An Islamic organization founded in Washington, D.C., by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas applauded the resignation of a top White House adviser known for being willing to name “radical Islamic” terrorism as the prime terror threat faced by the United States and the Western world.
“We welcome the resignation of Sebastian Gorka as a presidential adviser,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a tweet. “His extremist and Islamophobic views, and his reported past and current associations with racist and anti-Semitic groups, should have disqualified him from any government position.”
CNN found, however, that there is no evidence that Gorka, who resigned Saturday as deputy assistant to the president, holds anti-Semitic views, Breitbart noted.
Gorka responded to CAIR, which had been lobbying for his removal, in a tweet of his own.
“I’ll have to add this to my Resume. Given that CAIR was an unindicted coconspirator in the largest terrorist finance trail in US history.”
His reference was to the designation of CAIR by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund Hamas that was tried in Texas. CAIR also was designated by the Gulf Arab state United Arab Emirates as a terrorist organization. CAIR has sued a co-author of a WND Books exposé, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented the group’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The trial is expected to take place this fall.
Gorka’s exit from the White House is only the latest in a series of departures by officials who generally share his view that terrorism has a relationship to the doctrines of “radical Islam,” if not Islam itself.
Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, announced his resignation Aug. 18. He was preceded by K.T. McFarland, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Derek Harvey, Rich Higgins, Adam Lovinger and Tera Dahl.
WND reported in June that despite signs that the new Trump administration intended to reform a politically correct national security policy, euphemistically called Countering Violent Extremism, and begin naming the enemy, the rhetoric of Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster suggested the government’s fundamental assumptions about the threat hadn’t changed.
McMaster told his staff in February that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are “perverting their religion,” the New York Times reported, citing people at a White House meeting.
McMaster said the label “radical Islamic terrorism” was not helpful because terrorists are “un-Islamic.”
The Times quoted William McCants, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, saying there is “a deep hunger for McMaster’s view in the interagency,” referring to the process by which the State Department, Pentagon and other agencies funnel recommendations through the National Security Council.
McMaster has urged Trump not to follow through with his campaign promise of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, insisting it would be ill-advised because it would “alienate” the Muslim world.
Arab allies such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, however, have been asking the United States to make the move.
WND reported McMaster served, prior to joining the Trump administration, in a position with a U.K.-based think tank that was funded by billionaire activist George Soros for the purpose of selling Obama’s Iran nuclear deal to the U.S. media and public.
‘Crucial element lost’
In his resignation letter to the president, Gorka said the fact that those who drafted and approved Trump’s Aug. 21 speech on increasing U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan “removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reacted Sunday in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday, asserting Gorka was “completely wrong.”
“It shows a lack of understanding of the president’s broader policy when it comes to protecting Americans at home and abroad from all acts of terrorism,” Tillerson said.
“Terrorism has manifested itself in many types of organizations. The president has charged us to develop policies and tactics both diplomatically and militarily to attack terrorism in its many forms, wherever it exists in the world, and wherever it might present a threat to the homeland or Americans anywhere. This means that we need to develop techniques that are global in their nature.”
Former DHS officer Philip Haney argued prior to Gorka’s departure from the White House that Trump was elected to “drain the swamp,” which specifically included a vow to “name the enemy.”
However, he said, it’s “beginning to appear that very little of the swamp is being drained, but instead is being carefully protected, perhaps even enlarged.”
The State Department is “having a malevolent influence on both our domestic and foreign counter terrorism policies – just like it did during the previous administration,” said Haney, co-author of “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”
Gorka, in his criticism of Trump’s Afghanistan policy, said the speech “listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for.”
“This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory,” he said.
Under the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security invited CAIR to help develop its counter-terrorism policy, even though the Justice Department had implicated the organization in the plot to finance Hamas.
But even under the Trump administration, leaders of CAIR’s Florida branch participated in DHS town hall discussions in Miami and Tampa, reported the Investigative Project for Terrorism.
A discussion with CAIR at Miami-Dade College featured holdovers from the Obama administration, Veronica Venture, the outgoing DHS acting officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; and Kareem Shora, section chief of the DHS Community Engagement Section, IPT said.
CAIR has accused Trump of racism and religious bigotry for his executive order to temporarily stop receiving immigrants and travelers from countries known to produce Islamic jihadists.
However, more than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
While CAIR has complained of the unindicted co-conspirator designation, as WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to make the designation, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”
In February, sources said the Trump administration was about to make good on its promise to “name the enemy” with a plan to change the name of its CVE program to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.”
The euphemistic “violent extremism” was a manifestation of President Obama’s refusal to associate Islam with the prime terror threat the Western world faces. The name underscored the administration’s premise that white supremacists and other fringe movements are just as much a threat to the nation’s security as people who carry out violent attacks in America and around the world in the name of Allah.
The General Accountability Office said in an April report the government had no way of telling whether or not its Muslim outreach programs work.
In July, as WND reported, more than 20 Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting an amendment in the U.S. House that would identify the “Islamic religious doctrines, concepts or schools of thought” that could be used by terrorist groups.
The amendment, drafted by House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., called for the Pentagon to identify Islamic leaders who preach peaceful beliefs versus those who espouse extremist views.
DHS chief Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee in June that the perpetrators of attacks during the Islamic month of Ramadan had “corrupted” Islam, and he suggested Christian and Jewish beliefs are also causing terrorism, Breitbart reported.
“As far as Ramadan goes, you know, first of all, the uptick in violence and activities is done by a very, very small percentage of people who have just corrupted the whole concept of Islam as a religion; but it is what it is,” Kelly told the chairman of the committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
In his speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May to Muslim political leaders, Trump appeared to distance himself from campaign rhetoric that suggested Islam itself is the problem.
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it,” the president said.
The DHS, however, did decide the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council – a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood – will not receive the $393,800 Countering Violent Extremism grant approved by Obama’s DHS secretary, Jeh Johnson, on Jan. 13, days before Johnson left office, reported the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The change came after “DHS utilized its discretion to consider other factors and information when reviewing applicants,” a spokeswoman said in an email to IPT.
“The Department considered whether applicants for CVE awards would partner with law enforcement, had a strong basis of prior experience in countering violent extremism, had a history of prior efforts to implement prevention programs targeting violent extremism, and were viable to continue after the end of the award period.”