What to Do When You Turn On the Lights and the Roaches Don’t Run for Cover

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Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Roaches scatter when the lights go on. Hollywood movies have taught us that once the hero has shined a light on the doers of evil, bringing troubling matters to light, the cops swoop in, the bad actors are rounded up, the credits roll, and the camera pans up to reveal a bright blue sky. Everyone lives happily ever after.

Unfortunately, that is not how it works in today’s politicized world of homeland security and defense.

Take for instance the case of Abdel Rahman al-Amoudi. Al-Amoudi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (M.B.), and was identified as such in the Holy Land Foundation trial documents. He was the founder of the American Muslim Council, an Islamic advisor to the Clinton White House, a Democratic and Republican fundraiser and a State Department lecturer.  As an advisor to the Department of Defense, the Muslim Brotherhood through the organization he founded was given the responsibility for training our Muslim military chaplains. Al-Amoudi donated $20,000 dollars to help conservative activist Grover Norquist establish the Islamic Institute. In addition, Al-Amoudi worked with Sami-al-Arian, another M.B. member, to get then Presidential Candidate George W. Bush to commit to ending the use of secret intelligence evidence at deportation proceedings.

Then, in 2003 the lights came on.

Al-Amoudi was arrested in 2003 at Heathrow Airport with hundreds of thousands of dollars provided by Libyan President Moammar Qaddafi. He was caught on audiotape calling for acts of terrorism and claiming to support the terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas. In court, he pled guilty to financing terrorism (including funding Al Qaeda) and of conspiring with Libya to assassinate the Saudi Crown Prince (they failed). The court sentenced him to 23 years in prison.

In another dramatic 2003 arrest, Sami al-Arian was also caught and charged. He pled guilty in 2006 to conspiring to assist the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a specially designated global terrorist.

In 2007, federal prosecutors filed charges against the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas based Muslim charity and front for the terror group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. During the trial, prosecutors released hundreds of pages of documents; the entire archives of the North American Muslim Brotherhood. It included the lists of names and phone numbers of Brotherhood members in the U.S. There were organizational charts and a full strategic memorandum calling for a “Civilization-Jihad process,” in addition to plans for a “Grand Jihad” to sabotage America from within. Documents listed member organizations, including some of the most influential Muslim organizations in America, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).  After an initial mistrial, the Federal government won its case in late November 2008.

But then, nothing happened.

The exposed agents of Grand Jihad did not run for cover when the lights came on. With a few exceptions, their American government contacts did not cut them off or treat them as pariahs even though they had been thoroughly tainted with terrorist associations, with plots for sedition against the United States and to establish a global caliphate. Secondary prosecutions that had been planned were suddenly scuttled to avoid political embarrassment. Major news organizations continued to call on the members of known Muslim Brotherhood organizations to get their opinion on all things Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood still provides the FBI with Muslim outreach and the DOD is still provided with Muslim Chaplains through ISNA.

Even more astounding, last week the Department of Justice filed papers to cut short al-Amoudi’s 23 year sentence. Why? Since the documents are under seal, we do not know. The judge in the case canceled a hearing scheduled for last Friday, deciding instead to make the determination based solely on already filed paperwork. In order to get a shortened sentence, the filing would require that al-Amoudi had already provided substantial assistance to the prosecutor’s office.  But it’s difficult to say what such assistance could have consisted of.  With the revelations available in the Holy Land Foundation documents, and considering that Al-Amoudi has been in prison for the past nine years, it’s questionable what cooperation he might have been able to provide at this juncture which would motivate prosecutors to release him.

This raises the very serious question of whether his release may not be political. This is especially true as the Obama administration in recent months has expressed increased acceptance of the Muslim Brotherhood abroad, including Secretary Hiliary Clinton’s assurance earlier this month that the U.S. now “welcomes dialogue” with the Brotherhood.

If al-Amoudi is indeed released, it would represent a tremendous success for the Brotherhood. They will have successfully survived the aftermath of al-Amoudi’s arrest and the revelations of the Holy Land Foundation trial. Their operation to penetrate and influence the United States will have been so successful that they will have quashed the proposed secondary prosecutions expected from the Holy Land Foundation and also extricated a major M.B. organizer from prison — despite his crimes. This will certainly embolden them to attempt to free others, including Sami al-Arian, who has long been a cause célèbre for the M.B. and their fellow travelers on the radical left. With the Obama administration having now legitimized the Muslim Brotherhood as acceptable partners abroad, it has made them acceptable partners domestically as well — their call for “Grand Jihad” notwithstanding.

What can be done?

As President Ronald Reagan once reportedly said, “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

If our intelligence and security agencies and the media refuse to see the danger and will not make Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated persons and organizations persona non grata, then the American people will be forced to do it for them. When television news shows and newspapers give face time or column space to M.B. fronts like CAIR, these TV networks and newspapers must hear from their audience.  Legislators willing to hold hearings and draw attention to the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood should be publically praised, as for instance Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who this week has announced a third set of hearings on Muslim radicalization in the U.S.  Those who hold hands with M.B. fronts however, and defend them, must have it known that their disdain for American security will be made an issue when they face election challenges. We must then keep the pressure on our legislators to insure that they also hold the unelected bureaucrats accountable.

Unfortunately, in dealing with “influence” operations of the size and scope of the one being run by the Muslim Brotherhood, there is no easy answer. When exposed, their response is not to flee, but to counter-accuse, to manipulate, and burrow deeper and to use our American process against itself.

We must also double our efforts and know that there will never be a silver bullet for the Muslim Brotherhood’s “civilization-Jihad” or for radical Islam in general. It forces us to always remain vigilant. Perhaps this administration will succeed in freeing al-Amoudi, but we must not allow such a setback to keep us from identifying, exposing, and arresting the next al-Amoudi.

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About the Author

Kyle Shideler
Kyle Shideler is the Director of Research and Communications for the Endowment for Middle East Truth

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