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Franks Statement on IG Letters Concerning Muslim Brotherhood
“I have both the privilege and the responsibility as a member of the United States Congress to serve on committees charged with oversight of the President's Cabinet Members and their agencies. I feel a special duty to oversee issues impacting national security and the protection of American lives. Pursuant to that duty, I recently signed on to five letters to the Inspectors General of five different federal departments charged with national security, asking them to look into concerns over the Administration's noticeable and demonstrable shift in policy toward the militant Islamist group known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The Muslim Brotherhood network within the United States became publicly known during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial (the largest terrorism finance trial in U.S. history) where the evidence showed that the Muslim Brotherhood's goal in North America is, in their words, to ‘destroy Western civilization from within,’ which their own writings have said includes establishing an advisory presence inside top U.S. institutions. The Brotherhood has also identified 29 groups in the United States as ‘our organizations and organizations of our friends.’
“The letters to the Inspectors General provide many examples that merit concern. First, the Department of Homeland Security granted a secret security clearance to Mohamed Elibiary, a man who had expressed support for Holy Land Foundation trial defendants. Mr. Elibiary also was reported to have been a featured speaker at a conference in honor of notorious radical Islamist Ayatollah Khomeini. The Obama Administration placed Mr. Elibiary on the influential Homeland Security Advisory Council, where he advises on information sharing within the intelligence apparatus.
“Also of concern was the State Department's grant of a visa – in violation of federal law – to Hani Nour Eldin, a member of the Egyptian terrorist group, Gamaa Islamiya. The leader of this group is Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the ‘Blind Sheik,’ who is now serving a life sentence for his involvement in terror plots including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Eldin was subsequently given access to the White House itself, where he reportedly pled for the release of the Blind Sheik from U.S custody. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi, openly supported by the Obama State Department, is also calling for the release of the Blind Sheik.
“Other examples include meetings held by the Attorney General and other senior Justice Department officials with representatives of unindicted co-conspirators named in the federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing conspiracy. Preeminent among these was one of the largest Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organizations in the United States: the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
“Heightening these concerns was the refusal by the Attorney General to proceed with the prosecution of three of the Holy Land Foundation’s unindicted co-conspirators – ISNA, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The Attorney General failed to pursue this prosecution in spite of the fact that the record from the Holy Land Foundation trial obviously supported proceeding with the prosecution of the unindicted co-conspirators.
“To collaborate in this administration's political correctness and pretend that these issues are not real is to potentially put innocent lives at risk in the pursuit of preventing anyone from feeling uncomfortable.
“In spite of these examples (representing only a small part of my reasoning for signing the subject letters), the Obama Administration has announced that it will now engage with the Muslim Brotherhood, stating it is in Washington’s interests to deal with parties “committed to non-violent politics.”
“Somehow, the Obama State Department has failed to notice decades of history whereby Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, has violently killed and maimed innocent Israeli, Palestinian, and American civilians. What is even more startling and tragic, is that this carnage continues under the watchful eye of this Administration.
“I am not sure which should alarm America more, this Administration’s seeming blindness to the violent and extremist nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Administration’s willingness to overlook it in the name of political correctness.
“The letters I cosigned asked the relevant Inspectors General to investigate the Muslim Brotherhood's level of influence in our federal government— the very sort of fact-finding investigation for which Inspectors General were commissioned by federal statute. Indeed, I have now received responses to four of the five letters sent. It is relevant that the Department of Justice's Inspector General was in the midst of a related investigation over the nature of the FBI's alleged inappropriate relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations prior to the subject letters ever being sent. As to that investigation, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, informed us that the Department ‘appreciate[s] the importance of the concerns raised,’ and that he anticipates that ‘aspects of this review [regarding the FBI and CAIR restricted relationship] will inform us about some of the concerns outlined in your request.’ I look forward to IG Horowitz’s report.
“It is my opinion that the voluminous news reports pertaining to Ms. Abedin’s family ties is an attempt to divert attention from the overriding and central purpose of the subject letters. I do not allege in any of these letters, nor have I ever alleged in any other format or forum that Ms. Abedin is a member of the “Muslim Brotherhood, nor that she has participated in specific acts in furtherance of Muslim Brotherhood goals. This does not alter the fact that the State Department’s very own public statement of standards governing clearances reads: ‘Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying [to receive a security clearance] include: (a) contact with a foreign family member, business or professional associate, friend, or other person who is a citizen of or resident in a foreign country if that contact creates a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion;’ I have no reason to believe that Ms. Abedin is anything but a completely loyal and upstanding citizen; it is the State Department’s own policy that suggests someone so situated could be vulnerable to exploitation or even coercion. Therefore, the single sentence mentioning Ms. Abedin, extracted from one of the five letters— that the press has singularly emphasized— is not about the character of Ms. Abedin at all, but instead the failure of the State Department to enforce its own time-tested policies that are critical to the security of this country.
“In sum, the focus of the letters was not Ms. Abedin, but instead the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The evidence of the hostile nature of the Muslim Brotherhood is not in doubt in any reasonable mind. Let us not forget, for example, that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, whose past involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood is well known and incontrovertibly documented, orchestrated the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, killing thousands of Americans.
“Both the 9/11 Commission Report and the 2011 bi-partisan report by Senators Lieberman and Collins on Ft. Hood found that a major failure of the national security apparatus in those instances was the failure to acknowledge the true enemy explicitly as violent Islamist extremism. The DHS former top intelligence officer, Charlie Allen, noted that the U.S. intelligence community doesn’t even have ‘minimum essential requirements’ for how to collect information about violent Islamist extremism.
“Unfortunately, we are even less cognizant about the pre-violent kind of warfare the Muslim Brotherhood practices as ‘civilization jihad’ being conducted against our government and civil society institutions.
“Sun Tzu said that if you cannot identify your enemy, you cannot defeat him. Multiple agencies knew that Major Hassan was communicating with terrorist leader Al-Awlaki; yet, the Obama Administration refused to identify Nidal Hassan as the Islamist terrorist threat that he was and instead identified the Ft. Hood massacre as ‘workplace violence.’ This kind of political correctness is deadly to America.
“I believe it would be a profound dereliction of my commitment to America and human freedom itself to countenance an image-make-over of the Muslim Brotherhood, its extremist ideology, its violent history, and its open call for jihad by ‘all the Arab and Muslim peoples’ against the United States by none other than Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide. Mr. Badie’s statement in October of 2010 declared holy war against America and stated that “the U.S. is experiencing the beginning of its end.”
“Consequently, in spite of the din of politically correct voices urging us all to look the other way, I cannot retreat one inch from pushing back on Muslim Brotherhood influence inside the United States Government.”
Reference the government's evidence in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, N.D. TX (2008), specifically "An Explanatory Memorandum for on the Strategic Goal for the Group in North America ," and see United States v. Holy Land Foundation et al. (No. 09-10875)(2010). For a partial list of exhibits, see http://www.txnd.uscourts.gov/judges/hlf2.html