John Foust, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Virginia, has received campaign support from three men who have been investigated for ties to terrorist groups and another man who allegedly defrauded Medicare, while he has spoken at campaign events for a Muslim leader who once endorsed “the jihad way.”
Foust, a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is running against Barbara Comstock, a state delegate, to replace retiring Republican Rep. Frank Wolf.
When the federal government carried out Operation Green Quest in 2002, it investigated Jamal Barzinji, Yaqub Mirza, and Hisham al Talib for having ties to terrorist groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and al Qaeda through their Herndon, Virginia-based businesses and their non-profit organizations, which included the Safa Trust and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).
Together, the trio have given the Foust campaign $12,050 so far this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
They and their organizations have also been flagged by watchers of Islamist groups as having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to organizations that are alleged to have supported Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.
In 2012, Barzinji received a lifetime achievement award from the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. And in 2008 and 2011 respectively, Barzinji and al-Talib received community service awards from the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA.
Both of those groups were unindicted co-conspirators of the federal case against the Holy Land Foundation in which the organization was found to have provided support to Hamas.
IIIT also had dealings with Sami al-Arian, a former University of South Florida professor who pled guilty to providing support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which was designated as a terrorist group in 1997.
According to Foreign Policy and numerous other outlets, IIIT has affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood. A former trustee at IIIT, Ishaq Ahmad Farhan, was a co-founder of Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.
IIIT was also mentioned in a 1991 memo written by suspected Muslim Brotherhood organizer Mohamed Akram which included a “list of our organizations or organizations of our friends.” In that memo, Akram laid out the North American agenda for the Muslim Brotherhood and spoke of embarking on a “kind of grand Jihad” whose goal should be “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”
And in 2012, al Talib and another IIIT associate met then-Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. During the meeting, Morsi expressed his familiarity with and appreciation for IIIT.
The men were cleared of criminal wrongdoing following the Operation Green Quest investigation, and their supporters have denied the men or their groups have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Others have pointed out that the U.S. government has worked at times with the Brotherhood in the past.
Another Foust donor has run afoul of law enforcement, albeit for different reasons.
Mubashar Choudry, a Maryland-based cardiologist, and two of his partners at Advanced Cardiology Center agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a Medicare fraud case in February of this year.
Their scheme involved double-billing Medicare for nuclear stress tests from 2007 to 2011.
Foust is not just a recipient of support from the embattled; he has also lent help to others with sordid histories.
In April 2009, Foust attended a state assembly campaign kickoff for Esam Omeish, a Virginia-based physician who was the president of the Muslim American Society between 2004 and 2008.
Foust spoke at the event, but Omeish ultimately lost the election.
Omeish was in the national spotlight less than two years before when, in Sept. 2007, the Muslim leader was forced to resign a position with a Virginia state immigration council after videos of extreme speeches he had given in 2000 came to light.
In those speeches, Omeish embraced “the jihad way” and praised the Palestinian fight against Israel.
“We the Muslims of the Washington metropolitan area are here today…to tell our brothers and sisters in Philistine [Palestine] that you have learned the way, that you have known that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land,” Omeish told a crowd, which included protesters holding signs equating the Star of David to a Nazi swastika.
At a rally months before in Oct. 2000, Omeish praised an intifada the Palestinians had begun waging against Israel, saying, “We need to congratulate our brothers and sisters in Philistine [Palestine] for their bravery, for their giving up their lives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Al-Aqsa.”
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which published the videos, Omeish was referring to the Al-Aqsa intifada, a deadly campaign which began in Sept. 2000 in which numerous Palestinian suicide bombings occurred.
And at a 2004 speech in Overland Park, Kan., Omeish praised Ahmed Yassin, one of the founders of Hamas, the Investigative Project on Terrorism found.
“Bullets and bombs are going off upon our brothers in Philistine [Palestine] and we are sitting here and saying [Arabic phrase], instead of feeling that this is our tax money and it is our dollars that killed our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin,” said Omeish.
Yassin was killed in a targeted airstrike carried out by Israeli forces in March 2004.
After his resignation, Omeish denied calling for violence in the speeches.
The Daily Caller reached out to the Foust campaign in regards to the donations from Barzinji, Mirza, and al Talib.
The campaign gave no indication it planned to return the men’s donations, as other Democrats, such as Virginia U.S. Rep. Jim Moran and Indiana U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, have done in the past.
“The sketchy insinuations being pushed on Barbara Comstock’s behalf are, of course, totally false,” Foust campaign manager Shaun Daniels told TheDC.
Daniels did point out in his comments to TheDC that the men have contributed to Republicans as well, including former state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli and the Republican Party of Virginia.
The campaign did not respond to requests for comment pertaining to the other activities.