The White House’s Visas-for-Terrorists Program

hani-nour-eddinA new Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report raises more questions than answers regarding the circumstances behind the approval of a visa for a known member of a group identified by the State Department as being a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

In June 2012, Egyptian Hani Nour Eldin visited the United States as a member of an Egyptian parliamentary delegation to meet with U.S. government officials and business leaders. During the course of those meetings, Eldin raised with then Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough the issue of the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, from federal prison for humanitarian reasons.

Eldin’s presence at all these meetings is peculiar because in 1993 he admitted to being a member of Gama’a al-Islamiyya. Gama’a al-Islamiyya is an Egyptian Islamist group first designated by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. Gama’a al-Islamiyya has been linked, though indirectly, to the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the 1990s, the group was linked to a string of terrorist acts, including the murder of Egypt’s speaker of parliament and a 1995 attempted assassination of Hosni Mubarrak.

In 1993, Eldin was arrested after members of Gama’a al-Islamiyya got into a shoot-out with Egyptian security officials at a mosque. In a 1993 article that accompanied the arrest, Eldin denied his involvement in the shoot-out but proclaimed he was a member of Gama’a al-Islamiyya.

As such, the strictest reading of State Department protocols means that Eldin should have been denied a visa. After hearing complaints from New York Republican Congressman Peter King, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General did an audit of DHS efforts to screen members of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

The heavily redacted unclassified report absolves DHS of any wrongdoing in this matter, and only recommends three cosmetic improvements to the process:

We determined DHS has policies and procedures for admitting members of Foreign Terrorist Organizations into the United States, and collaborating with other departments and agencies when screening members of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and issuing inadmissibility waivers. DHS did not determine any derogatory information on Mr. Eldin prior to admitting him, and DHS followed established procedures for allowing Mr. Eldin into the United States. However, we identified operational challenges that may reduce the effectiveness of DHS’ visa security processes. We are making three recommendations to enhance DHS’ efforts to screen members of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The Department concurred with all recommendations.

According to the report, Eldin was determined not to be a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization, but the reason behind this determination isn’t explained, and may very well be part of the redacted portion of the report.

In an email exchange with Front Page Magazine, DHS OIG only said cryptically that the scope of their audit didn’t include determining whether or not Eldin was a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization and pointed out that such determinations aren’t only made by DHS but also by the State Department. The DHS OIG audit only looked into the performance of DHS in this matter.

If the State Department’s Office of Inspector General was also investigating the matter, such information would not be released to the press until the investigation was over.

Front Page Magazine reached out to the offices of Congressman Peter King, the House Homeland Security Committee, and the Senate Homeland Security Committee because all three received a copy of the audit, but all declined comment for this story.

In a 2012 article for the Daily Beast when this story first broke, a State Department spokesperson told Eli Lake that the State Department had no information that suggested that Eldin was a member of a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

In the same 2012 article by Eli Lake (which was referenced repeatedly in the report), Lake proclaims, “Terrorists aren’t supposed to get visas. But Hani Nour Eldin was apparently invited to D.C. this week to meet with top officials. Did no one Google him?”

More than a year later it’s still not entirely clear why a known terrorist designated as such by the State Department was given a visa and allowed to meet with high ranking officials in the White House, giving him the ability to ask for the release of the mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack. This report seems to raise more questions than it answers.

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  • Aterg

    What do you expect ? The Boston bombers had visas even recent citizenship, and warning from Russia. We are slowly infiltrated , divided and ineffective to keep terrorists out. Our Government caters to Islamists in many ways , and just released information, a present for the end of Ramadan over 100 million was given by Obama to the rebels in Syria (those that beheaded the catholic Bishop and priest, see Video available) . Also the White House has to many Muslim advisors. Even the Empire State Building was lit green in honor of Ramadan (9/11 on my mind) , 15 Plus dinners for Ramadan in the White House, just to mention a few. I think you got the picture! And where is the our congress?

  • LindaRivera

    Why are Muslim terrorists given visas for America? Simple answer. The U.S. administration ADORES Muslim terrorists.

    BARENAKEDISLAM: Is anyone here surprised? Obama’s NSA snooping EXCLUDED mosques, missed Boston Marathon bombers

    And the reason for this? Terror-linked Muslim Brotherhood proxy, CAIR
    (Council on American Islamic Relations), demanded that spying on mosques
    be stopped because it hurt the feelings of Muslims…

    The TOP priority of the White Mosque (House) is NOT to prevent Muslim
    terror attacks. The TOP priority is not to OFFEND Muslims regardless of
    how many THOUSANDS of innocent Americans are MAIMED and MURDERED by

    Founder of Islam, Mohammed: “I have been made victorious with terror”, “Wage war on the infidel and kill them until Islam is dominant” (Quran 8:39)

  • LindaRivera


    The Boston Mosque imam who asked Muslims to go out and kill is hugged
    by Governor Deval Patrick. America, wake up to the enemies within!

    Quran 9:5 “Kill Jews and Christians wherever you find them”.

    “Grab onto the shovel, grab onto the gun, and the sword, don’t be afraid to step out into this world and do your job.”

    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the Imam

  • Joseph

    What NSA documents did the White House and Obama’s administration pass on to this guy? Everybody hates Snowden because he was upfront, but how about all the damn muslim brotherhood ties in the ‘Huma Abedin’ State dept….and Miz Hillary? and all the while Obama is telling the Egyptian miulitary to reinstate the MB…c’mon…somebody needs to get a clue ……

  • Marwa Hechmat

    If he’s not supposed to step in ur country, then why want those u named& listed as terrorists to rule my Egypt??? Ironic &provoking enough.

  • Cobalt_Basement_Development

    This is kind of wack..

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Uhm…he’s not a terrorists. He’s a jihadists instead, as all Muslims are jihadists in one form or another since jihad is not only a fundamental holy obligation incumbent upon all Muslims, it is also the highest pillar of which Islam stands. Not to mention that jihad, in stark contrast to terrorism, which is always and only violent, is both violent and non-violent, but astronomically far more non-violent relative to violent. It’s also manifested only by Muslims and Muslims alone, while terrorism, on the other hand, is a product of all societies and cultures.

    I’m wondering how we can even defend ourselves from the scourge of Islam, as all these writers clearly don’t have the first clue about what it is they are writing about and are therefore incredibly easy to dupe. I foresee the insanity in Europe with respect to Islam transferring here to America soon since we obviously don’t have the collective intelligence to stop it.

    • alihusaini

      We don’t have to take over with violence , we will just outbreed you.

      • Guest

        Not unless

        • alihusaini

          Not unless what?

  • totallydomestic

    He visited to plan the kidnapping of Amb. Chris Stevens to set up and exchange for the blind sheik. Visited ” Govt officials” June 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack
    Sept 2012. Just who did Eldin meet with?

    • hsmom2004

      More likely to plan the riot in Benghazi in which Amb. Stevens would be captured, then used in exchange for the blind sheik and plan to blame the ridiculous video. This is the most likely reason for reducing people and protection at the embassy and the stand down orders given toward helping him and the reason for Hillary ignoring pleas for protection of the embassy and the President going to sleep. They weren’t worried. Amb. Stevens was supposed to have been taken alive so they could do the exchange.

  • West Ridge Fine Homes

    Some decisions on visas are beyond comprehension

  • Joe White

    mccinsane and grahamracker must be charged with treason as they are aiding these bastards with weapons in syria, yes they stand with the mooslunbrotherhood members and if you listen to the islame basturds? they are all of one group! They must be forced out of American politics! If we allow odamnUSAmooslunbrotherhood to remain, it is just a matter of time before they attack Americans, in a very large scale!? as they are going to attack America! It will be in a very mean, and hateful way! Americans will never ever believe, who is leading the attacks, as it will be the complete war, on Americans against America remaing American! Semper Fi

  • Adrian Rainbow

    Glad to see they have our backs again!