White House visitor records show that administration officials have hosted numerous White House meetings with a series of U.S.-based Muslim political groups that have close ties to jihadi groups and push to reduce anti-terrorism investigations.
The visits were discovered by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which compared the Obama White House’s visitor records with its database of Islamist advocacy groups.
For example, the records show that officials from the Council on American Islamic Relations have visited the White House 20 times, according to the organization’s report.
Members of CAIR were invited to the White House, even though an April 2009 FBI statement said the bureau “does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner” because of its ties to the Hamas jihadi group.
Administration officials also invited Syrian-born Louay Safi to the White House twice in 2011, even though he had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in two terrorism cases, and had been barred from Fort Hood following the 2009 jihadi attack by a Muslim U.S. Army major.
In contrast, White House officials have not invited Zuhdi Jasser, an Arizona-based, American-born moderate Muslim and former Navy officer.
“We’ve never been invited and nether have any of [the 24 leaders in] our American Islamic Leadership Coalition,” Jasser told The Daily Caller.
The absence of invitations to real Muslim moderates allows White House officials to pretend that members of the well-funded, U.S.-based radical group are moderates, even when they’re linked to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, he said.
Jasser’s nonpartisan coalition includes left-wing and feminist Muslims who are frequently criticized by the groups invited to the White House, he said.
“The White House has selectively omitted genuine [Muslim] moderates and instead has picked radical Muslims to meet,” said a statement from Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The closed-door White House meetings legitimize the radicals, but do not bring them into the mainstream, Emerson told TheDC.
“The American public has a right to know why the White House is meeting with Hamas front groups,” he added.
The visitor logs show that many of the Muslim advocates met with coalition-building officials in the White House, rather than with national security officials. The officials they met with include Paul Monteiro, the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Amanda Brown, assistant to the then-White House director of political affairs Patrick Gaspard.
Gaspard is now the executive director of the Democratic National Committee.
The White House’s Secret Service guards do not veto invites from White House officials, but merely tell the officials if the guests will be arrested on existing charges if they arrive at the gates.
The meetings were likely intended to boost the president’s nationwide effort to bind often-rivaling constituency groups into the Democratic Party’s diversity coalition.
That disparate coalition already includes groups claiming to represent environmentalists, blue-collar workers, immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, gun-control advocates, Jews, gays, tort lawyers and many others.
In April, White House officials invited members of the National Network for Arab American Communities to a White House meeting.
“Our issues are American issues that affect our entire nation … and we will ensure that our community’s voice is at the forefront of public debates around healthcare, immigration and national security reform,” Linda Sarsour, NNAAC’s national advocacy director, said in an April press release.
Sarsour has been a White House visitor on seven different occasions. Her network includes 23 separate member associations, including the Illinois-based Arab American Action Network.
That group’s director, Hatem Abudayyeh, has been under criminal investigation at least since late 2010, when FBI agents raided his home as part of an investigation into terror-related financing.
Abudayyeh visited the White House in April 2010, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s study.