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The Faisal Gill Affair

By Greg L | 9 January 2007 | 51st HOD District | 20 Comments

Based on some of the comments in the post Grave Concerns Over Faisal Gill, it seems that it’s necessary to walk readers through what has become known as “The Faisal Gill Affair” and what we’ve learned from it.

In March of 2004, Faisal Gill was questioned regarding his failure to disclose his work as the spokesman for the American Muslim Council and Director of Governmental Affairs for the Islamic Institute on SF 86, the form used to request a security clearance. The American Muslim Council was founded by convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi, an open supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. The Islamic Institute, founded by Grover Norquist and financed by Alamoudi, was shut down for it’s links to radical islamist organizations. The way the security questionairre issue sorted out was that Gill was determined to be in some sort of technical compliance because at the time he wasn’t actually an employee of the American Muslim Council or the Islamic Institute, but a contractor working for “AG Consulting Group” which was headed by a Mr. Asim Ghafoor.

Many have focused on the relationship between the American Muslim Council and Faisal Gill, and that in itself is deeply disturbing. Regardless of the wisdom of granting a security clearance to someone associated with the AMC and the Islamic Institute one has to question why anyone would want to associate with these organization in any way. Prior to September 11th, the AMC’s website maintained a link urging Muslims not to speak with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The Islamic Institute was headed by Khaled Saffuri, who actively supported families of suicide bombers in Israel. The Islamic Institute provided breifings to Grover Norquist’s weekly gatherings on the topics of how the Islamic government of Sudan (a designated state sponsor of terrorism) is misunderstood and the selection process for Muslim chaplains in the U.S. Armed Forces over which they exerted significant influence. The agenda of the AMC and the Islamic Institute wasn’t exactly hidden, and a voluntary association with the organization, while not necessarily a disabling factor for granting a security clearance, ceratainly lends credence to the notion that Faisal Gill is supportive of this sort of agenda.

The more significant questions in this affair regard Faisal Gill’s relationship with Mr. Asim Ghafoor. Mr. Ghafoor is a noted advocate of imposing sharia law in the United States, as was noted in my previous post. According to a letter from U.S. Senators Charles Grassley and John Kyl,

“According to public records, Mr. Ghafoor has worked (primarily as a spokesman or attorney) for, with or otherwise in association with individuals and groups whom the United States government has stated are involved in, or suspected of supporting terrorism:

- Global Relief Foundation (GRF), whose assets were frozen by the Treasury Department in December of 2001;

- Committee to Free Rabih Haddad, an organization supporting Mr. Haddad, who was deported [in 2003] and whom the Treasury Department called a senior official with and co-founder of GRF, as well as a member of the Makhtab al-Khidamat (MAK), a precursor to Al Qaeda that was designarted as a foreign terrorist organization;

- Care International in Boston, allegedly affiliated with the Al Kifah Refugee Center, whose Brooklyn branch was named by prosecutors as the origin of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and

- World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), an organization incorporated in Falls Church, Virginia by a nephew of Osama Bin Laden, whose offices were raided by federal agents in June of 2004, and whose offices in Pakistan Pakistan were raised in November of 2001.”

Mr. Asim Ghafoor is now Faisal Gill’s law partner. Mr. Norquist, who apparently intervened in the Bush White House on Faisal Gill’s behalf, and with whom he remains closely associated, has a deeply disturbing history of supporting radical islamic causes. Faisal Gill was one of perhaps a dozen people in the leadership of both the Islamic Institute and the American Muslim Council, and had frequent contact with folks like Khaled Saffuri and Abdurahman Alamoudi. And when Alamoudi went on a trip to, let’s say Beirut, in order to participate in a conference with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al-Quaeda, during the period that Faisal Gill was acting in the capacity of spokesman for the Islamic Institute that Alamoudi was leading, perhaps Faisal Gill knew nothing of it. But that really is asking for an astonishing degree of incompetence and inattention from Faisal Gill — one fault I generally wouldn’t ascribe to him.

In the end Faisal Gill retained his position and his security clearance, apparently with the help of a lot of pressure from Grover Norquist and a convenient technical distinction between being an employee of the Islamic Institute and being a contractor. I’m certain that Faisal Gill will trot out documentation that shows that the Department of Homeland Security found no evidence to revoke Faisal Gill’s security clearance or remove him from his position as Policy Director in the Department of Homeland Security. That documentation will perhaps be valuable in determining Mr. Gill’s fitness for a security clearance, subject to the degree of political influence that was weilded in order to force that conclusion. What it won’t do is provide any useful information for voters seeking answers about why Faisal Gill was associated with such unsavory characters in the first place. Nor will it answer questions about why he continues to associate with some of these same unsavory characters to this very day.

Just on this alone, does anyone think that with such a history that Faisal Gill is remotely electable?

References:

Michelle Malkin: “Who Is Fasal Gill“, “Who Is Fasal Gill 2“, “Who Is Fasal Gill 3
Salon.com “How Secure Is The Department of Homeland Security?
Frank Gaffney, “A Troubling Influence”
Free Republic: “Grover Norquist’s Strange Alliance With Radical Islam”
American Spectator: “Eyes Wide Shut”
United States Senate Finance Committee, letter to the DHS Inspector General

UPDATE: GoodbyeJim has an interesting follow-up where they make this observation: “Thus the Libyans were indirectly paying Faisal Gill’s salary, or at least part of it.” Ouch.



The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

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20 Comments

  1. James Young said on 9 Jan 2007 at 1:26 pm:
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    After Bill Clinton, is ANYBODY “unelectable”?

  2. 10thdistrictrepublican said on 9 Jan 2007 at 1:48 pm:
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    I have said this before and this does not pertain to Gill himself in particular but I am definitely not comfortable with some of the social conservative relationships with these Muslim groups. Even the dems gave back their money from these type of organizations.

  3. James Young said on 9 Jan 2007 at 4:41 pm:
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    Gee, “10thdistrictrepublican,” then I suppose you must be very upset with Sean Connaughton’s relationship with such groups.

  4. 10thdistrictrepublican said on 9 Jan 2007 at 5:00 pm:
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    I have said it once and I’ll clarify it again James, I am NOT pleased with ANY Republican or Democrats relationships with these groups. I am especially disappointed with the social conservative relationships with the groups because they should know better.

  5. Jonathan Mark said on 9 Jan 2007 at 10:23 pm:
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    “”"Gee, “10thdistrictrepublican,” then I suppose you must be very upset with Sean Connaughton’s relationship with such groups. “”"

    What relationship with what groups? With the American Muslim Council? CAIR? The Safa Group? What has Connaughton done or not done?

  6. AWCheney said on 9 Jan 2007 at 11:36 pm:
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    Mr. Mark, James Young has a tendency to be obsessed with Sean Connaughton…you must forgive him. If he could somehow link Sean to the tragedy of 9/11, without seeming more absurd than he already does, he would most certainly have done so.

  7. charles said on 10 Jan 2007 at 12:11 am:
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    Greg.

    What evidence to you have to support the allegation that Grover Norquist lobbied the White house on Faisel’s behalf, or your claim that the dismissal of all the allegations was due to political influence?

    It’s easy enough to say it, but none of your sources have any actual facts to back up those allegations. So what is your evidence, or are you simply repeating things and making stuff up?

  8. charles said on 10 Jan 2007 at 12:13 am:
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    The distinction as to who is your employer is not a technical one, but a factual one. The form requires you to list your employers, and to list someone who is NOT your employer would be wrong.

    As I said in the other thread, democrats aren’t going after Faisel for being a muslim, so it won’t be a problem, unless bigoted republicans do the job for them.

  9. Denny Daugherty said on 10 Jan 2007 at 1:22 am:
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    Some commenters seem to put a lot of weight on the fact that conservative journalist Michele Malkin wrote critically of Faisal Gill. I encourage you to check the dates of the three Malkin writings–all 2004 before the completion of the Inspector General’s investigation that exonerated Gill of the accusations she repeated.

    Malkin can be excused for reporting allegations before they were disproved. There is no excuse for BVBL repeating the accusations after they have been investigated and found erroneous. Incredibly Greg ignores the conclusions of a federal inspector general by asserting, without evidence, that the I.G. caved into political pressure. Anyone familiar with the inspector general system knows that it was designed for the very purpose of insuring freedom from political pressure.

    Basically Greg is blaming Faisal for accepting a contract to work for the successors of a man who later committed a serious crime. Faisal tells me he had little contact with Mr. Alamoudi, who had moved on to other interests. Not surprisingly, he was not so clairvoyant as to know, before accepting the position, that one day the founder of the organization would engage in a criminal act. As noted by many others, this is guilt by association taken to the extreme.

  10. Citizen Tom said on 10 Jan 2007 at 6:18 am:
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    FOX News provided reports on this affair. FOX’s coverage post dates Greg’s primary references, and no news agency of note has had much to say about this subject since then.

    I have links to FOX’s articles on web site. http://www.citizentom.com/2007/01/more-on-the-trial-of-faisal-gill-in.html

  11. 10thdistrictrepublican said on 10 Jan 2007 at 1:04 pm:
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    I would like to here what Malkin thinks about Gill now. In my opinion there are way too many questions than answers. A Gill nomination would appear to guarantee the dems an extra seat in the GA with all the controversy and potential past baggage. Any association with Norquist is not good at this point with the questions that surround him as well. These questions are important because this will be nothing compared to the barrage of questions he will be recieving from the Dems if he is nominated. Is this fair? Probably not, but this is politics as usual.

  12. Citizen Tom said on 10 Jan 2007 at 2:21 pm:
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    10thdistrictrepublican — You might want to consider the difference between smoke produced to make a smoke screen and smoke produced when your house is on fire. In one case the smoke is produced in order to make a fool of you. In the other case, you need to take proper notice.

  13. 10thdistrictrepublican said on 10 Jan 2007 at 3:12 pm:
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    Citizen Tom,

    If you are implying I am a “fool” than you are sorely mistaken. I definitely know the “history” here. This is NOTHING like the scrutiny you will see when the dems get ahold of him. If name calling is the best you can do than you guys are in for a long hard road.

  14. Citizen Tom said on 10 Jan 2007 at 6:39 pm:
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    10thdistrictrepublican — Don’t be so sensitive. One does not have to be a fool to be fooled.

    The world is full of smudge pots. I fear we all have one. Sometime we blow smoke to confuse others; sometime we blow smoke to hide the truth from ourselves. I suspect only a saint has the courage to go without a smoke screen, but only God can see the world as it is.

    Frankly, I think we have more important things to worry about than the scrutiny we will see from the Democrats. Even where there is nothing to find, as in this case, many of them will find something. Too many Democrats, no matter how sterling the reputation of our candidate, will thoroughly convince themselves they have found something. If our candidate is a conservative Republican, won’t that be all the proof they need?

  15. James Young said on 10 Jan 2007 at 7:12 pm:
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    Mr. Mark, you will perhaps forgive an “inside baseball” reference to which you were not privy. In May 2004, Connaughton attempted to pack a room with — among others — many Muslims who had never participated in GOP activities in order to hijack the Prince William County GOP Committee, in anticipation of his run for Lieutenant Governor, because some local Republican leaders were not sufficiently enthusiastic about his statewide ambitions.

    Why someone claiming to be as well-informed as the Anke Cheney would dismiss this as “a tendency to be obsessed with Sean Connaughton” merely demonstrates that she is not so well-informed as she pretends to be.

    [Ed note: post has been edited]

  16. James Young said on 10 Jan 2007 at 7:15 pm:
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    It also demonstrates the absurdity of guilt-by-association tactics by applying them in a like manner. Obviously, irony is lost on Anke.

    [Ed note: post has been edited]

  17. Some Answers? « Virginia Virtucon said on 10 Jan 2007 at 8:47 pm:
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    […] January 10, 2007 Posted by Riley, Not O’Reilly in 2007 Elections, Prince William County Politics. trackback Recently, Greg L. over on Black Velvet Bruce Li has raised some concerns over Faisal Gill, apotential GOP candidate for the open 51st House of Delegates District.  Faisal has provided Virtucon with copies of some documents that may help provide answers to at least some of the questions that Greg has raised. […]

  18. AWCheney said on 10 Jan 2007 at 9:41 pm:
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    “In May 2004, Connaughton attempted to pack a room with — among others — many Muslims who had never participated in GOP activities in order to hijack the Prince William County GOP Committee,…”

    These wouldn’t, by any chance, be the same Muslim-Americans that Bob FitzSimmonds used to pack the PWCRC Convention when he was last seeking the nomination for the 29th Senate District seat, would it? Insofar as your obsession with Sean Connaughton James…that falls under the heading of “common knowledge” for anyone that has ever read a blog upon which you have commented. I really don’t think that you would want to see some of your comments on that subject quoted here…it might be a little embarrassing.

    [Ed Note: comment edited]

  19. James Young said on 10 Jan 2007 at 10:24 pm:
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    Greg, if you’re going to edit my comments, please do so well. You forgot to remove an article: “the.” ;-)

  20. James Young said on 11 Jan 2007 at 12:48 pm:
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    I wouldn’t know, AWCheney, since I was not at that convention.  I have no reason to question your assertion. Once again, however, you miss the point, which is to reject the guilt by association rhetoric here. By your example, if true, you demonstrate the folly and danger of such behavior, as well as your inability to understand the point.

    And BTW, there is a rather large difference between “common knowledge” and a “common course of conduct,” or “talking points.” What you cite as “common knowledge” of my purported “obsession with Sean Connaughton” is more properly understood as the common excuse of those among Connaughton sycophants who lack a better answer to my criticisms of his policies, illicit practices, and overweening ambition. Indeed, the only point in citing him as an example is in the fact that it is my impression that his sycophants are among the same people attacking Faisal Gill — indeed, likely because of his role as a leader in the Taxpayers Alliance — and yet probably overlook like behavior.

    [Ed note: comment has been edited.]

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