TEL AVIV – A full review of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails released last Friday by the State Department finds Clinton’s senior aide, Huma Abedin, was exposed to highly sensitive U.S. government information.
It was Abedin who forwarded to Clinton’s personal email address details about the initial establishment of the U.S. special mission in Benghazi, updates about security threats to both the mission and Ambassador Chris Stevens, intelligence on the growing terrorist threat in Libya and insider information on the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi.
Abedin was privy to emails that contained the exact movements of Stevens while he was stationed in arguably one of the most dangerous zones in the world for any American diplomat.
The connections not only extend to her mother and father, who are both deeply tied to al-Qaida fronts, but to Abedin herself, as WND previously reported in a series of exposés.
While she worked at the State Department, Abedin was also a paid employee at Teneo, a strategic consulting firm that specializes in investment banking, business intelligence and restructuring services.
Emails exposed ambassador’s movements
In one of dozens of emails released last week that included Abedin as among its recipients, on April 24, 2011, Abedin forwarded to Clinton’s personal email an internal State Department email from that same day written by Timmy Davis and sent to Abedin as well as to the State Department email addresses of other employees, including Clinton’s then-foreign policy aide, Jacob Sullivan.
The email cited a local report stating hotels in Benghazi were being targeted.
The email stated the interim Libyan government “conducted a raid on a house/storage facility and found and arrested an Egyptian cell reportedly there for the purpose of attacking hotels.”
Despite the threat, the email revealed Stevens “still feels comfortable in the hotel,” meaning the email exposed that the ambassador would continue to stay there.
“They are looking into the idea of moving into a villa, but that is some way off,” the email continued. “Based on discussion with DS yesterday, the hotel remains the safest location.”
Startlingly, the email contained information about Stevens’ exact movements, including that he “will be meeting with MFA in one hour and will make a written request for better security at the hotel and for better security-related coordination.”
Another sent to Clinton from Abedin detailed Stevens’ movements regarding his hotel stay.
“The envoy’s delegation is currently doing a phased checkout (paying the hotel bills, moving some comms to the boat, etc.),” wrote Abedin. “He (Stevens) will monitor the situation to see if it deteriorates further, but no decision has been made on departure. He will wait 2-3 more hours, then revisit the decision on departure.”
A March 27, 2011, email forwarded by Abedin to Clinton contained updates about the plans for the Benghazi mission’s establishment.
The email reads: “We expect to get support in particular from the Turks who have a consulate in Benghazi. Mr. Stevens team has been in touch with Africom planners on the details of the mission. We have made the official request for support from OSD but have yet to get approval. Once we have that – and we hope that will be very soon – we will be able to move forward with the planning.”
Another email forwarded to Clinton by Abedin briefed Clinton about such specific matters as mission staffing and the temporary rotation of personnel at the mission.
“I want to let you know about a temporary rotation in Benghazi,” read the April 22, 2011 email from then-Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
“TNC Envoy Chris Stevens has been on the road since March 13, when he began his outreach mission, and has been in Benghazi since April 5. (blacked out obvious security request) … I know how important it is to have continual coverage (security conditions permitting) in Benghazi. I will send Embassy Tripoli’s DCM Joan Polaschik to serve as Acting Envoy during Chris’ absence.”
Private consulting firm
Abedin served as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff in the State Department until taking maternity leave in early 2012. In June 2012, she returned to the State Department while her title changed to deputy “special government employee.” According to reports, Abedin performed the mostly the same tasks under her new role.
When she returned in June 2012 she also worked for Teneo, a strategic consulting firm founded by Doug Band, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton. Teneo’s clients have included Coca-Cola and MF Global, the collapsed brokerage firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine.
Besides her consultancy job, Abedin advised the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation as well.
“The picture that emerges from interviews and records suggests a situation where the lines were blurred between Ms. Abedin’s work in the high echelons of one of the government’s most sensitive executive departments and her role as a Clinton family insider,” reported the New York Times in May 2013.
Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida fronts
Major news media profiles of Abedin, meanwhile, report she was born of Pakistani and Indian parents, without delving much further into her family’s history.
Abedin was an assistant editor for a dozen years for the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs for the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs. The institute – founded by her late father and currently directed by her mother – is backed by the Muslim World League, an Islamic organization in the Saudi holy city of Mecca that was founded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
WND reported Abedin also was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Student Association, which was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in a 1991 document introduced into evidence during the terror-financing trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation.
At her father’s Saudi-financed Islamic think tank, WND reported, Abedin worked alongside Abdullah Omar Naseef, who is accused of financing al-Qaida fronts.
Naseef is deeply connected to the Abedin family.
WND was first to report Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, was the official representative of Naseef’s terror-stained Muslim World League in the 1990s.
Islam researcher Walid Shoebat previously reported that as one of 63 leaders of the Muslim Sisterhood, the de facto female version of the Muslim Brotherhood, Saleha Abedin served alongside Najla Ali Mahmoud, the wife of Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s now-ousted president.
Saleha Abedin and Morsi’s wife both were members of the Sisterhood’s Guidance Bureau, Shoebat found.
Huma worked with al-Qaida front man
Abdullah Omar Naseef is secretary-general of the Muslim World League, an Islamic charity known to have spawned terrorist groups, including one declared by the U.S. government to be an official al-Qaida front.
The institute founded by Huma Abedin’s father reportedly was a quiet but active supporter of Naseef.
The institute bills itself as “the only scholarly institution dedicated to the systematic study of Muslim communities in non-Muslim societies around the world.”
Huma served on the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs’s editorial board from 2002 to 2008.
Documents obtained by Shoebat revealed that Naseef served on the board with Huma from at least December 2002 to December 2003.
Naseef’s sudden departure from the board in December 2003 coincides with the time at which various charities led by Naseef’s Muslim World League were declared illegal terrorism fronts worldwide, including by the U.S. and U.N.
The MWL, founded in Mecca in 1962, bills itself as one of the largest Islamic non-governmental organizations.
But according to U.S. government documents and testimony from the charity’s own officials, it is heavily financed by the Saudi government.
The MWL has been accused of terrorist ties, as have its various offshoots, including the International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO, and Al Haramain, which was declared by the U.S. and U.N. as a terror financing front.
Indeed, the Treasury Department, in a September 2004 press release, alleged Al Haramain had “direct links” with Osama bin Laden. The group is now banned worldwide by U.N. Security Council Committee resolution 1267.
There long have been accusations that the IIRO and MWL also repeatedly funded al-Qaida.
In 1993, bin Laden reportedly told an associate that the MWL was one of his three most important charity fronts.
An Anti-Defamation League profile of the MWL accuses the group of promulgating a “fundamentalist interpretation of Islam around the world through a large network of charities and affiliated organizations.”
“Its ideological backbone is based on an extremist interpretation of Islam,” the profile states, “and several of its affiliated groups and individuals have been linked to terror-related activity.”
In 2003, U.S. News and World Report documented that accompanying the MWL’s donations, invariably, are “a blizzard of Wahhabist literature.”
“Critics argue that Wahhabism’s more extreme preachings – mistrust of infidels, branding of rival sects as apostates and emphasis on violent jihad – laid the groundwork for terrorist groups around the world,” the report continued.
An Egyptian-American cab driver, Ihab Mohamed Ali Nawawi, was arrested in Florida in 1990 on accusations he was an al-Qaida sleeper agent and a former personal pilot to bin Laden. At the time he was accused of serving bin Laden, he also reportedly worked for the Pakistani branch of the MWL.
The MWL in 1988 founded the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, developing chapters in about 50 countries, including for a time in Oregon until it was designated a terrorist organization.
In the early 1990s, evidence began to grow that the foundation was funding Islamist militants in Somalia and Bosnia, and a 1996 CIA report detailed its Bosnian militant ties.
The U.S. Treasury designated Al Haramain’s offices in Kenya and Tanzania as sponsors of terrorism for their role in planning and funding the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa. The Comoros Islands office was also designated because it “was used as a staging area and exfiltration route for the perpetrators of the 1998 bombings.”
The New York Times reported in 2003 that Al Haramain had provided funds to the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, which was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. The Indonesia office was later designated a terrorist entity by the Treasury.
In February 2004, the U.S. Treasury Department froze all of Al Haramain’s financial assets pending an investigation, leading the Saudi government to disband the charity and fold it into another group, the Saudi National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad.
In September 2004, the U.S. designated Al-Haramain a terrorist organization.
In June 2008, the Treasury Department applied the terrorist designation to the entire Al-Haramain organization worldwide
Bin Laden’s brother-in-law
In August 2006, the Treasury Department also designated the Philippine and Indonesian branch offices of the MWL-founded IIRO as terrorist entities “for facilitating fundraising for al-Qaida and affiliated terrorist groups.”
The Treasury Department added: “Abd Al Hamid Sulaiman Al-Mujil, a high-ranking IIRO official [executive director of its Eastern Province Branch] in Saudi Arabia, has used his position to bankroll the al-Qaida network in Southeast Asia. Al-Mujil has a long record of supporting Islamic militant groups, and he has maintained a cell of regular financial donors in the Middle East who support extremist causes.”
In the 1980s, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, ran the Philippines offices of the IIRO. Khalifa has been linked to Manila-based plots to target the pope and U.S. airlines.
The IIRO has also been accused of funding Hamas, Algerian radicals, Afghanistan militant bases and the Egyptian terror group Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya.
The New York Post reported the families of the 9/11 victims filed a lawsuit against IIRO and other Muslim organizations for having “played key roles in laundering of funds to the terrorists in the 1998 African embassy bombings” and for having been involved in the “financing and ‘aiding and abetting’ of terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.”
‘Saudi government front’
In a court case in Canada, Arafat El-Asahi, the Canadian director of both the IIRO and the MWL, admitted the charities are near entities of the Saudi government.
Stated El-Asahi: “The Muslim World League, which is the mother of IIRO, is a fully government-funded organization. In other words, I work for the government of Saudi Arabia. I am an employee of that government. Second, the IIRO is the relief branch of that organization, which means that we are controlled in all our activities and plans by the government of Saudi Arabia. Keep that in mind, please,” he said.
Despite its offshoots being implicated in terror financing, the U.S. government never designated the MWL itself as a terror-financing charity. Many have speculated the U.S. has been trying to not embarrass the Saudi government.
Huma’s mother represented Muslim World League
Saleha Abedin has been quoted in numerous press accounts as both representing the MWL and serving as a delegate for the charity.
In 1995, for example, the Washington Times reported on a United Nations-arranged women’s conference in Beijing that called on governments throughout the world to give women statistical equality with men in the workplace.
The report quoted Saleha Abedin, who attended the conference as a delegate, as “also representing the Muslim World League based in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim NGO Caucus.”
The U.N.’s website references a report in the run-up to the Beijing conference that also lists Abedin as representing the MWL at the event.
The website posted an article from the now-defunct United States Information Agency quoting Abedin and reporting she attended the Beijing conference as “a delegate of the Muslim World League and member of the Muslim Women’s NGO caucus.”
In the article, Abedin was listed under a shorter name, “Dr. Saleha Mahmoud, director of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs.”
WND has confirmed the individual listed is Huma Abedin’s mother. The reports misspelled part of Abedin’s name. Her full professional name is at times listed as Saleha Mahmood Abedin S.
Saleha Mahmood Abedin is an associate professor of sociology at Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which she helped to create.. She formerly directed the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs in the U.K. and served as a delegate for the Muslim World League, an Islamic fundamentalist group Osama bin Laden reportedly told an associate was one of his most important charity fronts.
In February 2010, Clinton spoke at Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where Abedin is an associate professor of sociology.
Clinton, after she was introduced by Abedin, praised the work of the terror-tied professor.
“I have to say a special word about Dr. Saleha Abedin,” Clinton said. “You heard her present the very exciting partnerships that have been pioneered between colleges and universities in the United States and this college. And it is pioneering work to create these kinds of relationships.
“But I have to confess something that Dr. Abedin did not,” Clinton continued, “and that is that I have almost a familial bond with this college. Dr. Abedin’s daughter, one of her three daughters, is my deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, who started to work for me when she was a student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.”