in the United States.
Muslim Advocates, a Muslim civil rights organization, also attended the meeting. Although not connected with extremists, a current video on its website castigates current law enforcement measures to crack down on home-grown domestic terrorists. Encouraging its viewers to resist, the Muslim Advocates narrator says American “policing strategies have changed. Increasingly, law enforcement is casting a wide net reaching innocent people who have nothing to do with terrorism.”
Reaction to the Napolitano meeting with the radical organizations was largely negative. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), a member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told PJ Media that while she applauded the administration’s effort to address domestic radicalization, she was “appalled” at the meeting with the radicals:
It is clear government agencies and officials do not get it. … [The meeting] is a dangerous policy and weakens our national security.
A former intelligence officer for the U.S. government told PJ Media:
The fact that the government reaches out to these groups, more than any other factor shows you how broken our intelligence apparatus is.
Steve Emerson, an internationally regarded anti-terrorism expert and the founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said:
[The meetings displayed] a fundamental naïveté and glaring lack of critical knowledge about the source of jihadism in the world today, which is the Muslim Brotherhood. … I’m not sure she understands what the Muslim Brotherhood is. It’s the parent of al-Qaeda and all terrorist groups, and confirmed by all the intelligence chiefs.
Some of these groups DHS is involving in their meetings are presenting themselves as moderates, when in fact they are radical Islamists whose actions are part of the problem, and who will never be part of the solution. It is clear government agencies and officials do not get it.
The Napolitano meeting is not the only Obama administration effort to invite extremists into government programs. Last month, thirteen U.S. House members wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressing outrage that Louay Safi, a top ISNA official, had been invited to deliver lectures on Islam to U.S. troops stationed at Fort Hood after the November 5 killing of 13 and wounding of 30 by a radicalized Muslim-American.
According to the congressional letter to Gates, Safi was connected to the “Safa Group,” which they alleged was “moving large sums of money to terrorist fronts.” Safi also was caught on a 1995 FBI wiretap with Sami Al-Arian, who in April 2006 pled guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In the past, Democrats have invited Muslim-American radicals to join U.S. anti-terrorism programs. After a public backlash, former House Democratic Leader Rep. Dick Gephardt in 1999 was forced to withdraw the nomination of MPAC’s al-Marayati to serve on the National Commission on Terrorism.
Knowledge of the Napolitano meeting may complicate her relationship with Capitol Hill. Her meeting with the Arab groups occurred the day after the secretary had failed to appear at a scheduled January 27 congressional hearing by the House Committee on Homeland Security. Although she has privately met with House leaders to patch up her relationship, some congressional members continue to call for her resignation.
End of Part One