a short course, part 15

Penetration of the US Government:
A Case Study


Ikhwan Operative Gains Access Through Clinton Administration

One of the most successful Muslim Brotherhood influence operations in support of the phased plan that has been uncovered to date involved arguably the Ikhwan’s preeminent figure in America during the 1990s: Abdurahman Alamoudi. His is a tale of a sustained effort to penetrate and compromise both Democratic and Republican administrations and their partisan organizations.

Alamoudi immigrated from Eritrea in 1979 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1996. During the 1990s, he parlayed his role as founder and executive director of the American Muslim Council (AMC) and his involvement with nearly two-dozen other Muslim organizations in this country into entrée to the White House itself.

This access afforded Alamoudi various opportunities for mounting influence operations against the Clinton administration. According to multiple sources, in 1995, Alamoudi helped President Clinton and the ACLU develop a presidential guideline entitled “Religious Expression in Public School.” In November of that year, Alamoudi and 23 other Muslim leaders met with President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

On December 8, Clinton’s National Security Adviser, Anthony Lake, met with Alamoudi and several other AMC Board members. On February 8, 1996, First Lady Hillary Clinton penned a newspaper column based on talking points provided by Alamoudi. Later that month, Mrs. Clinton asked AMC to draw up a guest list for a reception marking the end of Ramadan that was to be held at the White House.

Alamoudi also parlayed his access at the highest levels of the U.S. government into the lead role in establishing the Muslim Chaplain Program for the Department of Defense, and then serving as the certifying authority for Muslim chaplains serving U.S. servicemen and women. He was also the founder and leader of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council (AMAFVAC).

In 1993, the Defense Department certified AMAFVAC as one of two organizations (the other was the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences) authorized to approve and endorse Muslim chaplains.

From about 1993 to 1998, the Pentagon would retain Alamoudi on an unpaid basis to nominate and approve Muslim chaplain candidates for the U.S. military. Among the chaplains Alamoudi hired was James Yee, who was arrested in 2003 by the U.S. government on charges he was supporting the jihadis detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


The Muslim men working with Yee at Guantanamo, uniformed and contract employees (linguists), were all convicted on charges including mishandling classified information and espionage.

Infiltrating Republican activists and the Bush Administration

In 1998, Alamoudi provided at least $20,000 in checks enabling Republican activist Grover Norquist to establish what would become a Muslim Brotherhood front organization targeted at penetrating GOP circles and the campaign of then-Governor George W. Bush.

The new entity was called the Islamic Free Market Institute (better known as the Islamic Institute, or II).  Alamoudi also detailed his long-time deputy, Khaled Saffuri, to serve as II’s first executive director, with Norquist as the Chairman of the Board.

As a result of these connections, Alamoudi was among a group of Muslim Brotherhood operatives who were invited on May 1, 2000 to meet with Bush in the Texas governor’s mansion. Saffuri was designated the Bush campaign’s Muslim outreach coordinator and Norquist assisted another prominent Brother, Sami al-Arian, to obtain a commitment from Candidate Bush that, if elected, he would prohibit the use of classified intelligence evidence in deportation proceedings. This was a priority for al-Arian since his brother-in-law was being held at the time by federal immigration authorities on the basis of such evidence.

After the election, a member of the Islamic Institute’s board of directors has myriad and longstanding connections to other Muslim Brotherhood organizations, Suhail Khan, was appointed to be the gatekeeper for the Muslim community in the White House Office of Public Liaison. Such relationships and placements afforded the Ikhwan unprecedented opportunities for influence operations against the U.S. government, especially after 9/11.

‘We are all supporters of Hamas’

Unfortunately for Alamoudi, his own ability directly to exploit such opportunities had by that time been irreparably damaged by his appearance at an anti-Israel rally outside the White House in October 2000. On that occasion, he carelessly gave the game away, when he declared on video:

“I have been labeled … as being a supporter of Hamas. Anybody supporters of Hamas here? [Roars of approval from the crowd.] We are all supporters of Hamas. [More roars.] I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. [More roars.]”

Alamoudi arrested as part of assassination plot

Then, in 2003, Alamoudi was arrested at Heathrow Airport (UK) on his way back from Libya with $340,000 in cash given to him by Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi for jihad. The money was to be used to underwrite a plot involving two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives intending to assassinate Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Alamoudi was extradited to the United States where, in the Eastern District of Virginia, he pled guilty to and was convicted of terrorism-related charges. He was proven to be a senior al Qaeda financier, who moved at least $1 million dollars to the terrorist organization. Alamoudi had also been caught on recorded conversations supporting acts of terrorism, terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hizbollah, and clearly stated his objective of making America a Muslim nation. Alamoudi is now serving a 23-year sentence in federal prison.

Before his fall, Abdurahman Alamoudi was one of the leaders of the global Islamic Movement and one of its most successful influence operatives. His arrest and conviction should have sent shock waves through the U.S. intelligence community, particularly its counterintelligence units, since Alamoudi’s blown cover provided a reality check on the extent of shariah’s stealth jihad in this country, and how badly we have been penetrated.

Here was, after all, proof that an al Qaeda and Hamas operative had enjoyed access to the most senior levels of the American government. Thanks to that access, he was allowed – among other things – to create and run the program for selecting and placing members of his team to proselytize as Muslim chaplains in what can be the two most lucrative target populations for jihadist recruiters: the U.S. military and imprisoned felons.

Far from regarding the Alamoudi revelations as a wake-up call, however, administrations of both parties transferred his responsibilities for the chaplains to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in this country.

In the absence of a serious effort to understand the true nature of shariah and the determined campaign being mounted to insinuate it into this country, together with an aggressive counter-intelligence operation aimed at defeating such influence and penetration operations, it is predictable that the next Alamoudi will be able to do vastly more damage than did the original.