Written by Barry Rubin
Up to now the Obama Administration has faced three big scandals—the IRS, the bugging of AP and Fox, and Benghazi. And now here is scandal Number 4:
For the last four years the Obama Administration has conducted a major “outreach” program to Islamic groups in the United States and in the Middle East. Patrick Poole has been investigating this project and in a comprehensive article now presents the full scoop and scope of what’s been going on. His article, “Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Policy” in the new, Summer, issue of MERIA Journal is a gamechanger.
You may think that you know about this subject but it goes far beyond what you have heard about. The majority of groups and individuals promoted by the Obama Administration have been radical Islamists, particularly Muslim Brotherhood cadre, and more than occasionally people involved in terrorist activity.
Moderate Muslims have been neglected and isolated by this project which has helped the radicals, Islamists, and pro-terrorists gain hegemony in the Muslim community in America.
Again, you may think that you know this story but it is far more extensive than has ever before been revealed. Often, the White House and FBI have granted access and worked with those who were simultaneously being investigated on serious charges of terrorism.
The whole “outreach” program has been a farce and it would be charitable to describe it as incompetent on the part of the Obama Administration. Patrick Poole pulls all of the material together for the first time and shows serious flaws that have endangered Americans in scores of cases.
Radicals have been given credentials as moderates, been provided with information that should have remained secret, been allowed to advise and influence U.S. policy. The kind of government mishandling of terrorist threats that characterize the Fort Hood case and the Boston bombing has been business as usual.
Here is a portion of Patrick Poole’s article:
“When President Obama hosted his annual Iftar dinner in August 2010 to commemorate the Muslim celebration of Ramadan, the list of invitees published by the White House was curiously missing the names of several attendees – all of whom were top leaders of organizations known to be purveyors of jihadist ideology and implicated by federal prosecutors in financing terrorism.
“But it wasn’t like they had crashed the party. In fact, one of the individuals missing on the official White House list, Mohamed Majid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), was pictured in a news service photograph sitting at the front table just a few feet from the president as he spoke When Majid was hailed by Time Magazine in November 2005 as a “moderate Muslim cleric” that was helping the FBI fight terrorists, he quickly published an open letter to his congregation on the mosque’s website assuring his congregants that he was doing no such thing stating that his relationship with the FBI was a one-way street only to communicate Muslim community concerns – not to report on individuals suspected of terrorist activity.[iii]
“It was just a few years ago the Attorney General of the United States was canceling Muslim outreach events for the sole reason that Majid would be present at the meeting, because the Department of Justice had just named ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.
“But Majid’s connection to terrorism goes back even farther than that, since the offices of the mosque he leads, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, were raided by U.S. Customs authorities in March 2002 in a wide-sweeping terror finance investigation. In an affidavit requesting a search warrant for the raids, Customs Agent David Kane testified that Majid’s mosque was being used to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars for the targeted terror finance network that shared offices withADAMS.An appendix to the Customs Service affidavit also names eleven ADAMS Center officials as targets of their terror finance investigation.And yet Majid and the ADAMS Center are still considered legitimate outreach partners by the FBI.
“This was just the most recent episode in the disastrous attempts at outreach to the Muslim community since the 9/11 attacks. And with the release in 2011 of President Obama’s strategic plan to combat “violent extremism” to expand outreach to these same terror-tied groups, the present administration seems intent on compounding the disaster wrought by previous administrations.”
The results of this investigation should be a serious embarrassment for the Obama Administration and should be distributed as widely as possible. It involves the expenditure of millions of dollars of taxpayer money and the promotion of the forces most dangerous to American interests and to the American people in the world today.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan)