Kyle Shideler: Why is the former Webmaster of a Taliban Funding Website on Capitol Hill?
By Kyle Shideler
Yesterday, April 13, The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella organization made up of multiple Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, were on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers, and their staff. Among the leadership of the USCMO is Mazen Moktar, a man identified in federal court as having established a website for the purpose of fundraising for Taliban and Chechen jihadist fighters. The Washington Post reported in 2004:
Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born imam and political activist, operated a Web site identified in an affidavit unsealed Friday by the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut. The Web site solicited funds for the Taliban and Chechen mujaheddin, according to the affidavit. It is an exact replica of Web sites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was arrested in England on a U.S. extradition warrant this week. The affidavit said the New Jersey home of the mirror Web site operator, identified on a Web site as Mokhtar, was searched in the recent past and that copies of Azzam Publications sites, operated by Ahmad, were found on Mokhtar’s computer’s hard drive and files. Officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, which is leading the investigation, declined yesterday to comment on Mokhtar or the New Jersey investigation.
While Babar Ahmad was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for his role in providing material support to terrorism, Mokhtar is now the executive director of the Muslim American Society (MAS), and a board member of the USCMO. Federal prosecutors have described MAS as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, a reality confirmed by Muslim Brotherhood’s former Supreme Guide Mohammed Akef:
In fact, Akef says he helped found MAS by lobbying for the change during trips to the U.S. “We have a religion, message, morals and principals that we want to carry to the people as God ordered us,” he says. “So why should we work in secrecy?” But U.S. members would remain guarded about their identity and beliefs. An undated internal memo instructed MAS leaders on how to deal with inquiries about the new organization. If asked, “Are you the Muslim Brothers?” leaders should respond that they are an independent group called the Muslim American Society. “It is a self-explanatory name that does not need further explanation.”
That information is confirmed by convicted al Qaeda Financier, and self-identified Muslim Brotherhood Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who told federal investigators, “everyone knows MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Confronted by activists who asked Mokhtar whether or not there was a Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, Mokhtar himself neither confirmed nor denied. All of which raises the question, who in Congress would meet with an organization whose members include those “everybody knows” represent the Muslim Brotherhood, and with a board member is known to have registered a Taliban fundraising website?
According to pictures and posts to the USCMO’s event hashtag “#MuslimHillDay” those willing to meet with the group included Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and unsurprisingly, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), who has a long history of ties to Muslim Brotherhood linked organizations, as the Center For Security Policy has previously documented.
This is somewhat ironic, seeing as Rep. Andre Carson went to great lengths to deny serving on a panel with Mazen Mokhtar at a recent MAS-ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Conference, as detailed by investigative reporter/ terrorism analyst Patrick Poole. As a result, for Carson at least, there can be no excuse that he is unaware of who Mokhtar is. Perhaps if informed about Mokhtar’s previous associations the other representatives would be forced to wonder why Carson declined to warn them of the nature of the associations they were developing by speaking at the USCMO Muslim Advocacy Day.