A Jihadist in the Heart of the Conservative Movement

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org) and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio.


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[Editor’s note: Below is a memorandum written by Frank Gaffney for members of the board of directors of the American Conservative Union. It is a wake-up call about Muslim Brotherhood Influence Operations and the Conservative Movement -- centering on the troubling figure of Suhail Khan. See Frank Gaffney’s previous pieces on Frontpagemag.com exposing Grover Norquist's and Suhail Khan's troubling connections. See also Paul Sperry's recent Frontpage piece, Who is Suhail Khan?]

On Tuesday, you all received an e-mail from your fellow Board member, Suhail Khan. In it, he said he wants to “set the record straight” following several upsetting press reports – including a news article published by World Net Daily on 4 January 2011, an op.ed. by Paul Sperry in the New York Post on 11 January 2011 and several related videos.

In that correspondence and a series of interviews with left-wing media outlets and blogs, Suhail has attacked me and what he calls my “cohort” for expressing concerns about him, his family and his activities. Kahn’s comments provide what some would call a “teachable moment.” It is now imperative that each of you consider with care the actual facts of the matter so as to determine whether, as he claims in his e-mail, “the ACU has nothing to worry about.”

Let me say at the outset that, despite concerted efforts by Suhail and his supporters to portray this as a personal matter, that is not the case. It is a matter of national security, period. I will not respond to ad hominem attacks against me by him or others except to say they have no basis in fact. I trust that those of you who have known and worked with me for the past few decades will find such unsubstantiated calumnies discrediting not to their intended target, but to their perpetrator.

The issue before the ACU today is actually fairly straightforward: Has the conservative movement been subjected to a sustained and successful influence operation by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan)? I believe it is demonstrable that the answer is “Yes.” Indeed, were that not the case, it would be remarkable. After all, every other significant element of our polity – notably, our government, academia, the media, the Left, religious groups and the U.S. financial sector – has been assiduously targeted by the MB for the purpose of disinforming, manipulating or otherwise neutralizing it.

That is the conclusion of an important new book, Shariah: The Threat to America that was published by the Center for Security Policy in November. It was authored by nineteen eminent national security practitioners and other experts, including: a former Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey, a former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Ed Soyster, a former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy.

This group (which we dubbed “Team B II” in honor of a previous “exercise in competitive analysis” in 1976 that was much admired and utilized by Ronald Reagan) did not indulge in “conspiracy theories.” Rather, it drew extensively on the recognized authorities of Islam – the sacred texts, established traditions, scholarly consensuses, agreed interpretations and revered institutions – to lay bare an authentic conspiracy aimed at establishing worldwide the totalitarian, supremacist politico-military-legal program known as shariah.

Given your “need to know” whether the ACU and other elements of our movement have indeed been successfully targeted by the Ikhwan, I will have a complimentary copy ofShariah: The Threat to America sent to you. (Alternatively, you can find a pdf of the book right away at http://www.ShariahtheThreat.com.)

1) How the MB’s Infiltration of the Conservative Movement Began

As you may know, it was 1999 when I first discovered how the Muslim Brotherhood intended to destroy conservatives from within, by our hand, as part of what its strategic plan calls “civilization jihad.” Shortly after the Center for Security Policy sublet office space that year from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a colleague brought to my attention myriad ties between an organization housed within ATR’s suite – the Islamic Free Market Institute (better known as the Islamic Institute or II) – and Abdurahman Alamoudi.

Even then, Alamoudi was known in law enforcement circles as one of the most prominent and influential Muslim Brothers in the United States. Today, he is known as a convicted jihadist terrorist and al Qaeda financier who is serving 23 years in federal prison on terrorism-related charges.

In the early 1990s, however, the Clinton administration saw fit to assign Alamoudi the responsibility for identifying, training and credentialing Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military and prison system. As is recounted in Shariah: The Threat to America (pp. 124-130), the Brotherhood operative sought to ensure that, in the event Al Gore did not prevail in the 2000 campaign, Alamoudi’s access and influence at senior levels of the U.S. government would be undiminished. That was accomplished to a degree that must have exceeded his fondest dreams when he succeeded in founding and staffing the Islamic Institute with Grover Norquist as its first president and Suhail Khan as a member of its board of directors.

Here are a just a few of the indisputable facts concerning the connections between Alamoudi and other prominent MB operatives on the one hand, and the II, Norquist and Khan on the other:•

* Alamoudi provided at least $20,000 in seed money in checks drawn on a Saudi bank account to start the Islamic Institute.

•* Alamoudi’s longtime and trusted deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the II’s first executive director.

* Saffuri was also made the Muslim Outreach Coordinator for the Bush 2000 campaign. In the course of the campaign, candidate Bush met with both Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian, another prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure who was subsequently convicted of running Palestinian Islamic Jihad out of his professorship at South Florida University.

* After the election, Khan became a staff member in the Office of Public Liaison in the White House with responsibility for selecting, among others, which Muslims would be allowed access to the president and his team. By that time, Alamoudi had become politically radioactive for his public professions in 2000 of support for two terrorist organizations, Hamas and Hezbollah. But many of his Brothers and close associates in the Ikhwan’s American fronts were still afforded access to the White House – a practice that continues to this day.

2) A Son of the Brotherhood

One of the aforementioned videos shows Abdulrahman Alamoudi officiating at a June 2001 American Muslim Council (AMC) convention where Suhail Khan was presented with an award. In his welcoming remarks, the MB leader says with evident affection, in part:

We have with us a dear brother, a pioneer, somebody who really started political activism in the Muslim community. And somebody different. A young man, not old and grumpy like many of us, but a young man who pioneered from many, many young men and women who started political activism when it was a taboo for the Muslim community, no doubt about it.

When Suhail Khan started not too many people were aware that we had to do something. I am really proud to be with Suhail Khan. Some of you saw [him] in today the White House but, inshallah, soon you see him in better places in the White House. Inshallah. Maybe sometimes as vice-president soon, inshallah. Allahu akbar.

Suhail Khan is the son of a dear, dear brother who was a pioneer of Islam work himself. Many of you know his late father [Mahboob Khan] who was part of all kinds of work and…Suhail inherited from his father not only being a Muslim and a Muslim activist, but also being a Muslim political activist.

This statement is important for several reasons. It makes plain a longstanding personal connection between not only Alamoudi and the younger Khan, but also between the MB operative and Suhail’s late father. The latter was himself a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who worked for many years with Alamoudi.

Relevant facts about Suhail Khan’s pedigree with the Ikhwan include the following:

* As Khan told an ISNA conference in 1999:

It is a special honor for me to be here before you today because I am always reminded of the legacy of my father, Dr. Mahboob Khan, an early founder of the Muslim Students Association in the mid-60s and an active member of the organization through its growth and development in the Islamic Society of North America.

* The Muslim Students Association (MSA) was, of course, the first MB organization in America. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is today the largest Ikhwan organization in the United States and the elder Khan served as a member of its Majlisa’Shura (or governing council). The memory of Mahboob Khan is held in such high regard by the Brothers of ISNA that they give an annual service award in his name.

* The elder Khan was also a founder (not to be confused with the imam) of three shariah-adherent mosques in California. Their degree of shariah-adherence can be found in the company kept by their congregations: The one in Southern California,the Islamic Society of Orange County, was the site of a fundraising visit in December 1992 by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as “the Blind Sheikh.” The visit preceded by two months the first attack on the World Trade Center, which was masterminded by Rahman.

Then, according to a lengthy investigative report in the San Francisco Chronicle published in October 2001, two self-professed members of a terrorist cell recounted how, in 1995, they brought Ayman al-Zawahiri, a top Muslim Brotherhood figure who is now Osama bin Laden’s Number 2 in al Qaeda, to Mahboob Khan’s al-Noor mosque in Santa Clara.

* •It is instructive that Suhail’s mother, Malika Khan, is also active with a prominent Muslim Brotherhood front. She still serves on the board of directors of the California chapter of the Council on America Islamic Relations, an organization the federal government has tied to Hamas and that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation conspiracy.

* The years-long and prominent involvement of both of Suhail Khan’s parents with the Muslim Brotherhood is relevant to the present question insofar as he has neither acknowledged the truth about the nature of his parents’ roles in the Ikhwan’s civilization jihad nor disavowed them. To the contrary, in response to Abdurahman Alamoudi’s warm introduction at the 2001 AMC convention, Suhail said, in part:

…Abdulrahman Alamoudi [was among those who] have been very supportive of me and I want to give them thanks. Many of you, of course, knew my father. He was someone who dedicated his life to the community and I’ve always felt that I have to work in the same – those footsteps. That this is something that’s important for our country as Americans and it is something that I keep in my heart everyday.

•In another address to the ISNA annual convention in September 2001 – shortly before 9/11, Suhail Khan took evident pride in the leadership role his mother had played in a number of Muslim Brotherhood organizations:

She worked with her husband to establish organizations like the MSA, ISNA, CAIR, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice. She worked hard to establish an Islamic center in Orange County. She worked hard to establish an Islamic center and MCA in Santa Clara, and she still works hard today. And, inshallah, I work for my mother and I work for you. There’s a dream that is America. And, inshallah, with your work and your help, we will make that dream a reality. Inshallah.

3) Khan’s Job

An insight into Suhail Khan’s view of the work he has to do for his mother and the like-minded in ISNA can be found in his speech to the Islamic Society of North America convention in 1999:

This is our determination. This is the fierce determination we must resolve to bear in every facet of our lives. This is the mark of the Muslim. The earliest defenders of Islam would defend their more numerous and better equipped oppressors, because the early Muslims loved death, dying for the sake of almighty Allah more than the oppressors of Muslims loved life. This must be the case where we — when we are fighting life’s other battles….

As the many oppressed said during the civil rights movement in the sixties, we must keep our eyes on the prize. The prize being almighty Allah’s pleasure and blessing. The results of our effort are in his good hands. I have pledged my life’s work, inspired by my dear father’s shining legacy, and inspired further by my mother’s loving protection and support to work for the ummah. Join me in this effort. Join hands with me in supporting the work of the many valuable organizations who have dedicated themselves to our protection, to our empowerment as a Muslim ummah. Together, hand in hand, we can work toward the cause of Muslim self-determination.

Such statements are not “cherry-picked” or quoted out of context in a misleading way. While other passages of his 1999 ISNA speech were somewhat less transparent, these were clearly meant to communicate the same theme as the rest: his solidarity not only with his parents’ legacy but with his Ikhwan audience. The same can be said of his unbroken association over many years with the MB’s myriad front organizations listed in the Explanatory Memorandum and their successors.

Khan reiterated his commitment to the umma (the Muslim nation) in 2001 – albeit in more euphemistic terms since he was, after all, by that time a White House official. Here is how he described it during brief remarks immediately preceding his aforementioned expression of gratitude to Abdurahman Alamoudi at the AMC conference that year:

I appreciate your good wishes and your honoring me this afternoon for this small, very small contribution that I have tried to make for our community and our country. As many of you know, I have long worked as hard as I can for the benefit and the rights of Muslims and anyone else who needs help. And right now, of course, the Muslim community – my family – is one that needs representation, needs help and support. So any way that I can, working with you, I hope, inshallah, that we can keep working together. And please pray for success and pray for the right outcome in so many challenges that we have facing us.

4) What ‘Right Outcome’?

One of the “successes” Khan was presumably referring to was a victory he and the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership in America had sought for years: a prohibition on the use of secret evidence, particularly in deportation proceedings. Another recently released video, shot at a 2001 ISNA conference Khan addressed, illustrates how aggressively, for example, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s al-Arian was promoting such a prohibition.

The backstory is that al-Arian had been working to accomplish this goal for some time through legislation sponsored by then-Democratic Representative David Bonior of Michigan and then-Republican Representative Tom Campbell of California, for whom Suhail Khan worked prior to joining the White House staff. In a speech at the ISNA conference in 1999 decrying “the federal authorities’” use of secret evidence, Khan exhorted the audience not to cooperate with law enforcement (this stance has been a hardy perennial among Muslim Brotherhood operatives, particularly since 9/11; CAIR’s admonitions in this regard have recently received notoriety). Khan declared: “A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. Neither he harms him nor does he hand him to another for harm.” He went on to urge his co-religionists to be “protectors of one another.”

Having failed to secure legislative relief, al-Arian extracted — thanks to Grover Norquist, Khaled Saffuri and Suhail Khan – a commitment in the course of the 2000 campaign from then-candidate Bush as the quid pro quo for support from the “Muslim-American community”: In the second debate with Al Gore, Mr. Bush pledged that, if elected, he would order such a prohibition.

It is worth quoting at length al-Arian’s remarks and the repeated and insistent call to action he issued to the audience at the ISNA convention in 2001, as they provide a powerful insight into this particular influence operation:

There has been a lot of talk about the endorsement of President Bush. We did not—the brothers did not endorse him because of Palestine or Iraq. There was a single issue. That was the issue of civil rights to us. There isn’t any ethnic group in this United States that was empowered politically before they won their civil rights battles. Whether we like it or not, that civil rights battle has been defined to us in the issue of secret evidence. We wanted to raise that issue to the full front of the national debate….We’re able to do that to the point that everybody heard it on national T.V. Millions of people heard what is happening to us.

So far the president did not deliver on his promise. We must hold him accountable. The jury’s still out whether he would or wouldn’t. And whether he would, that would depend on our involvement. So I have a plan of action. I have a request, an appeal – a plea for everyone here. The White House has said that they will not issue a statement or a position before sometime in September. That means we have few days to work on this.

Our hope is to generate thousands of calls to the White House asking them to support HR 1266. Secret Evidence Repeal Act. Again, that’s HR 1266. The bill that has been sponsored, chiefly, by Congressman Bonior. That bill has to receive the support, has to receive the support of the White House so that eventually it will become the law of the land where no secret evidence will ever be used against anyone, Muslims or otherwise. [APPLAUSE] Brothers and sisters, the White House main number is 202-456-1111. Again, that’s 202-456-1111. Every single person here, everyone you know, must call that number. Phone calls are the best, that’s number one. I’ll give you the e-mail later.

You must call and say, please support the banning of secret evidence, please support HR 1266. We must get all Muslims, all our friends, all those who love the freedom and the freedom of association and everything that the Constitution stands for in the area of civil liberties and freedoms and due process. To make that one phone call, because then and only then we can say whether our involvement made a difference. The White House or the president’s e-mail is

president@whitehouse.gov <mailto:president@whitehouse.gov> .
President@whitehouse.gov <mailto:President@whitehouse.gov> .

Secondly, please visit your congressman. Make a delegation to – make a point to visit your congressman and if they are not a co-sponsor yet on the bill, they must co-sign. You must make your voices heard.

Thirdly, please visit your editorial boards in the major newspaper in your town or city and let them know about this issue. Let them take a position in the editorial section as well as in the op-ed pieces.

Unspoken was the immediate and time-sensitive reason Sami al-Arian and his MB team were so determined to deny law enforcement the ability to make use of secret evidence: His brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar, was being held in a federal detention center awaiting deportation on the basis of secret evidence that showed him to be a co-conspirator in running Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

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  • needles

    Brilliant and powerful. An indispensable read.

  • Jim

    He is an islamic scam artist.

  • Jim

    For a while now the ACU has been ignored as a real conservative organization. It's ACU ratings for conservatives has been considered as non sense. Some may think the ACU is being tricked and therefore very stupid. I think they are being paid.
    I have never understood how people who profess conservatism could ever vote for Bush. "Islam is is a religion of peace" is a statement in complete defiance of the message of the Koran. People who accept Norquist into their ranks are people we should avoid. I see nothing in him but a tax fetish and all else is void. Who is paying him?

    • WildJew

      You wrote: "I have never understood how people who profess conservatism could ever vote for Bush."

      See my post below.

  • tanstaafl

    Quran 9:5 "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using EVERY stratagem of war."

  • WildJew

    I am a thirty eight year (conservative) Republican, former Republican party activist. I reluctantly voted for George W. Bush in 2000. I say reluctantly because I remembered how his father and family friend, James Baker III treated Israel. George. W. Bush however championed himself a very different man from his father. Unlike his father, George W. claimed to be a born-again Christian. He cultivated pro-Israel, conservative Christian support. Consequently I had hoped he would be a different kind of Bush. Unbeknownst to me at the time (as Mr. Gaffney related) then candidate (Governor) Bush was cultivating Muslim-American support. I cannot plead ignorance (as a justification for laziness) to excuse myself. I was not paying close enough attention to the Bush campaign. Only later, did I read Bush's statement that he would do away with secret evidence in his debate with Al Gore, a tip to his Muslim supporters that he was on their side. He also spoke against profiling.

  • WildJew

    In 2000 Governor Bush was seen campaigning with Islamic jihadist (Univ. of South Fla. professor) Sami Al-Arian. Al-Arain promised then Governor Bush he would work Florida's mosques for the the Republican nominee. After the close Florida vote, Al-Arian boasted he had delivered Bush the election in Florida by means of the Muslim vote. I had not done my homework on Bush and his background. The following months after Bush was sworn into office, Israel experienced some of the bloodiest (suicide) jihad terror attacks in the modern history of the Jewish state. It was frustrating to see the Bush administration condemn Israel for "excessive and disproportionate" responses to deadly and bloody suicide bombings on buses, in markets, restaurants, discos, etc. Bush repeatedly called on Israel to exercise "restraint." As I recall, only after 9/11 did Bush (deign? to) say, Israel has a right to defend herself. Why was Bush doing this? Who was pushing Bush to condemn Israel for bombing empty PLO buildings in response in response to suicide / homicide bombings?

  • WildJew

    Then came the 9/11/2001 Muslim terror atrocities in New York and Washington, and Bush's address to a joint session of Congress and the nation, September 20, 2001. Presidet Bush told many falsehoods about Islam saying things like, "The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam….." and, "Its (Islam's) teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah….(APPLAUSE) "….The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself….."

    Only days after this speech, Bush unveiled his "vision" for a Muslim-enemy state in Israel's historic and strategic heartland. Bush claimed Israelis were occupying Muslim land and were humiliating and oppressing Muslims at check points, etc. At the time I did not know the Saudis were pressuring him to say these things. Former Prime Minister Sharon pleaded with Bush in public: "I call on the western democracy, and primarily the leader of the free world, the United States, do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938, when enlightened European democracies decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for a convenient, temporary solution.

    "Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense. This is unacceptable to us. Israel will not be Czechoslovakia. Israel will fight terrorism."

    Secretary of State Colin called Sharon once to voice the president's displeasure, then again later, after the prime minister agreed to issue a conciliatory statement.

  • WildJew

    Bush was the first American president (and a Republican president!) to make the establishment of a Muslim-terror state in Israel, a formal goal of US policy. Bush and Karl Rove successfully codified this immoral language in our national party platform (for the first time in the history of the GOP!), August 2004, over the objections of Cathie Adams, Texas delegate to the platform writing committee. Cathie is a pro-Israel, conservative Christian. The full Committee with President Bush's support brushed Adam's objections aside, strong-arming this evil language into our national party platform, commending Israel for her willingness forcibly expel Jews (only because they are Jews) from Biblical Israel in order to make the land judenrein (Jew-free) for the Muslim-Arabs; commended Israel for her willingness to establish a Muslim-enemy state (dedicated to her destruction) in her historic and Biblical heartland. Bush invested much political capital to this end over the next seven years. I wondered, "WHAT gives? Why is Bush doing this? Bush is supposed to be a Christian conservative, dedicated to historic conservative and Republican principles!" So I began reading. I read former CIA operative Robert Baer's "Sleeping With The Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude."

  • WildJew

    I got a copy of conservative writer, Paul Sperry's "Crude Politics : How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism." I even picked up a copy of leftist author and journalist, Craig Unger's "House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties," because hardly anyone on the political right wanted to cover this unseemly topic. I did not know the half of it. I did not know the extent of George W. and his father, George H.W. Bush's deep financial and lucrative ties / involvement with the Saudi Royal Family and with Saudi princes.

    I did not know about the Carlyle Group or Bush's failing Harken Energy adventure in which Saudi princes – including Khalid bin Mahfouz and his BCCI friends saw a potential future US president – bought stock, making George W a wealthy young man. I did not know in a secret two page letter to then Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz (late August 2001; days before 9/11), President Bush promised the Crown Prince he would announce his plan to establish a Muslim enemy state in Israel. Why did Bush do his utmost to cover up Saudi complicity in the 9/11 attacks?

    Why did the Bush White House arrange to have some 140 members of the Saudi Royal Family and Bin Laden family flown out of the US only hours after the attacks at a time FAA prohibited all domestic flights? These critically important witnesses were not interrogated by the FBI as they should have been. Maybe some knew where bin Laden was hiding. No telling what many of these high-profile witnesses knew.

  • WildJew

    More importantly, why didn't Frontpagemag and other conservative publications, radio talk shows, etc., expose Bush for the way he was helping the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrate Republican party and conservative groups? Do we conservatives have anyone to blame but ourselves in light of our collective complicity? In light of the fact that – just as the left is circling the wagons around this dangerous Muslim-born president – the right circled the wagons around America's first "Arabian" president?

  • eriklatranyi

    As long as the money is available for political campaigns, they will have a path into our government.

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