"I'd like to think that everybody is born into this world with a certain amount of innocence to them and unfortunately, sometimes as they go through life, forces of evil will bring them down a certain path." - John Brennan, February 13, 2010.In light of John Brennan's nomination to be Barack Obama's CIA Director, coupled with a charge that he secretly converted to Islam, renewed attention has been brought to a speech he gave at New York University (NYU) on February 13, 2010 and deservedly so. But how about the lengthier Q and A that took place afterward?
If, as former FBI Agent John Guandolo alleges via access to firsthand accounts, that John Brennan converted to Islam while in Saudi Arabia and is now working against the interests of his own country, the aforementioned statement - made by Brennan during the Q and A session of his New York University speech - is a case study in projection.
The claim that Barack Obama's nominee for CIA Director converted to Islam while in Saudi Arabia notwithstanding, it is important that his record be vetted. We know the "adversarial press" would rather be adversarial toward those of us who want that vetting to happen, which means the job necessarily falls to citizen journalists.
The video of the Q and A is at the bottom of this post but here are some especially telling moments...
2:57 - The second questioner identifies himself as Omar Shahin, Public Relations Director for Islamic Relief and the chairman of the North American Imam's Federation. This was the same Omar Shahin who was one of the six imams in the "flying imams" case in Minneapolis back in 2006. He was the spokesman for the group. During that incident, a concerned passenger handed a note to a flight attendant after observing suspicious behavior. Based on Shahin's associations, that passenger was rightly concerned. CAIR quickly came to Shahin's defense.
In fact, some might remember that the incident took place two weeks after the 2006 midterm elections, during which it became apparent that the very Muslim-friendly Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) would become the chairman of the House Judiciary. Suspicions were raised that the entire incident was to make profiling a top issue during Conyers' tenure as chairman.
Here is a short interview excerpt from 12/1/06 between CNBC's Larry Kudlow and IPT's Steve Emerson during which Shahin's involvement in what was likely a staged publicity event, was discussed:
As for the concerns about Shahin, they are well-founded. Check out what Discover the Networks has reported about him:
The President of North American Imams Federation (NAIF) is Omar Shahin. Before NAIF’s founding in 2004, Shahin was the imam and President of the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), a mosque that represented one of Al-Qaeda’s main hubs in America, prior to the ‘93 attack. One of Shahin’s predecessors at the mosque was Wael Hamza Julaidan, a former colleague of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam. Shahin, himself, has admitted to once supporting bin Laden.Wael Hamza Julaidan was the head of Rabita Trust, the same Rabita Trust that was founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef. That would be the same Abdullah Omar Naseef who founded the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). That would be the same IMMA where Huma Abedin worked for more than a decade. Julaidan is widely recognized as an al-Qaeda founder - and he was Shahin's predecessor at a mosque in Tucson.
Throughout his time with and after leaving ICT, Shahin was involved in terror financing organizations. He was the Arizona Coordinator for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), and was a representative for KindHearts, two charities shut down by the US government because of their links to Hamas.
That's not all. How about Shahin's work with Islamic Relief? Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), the group for which Shahin identified himself as Directing Public Relations is a division of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which has provided direct support to Hamas.
Shahin is tied to an al-Qaeda founder; he worked for the Holy Land Foundation, which was found guilty of financing terrorists; he heads a Muslim Brotherhood group - NAIF; and he works for Islamic Relief, which supported Hamas
In short, why on earth was Shahin given access to John Brennan's speech? The man is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood at nearly every turn and through multiple organizations.
How about a couple of the others in attendance? Sitting right up front - on the left hand side of your screen, sits Ingrid Mattson. She was the President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim Brotherhood front-group, until Mohamed Magid took over in 2011. Mattson wasn't only in attendance; she introduced Brennan that day and said that it was Brennan himself who "requested to meet with us." Brennan requested to meet with them? Can you imagine Brennan feeling this comfortable in a meeting with conservative groups concerned about his coziness with individuals with irrefutable ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?
Yeah, me neither.
Another individual present during Brennan's speech is Salam Al-Marayati, who is seated in the front row, directly in front of Brennan. On the day of the 9/11/01 attacks, al-Marayati appeared on a Los Angeles radio station and said that Israel should be placed on the suspect list relative to the attacks and refuses to call Hezbollah a terrorist group. IPT reported that Al-Marayati said the U.S. Government "betrayed us" when it refused to unfreeze the assets of the Holy Land Foundation. Four years later, HLF was found guilty on more than 100 counts of financing terrorism.
Remember, the claim by Guandolo was that Brennan was turned by the Muslim Brotherhood and made to convert to Islam. If that's true, would the people in attendance - coupled with Brennan's high comfort level there - not lend a bit more credence to the claim? On top of that, we have the new book that alleges Brennan was involved in shipping weapons from Libya to the Syrian rebels via Turkey while then CIA Director David Petraeus and Christopher Stevens were kept in the dark. Again, support for the Syrian rebels is support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Who allegedly 'turned' Brennan again?
Here are some of the noteworthy moments in the video of the Q and A with Brennan found in the video at the bottom of this post...
5:45 - "I was very concerned after the attack in Fort Hood as well as the December 25th attack, that all of a sudden there were people who went back into this fearful position, that lashed out, not thinking through what was reasonable and appropriate."
Gee, It's been well over three years since that attack and Nidal Malik Hasan has waged jihad successfully from his prison cell while still not being convicted despite countless witnesses who saw him murder 14 and injure 32 as he shouted 'Allahu Akbar'. That sounds like a case for Islamophobia.
29:20 - "I consider myself a citizen of the world."
38:30 - A man in the audience begins his question by saying that he has a twenty one year-old son and that "every time he passes through an airport security line, he's pulled aside and frisked."
Really? Every time your son goes through an airport, he's frisked? Why hasn't CAIR filed a lawsuit about this?
48:00 - "The world is not black and white, it's not divided into good and evil."
Interesting theory, considering his company that day.
58:38 - "I'm exceeding my welcome here but I could do this all day." - Brennan commenting about going past his time allotment. Again, can anyone see the Tea Party getting this much time with Brennan? Shortly thereafter, Brennan calls on a man who identifies himself as Assad Aktar (sp?), president of the Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA). Mr. Aktar bemoans the "Unindicted co-conspirator" label. This is an obvious reference to the Holy Land Foundation trial and the label that has been subsequently applied to groups like CAIR and ISNA successfully.
CMSA has quite a questionable record relative to judgement. Check out some of the individuals - via Fox News - who the group has invited to lead Friday prayers: Anwar al-Awlaki, the alleged inspiration for the Fort Hood massacre as well as other terrorist attacks; Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood's founder; Nihad Awad, Executive Director of CAIR and supporter of Hamas; and none other than MPAC's Salam Al-Marayati.
Perhaps most alarming about that is the fact that the head of the CMSA has a problem with identifying Muslim Brotherhood groups in America as such. It makes one wonder how influential Muslim Staffers are and what the group's true allegiances are. This ability to influence politics in Washington, D.C. is precisely one of the reasons why the Muslim Students Association (MSA) - a Muslim Brotherhood group - is in existence.
Here's the full Q and A video with John Brennan on 2/13/10: