A post from yesterday reported that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had relied upon Saudi-funded Georgetown University professor John Esposito for advice on law enforcement counterterrorism training. While that post also discussed some of the background of US Muslim Brotherhood influence on DHS, the extent of that influence has yet to be reported. In addition to the findings of yesterday’s post, a look at the makeup of the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group reveals that of the six likely Muslim members of the 16-person Working Group, four were either close to or part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The document reporting on the findings of the Working Group explains their mission as follows:
Recognizing that there have been many successful cases of local law enforcement working with communities to fight violent crime, at the February 2010 HSAC Meeting Secretary Napolitano tasked the HSAC to “…work with state and local law enforcement as well as relevant community groups to develop and provide to me recommendations regarding how the Department can better support community-based efforts to combat violent extremism domestically – focusing in particular on the issues of training, information sharing, and the adoption of community-oriented law enforcement approaches to this issue.”
The four members of the group in questions were identified as:
- Dalia Mogahed (Senior Analyst and Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies)
- Mohamed Elibiary (President and CEO, The Freedom and Justice Foundation)
- Mohamed Magid (Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society- ADAMS Center)
- Nadia Roumani (Director, American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute)
Dahlia Mogahed is currently the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies that also includes Georgetown University academic Dr. John Esposito and she also co-authored a book with Dr. Esposito. As noted above, a post from yesterday reported that DHS had relied upon Dr. Esposito for advice on law enforcement counterterrorism training and that post details Esposito’s close ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and to Saudi Arabia. Ms. Mogahed was born in Egypt and lived in the U.S. since the age of 5. She is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is a former engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM). The website of the ICM links mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), close to the Egyptian Brotherhood, was ICM Imam and President for several years. In 2003, Ms. Mogahed was identified in 2003 as the Outreach Coordinator for the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) whose co-founder lost a DOE security clearance and whose Imam was expected to be deported on immigration violations. Ms. Mogahed was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in April 2009. In June 2010, Ms. Mogahed was appointed head of a new center for social research and analysis in Abu Dhabi to be called the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center. The Investigative Project has published a report analyzing the support for US Muslim Brotherhood organizations and their positions provided by Ms. Mogahed.
Mohamed Elibiary is a co-founder of the Freedom and Justice Foundation (FJF), an organization whose Advisory Council is comprised of many members who are associated with the Islamic Association of North Texas which operates the Dallas Central Mosque (DCM). Both organizations are known to be associated with the US Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas infrastructure in the US including the now defunct Holy Land Foundation (HLF). The most prominent of these Advisory Council members is Dr. Yusuf Kavakci, recently a board member at large of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who has served as Imam of the DCM that was described in a 1999 article in a Counterterrorism Journal as:
… considered to be one of the most active centers of Hamas activity in the United States and hosts the leadership and members of both the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Both organizations are the primary conduits for Hamas activity and fundraising in the United States. (See Note 2)
A former FBI analyst has also written that the two of the Elashi brothers, later convicted of terrorism financing as leaders of the HLF, had personal ties to the DCM, one serving as a board member and the other active in an affiliated Islamic School. After the arrests of the Elashi’s, the DCM hosted fundraising events for their legal defense. In 2008, Mr. Elibiary harshly criticized the Hamas terrorism financing convictions of the Holy Land Foundation defendants calling them “a policy of denying our civil liberties”:
The U.S. government won a resounding court victory last Monday, convicting all the Palestinian HLF defendants on all “material support” charges leveled against them. Yet in the grand scheme of things, our government’s policy of denying our civil liberties and privacy at home while pursuing a cold war “containment” policy that often turns into a hot war for “regime change” has left thousands of Americans dead, tens of thousands maimed, trillions of taxpayer dollars squandered and our homeland more vulnerable than ever. A myopic view might wish to celebrate the HLF verdict, but the big picture clearly shows a continuing loss for America.
A 2005 report by the Center For Religious Freedom (CRF) found numerous examples of Saudi ideological material at the DCM (aka Richardson Mosque.)
Mohamed Magid is the current President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), both organizations part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. Imam Magid can be seen as the new more moderate face that ISNA has been cultivating of late and he has taken part in frequent interfaith events including visits to concentration camp sites in Europe.
Nadia Roumani is the co-founder and director of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI) that describes itself as an organization that “develops and trains American Muslim leaders who are committed to civic engagement.” Of the 84 individuals that have participated in the AMCLI, there are a number who are associated with the US Muslim Brotherhood including Mohamed Elibiary.
Not surprisingly, the DHS Working Group’s recommendations attempt to redirect focus away from any connection between terrorism and Islamism, such as the variety promulgated by the Global Muslim Brotherhood recommending instead that the focus should be on “stopping violent behavior regardless of the motivation” and that:
… discussions regarding how to improve local law enforcement crime reduction efforts should be delinked from the current academic and policy discussions on “radicalization” and “countering violent extremism” until such time that the understanding of these phenomena matures.
In 2008, the we presented an analysis that identified four conceptual categories into which Brotherhood positions on terrorism can usually be parsed. The GMBDW noted that this Muslim Brotherhood strategy regarding terrorism should be seen for what it is, a remarkably consistent and internally coherent means of obscuring the true aims and goals of the group. The first category was explained as follows:
1. DENIAL- Since the Brotherhood is pursuing Islamization and eventually Shariah (Islamic Law), it is necessary at all costs to deny that Islam as a religion has any connection to violence or terrorism. Of course, the Brotherhood represents Islamism as opposed to Islam in this regard but since the general audience does not understand that distinction, it is Islam which is the Brotherhood reference. They cannot afford to fail in this denial and the denial strategy is usually pursued through sophistry. That is, the Brotherhood claims that Islam is unfairly associated with terrorism while Christianity, Judaism, and other religions are not (e.g. Abortion bombers are not called Christian Terrorists) and/or that other religious terrorism is just as dangerous as Islamic terrorism. The Brotherhood may be winning this battle (see here.)
At the current time, DHS maintains a Faith-based Security and Communications Advisory Committee whose members as of May 2012 included Mohamed Magid, identified above as the ISNA President, and Ingrid Mattson, the former ISNA President.
For part 1 of this story, go here.