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Erick Stakelbeck – CBN News, October 11th, 2011
WASHINGTON — They were the first modern terrorists and the forerunner of al-Qaeda. But these days, the Muslim Brotherhood is becoming mainstream not only in Egypt, but in Washington, D.C.
While the final chapter of the so-called Arab Spring has yet to be written, it appears that radical Islamic forces could emerge as the big winners. None more so than the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Jordan, the Brotherhood has used unrest to increase its influence.
The group is also making inroads closer to home, according to one expert.
“Their goal is primarily deception, manipulation and intelligence gathering,” former FBI Special Agent John Guandolo said.
Guandolo said Brotherhood operatives have infiltrated the halls of power in Washington, D.C.
“What we’re seeing not just inside the White House, but inside the government entities, the national security entities, the State Department — is a strong push by the Muslim Brotherhood to get their people not just into operational positions, but policy positions — deeper, long term, bureaucratic positions,” he told CBN News.
Chief among their operatives is the Islamic Society of North America or ISNA, according to Guandolo.
In 2007, ISNA was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in American history.
Likewise, the FBI has uncovered internal Muslim Brotherhood documents naming ISNA as “one of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.”
Nevertheless, when President Obama wanted a Muslim to pray at his inauguration, his administration turned to ISNA’s then-president Ingrid Mattson.
And at a recent White House Iftar dinner, current ISNA head Mohammed Majid sat just a few feet from the president.
“Moahmmed Majid was sitting at the front table right in front of Barack Obama. But when the official list of White House attendees was published, his name was curiously missing,” said terrorism expert Patrick Poole, a columnist with Pajamasmedia.com.
Another American-Muslim group linked to both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas is the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR.
The FBI refuses to meet with CAIR over its ties to terrorism.
But top White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett recently praised the group for taking part in an MTV “anti-bullying” campaign.
“The U.S. government knows that these are Muslim Brotherhood operatives because federal government prosecutors have gone into federal court and said that they’re Muslim Brotherhood operatives,” Poole explained.
One such operative is Kifah Mustpaha. In 2010, he was given a tour of both FBI headquarters and the National Counterterrorism Center, despite longstanding ties to the terror group Hamas.
Hamas identifies itself as the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We know that the Muslim Brotherhood, from their own documents, has said that they want to infiltrate all levels of government and civil society here in America to destroy from within,” Poole said.
The Obama administration seems to see the Brotherhood as an ideal partner for its Muslim outreach policies.
Earlier this year, National Intelligence Director James Clapper drew criticism when he called the group “largely secular.”
“The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence,” he said.
Obama administration officials say they are now engaged in dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
That policy apparently extends to the Brotherhood in America as well.
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