Barak Obama’s Muslim outreach adviser is under fire for meeting with Islamic groups with extremist views, just months after her predecessor resigned for links to a radical cleric.
Minha Husaini met with members of several Islamic organizations in Virginia on September 15 — including some that terrorism experts say have ties to Hamas and the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
Among the attendees were senior members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which was listed by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror-related trial.
Several people connected to CAIR have been convicted of felonies — including on terrorism-related charges.
CAIR bills itself as the nation’s largest Muslim civil-rights advocacy group. As recently as last year, it advised the Transportation Security Administration on sensitivity training regarding Muslim air travelers. Nihad Awad, a CAIR co-founder and executive director, met with President Bush in the aftermath of 9/11.
But critics say CAIR has a long history of masquerading as a moderate Islamic group.
“These groups, even if they themselves are not active terrorist organizations, do subscribe to large amounts of the ideology that fuels the terrorism that we are being confronted with,” said Andrew McCarthy, former Assistant U.S. Attorney.
CAIR did not return repeated calls for comment.
Awad, who was at the September meeting with Husaini, recently attended a dinner with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Also present at the Sept. 15 meeting was Mahdi Bray, who has publicly announced his support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Bray, the executive director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, raised his fist in the air during a rally in Washington in October 2000 to demonstrate his support for the terror groups.
Bray refused to comment on the recent gathering. “It was a closed meeting,” he told FOX News.
Johari Abdul Malik, imam of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Va., also participated in the meeting. During a conference in Chicago in 2001, he told attendees, “You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work.” In November 2004 he told followers, “You will see Islam move from being the second largest religion in America — to being the first religion in America.”
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign would not have sent a representative to the meeting had it known the list of participants.
“This meeting was not organized by the campaign — our outreach staff attends many meetings in the course of each day and they accepted an invitation from community leaders to attend,” LaBolt told FOX News in a written statement.
The Obama campaign’s previous Muslim outreach advisor, Mazen Asbahi — who stepped down in August following reports he was linked to a radical imam — also attended the meeting.
In a brief telephone conversation, Asbahi refused to discuss why he was at the meeting or whom he was representing.
According to LaBolt, “[Asbahi] is not an employee of the campaign and does not speak on behalf of the campaign.”