The “go-to” guy on Muslim issues for Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., for the past six years, Mongi Dhaouadi, reposted a video by a designated al-Qaida terrorist on his Facebook page last month and contends Palestinian attacks against Israel are not terrorist acts.
The relationship is “particularly curious,” noted the Investigative Project on Terrorism, considering Blumenthal’s strong statements of support for Israel.
Dhaouadi, a board member of the Connecticut chapter of the Hamas-tied Council on American Islamic Relations, has issued extreme anti-Israel statements.
After Saudi Arabia demanded that Qatar sever ties with Hamas last month, Dhaouadi accused the Saudis of “doing the bidding for the apartheid state of Israel.”
Dhaouadi reposted a video on his Facebook page last month by Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, a specially designated terrorist and former Osama bin Laden loyalist.
A 2004 Treasury Department statement calls Al-Zindani one of bin Laden’s “spiritual leaders,” and his name appears on the United Nations list of specially designated terrorists, IPT said. He also helped buy arms for al-Qaida and other terrorists.
Dhaouadi, who backs the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, has said Palestinian attacks on Israelis are not terrorist acts.
“Resisting the occupation is NOT terrorism it is a legitimate right of defending one self from your land from real terrorists i.e. IDF,” Dhaouadi wrote.
Blumenthal, however, has condemned Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis. Last December, he condemned a U.N. resolution calling Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal.
“Support for Israel on this issue has been and will continue to be strongly bipartisan. Consistent with past policy, this Administration must now veto this most recent misguided and one-sided attempt backed by the Palestinian Authority to isolate Israel and weaken the peace process,” Blumenthal wrote.
Blumenthal also strongly supports U.S. aid to the Israel Defense Forces, while Dhaouadi calls the IDF a “criminal force.”
“My name is Mongi Dhaouadi and I #SupportGaza because it is time we break-open Israel’s concentration camps and end the occupation,” Dhaouadi wrote in a July 2014 Facebook post.
IPT said Blumenthal and Dhaouadi’s public relationship began in 2011 when the senator spoke at CAIR Connecticut’s fundraising banquet, and Dhaouadi was the chapter’s executive director.
Another speaker at the banquet was Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who testified in defense of 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Omar Abdel Rahman.
“I want to thank you for your friendship, for your support, for giving me the honor of being your United States senator; I am the United States senator for every single person in this room. I work for you,” Blumenthal told the CAIR audience.
Last October, Blumenthal spoke at CAIR Connecticut’s 13th annual banquet with radical Muslim activistd Linda Sarsour.
The FBI cut off ties to CAIR in January 2009 after the group was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas, the largest terrorism-finance case in U.S. history. More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes. FBI wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case showed CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was at an October 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in Philadelphia. CAIR, according to the evidence, was born out of a need to give a “media twinkle” to the Muslim leaders’ agenda of supporting violent jihad abroad while slowly institutionalizing Islamic law in the U.S.
Blumenthal held a joint press conference with Dhaouadi in February to protest President Trump’s proposed travel ban.
“We urge the president, abandon the Muslim ban. Abandon the religious test,” Blumenthal said.
Dhaouadi also works for the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a group linked to Tunisia’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, the Ennahda Party.
He supports Ennahda Party founder Rached Ghannouchi, a member of the International Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau. Ghannouchi, maintains close ties with many jihadist leaders, including Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction. Ghannouchi called for the “destruction of the Jews” at a December 1990 conference in Iran at which he also called for jihad against America.
In a 2015 article published by Quds Press, Ghannouchi endorsed Palestinian knife jihad, calling it a “historic opportunity to support this Intifada, support the Palestinians, and liberate Jerusalem.”
IPT noted that during a Senate hearing, Blumenthal castigated Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his association with Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy David Horowitz of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Horowitz told IPT in an email that the senator “has trouble distinguishing America’s defenders from her enemies.”
Gaffney said Blumenthal “is so willfully blind, and so evidently under the influence of Muslim Brotherhood operatives that he is both evidently clueless about the threat they represent here in the United States, and he compounds it by castigating people who understand it far better than he does.”
Blumenthal’s office did not respond to IPT requests for comment.