A Red Carpet for Radicals at the White House
by STEVE EMERSON, JOHN ROSSOMANDO
October 23, 2012
A year-long investigation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has found that scores of known radical Islamists made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House, meeting with top administration officials.
Court documents and other records have identified many of these visitors as belonging to groups serving as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other Islamic militant organizations.
The IPT made the discovery combing through millions of White House visitor log entries. IPT compared the visitors' names with lists of known radical Islamists. Among the visitors were officials representing groups which have:
- Been designated by the Department of Justice as unindicted co-conspirators in terrorist trials; Extolled Islamic terrorist groups including Hamas and Hizballah;
- Obstructed terrorist investigations by instructing their followers not to cooperate with law enforcement;
- Promoted the incendiary conspiratorial allegation that the United States is engaged in a "war against Islam"- a leading tool in recruiting Muslims to carry out acts of terror;
- Repeatedly claimed that many of the Islamic terrorists convicted since 9-11 were framed by the U.S government as part of an anti-Muslim profiling campaign.
Individuals from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) visited the White House at least 20 times starting in 2009. In 2008, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist money laundering case in U.S. history - the trial of the Holy Land Foundation in which five HLF officials were convicted of funneling money to Hamas.
U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis later ruled that, "The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association" of CAIR to Hamas, upholding their designations as unindicted co-conspirators. In 2008, the FBI formally ended all contact with CAIR because of its ties to Hamas.
In January 2004, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR's Los Angeles office, publicly defended Palestinian terror attacks in comments before Muslim students at the University of California - Los Angeles, saying that terrorists were exercising their "legitimate right" to defend themselves against Israeli occupation.
Ayloush, who was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., casts the United States as controlled by Israeli interests. At a 2008 CAIR banquet in San Diego, he imagined "an America that respects and humanizes religion. It's an America that is free to act on its values and not on the interests of any foreign lobby." In 2004, he said that the war on terror had become a "war on Muslims." Ayloush attended at least two White House meetings.
The logs show Ayloush met with Paul Monteiro, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement on July 8, 2011 and Amanda Brown, assistant to the White House director of political affairs Patrick Gaspard, on June 6, 2009.
According to reliable sources, Monteiro was White House liaison for secret contacts with CAIR, especially with Ayloush. IPT has learned that the White House logs curiously have omitted Ayloush's three meetings with two other senior White House officials.
Louay Safi, formerly executive director of the Islamic Society of North America, visited the White House twice - meeting in intimate settings with Paul Monteiro on June 29, 2011 and July 8, 2011.
Law enforcement first noticed Safi in 1995 when his voice was captured in an FBI wiretap of now-convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian. At the time of his conversation with Al-Arian, Safi served as executive director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, an organization listed in law-enforcement and in internal Muslim Brotherhood documents as one of the movement's top front groups in North America.
Safi also wrote for the Middle East Affairs Journal, produced by the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). That group was established by Hamas deputy political leader Mousa Abu Marzook and part of the Hamas-support network called the "Palestine Committee."
Safi has repeatedly expressed understanding for the underlying causes that provoke terrorism: "Terrorism cannot be fought by...ignoring its root causes. The first step...is to examine the conditions that give rise to the anger, frustration, and desperation that fuel all terrorist acts." He also called Palestinian terrorists "freedom" fighters.
Esam Omeish, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood-created Muslim American Society, visited the White House three times.
In 2000, Omeish personally hired the late terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki to be the imam of Falls Church, VA, Dar al-Hijrah mosque. According to IPT analysis, more terrorists have been linked to Dar al-Hijrah since 9/11 than to any other mosque in America.
Omeish publicly mourned the Israeli airstrike that killed Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin at an April 10, 2004, MAS conference.
Click to hear audio
According to video captured by IPT, Omeish went a step further at the December 22, 2000, Jerusalem Day rally in Washington's Lafayette Park, praising Palestinian terror groups, saying they had learned "the jihad way" to "liberate" Palestine.
In a sermon at Dar al-Hijrah in 2009, Omeish called for "an American Islamic movement that transforms our status, that impacts our society, and that brings forth the change that we want to see."
Click to hear audio
Last month, Omeish attended a reception for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during Morsi's United Nations visit. Morsi is a longtime Egyptian Brotherhood leader. Omeish posted a picture of the event on his Facebook page and noted: "His Excellency provided great insights and we share important perspectives."
Mohamed Elibiary, appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council in October 2010, spoke at a December 2004 seminar in honor of Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, titled: "A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary."
Elibiary condemned the convictions of the defendants in the Hamas money-laundering trial as a "loss for America" and dismissed the prosecution as "a political trial trying to achieve a government policy." He also opposed the targeting of American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, saying it wouldn't be "worth the ramifications of having to chase his ghost as a martyr for the next half century."
Among the most influential of the visitors to the White House included Muslim Public Affairs Council Executive Director Salam al-Marayati, who according to White House logs had at least seven meetings.
Al-Marayati held a fundraising dinner for al-Arian, the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in North America, comparing his prosecution to the Japanese detention during World War II. A month later, al-Arian pleaded guilty.
He also praised Hezbollah as a "liberation movement" in 1999, calling its terror attacks "legitimate resistance".
Al-Marayati defended Iran's nuclear program and portrayed it as the victim in a January 18, 2012 appearance on Russia Today.
Interestingly, the Obama administration's enthusiastic support for gay rights did not prevent it from inviting Islamists who support laws overseas giving gays the death penalty.
In a June 21, 2001 article in The San Francisco Chronicle, Muzammil Siddiqi, the former head of Islamic Society of North America, said he "supported laws in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death." Siddiqi met with Monteiro on June 8, 2010.
Despite the President's public proclamations that he is standing strong against terrorism, the White House logs demonstrate that he has legitimized the very same groups that espouse radical Islamic terrorism.