Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano questioned by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas at House hearing Wednesday
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised a Republican congressman she would look into a report that a prominent Muslim leader in Texas who serves with a security clearance on the DHS advisory council accessed a federal database and shopped sensitive reports to a left-leaning media outlet to publicize his claim that the department is promoting “Islamophobia”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, was questioning Napolitano at a House hearing Wednesday when he confronted the secretary with an allegation reported by Patrick Poole of PJ Media about Mohamed Elibiary, president and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation of Carrollton, Texas.
As WND reported one year ago, Napolitano swore in Elibiary as a member of her agency’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. Elibiary has been a strong supporter of the radical Islamic theologian Sayyid Qutb, whose teachings inspired and continue to govern al-Qaida and Islamic jihadist organizations worldwide.
Former assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy notes that the DHS advisory group helped devise the new Obama counterterrorism strategy. McCarthy, who prosecuted the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, said the strategy “has law-enforcement pare back their intelligence-gathering activities and take their marching orders from ‘community partners.’”
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WND reported in 2004 that Elibiary spoke at a conference that honored the founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini. Elibiary has strongly criticized the U.S. government’s prosecution of fundraisers for Hamas and is a defender of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which FBI evidence shows is a front group for Hamas.
See Gohmert question Napolitano (The congressman brings up Elibiary at about the five-minute mark):
Asked by Gohmert if Elibiary was given a security clearance, Napolitano said that “everybody on the Homeland Security Advisory Council ultimately gets a secret clearance.”
Gohmert – chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security – also asked the DHS chief if she was aware that Elibiary delivered a speech at the pro-Khomeini event.
She replied only with, “I’m not aware of all the places he has spoken.”
The Texas lawmaker asked Napolitano if she knew that Elibiary is alleged to have accessed the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest database Oct. 19 from his home and used material he found to shop a story to a media outlet on “Islamophobia” directed at Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his state government.
Napolitano said she was not aware.
“I’m telling you it happened,” said Gohmert, who asked the secretary whether he should initiate a probe or leave it to her to investigate.
As the congressman’s time for questioning expired, Napolitano said that since she didn’t know the facts, she or someone in her department would look into it.
The Homeland Security Advisory Council, part of the executive office of the president, was formed by an executive order by President Bush in 2002.
Elibiary has not responded to WND’s request for comment.
Poole’s report said that Texas Department of Public Safety officials have confirmed that Elibiary has access to the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest database, which contains hundreds of thousands of intelligence reports and products.
Poole said he received confirmation from a left-leaning media outlet that Elibiary had recently approached them, asking to do a story attacking the Texas DPS.
A source with the media outlet told Poole that Elibiary approached them with reports marked “For Official Use Only” that the Texas Muslim leader claimed “showed a pattern of Islamophobia at the department.”
The media source said the reports were not as Elibiary “had billed them to us,” and they saw “nothing remotely resembling Islamophobia.”
“I think he was hoping we would bite and not give it too much of a look in light of the other media outfits jumping on the Islamophobia bandwagon,” the source told Poole.
The source said it was clear that Elibiary, in an attempt to promote himself, wanted to be quoted as a source in the story.
The source noted his outlet has used Elibiary as an unnamed source in previous stories.
‘The house of Islam’
Elibiary has criticized the U.S. government’s prosecution and conviction of the Holy Land Foundation and five former officials for providing more than $12 million to Hamas, characterizing the case as a defeat for the United States.
He wrote an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News in June 2010 suggesting the convictions were part of a U.S. government policy of “denying our civil liberties and privacy at home” while pursuing anti-terror policies that have “left thousands of Americans dead, tens of thousands maimed, trillions of taxpayer dollars squandered and our homeland more vulnerable than ever.”
The Egyptian theologian Qutb, who was executed in 1966 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Egyptian government, called for the creation of a worldwide Islamic state.
“There is only one place on earth which can be called the house of Islam (Dar-ul-Islam), and it is that place where the Islamic state is established and the Shariah is the authority and Allah’s limits are observed.”
Qutb labeled the non-Muslim world the Dar-ul-Harb – the house of war.
“A Muslim can have only two possible relations with Dar-ul-Harb: peace with a contractual agreement, or war,” wrote Qutb.
“A country with which there is a treaty will not be considered the home of Islam,” he said.
Elibiary has written that he sees in Qutb “the potential for a strong spiritual rebirth that’s truly ecumenical allowing all faiths practiced in America to enrich us and motivate us to serve God better by serving our fellow man more.”
After Dallas Morning News editorial page editor Rod Dreher criticized Qutb’s writings, Elibiary engaged in a lengthy, published email feud in which he repeatedly defended Qutb.
In one exchange, Elibiary wrote, “I’d recommend everyone read Qutb, but read him with an eye to improving America not just to be jealous with malice in our hearts.”
In 2004, Elibiary was one of seven advertised speakers at an Irving, Texas, conference called “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary,” celebrating the 16th anniversary of Khomeini’s death. Under a heading “Selected sayings of Holy Prophet,” one advertisement read: “Allah has made Islam to prevail over all other religions.”
In an interview with WND at the time, Elibiary claimed he was not aware of the event’s general theme and “tribute” to Khomeini.
WND directed him to an ad for the seminar posted on the Metroplex Organization of Muslims in North Texas website, which included a photo of Khomeini alongside a message speaking of “Islamic revolution.”
The leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979, Khomeini famously viewed the U.S. as the “Great Satan” and said, “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males … to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”
Elibiary insisted it was the first time he had seen the flyer and, when asked, said he disagreed with the thrust of the message, which reads:
‘Neither east nor west’ is the prinicipal slogan of an Islamic revolution in a world of hunger and oppression and outlines the true policy of non-alliance for the Islamic countries and countries that in the near future, with the help of Allah SWT, will accept Islam as the only school for liberating humanity and will not recede or sway from the policy even one step.
“I don’t know what they mean by revolution,” Elibiary commented, “but I see myself as a Westerner.”
Asked his view of Khomeini, Elibiary, reared in the U.S., said he didn’t know much about the Shiite leader and his revolution.
“All I know is what I grew up learning about it, the hostage crisis,” he said. “All I know about him is negative stuff. I have never read his writings. I never bothered to learn any positive stuff about his history.”
One speaker at the conference, reported Dallas–Fort Worth TV station KTVT, was a Washington, D.C., imam, Mohammad Asi, known for his radical views. Asi issued a strongly worded anti-American, anti-Jewish speech in which he said American imperialism and pro-Israel Zionism are “diabolical, aggressive, bloodthirsty ideologies that are trying to take over the world and destroy Islam.”
Another speaker at the conference, a 10-year-old boy, opened the tribute by praising Khomeini for reviving “pure” Islamic thinking and saving the religion from being conquered by the West, reported CBS-11. The boy called President Bush “the greatest enemy of the Muslim Ummah,” KTVT reported.
Jeffrey M. Epstein, president of the counterterrorism advocacy group America’s Truth Forum, has urged Congress to investigate Napolitano’s choice of Elibiary, calling it a “dereliction of duty” that is undermining national security.
Epstein said the administration has “elevated the status of Muslim-Brotherhood-spawned groups that are admittedly sworn to our very death and destruction.”