Skip to comments.Terrorist arrest shows holes in White House's Muslim outreach program; warnings ignored
Posted on 02/24/2003 8:06:59 AM PST by TLBSHOW
Terrorist arrest shows holes in White House's Muslim outreach program; warnings ignored
People are asking: Who is responsible for getting terrorist figures into the White House? Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian, arrested this week by the FBI as an alleged mastermind and funder of suicide bombings, was part of the White House's controversial outreach plan to Muslims and Arab-Americans, the Washington Post reports.
According to Newsweek, White House political officials disregarded warnings from the Secret Service that Al-Arian was a potential terrorist, and let him in anyway.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the alleged terrorists were running influence operations to penetrate the US political system and influence policy.
The news confirms what the Center for Security Policy has warned the Bush administration - first privately and later publicly - for nearly two years: That the architects of the White House's well-meaning Muslim outreach program paid little or no regard to national security issues, and ignored information about alleged extremists, including supporters of terrorism, who had hijacked the administration's initiative.
According to the Post, Al-Arian was invited to the White House as part of an American Muslim Council (AMC) delegation on June 22, 2001: "The meeting was controversial within the White House even before it took place. The group that included Al-Arian was scheduled to be briefed by Vice President Cheney, but Cheney canceled. That morning, the Jerusalem Post had run a front-page article headlined, 'Cheney to host pro-terrorist Muslim group.'"
Al-Arian's arrest under a 50-count federal grand jury indictment is sure to prompt the Secret Service and others to revisit the issue, and to investigate just who has manipulated the White House to allow extremists and terrorists into the presidential compound where they have been treated as legitimate representatives of moderate, non-violent causes.
On Friday, February 21, the Wall Street Journal reported that Al-Arian's arrest "likely will inflame a debate embroiling the Republican Party over efforts to court Muslim Americans." The battle, according to the Journal, is led by conservative activist Grover Norquist, "a close ally of the Bush White House who spent years wooing Muslims through a group he founded called the Islamic Institute," against national security-minded critics who include Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney and American Conservative Union President David Keene.
Norquist's Islamic Institute, the Wall Street Journal continued, has received money from "a network of Islamic organizations in Virginia under investigation by federal authorities for suspected ties to terrorism." Meanwhile, Norquist has been a vocal attacker of key provisions of the Bush administration's anti-terrorism legislation proposals, and has led an effort from the right to discredit and undermine Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Insight magazine is reporting that Al-Arian and Norquist have worked together, and that Norquist has gone on record saying he is "proud" to have accepted an award in July 2001 from Al-Arian's National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), which is described as a legal and political support group for international terrorist organizations.
Keene alluded to the problem in his column for The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper. "Make no mistake about it," wrote Keene, "these people are our enemies. To deny this would be foolish and to empower them in any way is a mistake of the first order because doing so legitimizes their claim to speak for all Muslims." Keene added that twice in the last six months, "fellow travelers" and "zealots" have tried to prevent critics of Islamist terrorism from addressing conservative audiences: "In both instances they sought veto power over who should or should not be allowed to discuss the extremist Muslim connection to world terrorism and in both instances they were rebuffed. Having failed to keep the objects of their enmity from speaking, they then proceeded to denounce publicly in the press and on the Internet the sponsors of the events at which they spoke as, you guessed it, 'bigots and racists.'"
Islamic Institute Chairman Khaled Saffuri claims to be shocked at the arrest of Al-Arian, telling Newsweek, "If these charges are true, then hes betrayed meand a whole lot of others in the Muslim community." Nevertheless, Norquist has continued to rail against critics of Islamist terrorist fronts, calling them "bigots and racists."
Is another shoe about to drop? According to the federal grand jury indictment, Al-Arian and his confederates tried to penetrate the mainstream political system to influence U.S. government counterterrorism policy. The Wall Street Journal states, "the indictment alludes to efforts by the defendants to gain political clout, alleging that they sought 'to obtain support from influential individuals in the United States under the guise of promoting and protecting Arab rights."
Again, the question must be answered: Who invited and cleared Al-Arian and other suspected terrorist supporters into the White House?
Excellent point, PKM. The same people doing all the Muslim/Arab bashing are usually the ones bent on constand Bush-bashing, too. I'm sure you have noticed that.
Name me any one who was going to profile any Muslim before 911 and cite anyone in this current administration who would ever have done so.
I did notice that -- seems to go hand in hand. But then certain Freepers go back and forth so much on President Bush, that I have to flip a coin to see what side they are going to be on that day or even sometimes on the thread. Would sure hate to be so unsure of my beliefs to keep doing a 180 day after day!
Muslim, Arab, practicing Muslim, cultural Muslim. All different things. The thing most of us are concerned with is orthodox, traditional, Mohammedanism.
Can understand that and I agree BTW, but too broad of paintbrush is being used to put all Arabs in the same category by several Freepers!
And "some freepers" probably sat up all night just waiting for the story to appear. "Some freepers" have less and less credibility by the hour. The "Bush Administration supports terrorists" theory has NO chance of surviving the facts...nor do "some freepers" that attempt to advance this theory.
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