Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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How Does This Happen?
Senior Counterterrorism officials in several agencies are baffled by a little-noticed development last month: The State Department sent its head of counterterrorism, Ambassador Hank Crumpton, to be the keynote speaker at a conference co-sponosored by the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT). Not only that, as FrontPageMagazine reports, the Pentagon footed the bill for most of the conference.

That is the same institution under investigation by prosecutors in Northern Virginia Safa case. And the main organization supported by Prof. Sami al-Arian, who just reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to admit engaging in a conspiracy to support the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a designated terrorist organization. Al Arian will likely be sentenced to time served and deported. PIJ just sent a suicide bomber to Israel yesterday, killing at least nine civilians. Not the first PIJ attack, and certainly not the last.

Al Arian's relationship to IIIT was not a passing one. In one letter, IIIT co-founder Taha Jaberl al-Alwani wrote that al Arian is "a part of us and an extension of us." IIIT is an intergral part of the Safa network, the group of Northern Virginia businesses, charities and think tanks that were all run out of one office and shared the same address, run by a group of men with long standing ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and its international financier, Yousef Nada.

This type of sponsorship of groups under investigation and with ties to radical Islamist groups cripples other Muslim groups and legitimizes some of the worst actors on the Muslim scene, both here and abroad. The constant outreach by FBI, DOJ and State to groups such as CAIR, IIIT and others gives undue legitimacy to groups that, at best, are questionable in their behavior and worst sympathetic to Islamist radicalism.

The legitimacy feeds on itself. If the FBI meets with them, despite ongoing investigations and questionable past activities, then the White House will meet with them. After all, the FBI must have cleared them. If the White House meets with them, then surely the State Department can too. And on it goes, crowding out the other voices of Islam that cry out to be heard and are ignored.

The worst thing, if FrontPage is right, is that the State Department and DOD knew of the IIIT ties to the conference and chose to go ahead. As Joel Mowbray wrote, "IIIT must feel very lucky. On the heels of the terror trial of a man it bankrolled, the two biggest power centers in government are working to rehabilitate IIIT's repuation."
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