For years, a handful of national security experts and members of Congress have been trying to raise a red flag over what they suspected were active influence operations by the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. How do you expose and neutralize such behavior however, when it is coordinated by the White House?
(The RAND Corporation defines influence operations as “the collection of tactical information about an adversary as well as the dissemination of propaganda in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent.”)
On June 13, 2012, five members of Congress called for an investigation into Muslim Brotherhood influence operations in the Obama administration. The five members– Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Tom Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)– were widely criticized for doing so, even by their own Republican leadership, including John McCain (R-AZ), John Boehner (R-OH), and Mike Rogers (R-MI).
At the time, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said, “It’s not right to question the loyalty of fellow Americans without any evidence.” Well, now we have the evidence.
The New York Times published a comprehensive article on September 7th entitled, “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.” The article documents multi-million dollar donations to Washington-based think tanks that include the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council, by foreign governments as a way of buying influence in Washington.
For example, the government of Qatar made a $14.8 million donation to the Brookings Institution. It is a matter of public record that Qatar is a key funder and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and, indeed, that supporting Muslim Brotherhood parties has been a cornerstone of Qatar’s foreign policy.
According to Middle East Monitor, The Emir of Qatar, Shaikh Tamim bin-Hamad, said that support for the Muslim Brotherhood is a “duty” for which no thanks are necessary. Qatar is home to the pro-Brotherhood channel Al Jazeera, to Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qatar has directly funded a number of Muslim Brotherhood entities, including Hamas and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar has also provided refuge to many exiled Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
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