8/21/2005

Islamist Jihad penetration of Homeland Security?

OK, how on earth did this happen right under the nose of Perle, Wolfowitz et all ? -- law

Center for Security Policy writes in June 2004:
Islamist penetration of Homeland Security?

(Washington, D.C.): For over two years, the Center for Security Policy has been warning that organizations and individuals sympathetic to or otherwise supportive of the radical, intolerant and jihadist subset of the Muslim faith known as "Islamists" have mounted a sophisticated political influence operation against the Bush Administration. Today?s Washington Times contains a column by Center President Frank Gaffney entitled "Dubious Company" that describes a meeting Secretary of State Colin Powell held with representatives of four such groups just last Thursday.

Unfortunately, it now seems clear that this influence operation has succeeded in getting more than meetings with senior officials. According to the on-line magazine Salon.com, a seemingly unqualified individual nonetheless secured a position as the policy director for the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence division, thanks to his ties to a well-connected political activist named Grover Norquist.

Norquist?s activities on behalf of, and together with, Islamist sympathizers and associates has been documented by numerous publications -- including a detailed analysis by Mr. Gaffney which appeared last December in FrontPageMagazine.com ("A Troubling Influence"). Norquist?s apparent role in the case of Faisal Gill is particularly interesting, however, insofar as it seems unlikely that Mr. Gill would have been considered for - let alone actually secured - his Homeland Security post but for the Norquist connection.

The nature of that connection is all the more troubling insofar as Mr. Gill was, according to Salon?s Washington correspondent, Mary Jacoby, "briefly removed from his job in March." Ms. Jacoby cites unnamed officials as saying the temporary removal occurred when "the FBI raised concerns with Homeland Security officials...after discovering that Gill had failed to list on security clearance documents his work in 2001 with the American Muslim Council." (The AMC and its operations feature prominently in a lengthy investigative article concerning Islamist activities centered in Herndon, Virginia that appeared on the front-page of yesterday?s Wall Street Journal.)

Ms. Jacoby goes on to report that:

The advocacy group, which was controlled by [Abdurahman] Alamoudi, has been under scrutiny in an investigation of terrorism financing. [Jacoby notes elsewhere in the article: "Alamoudi was indicted last year on terrorism-related money-laundering charges and now claims to have been part of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah."] The lead agent in that investigation works for an arm of Homeland Security. Gill's omission of the information on his "Standard Form 86" national security questionnaire is a potential felony violation.

While Salon states that "There is no evidence...that Gill has taken any action to compromise national security," his failure to disclose a troubling association with an indicted terrorist conspirator raises serious questions about the circumstances and appropriateness of his placement in a position with access to some of the Nation?s most sensitive secrets. These include information about vulnerabilities associated with U.S. ports, airports, transportation systems, refineries, chemical and nuclear facilities, etc.

Even though Mr. Gill has been reinstated by his superiors at Homeland Security following what is said to have been "a thorough investigation," it is not obvious how someone who withheld information about his employment history could be "cleared" - especially given how troubling that information is.

As Ms. Jacoby reports: "Gill's placement in the sensitive intelligence job has alarmed government officials because it fits the operating theory of prosecutors and investigators that Alamoudi was part of a long-term scheme by Islamic extremists to place friendly, if perhaps unwitting, associates in key U.S. government positions."

The bottom line is that it is past time for a rigorous review of the extent and implications of the evident Islamist influence operation in official Washington and the troubling role that Grover Norquist has appeared to play in facilitating, if not actually enabling it. If the Bush Administration can or will not conduct such an examination, Congress should undertake to do so.

The Center for Security Policy

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