State Dept. Hosts Muslim Brotherhood Coalition

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Islamist groups still have an open door to the State Department under Secretary Tillerson. A coalition of Muslim Brotherhood groups is boasting that it was granted a visit to the department to provide their perspective on the Temple Mount crisis.

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) is an umbrella of Islamist extremist groups that was formed in 2014 so they can operate as a single body. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood had been hoping to achieve such unification since at least 1991 when the Brotherhood expressed this desire in a secret memo uncovered by federal investigators.

Most of the groups in the USCMO are listed by the Brotherhood as being fronts for its “Islamic Movement” in America. The memo described “their work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

The USCMO says it met with State Department officials to influence them to pressure Israel. As documented by the Clarion Project, USCMO and other Islamists in America are lying about the recent Temple Mount crisis.

The coalition said it discussed “Israel’s denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem.” USCMO was pleased with the reception it got from the State Department, saying it was “encouraged by the constructive dialogue.”

Secretary of State Tillerson opposes designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and has been siding with Qatar, contradicting President Trump in the process. Qatar is spending hand over fist to hire lobbyists, particularly former Trump campaign officials.

The USCMO organizations represented at the meeting included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, American Muslims for Palestine, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and the Muslim Ummah of North America.

The Justice Department says CAIR is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and designated it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, another Brotherhood entity convicted for financing Hamas. ICNA’s own texts show its subversive radical agenda.

The representative at the State Department meeting for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muzammil Siddiqi, said in 1996 that Muslim involvement in U.S. should be geared towards establishing theocratic sharia (Islamic) law everywhere. Siddiqi used to be the president of the Islamic Society of North America, another group that was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial and listed as a Brotherhood entity.

As for AMP, some of its officials previously served with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s pro-Hamas Palestine Committee. Congressional testimony in 2016 pointed out the “significant overlap between AMP and people who worked for or on behalf of organizations that were designated, dissolved or held civilly liable by federal authorities for supporting Hamas.”

Perhaps the strongest evidence linking USCMO to the Brotherhood is the fact that it enlisted a known member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood for its political efforts in Illinois named Sabri Samirah. The Jordanian Brotherhood is very radical and linked to Hamas. Samirah used to be the chairman of a now-defunct Hamas front in the U.S., the Islamic Association for Palestine.

The U.S. government was concerned enough about him to ban him from coming back to the U.S. from Jordan in 2003, even though he lived in America as a non-citizen since 1987. The U.S. government revoked his work visa in 1999 and denied his appeal in 2001. He then lied on his application for residency.  He was permitted to return in 2014.

Other radical organizations in the USCMO coalition include the Muslim Alliance in North America, Muslim American Society, the Muslim Legal Fund of America, the Mosque Foundation, the American Muslim Alliance, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, the Islamic Society of Boston and the North American Imams Federation.

Its board is full of Islamists from these organizations. One is Siraj Wahhaj, the radical imam of the Masjid Taqwa mosque in New York. Another is Mazen Mokhtar, who was jailed on charges related to tax fraud (but whose indictment laid out his connections to terrorism). Mokhtar has declared support for Hamas and suicide bombings and ran a website that helped fundraise for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

USCMO is an ally of the Islamist government of Turkey. Another member is the Turkish American Cultural Society. In September, it hosted Turkish President Erdogan and the USCMO president was there to show his “respect and love” to Erdogan. Erdogan is now essentially a dictator and state sponsor of terrorism, particularly of Hamas and the Brotherhood.

USCMO is openly supportive of Erdogan. In 2015, the coalition took a stand against Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. One USCMO member, the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, promoted a rally on that same exact day to thank Erdogan for supporting the Brotherhood.

The Center for Security Policy has published a comprehensive study of the USCMO’s links to Islamic extremism and terrorism, including the Brotherhood and Hamas.

It is not known who USCMO met with at the State Department or what vetting process took place (if any).

This story is the latest in a series about concerning developments within the Trump Administration.

Major danger signs for Israel are emerging, particularly from the State Department and National Security Adviser McMaster.

It is also concerning that the Department of Homeland Security praised CAIR in a letter in May, with the author claiming it was written at the behest of then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly, who is now Trump’s chief of staff.

Hopefully, the attribution to Kelly was just a consequence of standard procedure, but that still wouldn’t excuse Kelly from failing to change DHS policy towards CAIR during his six months there. However, CAIR’s condemnation of Kelly is an encouraging sign.

The Trump Administration is still young and many positions are still not filled. Almost one-third of senior State Department spots are still empty. And as the strike on a Syrian airbase showed and multiple firings have shown, the administration is very capable of rapid changes. These problems don’t have to be permanent. 

The Trump Administration needs an across-the-board education in these matters and oversight by those who understand Islamism so problematic policies, processes and personnel can be identified. Reviewing this meeting with the USCMO would be a good place to start.

RM
Ryan Mauro
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's Shillman Fellow and national security analyst and an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio.