Judicial Watch Sues State Department for Details Concerning Recruiting Hires through Islamic Extremist Group
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that, it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State seeking records relating to a speech given by Deputy Special Coordinator (DSC) Mark Ward at a December 22, 2013, convention sponsored by two groups — the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) — with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is known as the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda. The lawsuit was filed on April 4, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00593)).
At a Chicago, Illinois, conference Ward focused on foreign service opportunities for Muslim youth. Among other speakers was Kifah Mustapha, well known for advocating violent jihadand a fundraiser for the terrorist group Holy Land Foundation (HLF). In November 2008, HLF was convicted on 108 counts of supporting international terrorism. The charges included: funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas; conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization; providing material support to a foreign terrorist; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Also at the podium with Ward was MAS co-founder and Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi, who in 2009 was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case against the HLF and who praised the jihad of Gaza terrorists during a speech titled “Understanding Jihad and Martyrdom.” With Ward and Badawi were Ayman Hammous and Oussama Jammal. Hammous is the Executive Director of the New York chapter of MAS and Jammal is the president of the Mosque Foundation, an extremist Islamist mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois, that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the HLF and other Islamic charities accused of financing terrorism.
Judicial Watch seeks the following records pursuant to its January 13, 2013, FOIA request:
Any and all records regarding the participation of Mr. Mark S. Ward, Deputy Special Coordinator in the Office of Middle East Transition, in the 11th Annual Convention of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Council of North America in Chicago, IL in December 2012. This request includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Any and all prepared remarks, notes, handouts, and presentations created or relied upon in preparation for, utilized during, or created subsequent to the event.
- Any and all records of communication between any official or employee of the Department of State and any official, employee, or representative of the Muslim American Society and/or the Islamic Council of North America regarding, concerning, or related to Mr. Ward’s attendance at the conference and/or the December 22, 2012 event in which he participated.
- Any and all records related to Mr. Ward’s travel to Chicago for the purpose of attending the conference.
The State Department acknowledged receiving the Judicial Watch FOIA request on February 7, 2013, and was required by law to respond by March 7, 2013. As of the date of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, the department has failed to produce any records responsive to the request, indicate when any responsive records will be produced, or demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.
As DSC of the department’s Middle East Transition office, Ward apparently heads a secretive campaign, discovered in the course of a Judicial Watch investigation, to add Muslims to its Foreign Service roster. It appears to be part of the administration’s Muslim outreach effort, which includes a variety of controversial moves.
Among the moves are Department of Homeland Security (DHS) meetings with extremist Islamic organizations; sending mosque leader Feisal Abdul Rauf, who blames U.S. foreign policy for the 9/11 attacks; was sent on a Middle Eastern “outreach mission;” and assisted in the revamping the terrorist training for federal agents by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on radical Islam. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even signed a special order to allow the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist ties long banned them from the U.S.
“The Boston Marathon bombing shows why it is dangerous for a high-ranking State Department official to join with terrorist front groups to recruit for government employment,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is a scandal; which explains why we’ve had to sue in federal court to get past the cover-up of what exactly took place at the recruitment conference.”