Elibiary Attacks the Coptic Community Again
He attacked the Copts again late last month after an IPT blog highlighted the connections and sympathies many American Islamist groups have with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Elibiary lectured the Copts after the blog appeared for attacking groups such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) because of their historic connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, and for their alignment with so-called "Islamophobes". He then called the Copts' work with "Islamophobes" and their criticism of American Islamic groups contrary to the cause of religious freedom.
The tweet specifically referenced an article in the Arabic-language online publication "Copts Today." It featured a reference to Investigative Project on Terrorism founder and Executive Director Steven Emerson discussing ISNA's extremist ties.
Pointing out ISNA's Muslim Brotherhood roots is not an attack. It's an established fact. Federal prosecutors say exhibits admitted into evidence in a Hamas-support trial show ISNA's "intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood." The federal judge in the case found "ample evidence" connecting ISNA to Muslim Brotherhood operations known as the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), the Islamic Association for Palestine and Hamas.
HLF was an Islamic charity convicted in 2008 of being a Hamas money-laundering operation.
In a 2007 op-ed, Elibiary dismissed the evidence submitted in the HLF trial as "a case largely built on associations to convict First-Amendment-protected rights." He reaffirmed his earlier position in his recent interview with journalist Ryan Mauro published by the Center for Security Policy.
ISNA tried to moderate its public image; however, it has kept radicals such as Jamal Badawi on its board of directors, and granted a 2008 community-service award to Jamal Barzinji, a founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, as well as a former ISNA board member.
Badawi has defended violent jihad including suicide bombings, the beating of women by their Muslim husbands, and has suggested that Islam is superior to secular democracy. Barzinji was named in a federal affidavit as being closely associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
Barzinji's name appears in a global phone book of Muslim Brotherhood members recovered by Italian and Swiss authorities in November 2001 from the home of Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano founder Youssef Nada, one of the leaders of the international Muslim Brotherhood. He was listed as an al-Qaida financier by the United Nations but was later removed for reasons that are unclear. His name also appeared in an address book belonging to Mousa abu Marzook, deputy director of Hamas's political bureau.
Elibiary ignores these court-tested links between ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood and casts them as conspiracies "against US Muslims 2manufacture controversies."
But Elibiary rejects just about everything dealing with the HLF case. Despite his stated opposition to Hamas, Elibiary remains a staunch apologist for the HLF.
"The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas," U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis said when he sentenced five HLF officials following sweeping convictions.
Marzook founded HLF, originally called the Occupied Land Fund, or OLF. Internal records and FBI recordings show the group was the official fundraising arm of the Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization created by the Muslim Brotherhood for Hamas-support in the United States.
Elibiary criticized federal prosecutors for releasing a list of 300 unindicted co-conspirators in the trial, including ISNA and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), because it "implicates most of the Muslim community in a wider conspiracy." Despite the verdicts, Elibiary slammed the underlying law criminalizing material support for terrorists and claimed it criminalized "traditionally innocent activities such as charity."
"We are using the Al Capone approach a lot of times in these material support cases where we're trying to get people prosecuted for one thing because of some other issue we have with them," Elibiary said at a March 2010 House Homeland Security Committee hearing. "Sometimes it's because of the lack of evidence that's available to convict them directly, as well as we have, in the Holy Land Foundation trial, lumped in a whole bunch of unindicted co-conspirators and caused a great deal of damage to community relations between law enforcement and the community.
"And then that's counterproductive, and it's a defeat for us long term as a country to increase cooperation."
Elibiary's assertion that there was "a lack of evidence" in the unanimous conviction of Hamas funders in the HLF trial speaks for itself. As for his claim that there was no evidence to designate other radical Islamist groups as un-indicted co-conspirators, both the presiding judge and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reject attempts to purge the co-conspirator list.
In defending HLF, Elibiary failed to disclose his personal ties to HLF and its convicted president, Shukri Abu Baker.
Elibiary discussed his ties to Abu Baker at length in his interview with Mauro, saying he had been involved with Abu Baker and the HLF since he was 16 years old.
Trial evidence, especially from secret FBI recordings, show that Abu Baker was a staunch Hamas supporter. He attended a 1993 meeting of Hamas activists monitored by the FBI that was called to plot ways to "derail" U.S.-led peacemaking efforts. Part of the concern was that the deal on the table would marginalize the Islamist Hamas movement. Abu Baker suggested that American Islamists should "camouflage" their work in order to be successful.
"I swear by God that war is deception. War is deception. We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart, and we never thought of deceiving it," Abu Baker said at the 1993 meeting. "Deceive your enemy.
"Yes, politics – like war – is deception."
Other exhibits showed the flow of millions of dollars from HLF to Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas. A 1991 letter to Abu Baker detailed that control. Other exhibits showed Abu Baker authorizing the wire transfers.
Despite such overwhelming evidence and Abu Baker's conviction, Elibiary accused the federal government of engaging in a "political" prosecution. Abu Baker never did anything criminal, Elibiary argued.
Only participation in active terror plots should be subject to law-enforcement scrutiny, he said in subsequent remarks.
"What the government should be working to counter is violent extremism, which is the action part or the planning for an action to do some violence because it's the violence that's illegal," Elibiary said in a March 2009 forum at the Roxbury Mosque near Boston. "Holding the viewpoints or expressing them is constitutionally protected."
So in Elibiary's view, raising money to help the families of suicide bombers and imprisoned terrorists should be considered "protected speech." That's a rather strange formulation for a man advising the federal government on homeland security.
In other Twitter posts, Elibiary claimed to understand and sympathize with the plight of the Copts. Elibiary suggested that as a Muslim, allegedly oppressed by political "Christianists," he understood what the Copts have experienced better than most Egyptians since Morsi's fall.
But no Christians are seeking a jizya from American Muslims. And no Christian groups are rampaging through Muslim communities, torching mosques and beating Muslims along the way. That's the reality Copts endure in Egypt. The situation faced by Copts in Egypt is akin to that faced by blacks in America in the era of Jim Crow laws, when they were denied equal protection under the law.
"It is not Anti #Copt when I welcome fair analysis encouraging US #Copts 2 stop working w/ #Islamophobes 2attack American Muslim Ldrs & orgs," Elibiary tweeted on Sept. 15 in defense of his attacks on Coptic activism in the U.S.
He mentions the church burnings in an Aug. 20 tweet in which he thanks the Washington Post for publishing an account by an anonymous "high-ranking Western official" denying the Muslim Brotherhood's involvement.
"… Sad what copts experiencing & I'm aware also MB condemned," Elibiary tweeted on Aug. 18.
Yet an Aug. 14 memo that appeared on the Facebook page of a local office of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party appeared to give its blessing to church burnings and other attacks.
"Burning houses of worship is a crime. And for the Church to adopt a war against Islam and Muslims is the worst crime. For every action is a reaction," the memo said.
Elibiary's defense of extremist ideologies and figures raise questions about his judgment and fitness for the advisory position he currently holds that he and administration officials refuse to answer.http://www.investigativeproject.org/4184/coptic-leaders-condemn-obama-adviser-anti-coptic