Shielding the Enemy

One year ago, in June 2012, the "National Security Five" -- five members of Congress led by Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) -- called attention to U.S. government infiltration by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) operatives. Based on disturbing information from court evidence and documents, correspondence, media reports, congressional briefings, and public statements, they found that individuals with questionable loyalty to the United States held high-level security clearances and worked in key national security positions. Tragically for the security of the United States and the safety of its citizens, these five earnest members of Congress, armed with ample evidence, were roundly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats, and their request for investigations was ignored.

Unfortunately for our country, this response is not atypical, but simply another in a series of thwarted or abandoned investigations over decades whose outcomes have critical national security implications for America.

A mere 20 years ago, responding to pressure from then-President Clinton to de-emphasize Arab international terrorism, FBI head Louis Freeh shifted the agency's focus from foreign terrorists to domestic terrorists or "rightwing extremists." As a direct consequence, 40 boxes of evidence from the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 that would have revealed valuable information about Al Qaeda operations were never reviewed and key evidence, including the presence of Arab nationals at U.S. flight schools, was ignored.

In the same way, serious evidence of Middle Eastern involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing that claimed 168 lives, injured more than 680 people and damaged 324 buildings within a 16 block radius was ignored. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) alluded to this in his 2006 Chairman's Report for the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on the attack. Rohrabacher cited suspicions of meetings and phone calls between bombing accomplice Terry Nichols and convicted 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) mastermind Ramzi Yousef. Similarly, the attack strategy and mechanics resembled the first WTC bombing. Finally, multiple witnesses reported seeing Hussain Hashem al-Hussaini, an Iraqi connected to Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard, in the company of McVeigh prior to the bombing, leaving the truck used in the attack, and driving away prior to the blast. These significant similarities didn't even warrant an investigation by the Clinton administration.

The Clinton administration also ignored the findings of Able Danger, an 80-person military intelligence program (1999-2001) created to gather intelligence on Al Qaeda networks. The program's findings were presented to the Pentagon more than a year prior to 9/11. The intelligence unit identified 60 terrorists inside the United States, including a Brooklyn cell headed by Mohammed Atta and three other terrorists later involved in 9/11. This crucial information was ignored by the Clinton Department of Defense (DoD), which chose not to act on it and not to pass it on to the FBI. Two members of the Able Danger team, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer and Navy Commander Scott Philpott, attempted to arrange meetings on three occasions to transfer the open-source information about Al Qaeda to the FBI and to warn the government about upcoming attacks. But Clinton administration lawyers under the direction of Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick thwarted their efforts and Able Danger was shut down before 9/11 occurred. Although Able Danger intelligence officer Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer provided intelligence from its investigation to the director of the 9/11 Commission, that information was not included in the final report and Lt. Col. Shaffer was not permitted to testify. Ultimately the DoD denied the accuracy of the information and retaliated against him. When Shaffer first published his book, Operation Dark Heart, the DoD bought and destroyed all 9,500 copies.

Remarkably, Able Danger had identified the threat to the USS Cole two weeks before the attack and the role played by the Al Farooq mosque in Brooklyn, a major funding, recruiting, and fundraising source for Al Qaeda in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Also ignored was data gathered after 9/11, when the U.S. Customs Services sponsored an interagency investigative team that collected data on close to 40 organizations and businesses as part of its research on terrorist financing sources. Operation Green Quest (2001-2003) raided the offices of the Muslim World League (MWL), the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the SAAR Foundation and affiliated Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Herndon, Virginia in May of 2001. The MWL, established in 1962, a Saudi-sponsored group that spreads Wahhabism worldwide, has been instrumental in turning a majority of U.S. mosques into jihad recruitment centers. It has also funded Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups through its financial arm, the Rabita Trust. The IIIT, established in 1980, controls an extensive network of front organizations, trusts, charities, and businesses that fund Wahhabism throughout the United States and has funded Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaeda. SAAR, an acronym for founder Suleiman Abdul Aziz-al Rajhi and now doing business as the SAFA Trust, is one of the main funding sources for the U.S. Wahhabi movement, providing $1.7 billion to Islamist causes in 1998 alone.

Extensive information was compiled as part of the Holy Land Foundation trial, which concluded in 2009 with five indictments and 300 identified, unindicted co-conspirators. After four years, 80 bank boxes of information supplied to the defense has still not been made available to Congress, journalists, or the public despite multiple requests, including a public appeal on the floor of the House to Attorney General Eric Holder by Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-Tx).

Finally, the report on right-wing extremism prepared by Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security in 2009 presents the same obfuscating agenda to shift law enforcement awareness away from Islam and toward citizens who are opposed to abortion or illegal immigration, gun owners, and returning veterans as was implemented by Bill Clinton following the first World Trade Center bombing. Curiously, the DHS report, "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," was not based on actions or incidents perpetrated by specific groups but on the potential for extremist action.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Explanatory Memorandum for the General Strategic Plan for North America published in 1987 and discovered by the FBI in a raid of a house in Virginia in 2004 specifies that Muslims should fight all counterterrorism efforts so that the infidels are unaware of the civilizational jihad to take over the West. Our government's own actions to thwart fruitful investigations and limit the availability of evidence go a long way toward helping them realize this goal. In the face of increasing discoveries of dangerous links to terrorist groups and substantial hard evidence of actions taken against the United States, government officials have not made arrests or tried to protect its citizens, but instead have covered up evidence, prevented its dissemination, and attacked those bringing vital data to light. In a nation so hesitant and blind, can we be safe from further attacks?