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Political Correctness Kills: Study Shows How Terrorists Infiltrate U.S. Government

A review of PJM contributor Patrick Poole’s hair-raising 10 Failures of the U.S. Government on the Domestic Islamist Threat.

by
Barry Rubin

Bio

December 5, 2010 - 12:00 am
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We’ve heard a lot lately about al-Qaeda’s new star, Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been behind many of the recent terrorist attacks on America. But did you know, as Poole writes:

Despite being subject to a FBI investigation initiated in 1999, and having been interviewed by the FBI at least four times after 9/11 for his contacts with two of the hijackers, Al-Awlaki was leading prayers for congressional Muslim staffers inside the U.S. Capitol. … Al-Awlaki was also feted at a luncheon inside the still-smoldering Pentagon following the 9/11 attacks …

Poole also writes of:

… Anwar Hajjaj, a local Islamic cleric who still leads prayers for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association. Hajjaj headed the Taibah International Aid Association, which was designated a global terrorist organization by the Treasury Department in May 2004.

And about lobbyist Faisal Gill, appointed to a senior post in the Department of Homeland Security:

… a former aide to al-Qaeda fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi … [Gill] had omitted his previous employment as director of government relations for Alamoudi’s American Muslim Council on the Standard Form 86 required for Gill’s security clearance. Gill had been at the forefront of AMC’s political efforts to end the use of secret evidence in terrorism deportation proceedings. In his position in the Homeland Security Intelligence division, he had access to a wide range of top-secret information, including vulnerabilities of national critical infrastructure.

Gill was investigated and cleared at the time, despite the fact that he had lied.

Hesham Islam has been an especially powerful figure: the senior advisor for international affairs for Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and the Pentagon’s point-man for Muslim outreach. When one officer wrote a good study of revolutionary Islamist ideology, Islam campaigned to get him fired. Other officials told me that Islam tried to push them out also.

Islam’s autobiography on a Defense Department site contained clear contradictions and omissions, while his own academic work was rather shockingly radical. His father had worked for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, while Islam claimed that he had survived a ship sinking that apparently never happened.

This study doesn’t include many other cases, most notably that of Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist, where the Army’s negligence was responsible for the tragedy. At the time, I called Hasan the first terrorist to give an academic lecture with Power Point — to an Army audience — explaining his intention to commit a terrorist attack. Since then, things haven’t improved, including the Army’s report that didn’t even dare to talk about jihad.

Let’s be clear. There should be no witch-hunt of Muslims. This is about applying the same kind of scrutiny to Muslims that anyone else gets. The truth: bureaucrats are afraid to follow clear leads and point out obvious problems, lest their careers be injured by accusations of Islamophobia.

During the 1930s, it was regarded as impolite to look into whether there were Soviet agents in the U.S. government. Despite the lies and exaggerations of certain people later, there was a very serious Communist infiltration that damaged U.S. interests.

There is clearly a parallel effort — no matter how uncoordinated and individual in nature — today. Read Poole’s study, and then demand better media coverage and government response to this problem.

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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition, Viking-Penguin), the paperback edition of The Truth about Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan), and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). The website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org and of his blog, Rubin Reports, at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com.
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