Leftists and Islamic supremacists are enraged this week over the revelation that the FBI and NSA, despite their officially politically correct See-No-Islam Hear-No-Islam Speak No-Islam stance, have had four prominent Muslim leaders in the U.S. under surveillance. They have appealed to Barack Obama to stop this surveillance and all related monitoring of Muslims immediately, which he almost certainly will, and have mounted a Twitter campaign based around the bitterly ironic hashtag #IAmATarget, which applies more to infidels in the line of jihad attacks than it ever will to Muslim leaders in the United States.
The only problem with all the righteous indignation that Leftists and Islamic supremacist leaders have summoned about this surveillance is that it is entirely justified. The uproar began with an exposé titled “Under Surveillance: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On,” written by none other than Glenn Greenwald, along with another far-Left journalist, Murtaza Hussain. Greenwald and Hussain purport to demonstrate that five Muslim leaders whom the NSA and FBI have been watching are undeserving of such scrutiny, as they’re honest, patriotic Americans whose only misdeed is to oppose administration policies.
This is, of course, absurd. Opposing U.S. government policies from the Left won’t get you placed under surveillance; it’ll get you media adulation, foundation grants, and awards from philanthropic groups. Obama’s IRS persecutes conservative groups, not Leftists, and several military presentations in recent years have claimed that “right-wing extremists” are a terror threat, with nary a word about genuinely violent Left-wing extremist groups such as the Occupy movement and others.
Bizarrely, and perhaps because they couldn’t find enough Muslims to fit their victim paradigm, Greenwald and Hussain include in their list of persecuted Muslims Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor at Rutgers, who is a professing atheist; for the actual Muslims on their list, they gloss over the genuine reasons why the FBI and NSA have placed these men under surveillance:
4. Faisal Gill
Faisal Gill is “a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.” Greenwald and Hussain note that he “worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council, which was founded by the political activist Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi to encourage participation by American Muslims in the political process.” Later he joined the Department of Homeland Security.
Gill’s problems began, according to Greenwald and Hussain, in 2003, when “al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty.” Gill was investigated, disclaimed any close relationship with Alamoudi, and returned to work at the DHS. But he was, we now learn, kept under surveillance.
They’re outraged over this surveillance, but Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention that, according to Discover the Networks, the plot to assassinate Abdullah involved “two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives,” and that he “ultimately pled guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization.”
Faisal Gill worked as a consultant for Alamoudi’s group – that is, a group founded and headed by a confessed senior al Qaeda financier. Would Greenwald and Hussain be this outraged that he was under surveillance if he had worked as a consultant for a group headed by a senior Ku Klux Klan financier? Somehow I doubt it.
3. Asim Ghafoor
Asim Ghafoor is “a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases.” He had some controversial clients, including the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, which has been linked to Osama bin Laden, and Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law. But everyone is entitled to representation, and representation does not require that an attorney endorse his client’s actions.
However, here again Greenwald and Hussain leave out salient details. Discover the Networks reports that,
Asim Ghafoor was a political consultant, spokesman, and public relations director for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), which the U.S. government shut down in December 2001 because of the organization’s ties to terrorism….GRF is not the only organization with ties to terrorism with which Ghafoor has been involved. While he was with GRF, Ghafoor was also the spokesman for Care International. The December 6, 2002 Wall Street Journal reports: ‘Records indicate close ties between [Care International] and the Boston branch of Al Kifah Refugee Center, the Brooklyn branch of which was named by prosecutors as the locus of the 1993 conspiracy to bomb the World Trade Center.
Reason enough to put Ghafoor under surveillance? How could it not be?
2. Agha Saeed
Agha Saeed is “a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights” – including, say Greenwald and Hussain, “the right of Palestinians to armed resistance against occupation if peaceful means fail—a right affirmed in a series of resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly.”
The fact that the corrupt and morally compromised UN endorsed the “Palestinian” jihad is hardly a ringing affirmation of its moral rectitude, and in any case, the groups that pursue “armed resistance against occupation” are jihad terror groups such as Hamas, Hizballah, and Islamic Jihad. Saeed supports this “armed resistance,” so he may be in contact with some of the leaders or members of such groups, and surveillance could reveal something that could be used to stop their jihad terror attacks against civilians. So here again, surveillance is warranted.
1. Nihad Awad
Nihad Awad is “the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.” (Greenwald, the article fastidiously notes, “has given paid speeches before CAIR’s regional affiliates.”)
“Despite its political moderation and relationship to federal law enforcement agencies,” say Greenwald and Hussain, “CAIR became a primary target of hardline neoconservatives after 9/11.” This apparently resulted in the fact that “in 2007, the Justice Department named the group as one of more than 300 ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ in its controversial prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, then the largest Muslim charity in the U.S., which was eventually convicted of providing material support to Hamas.”
Greenwald and Hussain notes that “in 1994, Awad voiced public support for Hamas—before the group’s campaign of suicide attacks against civilians and subsequent placement on the State Department’s terrorist list in 1997.” But it adds:
“I do not support Hamas,” Awad says today, pointing out that the group was not involved in terrorist activities at the time he made the statement. “It was not on the list of organizations that sponsor or conduct terrorism by the State Department. And when the organization took those acts, CAIR has condemned it, repeatedly.”…
So we are to understand that Awad supported Hamas in 1994, but in 1997, when it was placed on the State Department’s terrorist list, he stopped supporting it. Here is part of the old Hamas website’s “Glory Record” of attacks against Israelis – the terrorist organization’s own record of its murderous actions. On a page that remained on its website well after 9/11, it celebrated the pre-1994 murders of Israeli civilian Ya’coub Berey; civilians on a bus to Tel Aviv attacked by Hamas jihadi Ahmed Hussein Shukry; civilians in a crowd in Jaffa who were murdered by another Hamas jihadi in 1992; and a civilian at Beit Lahya who was murdered by a member of Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades. The site also celebrated the stabbings by Hamas members of an Israeli bus driver, a group of Israelis at a bus station in Keryat Youval, a group of Israeli citrus packers, and a group of Israelis who were run down by jihadist cab driver Jameel Ismail al-Baz.
All these acts were committed and publicly celebrated before 1994, when Awad professed his support for Hamas. That they give Awad a platform for his dissembling is typical of the dishonesty of the entire Greenwald/Hussain piece. But it will accomplish its purpose: the ending of surveillance of these and other Muslim leaders and the further weakening of counter-terror operations in general. And Americans will be in even greater danger than they were before.