Bans on the radical Muslim Brotherhood abroad combined with a historically large GOP majority in Washington could provide the impetus to pass the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act introduced earlier this year by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., congressional sources say.
The bill, which would effectively outlaw the radical Muslim Brotherhood in America, has attracted 19 Republican co-sponsors but has languished since being introduced in the House in July by Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Since then, however, the Republicans have gained the largest majority in the House since World War II, while taking control of the Senate.
And earlier this week, the United Arab Emirates joined Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia in outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its subsidiary organizations.
UAE took the additional step of designating two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood front groups — the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the Muslim American Society, or MAS – as terrorist organizations on par with ISIS and al-Qaida.
CAIR is cited several times in the text of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act as a Brotherhood-controlled entity.
Pressure to blacklist the Brotherhood and its U.S. front groups is building both internationally and domestically, U.S. officials say. With Republicans now controlling the legislative agenda in Washington, the anti-Brotherhood bill – H.R. 5159 – is expected to move on a faster track when the new Congress is seated in January.
“It will certainly get more attention and more sponsors now,” a senior Republican legislative aide on the Hill said.
However, if the bill passes through Congress, Muslim Brotherhood-friendly President Obama would more than likely veto it. No final action likely could be taken against the jihadist support network – which controls most of the Islamic nonprofit groups, charities and mosques in America – until Obama leaves office.
The bill would not only add the Muslim Brotherhood and its U.S. subsidiaries to the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, it would also crack down on anyone in America who provides material support or funding to the Brotherhood or its front groups. At the same time, the bill proposes denying visas to any Brotherhood members seeking to enter the U.S., while deporting any foreign nationals associated with the Brotherhood already living in the U.S.
Additionally, the bill states: “Any United States financial institution that knowingly has possession of or control over funds in which the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliates, associated groups, or agents have an interest shall retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury.”
In effect, the law would freeze Muslim Brotherhood assets and dry up funding and recruiting for Brotherhood groups operating in the U.S. If aggressively enforced, the law would go a long way toward shutting down the subversive infrastructure the Egypt-based Brotherhood has spent the past 40 years building in America.
The Obama administration does not support such action, because it views the Brotherhood as a nonviolent political group and has engaged its leaders at home and abroad.
But former FBI agent John Guandolo, who helped draft the anti-Brotherhood bill, says the administration’s view is ill-informed.
The bureau’s foremost expert on the Brotherhood network, Guandolo helped uncover a Brotherhood conspiracy to overthrow the United States by “civilization jihad” following a raid last decade on a suspected terrorist’s home in Northern Virginia.
Author of “Raising a Jihadi Generation: Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood Movement in America,” the veteran agent warns that “America faces an insurgency inside our homeland” from the Brotherhood.
“This is an enemy who is cunning, patient, well-supported and well-organized,” he said.
Guandolo said he is pleased to see other countries recognizing the threat from the Brotherhood and its front groups, such as CAIR, which the Justice Department in 2007 implicated as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a terror plot to raise millions of dollars for Hamas terrorists.
“Since [CAIR leaders] are Hamas,” he said, “it is nice to see that at least the UAE recognizes the implications that this makes CAIR a terrorist organization.”
Guandolo said the Muslim American Society, or MAS, moreover, was founded by three senior Muslim Brotherhood members in the U.S. in the early 1990s, including the leader of the Brotherhood in America at the time, Ahmed Elkadi. MAS also runs jihad camps for Muslim youth throughout the U.S.
He says there is overwhelming documentary and testimonial evidence proving “CAIR and MAS are jihadi organizations – they are terrorists.”
However, he says Attorney General Eric Holder pulled the plug on FBI investigations into the groups for “political reasons.”
CAIR described its terrorist designation by the UAE as “shocking and bizarre.”
CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor said CAIR is calling on the UAE to reconsider adding the group to the terror list. The group has not yet communicated with the UAE’s government but is seeking clarification on why the designation was approved.
“The message the UAE is sending is that people who engage in peaceful political activism will be designated as terrorists,” Saylor complained. “I think that’s a terrible message.”
Saylor, who also serves as director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, has routinely called non-Muslim critics of CAIR “Islamophobic.” Apparently even Islamic nations can be “Islamophobic.”
The following members of the House of Representatives have sponsored the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act along with Bachmann: Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn.; Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas; Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.; Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Steve, King, R-Iowa; Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.; Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.; Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.; Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.; Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.; Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.; Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla.; Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio; Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.; and Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas.