U.S. Intelligence Employee Alleges Anti-Muslim Bias In Revocation Of Security Clearance


U.S. media is reporting that a northern Virginia man is suing a U.S. intelligence agency alleging that it revoked his security clearance because his wife attended the Islamic Saudi Academy and works for Islamic Relief USA. According to a Washington Post report:

A Northern Virginia man is suing one of the nation’s most secretive intelligence agencies, claiming it revoked his security clearance because his wife attended an Islamic school and works for a Muslim nonprofit. Mahmoud M. Hegab, 30, hired las year as a budget analyst for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, filed the discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Alexandria last month. In court papers, Hegab, who lives in Alexandria, said he joined the agency in January 2010 and told officials during his orientation that he had gotten married to Bushra Nusairat, 24, between the time of his security clearance investigation and the date he reported to work. Mahmoud M. Hegab is suing the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, claiming anti-Muslim bias. The NGA supplies satellite imagery to the military and requires its 16,000 workers to obtain a top secret security clearance as a condition of employment. But the agency revoked Hegab’s clearance in November 2010, citing concerns about Nusairat’s background. Hegab was placed on unpaid leave in January. Nusairat is a program associate with Islamic Relief USA, a global nonprofit that provides food aid and public health and educational programs in poor or disaster-prone regions and whose director advises the U.S. Agency for International Development at the State Department. Hegab’s attorney, Sheldon Cohen, argued in court papers that the decision to revoke his client’s clearance “was based solely” on his wife’s “religion, Islam, her constitutionally protected speech, and her association with, and employment by, an Islamic faith-based organization.”

Read the rest here.

A previous post reported that Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) has a “collaborative partnership” with the USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and that IRUSA has pledged to host 50 sites as part of a Michelle Obama initiative.

The IRUSA website identifies Dr. Yaser Haddara as a member of the IRUSA board since 2006 and its chairman until May 2011. According to his profile, Dr. Haddra has been active in the Muslim Society of America (MAS), the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). Previous posts have discussed the relationship between Islamic Relief USA and the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, an Islamic charter school with strong connections to the Muslim American Society (MAS). The MAS was established in 1993 by leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and a Hudson Institute report has discussed the relationship of the MAS to both the Egyptian and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The same Hudson report also identifies ISNA as an important part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Other posts have explored the Muslim Brotherhood ties of the MAC.

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is headquartered in the U.K. where one it’s  trustees listed in U.K. charity records is Ibrahim El-Zayat, a leader in both the European and the German Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. El-Zayat is also a trustee of the U.K. branch of Islamic Relief. Islamic Relief Worldwide is also listed as a company in the U.K where records indicate that Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former head of the Federation of islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) has been a director at one time. Both FIOE and the MAB are part of the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood. Another former director of the company Islamic Relief Worldwide is Issam Al-Bashir who, as previous posts have discussed, is a former Minister of Religious Affairs in the Sudan and who has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. In a number of European countries, the local branch of Islamic Relief is also tied to the local Muslim Brotherhood organization.

In May 2006, the Israeli government announced the arrest of an IRW worker for activities related to supporting Hamas and said that IRW activities in the Palestinian territories ” are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives”:

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the Israel Police, on 10 May 2006, arrested Iyaz Ali, a Pakistani-born British national, born in 1970. He admitted to being a member of the UK-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which is suspected of supporting Hamas. He admitted to working for IRW’s Gaza branch as a project director since December 2005; he worked to transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations, including the Al Wafa and Al Tzalah associations, which have been outlawed in Israel. He also admitted that he worked in Jordan and cooperated with local Hamas operatives. Incriminating files were found on Ali’s computer, including documents that attested to the organization’s ties with illegal Hamas funds abroad (in the UK and in Saudi Arabia) and in Nablus. Also found were photographs of swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols, of senior Nazi German officials, of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as many photographs of Hamas military activities. The IRW was established in 1984 in the British city of Birmingham. It has branches in Gaza and Ramallah. The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population. These associations’ educational and religious institutions incite against the State of Israel and advocate terrorist actions against it and its citizens. The associations provide support to the families of terrorists who were wounded in actions against Israel, and to Hamas prisoners and detainees. These associations thus promote Hamas’s goals including the destruction of the State of Israel. Ali admitted that he was aware that several of the organizations supported by the IRW in Judea, Samaria and Gaza were indeed identified with Hamas. By agreement, Ali was released today (Monday), 29 May 2006, with restrictions on his movements. He will be deported from Israel in the coming days and will be barred from returning.

It should be noted that according to a NEFA Foundation report, Islamic Relief was one of the founding members of the Union of Good, described as a “coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas ‘social’ infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities.” The Union of Good is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood.

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