Published September 29, 2010
An independent group of national security professionals deeply critical of the Obama administration is calling on National Security Adviser John Brennan to resign for what the group says is a coordinated effort to prevent "identifying, understanding and countering" threats posed by Islamic law, known as shariah.
Center for Security Policy chief Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan administration official, held a news conference Wednesday to argue that Brennan failed in his "duty to know his enemy" when he allowed a sheik with "known ties" to Hamas through his work at the Holy Land Foundation, the charitable group whose leaders were convicted of funding the Palestinian terror group, to participate in a six-week long FBI outreach program to the Muslim community.
Sheik Kifah Mustapha of Chicago participated in the government-sponsored "Citizens Academy" hosted by the FBI this year. As a participant, he was able to get a tutorial on the National Counterterrorism Center, other secure government facilities and FBI's training center at Quantico Marine base in Virginia.
The FBI defended its invitation to Mustapha in an interview with FoxNews.com, saying there was no reason to worry about his credentials or what he may learn during his participation.
But Gaffney said at an afternoon news conference that Brennan is guilty of either "willful blindness at best" or a form of treason at worst.
"The FBI gave a guided tour of one of our most sensitive counter-terrorism facilities to a known Hamas operative," Gaffney continued. "It is clear that the cluelessness fostered by Mr. Brennan is causing an empowering of the wrong sorts of Muslims in America and endangering the American people."
Gaffney added that he sees a "host of others who are similarly either failing to know or rendered incapable of acting on what they do know is going on in this country in a form of civilization jihad and perhaps the precursor to violent forms of jihad."
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The FBI says on its website that the Citizens Academy teaches how the agency tracks down spies and terrorists and how it collects and preserves evidence, and they can see what its like to fire a weapon. Businesses, civic and religious leaders who are at least 21 without prior felony convictions are eligible to attend, the website says.
Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman, told FoxNews.com that the agency knew who Mustapha was before he was allowed to participate.
"He's a prominent figure in the community," Bresson said, adding that the sheik has not been convicted of a crime. "It's not like we gave him secret access or classified information."
Gaffney, which led the group called "Team B II" released a report earlier this month called "Shariah: The Threat to America." Team B II, inspired by the CIA's Team B exercise in 1976 to ferret out weaknesses in U.S. response to the Soviet threat, presented the findings to two Republican members of Congress earlier this month.
The group, which says it sees parallels between today's efforts to engage radical Muslim groups and 1970s efforts to engage the Soviets, says Brennan is allowing a "grave threat" to grow against the U.S., its Constitution, government and freedoms.