By Clare Lopez
Saudi alarm likely had as much to do with the chaos in Egyptian streets as it did with the Morsi Brotherhood regime’s burgeoning relationship with Iran, the Saudi nemesis in the Persian Gulf, Syria, and perhaps above all, in the nuclear weapons business.
With Egypt now deeply dependent on the Saudis and its other Gulf benefactors, like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait, the muddled U.S. position that remains stuck on Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) becomes less tenable by the day.
Which may help explain why the White House could be hedging its bets: as reported by The Blaze, a very odd guest seems to have shown up on the White House lawn this past July 4. According to a Twitter account identified as belonging to his father, Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi, the Saudi student who was named “a person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing attack, attended a July 4 event for military heroes and their families at the White House.
This is the suspect who’d been on an official Department of Homeland Security (DHS) watch list that identified him as a terrorist risk so dangerous, he was not supposed to be allowed into the country. But he was allowed in anyway and he was not attending classes in Ohio as he was supposed to be doing according to his student visa, and then he was at the Boston Marathon attack.
Afterwards, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal and President Obama met with al-Faisal and also with the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir, and then the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center (NTC) “event file” that designated al-Harbi for deportation as a national security risk mysteriously was altered ... and next thing you know, he’s at the White House July 4 celebration for military heroes!
Photos posted online, apparently by the elder Al-Harbi, seem to show Al-Harbi, together with individuals identified as his father and brother, on the White House lawn while another photo seems to show President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle in a close-up photo greeting guests. The senior Al-Harbi’s Twitter account also linked to an Arabic language Al-Hayat daily newspaper with the comment that the outlet reported the Al-Harbi family had been invited to participate in the White House Independence Day celebrations.
If so, the Al-Harbis would only be the latest in a seemingly endless parade of anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-West visitors that have found themselves on the A-list at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Al-Harbi clan in Saudi Arabia is apparently full of jihadis (Islamic terrorists) with a half-dozen of their names on the Saudi government’s list of active al-Qaeda fighters and another handful among detainees at GITMO.
Before the Saudis, it was the Muslim Brotherhood, beginning with an advance “perception management team” from the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party during the April 2012 run-up to Egyptian parliamentary elections that the Brotherhood and its fellow Salafis from the Al-Nour party shortly would sweep. National Security Council (NSC) officials met with the Brotherhood delegation because, well, they played such a “prominent role” in Egyptian politics at the time.
Then, in June 2012, it was the turn of a bona fide terrorist, Hani Nour Eldin, from the Gama’at al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group), a terror outfit that’s listed on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. Groups on that list and their members aren’t supposed to be allowed entry to the U.S. But Eldin got a visa anyway. And an invite to the White House so he could ask Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough to release Omar Abdel Rahman (aka The Blind Sheikh and Gama’at al-Islamiyya’s leader), who is serving a life sentence in the U.S. for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.
Yousef al-Qaradawi, the senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood, is still banned from visiting the U.S. (at last check, anyway), but in mid-June 2013, his deputy at the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Abdullah bin Bayyah, had no trouble scoring a meeting with top White House officials, including the NSC’s Senior Director for Development and Democracy Gayle Smith. According to “a senior Obama administration official,” this was supposed to be so that bin Bayyah could share his insights on countering the “Al-Qa’eda narrative.”
Given that his boss, al-Qaradawi, has given his approval for suicide bombings and he himself endorsed a 2004 fatwa calling for the killing of U.S. troops in Iraq, this might be considered a bit of a stretch, but in any case, the White House announcement about stepped-up military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-and-al-Qa’eda-dominated Syrian rebels came the very next day after bin Bayyah’s NSC meeting.
So, the White House visitors log includes Muslim Brothers, Gama’at al-Islamiyya, and a Saudi clan whose sons flock to fight for al-Qa’eda: jihadis all, whose world view tends toward shariah and Islamic supremacism. There are still a few of their comrades in arms that haven’t received the coveted RSVP envelope yet, but outgoing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has assured us that the delay is only temporary.
Speaking to House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King (R-NY) at a Congressional hearing in July 2012, she said, “I think you are right in pointing out that as we move forward we are going to continue to have visitors to this country that the State Department and others feel are useful to bring to the country to have discussions moving forward who say they are members of the political party that in the past have been so designated” [as members of terrorist organizations].”
Hamas, for instance, has been a U.S.-designated terrorist organization since 1997. It’s the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has somehow remained officially undesignated by the U.S. thus far, despite its fundamental commitment to jihad, shariah and global domination. Apparently Hamas, whose founding Covenant dedicates its mission to the obliteration of Israel, thinks if the Brotherhood can score White House approval status, there’s no reason why it should remain a pariah.
According to various reporting, the push is on to get Hamas removed not just from the European Union list of designated terrorist organizations, but also the U.S. FTO list. Of course, Hamas leadership has no intention of recognizing Israel’s right to exist, dropping its commitment to jihad, renouncing violence or quitting its incessant lobbing of missiles into Israel, but in view of White House and Homeland Security readiness to meet with a growing list of like-minded terror affiliates, has decided it’s worth a try.
A top Hamas, Ghazi Hamad, claimed in June 2013 that he’s already had at least one meeting with American officials to broach the topic. The appointment of Robert Malley, a career U.S. Foreign Service diplomat, as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, might just do the trick. After all, Malley was ahead of them all, when he unfortunately got himself fired from the Obama presidential campaign in 2008 because he got caught negotiating with Hamas.
By mid-2013, though, Malley’s name reportedly was under serious consideration by Secretary of State Kerry for a senior State Department position, where he’d fit right in with the prevailing anti-Israel, pro-Islamic jihad perspective.
Looking ahead, maybe Hezbollah could be next; it’s hard to see what the objection could be after the U.S. already has gone to war to help al-Qaeda militias topple a sovereign government in Libya and is busy facilitating training and weapons shipments to Syrian rebels aligned with some more al-Qaeda militias in that civil war.
That White House welcome mat should probably expect a lot of traffic heading its way.