In what may be a seminal moment in the fight against radical Islam, presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has introduced legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The impressively-detailed bill identifies three Brotherhood entities in the U.S. including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The Muslim Brotherhood is not currently banned in the U.S. because it is not listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Remarkably, its Palestinian wing—Hamas—is designated, but the group a whole is allowed to operate in the U.S. You can read my thorough rebuttal of the Brotherhood's purported "non-violence" policy here.
See Clarion's Ryan Mauro go head to head with CAIR and expose its terror links:
The legislation reviews the Brotherhood's terrorist history and how it has been banned by the governments of Egypt, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Syria. Egypt has released videos showing the Brotherhood's involvement in terrorism and the Egyptian government's website warns about the Brotherhood lobby in the United States.
The legislation quotes FBI director Robert Mueller as testifying in 2011 that "I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here [in the U.S.] and overseas have supported terrorism. To the extent that I can provide information, I would be happy to do so in a closed session. But it would be difficult to do in an open session."
The legislation discusses the successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a confirmed Brotherhood front that was shut down for financing Hamas. The Justice Department labeled three U.S. groups as unindicted co-conspirators in the trial and identified them as "entities" of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's pro-Hamas operation: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). Read our profiles of each group's extremism by clicking on the links.
The legislation explains that the Muslim Brotherhood set up secret "Palestine Committees" in countries around the world to covertly assist Hamas terrorist activity with "media, money and men." The three groups mentioned are subsections of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee, with ISNA and NAIT being "intimately connected with the Holy Land Foundation and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas," in the words of a 2008 court ruling.
A mountain of documentation shows that CAIR's role in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee is media and political influence. Two of CAIR’s founders were present at a secret meeting in 1993 that was wiretapped by the FBI where they were instructed to deceive American audiences. ("War is deception," they said at the meeting.)
The legislation states that Congress' assessment is that the Muslim Brotherhood qualifies for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department. It gives the secretary of state 60 days to provide a detailed response as to whether the Brotherhood fits the criteria or not.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) is introducing the House version of the legislation.
"We have to stop pretending that the Brotherhood are not responsible for the terrorism they advocate and finance…We have to see it for what it is: a key international organization dedicated to waging violent jihad," Cruz told the media outlet.
No other presidential candidate has explicitly called for designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
Last month, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson called on the IRS to revoke CAIR's non-profit status for allegedly violating regulations by demanding that he end his campaign. Carson's petition did mention CAIR's status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial.
Over the summer, GOP presidential candidate George Pataki told me he'd revoke the tax-exempt status of CAIR and other groups that support terrorist groups.
Cruz's standing in the Republican presidential primary is increasing and he is now in fourth place nationally with 7.5% in an average of recent polls. He is in third in Iowa with 11%; sixth in New Hampshire with 7% and fourth in South Carolina with 7%.
Voters should see this as a make-or-break moment for presidential candidates and all members of Congress on national security. If a policy-maker does not understand the Muslim Brotherhood, he does not understand radical Islam.
The Clarion Project will update you every time that a presidential candidate takes a position on the issue and as members of Congress take a stand. Readers can view our factsheets on all the presidential candidates' positions related to Islamism 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.