A bill to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization appears to be on a fast track on Capitol Hill, clearing important committees and gaining new backers each day – including now even Democrats. The legislation is expected to pass a floor vote later this year, possibly teeing it up for a President Donald Trump to sign into law next year.
WNDThe number of House co-sponsors of The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act has mushroomed from 28 in February to 49 as of the end of April. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., now officially has bipartisan support, with two Democrats signing on as co-sponsors: Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
In a key development, the House Judiciary Committee recently voted, 17-10, to send the bill to the House floor. Though it’s not clear when a full chamber vote will be held, the GOP leadership under House Speaker Paul Ryan supports the legislation.
Meanwhile, a companion bill introduced in the Senate by former presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, now has five key co-sponsors: Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; and Jerry Moran, R-Kan. Johnson chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee and is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Hatch and Cruz sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is expected to mark the bill up. It will also need support from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., where it is currently stalled.
If enacted, the legislation would freeze Brotherhood assets and effectively outlaw its front groups, which number in the hundreds inside America.
U.S. organizations identified in the text of the bill as radical Muslim Brotherhood front groups, citing U.S. Justice Department criminal court documents, include: the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust and the Muslim American Society. In effect, CAIR, ISNA, NAIT and MAS would be designated as foreign terrorist organizations with enactment of the bill.
Already, the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The UAE has specifically designated Washington-based CAIR and MAS as terrorist organizations.
Brotherhood entities in America have raised millions of dollars for the terrorist group Hamas. The most famous case involving Hamas terror-financing was the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial in 2008, which ended in convictions and imprisonment of several of its leaders.
FBI case agents across the country have found elements of the Brotherhood showing up in virtually every terrorism case they have worked, including the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombings.
The pro-jihad Brotherhood gave rise to Hamas and al-Qaiea, and shares ideology with ISIS.
Formally designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization would not only deny U.S. admission to any foreign national tied to it, but force banks to block financial transactions related to it. What’s more, it would make it a crime for any person in the U.S. to provide material support to the Brotherhood.
This, in turn, would criminalize the hundreds of Brotherhood front groups – as well as mosques – in the U.S. that the FBI says secretly support and finance terrorism. It would allow the agency to use racketeering and conspiracy laws to put them all out of business, while turning off a major spigot of jihadi funding flowing in the American Muslim community.
The bill explicitly identifies several mainstream, supposedly “moderate” U.S. Muslim organizations as Brotherhood entities, and cites evidence tying them to the Brotherhood and its Palestinian terrorist wing Hamas.
“Federal prosecutors implicated a number of prominent United States-Islamic organizations in this conspiracy, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),” the text of the Senate bill states.
The mandate of these organizations, per the International Muslim Brotherhood, was to support Hamas.” The FBI says the Brotherhood’s goal in the U.S., according to secret documents that agents uncovered after 9/11, is to carry out a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying (America) from within.” Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has testified that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”
Even so, the Obama administration continues to claim the Brotherhood is a “moderate” group and meet with its leaders, even inviting them to the White House.