The Clarion Project has received White House documents that show that President Bush was scheduled to meet with Islamists linked to the Muslim Brotherhood on September 11, 2001. In a remarkably ironic turn of events, it was Islamist terrorism that stopped the meeting with Islamist radicals at the White House from happening.
We have published a lengthy expose based on the Bush White House documents and how it relates to the controversy over anti-tax activist Grover Norquist's involvement with Islamists. Below is a summary of the findings.
The never-before-published documents substantiate the assertions that the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood gained access to the highest levels of the Bush Administration and the Republican party, partly due to the help of Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. The files help tell a shocking story of an Islamist political influence operation that reached the highest levels of the U.S. government.
Convicted terrorists and Muslim Brotherhood operatives Sami al-Arian and Abdurrahman Alamoudi were advancing the Islamist cause by enticing the GOP and the Bush presidential campaign with promises of winning the Muslim and Arab vote. Their main demand was an end to the use of classified evidence to detain immigrants on national security grounds. This practice was responsible for the detainment of Al-Arian's brother-in-law and fellow Palestinian Islamic Jihad member, Mazen Al-Najjar.
The Bush campaign adopted the cause and won the support of this Islamist lobby. The allies of Al-Arian and Alamoudi were to follow-up on the topics of classified evidence, racial profiling and Middle East policy in a private meeting with President Bush in the White House on September 11, 2001 after he arrived from Florida.
The documents show that President Bush was due to meet with a select group of six Muslim and Arab "supporters" for 15 minutes in the White House. Every single one of these six had strong connections to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Two of them were from Norquist's Islamic Free Market Institute that had extensive ties to the Islamist lobby, including Alamoudi and Al-Arian.
That would have been followed by a larger meeting with 16 activists (including the original six) that the documents describe as representatives of the dozen top Muslim and Arab organizations.
This included the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Both were later designated by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators in a trial related to Brotherhood financing of Hamas. The federal prosecutors specifically listed them as U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities.
It also included Alamoudi's American Muslim Council and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group founded by two Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members. Altogether, 14 of the 16 activists represented Brotherhood-linked groups and 8 had organizational ties to Al-Arian and Alamoudi.
An additional 7 White House officials would attend the larger meeting. Three of them were officials from Norquist's Islamic Free Market Institute, in addition to the three attendees from his group.
The story of what happened after the meetings were cancelled is also very startling. Norquist's group shared office space with the Center for Security Policy. Two CSP officials, President Frank Gaffney and Dr. J. Michael Waller, recall seeing a group of Muslims enter Norquist's office on that day, including some of those who were to attend the meeting with Bush.
Waller's office had a common wall with the conference room where Norquist held his Wednesday meetings with conservative activists. Waller pushed the ceiling tiles up to listen in on this meeting on 9/11, which he described as a "damage-control" meeting to put the Brotherhood groups in the most positive light. Waller explained:
"Part of the discussion included how to condemn the 9/11 attacks and how not to condemn them because some of the people present wanted to justify some of the attacks; refused to condemn the attack on the Pentagon because it was a 'military target.'
The general consensus was that they would condemn the attacks on innocent civilians with the implicit unstated understanding that this was not condemning the attack on the Pentagon."
The Islamist lobby would present itself as the invaluable "moderates" whose involvement was required for fighting the War on Terror, in addition to delivering Republican Party political success.
The post-9/11 policies of the Bush Administration severely strained the relationship, particularly due to the federal investigations and prosecutions of this Islamist lobby. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood demonized the administration as persecuting innocent Muslims and waging a war on Islam; pushing the same inflammatory narratives these "moderates" claimed they'd counter.
This is similar to what we see today where the Obama Administration includes Islamists in its "Countering Violent Extremism" initiatives. The Islamist ideology and its propaganda create problems that Islamists then purport to be the answer for. And when their demands are not met, they accuse their opponents of "Islamophobia"—Democrat and Republican; Muslim and non-Muslim.
There is a bi-partisan problem when it comes to mistaking Islamists for "moderates." The fight against Islamic extremism requires that those who made such mistakes wake up and act to correct their errors by challenging Islamism.
The treatment of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists as treasured "moderates" must come to an end.
This is a summary of the Clarion Project's expose based on the Bush White House documents. The entire expose can be read here.
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.