Skip to content

Pro-Brotherhood DHS advisor creates lawfare blind spot

October 28, 2013

Under revised Department of Homeland Security guidelines, crafted with the  input of senior adviser Mohamed Elibiary, counter-terrorism personnel will be  left uneducated about a favorite non-violent tactic of the Islamists:  lawfare.

Mohamed Elibiary is the subject of a new 37-page report by the Center for  Security Policy and Institute on Religion and Democracy. Consisting mostly of an  interview I conducted with Elibiary, this senior Department of Homeland Security  adviser’s pro-Islamist sentiment is laid out for all to see. The Clarion  Project has a list of 15 unsettling facts from the  report, which include: personal connections to and praise of the Muslim  Brotherhood; associations with the Assembly of Muslim Jurists, a “hardline  Islamist group” that calls for the establishment of sharia law  in America, marital rape, and jihad against Israel; admission  to actively helping U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups avoid prosecution;  accusations that the West “routinely insults Muslim dignity.” Elibiary has also  voiced support for Shukri Abu Baker, CEO of the now defunct Holy Land  Foundation, who was convicted in the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S.  history.

As a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee,  Elibiary is in a position to impact policy with his beliefs. He was promoted  last month to Senior Fellow. He was a member of the DHS Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism  (CVE), the subject of Elibiary’s focus.

Elibiary says he was instrumental in crafting the DHS policy on CVE.

“The area that has earned me the most amount of anti-Islamist media criticism  has been my role assisting DHS and the broader administration craft a framework  and later a strategy for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). I helped write  parts of the initial [CVE] document President Barack Hussein Obama was briefed  on in the Oval Office,” Elibiary said in our interview.

In 2011, the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties released a  document titled, “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Training Do’s  and Don’ts.” Produced by the DHS and the National Counterterrorism  Center, it contains a list of specific recommendations for federal, state and  local government officials “organizing CVE, cultural awareness,  counter-radicalization or counter-terrorism training.” In other words, the “Do’s  and Don’ts” targets anyone involved in learning about militant Islam.

The guidelines aim to prevent instruction about non-violent Islamists and  their tactics, right in line with the policies advocated by Elibiary in our  interview.

One of the suggested regulations is to prohibit training about “lawfare,” the  abuse of Western laws and judicial systems to achieve strategic military or  political ends. Lawfare is particularly manifested in the United States in the  form of frivolous lawsuits filed to intimidate members of the counter-terrorism  community with the threat of bankruptcy and vilification for exercising their  free speech rights to educate Americans on issues of national security and  public concern, such as the imminent threat of Islamist terrorism.

The DHS guidelines instruct agencies to stay away from “training premised on  theories with little or no evidence to support them. One theory the DHS wants  discarded posits that “Muslim Americans are using democratic processes, like  litigation and free speech, to subvert democracy and install Sharia law.”

Brooke Goldstein, director of The Lawfare Project, says, “There is a  plethora of evidence indicating lawfare as the newest, most visible and  increasingly emergent form of asymmetric warfare, which must be countered both  tactically and strategically. It is undeniable that Muslim Brotherhood front  groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations have filed lawsuits aimed  at silencing and punishing anyone who expose their connections to designated  terrorist organizations or say things that are ‘offensive’ to Islam. DHS  guidelines that not only delegitimize this very real threat but also deny its  existence leave American counterterrorism personnel open to attack by, amongst  other things, failing to brief them on legitimate ways to protect themselves and  undermining those in the counterterrorism and legal communities who are working  to protect this country.”

Best-selling author and terrorism expert Richard Miniter told me in 2010 that  self-censorship is becoming commonplace because of the “threat that is hung over  every writer.”

The Lawfare Project has published a scholarly paper about the threat that  includes multiple examples of lawfare suits filed by American Islamists against  U.S. citizens. For example, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a  U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity, filed a defamation lawsuit against former  Congressman Cass Ballinger for linking CAIR to Hezbollah in response to a  reporter’s question. It was dismissed because the statement was “within the  scope of his employment.”

CAIR also filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about the  Clarion Fund, one of its opponents. CAIR tried to argue that the organization  was lobbying for Senator McCain in the presidential election by raising  awareness about the Islamist threat. That complaint, too, was dismissed.

In 2007, CAIR associates sued counter-terrorism expert Joe Kaufman for  writing about an entirely different organization. Not a single plaintiff was  even mentioned in his article, and the case was ultimately decided in Kaufman’s  favor due to plaintiffs’ lack of standing and failure to meet the requisite  elements of their defamation claims.

In another lawfare case, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic  Society of Boston sued 17 media figures for reporting on its Saudi funding. The  lawsuit was dropped as soon as the defendants gained access to the mosque’s  financial records through the process of discovery.

Islamists outside of the U.S. also use lawfare to try to silence American  opponents.

In August 2010, President Obama signed into law the SPEECH Act (Securing  the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act),  which was unanimously passed by Congress. The legislation’s purpose is to  prevent Americans from having their free speech oppressed via foreign  lawsuits.

The late Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz’s use of lawfare sparked the  legislation. He sued 45 publishers or journalists for  writing about his financing of Islamist terrorists and extremists. Every single  one settled, except for Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of the meticulously  researched book, Funding Evil.

Though Dr. Ehrenfeld is an American living in the U.S., she was victimized  because of the United Kingdom’s libel laws. The so-called Human Rights Committee  of the U.N., a body that is far from a pro-American bastion, acknowledged in 2008:

“…application of the law of libel has served to discourage critical media  reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability  of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the  phenomenon known as ‘libel tourism.’”

According to the American Public Policy Alliance, state  legislation against “libel tourism” has passed in New York, California,  Illinois, Florida, Utah, Louisiana and Tennessee.

The legal persecution of these individuals represents but a mere fraction of  lawfare cases filed in the United States.

The DHS training guidelines not only discourage instruction about Islamist  use of lawfare — they discourage instruction about non-violent Islamists,  including the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, entirely.

Other “unsubstantiated” theories, according to the DHS document, are that  “[m]any mainstream Muslim organizations have terrorist ties” and “[m]ainstream  Muslim organizations are fronts for Islamic political organizations whose true  desire is to establish Sharia law in America.” These claims are based on internal U.S. Muslim Brotherhood  documents submitted into court as evidence, the conclusions of federal prosecutors, a 2009 Texas District Court ruling, and the  documented statements of American Islamists, all of which indeed substantiate  the aforementioned theories.

Among the supposedly innocent “mainstream Muslim organizations” those sources  identify as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity are CAIR, the Islamic Society of  North America (ISNA), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Muslim  Students’ Association (MSA), the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), the  Muslim Businessmen Association (MBA), the National American Islamic Trust  (NAIT), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Additionally, there has  been an active publicity effort to whitewash the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the  movement’s reputation for engaging in political violence and its spawning of  terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The Brotherhood’s  credo proclaims, “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is  our leader; Jihad is our way; and dying in the way of Allah is the highest of  our aspirations.”

Shockingly, ISNA president, Imam Mohamed Magid, was on the same CVE working  group committee as Elibiary. Therefore, the DHS literally had a U.S. Muslim  Brotherhood entity (ISNA) and a Brotherhood apologist (Elibiary) crafting its  policy to protect the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. How is this acceptable government  practice?

And that’s just the beginning of it. The CVE working group had several other allies of the U.S. Muslim  Brotherhood.

Thanks to the influence of Brotherhood  acolytes in the administration like Elibiary, countless counter-terrorism  professionals will be left ignorant of lawfare and the Islamists that wage  it.

Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for and a  Fellow of The Lawfare Project.

Credit To: Ryan Mauro / The Daily Caller




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: