How’s the FBI’s Outreach to Muslims Program Working Out?
On Wednesday, FBI Director, Robert Mueller testified during a House Judiciary hearing. Mueller made the claim that political correctness does not influence how the FBI trains its counterterrorism agents. Mueller also said that the recent purge of FBI training documents came about due to there being inaccurate or stereotypical content linking Muslims to terrorism.
Several committee members, however, were uneasy with Mueller’s comments and sought further disclosure. In particular, some committee members are concerned that the bureau is promoting political correctness, regardless of the potential risk to national security.
Most notably, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) expressed frustration with Mueller’s responses and repeatedly asked for the identities of the outside experts used to determine what content should be purged. Gohmert also inquired as to how these experts were vetted. “They’ve got a track record of choosing the wrong people to embrace and help them in their outreach program,” Gohmert said. “We still don’t know who the subject matter experts are. We still don’t know exactly what material has been purged.”
The government agencies tasked with protecting the US from terrorism, have a history of outreach to people with links to terrorist organizations. Following are a few instances:
- According to Patrick Poole: “In June 2002, Director Mueller took fire for a speech to the American Muslim Council (AMC), which his spokesman described as ‘the most mainstream Muslim group in the United States.’ During his speech Mueller asked the group for their help in fighting terrorism. But the head of AMC at the time was Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was videotaped in October 2000 delivering a speech just yards away from the White House, proclaiming: ‘I have been labeled by the media in New York as being a supporter of Hamas. We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah.’”
- Also in 2000, AMC board advisor and former acting President, Jamil Al-Amin, was taken into police custody for murdering a Georgia police officer. Alamoudi was also arrested, in a Libyan assassination plot, in 2003. His target was the Saudi crown prince. Almoudi, it was later revealed, was one of al-Qaeda’s top fundraisers in the United States.
- Patrick Poole reports: “During the trial of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, the terror leader’s attorney attempted to subpoena evidence of meetings and conversations that Al-Arian had with high-ranking officials at the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and even the White House. Al-Arian had gained access to the highest levels of the U.S. government despite having been subject to FISA wiretap warrants since the early 1990s and having his home raided in 1995. As part of a plea deal, Al-Arian admitted to being part of the leadership structure of the terrorist group and knowingly supporting the terrorist organization.”
- In 2008, Mueller bestowed Imam Yahya Hendi with a Director’s Community Leadership Award. Hendi was a defense witness at Al-Arian’s trial. Testimony obtained by the 9/11 Commission related the fact that Hendi had served as a moderator during a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, an organization which was shut down by the US government in November 2002. It was also designated a terrorist organization because of its support of al-Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups.
- One of the first groups appointed to the FBI’s Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Advisory Council, following 9/11, was the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Poole reports: “After CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, an FBI agent testified during that trial that CAIR was a front for the terrorist group Hamas. Federal prosecutors also told a federal court: ‘From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.’ The FBI was publicly forced to sever ties with CAIR.”
- FBI officials have persisted in meeting unofficially with CAIR. The clandestine relationship continues despite CAIR warning its members last year to refrain from speaking with the FBI.
- Patrick Poole reports that Hamas cleric Kifah Mustapha, “as part of a six-week FBI Citizens’ Academy, was treated to guided tours of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), FBI Headquarters, and the FBI Academy at Quantico. Mustapha’s participation in the FBI program came after he was personallynamed an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial and his appointment as a Muslim chaplain to the Illinois State Police had been revoked (a background check revealed his terrorist ties and support).”
- According to Poole: “When Time featured a profile on Mohamed Majid — imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center and current president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) — in November 2005, it highlighted Majid’s award from the FBI for ‘the imam’s cooperation in the war on terror,’ claiming that ‘Majid regularly tips off the bureau.’ But in a letter to the ADAMS Center community the day after the Time article appeared, Majid told his mosque members that he did no such thing (the letter has now been taken down from the ADAMS Center website, but is still available through Internet Archive). Majid made clear that he never reported on anyone in the Muslim community, and his relationship with the FBI was one-sided, with the outreach meetings intended ‘solely to create avenues to work with law enforcement to preserve our civil liberties and civil rights.’ It should come as no shock that Majid has recently met with top DOJ officials urging the criminalization of criticism of Islam and has been one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the FBI’s training ‘Islamophobia’ purge, meeting at least twice with FBI Director Mueller on the topic.”
- Mueller met with the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was tied to terror group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, for the purpose of discussing progress on the Islamic training materials issue.
The FBI spokesman did not respond to attempts to clarify Mueller’s testimony, following the hearing.