Suhail Khan, a Bush administration veteran, has presented himself as a moderate, pro-American voice in the Muslim Community. But new videos cast serious doubt on that image he's carefully groomed for himself in Washington.
Shockingly, they show this current American Conservative Union board member consorting with radical Muslim Brotherhood leaders-turned-terrorists, while exalting the death culture of jihadists.
Relevance: This self-proclaimed staunch Republican has made inroads into the GOP leadership on the Hill, where he's lobbied to:
* Block opposition to the Ground Zero mosque;
* Pooh-pooh the threats from Muslim Brotherhood infiltration and the Shariah legal code it seeks to institutionalize in America;
* Downplay the rising tide of homegrown terror and radicalization, which Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., plans to investigate next month during his important Homeland Security Commitee hearings on the subject.
More alarming, Mr. Khan has -- unwittingly or not -- helped the bad guys infiltrate the government, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other.
Before 9/11, as White House gatekeeper to the Muslim community, he helped facilitate a White House meeting with Sami al-Arian, even though al-Arian had been under FBI investigation (al-Arian subsequently served time for terrorism and remains under house arrest for refusing to testify in a related terror case). As a Hill staffer in the mid-1990s, moreover, Mr. Khan convinced then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to reserve a room in the Capitol for Muslims to pray. Consequently, according to Fox News, a parade of extremists -- including cleric Anwar Awlaki, who the U.S. government now hopes to assassinate for his terrorist work for al-Qaida -- led prayers and spoke there.
Mr. Khan is now a spokesman for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association, working with a Muslim convert named Jihad Saleh Williams (of all the Arabic names he could have picked, he chose Jihad). Mr. Khan spends a lot of time on the Hill. He's briefed GOP leadership staff on various issues and has now cozied up to some of House Speaker John Boehner's people. He's even gained the trust of key staffers running the Republican Study Committee, the caucus for conservatives in the House.
None of them knew of his radical ties. Some told me they weren't even aware he's Muslim.
Now that the jig is up, Mr. Khan has gone into damage control mode. Last week, in a six-page letter to fellow ACU board members, including chairman David Keene, he tried to explain away the damning videos -- which, among other things, show him receiving an award from the notorious Abdurahman Alamoudi, now behind bars as one of al-Qaida's top fundraisers in America. He claims he had no choice but to speak to Alamoudi's group, that the Bush White House sent him, blah, blah.
But nobody at the White House forced him to speak in 1999 to the radical Islamic Society of North America, where he sounded at one point much like a jihadist, praising the "mujihadeen" who martyr themselves "for the cause of Islam," and braying about how "the early Muslims loved death more than the oppressors loved life." He invoked all the major hotspots of the jihadi circuit at the time: "Bosnia" ... "Kashmir" ... "Palestine" ... "Iraq." All the while, the video captures Mr. Khan wiping tears of anger from his cheeks. Here is a transcript from that section of his speech to ISNA:
"We are charged by almighty Allah to protect our fellow brothers and sisters and we know of many, so many, here in America and across the globe who are in dire need of protection ... A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. Neither he harms him nor does he hand him to another for harm. ... Here in the United States, Muslims are often faced with discrimination, harassment and outright hatred. Mosques are burned. Islamic centers are vandalized, desecrated. Mosques and Islamic centers and schools face constant discriminatory zoning decisions. Muslim families are harassed and hindered from travel from at airports as they are profiled as quote unquote terrorists or security risks. ... Our freedoms, my dear brothers and sisters, are under attack. Our freedom to associate with whomsoever we choose, to speak out politically and religiously, to travel, to practice our faith as Allah has instructed us as God-fearing men and women must be protected. And these rights must be defended with all the determination, all the resources, all the unyielding vigilance of the believing mujahid. ... 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. ... [W]hat are our oppressors going to do with people like us? We're prepared to give our lives for the cause of Islam."
This is the kind of violent rhetoric you'd expect to hear from Osama bin Laden or Awlaki, not any "moderate" Muslim.
In that same 1999 speech, Mr. Khan also expressed disturbing hostility toward federal law enforcement and sympathy for terrorist suspects. At the time he was working for a congressman from a heavily Muslim district in Northern California to eliminate the Justice Department's use of so-called "secret evidence" to deport Arab immigrants suspected of terrorism. Why would a supposedly rock-ribbed conservative undermine law enforcement's efforts to fight terrorism?
What's striking is that even now, with Alamoudi behind bars, Mr. Khan cannot bring himself to call his old patron the al-Qaida terrorist that he is. In his letter of defense to the ACU board, he refers to him as "Mr. Alamoudi" and "gentleman," but never as terrorist. And "gentleman" is the term he used to describe Osama bin Laden's deputy on the Fred Grandy radio show recently. Why would he show such deference to a monster responsible for slaughtering nearly 3,000 fellow Americans?
And, again, why would a Republican glorify the death culture of jihadists? Why would a "loyal American," as he calls himself, accept an award from a known Islamic extremist such as Alamoudi who had talked about "destroying America"?
These are questions members of the Republican establishment who have promoted Mr. Khan to positions of power ought to start asking.
There are other concerns, as well.
Mr. Khan is the first-born son of Mahboob Khan, one of the founding fathers of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in America, which according to its secret founding archives (seized by the FBI in 2004) is in America to "sabotage" it and "destroy" it "from within."
There is no evidence tying Mahboob Khan directly to the drafting of the archives. However, the same trove of Brotherhood papers lists a mosque he founded -- Santa Clara, Calif.- based MCA -- as one of "our organizations."
The "San Francisco Chronicle" has reported that at least twice in the 1990s, his father's mosque hosted Ayman al-Zawahiri, now AQ's No. 2, and helped raise money for him -- all while Mr. Khan's father was running the mosque as chairman of the board (as confirmed by the "San Jose Mercury News"). After the "Chronicle" and other major newspapers reported the Zawahiri fundraisers in 2001, Mr. Khan relocated from the White House to the Transportation Department.
Mr. Khan claims the reporting is false, but it's based on the court testimony of past members of the mosque, and the "Chronicle" has never issued a retraction. Mr. Khan insists his late father was just a "Silicon Valley executive," "a high-tech engineer in the Bay Area." But his immigrant father's work in America involved far more than that, as this video makes clear.
Also in the early 1990s, a leader in his father's mosque hosted the Blind Sheik (of World Trade Center bombing fame) at his Santa Clara apartment, as I first reported in "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America," which exposes the radical Muslim Brotherhood and its American front groups. For some strange reason, two of the most dangerous terrorists on the planet made mecca to, of all places, Santa Clara, Calif., back then. That same mosque leader, Omar Ahmad, whom the "Chronicle" has also described as a "spokesman" for the mosque, also happens to be founding chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He's now an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-financing case in U.S. history -- U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation. Ahmad has told Muslims in the Bay Area that the Quran should replace the Constitution as the "highest authority in America." He's also praised suicide bombers who "kill themselves for Islam."
Mr. Khan's mother works for CAIR, and is listed alongside Ahmad as a member of the executive committee of CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area chapter. Malika Khan's chapter last week put up a poster on its website advising Muslims: "Don't talk to the FBI," and "build a wall of resistance" against law enforcement.
But that's not all. According to the "Contra Costa Times" and other local press, Mr. Khan's family mosque has hosted several Taliban supporters, while raising money -- unwittingly or not -- for Hamas through its U.S. charitable front, the Holy Land Foundation. The mosque happens to be held in trust by another unindicted Holy Land co-conspirator -- the North American Islamic Trust. The government recently blacklisted Saudi-funded NAIT as part of the Hamas fundraising conspiracy. It also happens to be the banker to the Muslim Brotherhood network in America.
But it's not just the mosque that's a concern. Mr. Khan's father also founded the Santa Clara-based American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, whose chairman defended the Taliban even after 9/11, according to the Associated Press. So what "peace" and what "justice" are we talking about here?
Despite these troubling family ties, Mr. Khan has vowed to carry on his "dear father's shining legacy," as he calls it. Before his conviction on terror charges, top Muslim Brotherhood leader Alamoudi said he hoped to see this "son of a dear, dear Brother" in the White House one day as "vice president ... Allah Akbar!"
That should give everyone in Washington pause.
Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of "Infiltration" and "Muslim Mafia."