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Clinton Campaign Panel Includes Controversial Muslim Leader Who Fingered Israel for 9/11 Attacks

A highly controversial Muslim leader appeared on a panel with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles last month. Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was kicked off of a congressional terrorism commission in 1999 when his organization's open support for terrorist organizations was brought to light.

Marayati came under fire again just a few years later when on the day of the 9/11 attacks he fingered Israel as the culprit in a radio interview on a Los Angeles radio station.

Under his continued leadership, MPAC continues to promote extremist conspiracy theories, including accusations published on the group's website in 2010 that Israel was harvesting the organs of Palestinians -- a claim that was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League as a blood libel.

But Marayati's appearance with Hillary Clinton is hardly unusual, as the relationship with the Clinton family goes back to 1996 -- when he served as a delegate for Bill Clinton during the Democratic National Convention that year.

Waves of controversy have not stopped Hillary Clinton from continuing to promote Marayati, including appointing him to positions during her tenure as Obama's secretary of State. So his appearance at the March 24th campaign panel held at the University of Southern California is no surprise.

Marayati first came to public attention in 1999, when his appointment by then-House Democratic Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to a congressional terrorism commission was opposed by Jewish groups outraged by MPAC's open defense of terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah. A summary of MPAC's extremist views was later published in a press release by the Journal of Counterterrorism and Security International.

Amidst this controversy over his appointment, MPAC published a policy paper that defended the Hezbollah terror attack on U.S. peacekeepers in Beirut that killed 241 as legitimate resistance and not really a terror attack:

MPAC - Hezbollah Beirut

After his appointment was withdrawn by Rep. Gephardt, just a few months later he appeared on PBS NewsHour (as noted by my PJ Media colleague Andrew McCarthy) saying that Hezbollah's terrorism was "legitimate resistance."