Documents Uncovered by JW Detail Meeting between DHS Secretary Napolitano and Controversial Islamic “Community Leaders”
JULY 29, 2010
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has uncovered documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that detail a two-day meeting on January 27 and 28, 2010, between DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian “community leaders.” The documents include a list of participating individuals and organizations, some with controversial radical ties, including:
- Imad Hamad, Midwest Regional Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. According to investigative reporter Debbie Schlussel, Hamad is connected to the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and has supported the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah. In a television interview in 2002 on Fox’s Detroit affiliate, Hamad supported a Palestine Authority TV program that urged children to become suicide bombers, calling the program “patriotic.”
- Salam Al-Marayati, Founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC): According to press reports, Al-Mayarati has long been criticized for his extremist views and statements. In 1999 former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) withdrew his nomination of Al-Mayarati to the National Commission on Terrorism because of Al-Mayarati’s extremist politics. Al-Marayati once said, “When Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ that statement epitomized jihad [Islamic holy war].”
One of the organizations that attended the meeting, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), was named as an unindicted co-conspirator by the federal government in a plot by the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation to fund the terrorist group Hamas.
In addition to the attendee list and biographies, the documents also included internal DHS email correspondence, talking points for Secretary Napolitano and a meeting agenda. Among the highlights:
- A Thursday, February 4, 2010, email from David O’Leary, DHS Office of Legislative Affairs, to David Gersten, Acting Deputy Officer for Programs and Compliance, DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: “Gordon Lederman of Sen. Lieberman’s Staff called me asking about the 2-day HSAC meeting last week with American Muslim and Arab groups. He was called by a reporter who told him MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and Muslim American Society “rejected the ideas” of soliciting their help with countering violent extremism and were “angry and indignant.”
- A Friday, January 29, 2010, email from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Khera Farhana to Arif Alikhan, DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Development: “The commitments Secretary Napolitano made to these community leaders include…Regular quarterly meetings with the Secretary…An honest and full discussion of legitimate grievances from members of these communities about DHS policies that are ineffective and have a deleterious, humiliating impact on Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian American communities.”
- An internal DHS “talking points” document entitled “Community Stakeholder Meeting” that states: “Communicate that DHS understands the need for enhanced partnership with the Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and Arab groups, including those present at the meeting…You should note the importance of sharing information from a policy perspective and on threats to specific Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh communities.”
“I fail to see how consorting with radicals helps the DHS protect the United States,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration is bending over backward to cater to radical Muslim organizations in the name of political correctness. This is a dangerous political game that could put American citizens at risk. Some of these meeting participants have no business helping Janet Napolitano establish our homeland security policies.”
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