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Looking Under a Rock: FBI and CIA Hit New Low in Recruitment Drive

by Steven Emer­son

IPT News

In a fright­en­ing and bizarre turn, the two chief agen­cies tapped with safe­guard­ing Amer­i­ca’s nation­al secu­ri­ty have start­ed adver­tis­ing in a pub­li­ca­tion that can only be described as objec­tive­ly pro-ter­ror­ism.

The online edi­tion of the Wash­ing­ton Report for Mid­dle East Affairs (WRMEA), a pub­li­ca­tion linked to for­mer Con­gress­man Paul Find­ley, who once described him­self as “Yasir Arafat’s best friend in Con­gress,” fea­tures recruit­ing adver­tise­ments seek­ing new agents for both the Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion and the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency.

WRMEA’s his­to­ry of sup­port for Hamas, oth­er ter­ror­ist groups and indi­vid­ual ter­ror­ists is well known. Cur­rent­ly on the front page of its web­site, right in the cen­ter, is an homage, con­sti­tut­ing of a col­lec­tion of arti­cles and hagiogra­phies, to con­vict­ed Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad oper­a­tive Sami Al-Ari­an. (see the ad at right)

Al-Ari­an was inves­ti­gat­ed by the FBI for a decade and final­ly brought to tri­al in 2005, pros­e­cut­ed by the Depart­ment of Jus­tice in Tam­pa. In April 2006, Al-Ari­an pled guilty to one count of “Con­spir­a­cy to make or receive con­tri­bu­tions of funds, goods or ser­vices to or for the ben­e­fit of the Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad (PIJ), a Spe­cial­ly Des­ig­nat­ed Ter­ror­ist.”

This is the same Al-Ari­an who once told an audi­ence of Mus­lims, “Let us damn Amer­i­ca. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death. Why do we stop?” (empha­sis added)

And yet, the same FBI that sought to con­vict him as a ter­ror­ist is now adver­tis­ing for recruits on a pro-Al-Ari­an (and pro-ter­ror­ist in gen­er­al) web­site. The pro Al-Ari­an ori­en­ta­tion is part of a long and doc­u­ment­ed his­to­ry of pro-Islam­ic ter­ror­ist fea­tures pub­lished by WRMEA dur­ing the past 15 years. Review­ing just about any issue of this Sau­di-financed mag­a­zine would clear­ly deter­mine its pro ter­ror­ist bias.

It is the same lack of judg­ment that led the Depart­ment of Jus­tice to set up a recruit­ment booth and serve as a co-host for the annu­al Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca (ISNA) con­ven­tion in Sep­tem­ber. Four months ear­li­er, the same Jus­tice Depart­ment des­ig­nat­ed ISNA as an unin­dict­ed co-con­spir­a­tor in Holy Land Foun­da­tion for Relief and Devel­op­ment (HLF) case as part of the Hamas-Mus­lim Broth­er­hood con­spir­a­cy in the Unit­ed States. U.S. Reps. Peter Hoek­stra, R‑Mich., and Sue Myrick, R‑NC, protest­ed the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s recruit­ment effort with ISNA in a let­ter to then-Attor­ney Gen­er­al Alber­to Gon­za­les assert­ing that ISNA is a Jiha­di orga­ni­za­tion.

The Jus­tice Depart­ment blithe­ly dis­missed the con­cerns, say­ing oth­er orga­ni­za­tions did it, too. That was true. That will­ful blind­ness was evi­dent in the fact that, in 2006, the Depart­ment of Defense dis­patched Deputy Sec­re­tary Gor­don Eng­land to an ISNA con­fer­ence and sent anoth­er rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the annu­al con­fer­ence in 2007. The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty was there, too, with its recruit­ment booth adja­cent to the Hizb ut-Tahrir, a rad­i­cal move­ment which endors­es the use of vio­lence and is devot­ed to estab­lish­ing a glob­al Islam­ic state gov­erned by Shari­ah law.

After that embar­rass­ment, the FBI placed a full-page recruit­ing ad in the Novem­ber 2007 issue of ISNA’s mag­a­zine Islam­ic Hori­zons. “Help us light the way to a new era of under­stand­ing,” the ad reads.

Just what types of recruits are the FBI and CIA look­ing for? Appar­ent­ly, these agen­cies do not learn from expe­ri­ence, even recent expe­ri­ences. Just last Novem­ber, for­mer FBI and CIA agent Nadia Nadim Prouty was arrest­ed and pled guilty to fraud­u­lent­ly obtain­ing Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship through a sham mar­riage, and using her ille­gal­ly acquired sta­tus to attain employ­ment with both the FBI and CIA. Prouty is the sis­ter of Elfat Al Aouar, who is the wife of Talal Chahine – the Detroit-based restau­ra­teur linked to Hizbal­lah.

While it is too soon to deter­mine where the break­down occurred in allow­ing a Hizbal­lah oper­a­tive to infil­trate the FBI and the CIA, it is clear that these ads fall into the dis­turb­ing pat­tern where back­ground checks of Islam­ic mil­i­tants are not being pur­sued prop­er­ly.

Prouty used her secu­ri­ty clear­ance, in vio­la­tion of the law and her job respon­si­bil­i­ties (for which she also pled guilty), to do back­ground search­es into the FBI inves­ti­ga­tion of her sis­ter and broth­er-in-law. But that has­n’t stopped the FBI – or the CIA for that mat­ter – from reach­ing out to a pro-ter­ror­ist crowd for its next batch of recruits. And it is Amer­i­cans who will like­ly pay dear­ly for the fact that the FBI and CIA have failed to learn the obvi­ous les­son from the Prouty case. And Prouty aside, the fact that the CIA and FBI are adver­tis­ing for employ­ment on a site that lion­izes an Islam­ic Jihad king­pin and oth­er ter­ror­ist groups should fright­en every­one.

Con­gress should imme­di­ate­ly inves­ti­gate.


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