Thursday, July 29, 2010

Indignant' Muslims reject plan to counter violent extremism Meeting with Napolitano included promise of regular consultations

Posted: July 29, 2010
10:50 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled Gulf Coast Catastrophe: Assessing the Nation's Response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 17, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg Photo via Newscom

A series of e-mails from the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency that has warned of a threat from "right-wing extremists" like those worried about national sovereignty, reveal the agency has held a series of meetings with Muslims who apparently rejected the government's request to help counter violent extremism.

The new e-mails were uncovered by Judicial Watch, the government watchdog organization that hunts down and seeks the prosecution of government corruption.

The e-mails relate to several days of meetings the DHS held Jan. 27-28 between DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and various Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian "community leaders."

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The e-mails reveal the attendees included Imad Hamad, the Midwest regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who Judicial Watch said has been linked in press reports to the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Judicial Watch reported he also "has financially supported the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah" and in a 2002 interview on Detroit television "supported a Palestine Authority TV program that urged children to become suicide bombers, calling the program 'patriotic.'"

Another participant, according to Judicial Watch, was Salam al-Mayarati, who founded the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council. Judicial Watch said 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."

Further, the e-mails show that on Feb. 4 David O'Leary, DHS Office of Legislative Affairs, wrote to David Gersten, acting deputy officer for programs and compliance in the agency's civil rights division:

"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.'"

WND calls and e-mails to DHS, asking for an explanation of the e-mail that suggests prominent Muslim groups rejected the government's request for help in minimizing "violent extremism," were not returned.

"Please loop in proper … contacts and call me to discuss," the e-mail from O'Leary said.

Another e-mail in the string noted Napolitano had promised to the various Muslim leaders there would be "community participation" in an anti-violence extremism task force, that they would have access to regular, quarterly meetings with her, there would be a seminar on "cultural competency for DHS leadership" and there would be 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. "

Judicial Watch noted one of the groups attending was the Islamic Society of North America, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator by the federal government in a plot by the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation to fund Hamas.

The report also said an internal DHS "talking points" memo stated, "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," he said.

Among the names of the various lists of attendees were James Zogby of the Arab American Institute, Amardeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition, Deep Iyer of the South Asian Americans, Nawar Shor of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Hamad of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan and Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America.

WND reported earlier when a Department of Homeland Security report warned against the possibility of violence by unnamed "right-wing extremists" concerned about illegal immigration, increased federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. The report singled out returning war veterans as particular threats.

The April 7, 2009, report, titled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," stated "threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts."

Earlier in 2009, the Missouri Information Analysis Center issued a report that linked conservative groups to domestic terrorism and warned law enforcement to watch for vehicles with bumper stickers promoting Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin. It also warned police to watch out for individuals with "radical" ideologies based on Christian views, such as opposing illegal immigration, abortion and federal taxes.

Ultimately, Chief James Keathley of the Missouri State Patrol said the release of the report caused him to review the procedures through which the report was released.

It had listed more than 32 characteristics police should watch for as signs or links to domestic terrorists, which could threaten police officers, court officials and infrastructure targets.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC said police were "instructed to look for Americans who were concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, the Federal Reserve and the North American Union/SPP/North American Community."

The Missouri documents, according to ALIPAC, also said "potential domestic terrorists might like gun shows, short wave radios, combat movies, movies with white male heroes, Tom Clancey novels, and Presidential Candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin!"

"When many of us read these Missouri Documents we felt that the false connections, pseudo research, and political attacks found in these documents could have been penned by the SPLC and ADL," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "We were shocked to see credible law enforcement agencies disseminating the same kind of over the top political propaganda distributed by these groups."