A Muslim hired to give Islamic lectures to members of the U.S. Army on military bases has been suspended from that work pending an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, authorities have confirmed.
Military officials told the Dallas Morning News that Louay Safi, who works with the Islamic Society of North America’s leadership development team, came under scrutiny as he gave a series of lectures at Fort Hood in Texas only a short time after 13 adults and an unborn child died in an attack attributed to Muslim activist Maj. Nidahl Malik Hasan.
Ed Buice, an NCIS spokesman, declined to elaborate on the reason for the suspension and subject of the investigation, but the newspaper quoted other military officials saying the inquiry began after a complaint in December as Safi concluded three days of lectures at Fort Hood, according to The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report.
Now a number of experts say the investigation is too little, too late.
“The NCIS is conducting an investigation into Safi, and in my opinion, the investigation is several days late and many dollars short,” terrorism expert Christopher Holton, an analyst with the Center for Security Policy, told WND.
Safi previously denounced the suspension of his Islamic lectures on military posts and accused officials of an “anti-Muslim” bias in the investigation.
But former PLO member and terrorism expert Walid Shoebat said Safi’s suspension isn’t because of anti-Muslim bias; it is because of Safi’s activities and associations.
“He’s made statements saying that Jews controlled the White House. However, while I cannot see any criminal activity in such remarks, I suspect it’s Safi’s ties. He is an official of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) which owns the Northern Virginia mosque where Nidal Malek Hasan … met his imam Anwar al-Awlaki,” Shoebat said.
“Al-Awlaki is suspected in aiding Farouk Abdulmutallib, the underwear bomber,” he said. “Al-Awlaki was the imam at that mosque and could have had ties with Safi.”
Holton believes the Defense Department is having difficulty reconciling the content of Safi’s lectures with his other writings and activities.
“A congressional delegation, led by Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, contacted Defense Secretary Gates and urged him to stop the relationship with Safi because of both his personal activities and writings, as well as his affiliations with very questionable organizations,” Holton said.
Holton doesn’t believe Safi ever would have been given an open door to the military if he had been given a proper screening.
“Proper vetting of Safi would have disqualified him before he ever gave his first lecture in my opinion. At any rate, it was sometime after the NCIS activity that the decision was made to stop Safi’s lectures on DoD installations,” Holton said.
A former FBI agent who is an expert in counterterrorism told WND the importance of Safi’s connections to the Department of Defense are highlighted when the ISNA’s alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood are considered.
In a statement to WND, the FBI agent described Hamas’ connection to the Muslim Brotherhood and alleged it is linked to Safi’s organization, the Islamic Society of North America.
“Hamas is the acronym for Harakat al Mawqawama al Islamiyya, which means literally, ‘Islamic Resistance Movement,'” the former agent said. “If you look at the Hamas Charter, it says without hesitation that, ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times.'”
Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt, a regular contributor to Counterterrorism-blog.org, notes in his book “Hamas” that Hamas acknowledges its Muslim Brotherhood roots in its April 1988 charter, stating: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.”
An April 2009 Hudson Institute report, “The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” said that the Islamic Society of North America is a Muslim Brotherhood front organization.
Shoebat said he’s been exposing Safi’s Muslim Brotherhood connections on his radio program. He also said Safi is tainted by connections to a major U. S. terrorism trial.
“Federal prosecutors named Safi as an unindicted co-conspirator in the
terrorism-support trial of Sami al-Arian based on a wiretap conversation mocking
a U.S. order banning dealings with foreign terrorist groups,” Shoebat said.
A former federal counterterrorism expert who asked not to be identified also discussed the links.
“The Islamic Society of North American was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. The Holy Land Foundation is also a Muslim Brotherhood operated group. The ISNA is a Muslim Brotherhood group. The Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas,” the former federal counterterrorism expert said.
The expert said Safi’s consulting with the Department of Defense began in 2004 when he began coordinating the Department of Defense’s Muslim Chaplain’s program.
Articles on Safi’s website feature essays and commentary critical of U. S. Muslim-bashing following the Fort Hood shootings.
However, in his book “Peace and the Limits of War”, published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Safi writes, “According to the classical Muslim jurists, a permanent state of war exists between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb,” or the “House of Islam” and the “House of War,” regarded by Muslims as the parts of the world in which Islam does not yet have dominion.
The Hudson Institute’s Hillel Fradkin describes the International Institute of Islamic Thought.
“It’s a shame that the IIIT has gotten as far as it has in the U. S. The IIIT is a front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood,” Fradkin said.
Another intelligence analyst who spoke to WND on condition of anonymity said this issue shows that there are two versions of Islam.
“There’s the public version of Islam that is written about in the popular trade books on the shelves of the mainstream bookstores. Then there’s the Islam taught in the Islamic schools and in the mosques – the Islam they teach to themselves,” the analyst said.
Shoebat agreed and said the key to Safi’s real beliefs are found outside the English-language media.
“Most Americans do not read what he writes in Arabic. I read Arabic fluently. In a 2003 publication, ‘Peace and the Limits of War,’ Safi wrote, ‘The war against the apostates [non-believers of Islam] is carried out not to force them to accept Islam, but to enforce the Islamic law and maintain order,'” Shoebat said.
“He also wrote, ‘It is up to the Muslim leadership to assess the situation and weigh the circumstances as well as the capacity of the Muslim community before deciding the appropriate type of jihad. At one stage, Muslims may find that jihad, through persuasion or peaceful resistance, is the best and most effective method to achieve just peace.’ In other words, while jihad warfare is justified, perhaps Muslims need to do political infiltration first,'” Shoebat continued.
The Islamic Society of North
America’s website reveals the depth of the military’s commitment to the Muslim chaplains program. The site has photographs from the summer 2009 Muslim chaplains’ conference, an event that featured high ranking military and other federal officials such as Navy Chief of Chaplains Rear Admiral Robert F. Burt, Army Chaplain Colonel Scottie Lloyd and the federal Bureau of Prisons Chief of Chaplains Joseph Pryor.
As for how long the suspension will last, Shoebat doesn’t think Safi will be back any time soon.
“I don’t think he will speaking at all at any government agency. There is ample evidence regarding Safi’s anti-American views, plus his support for Islamic jihad activity,” Shoebat said.