Going Undercover in the Muslim Brotherhood

By Machla Abramovitz
CAIR official Zahra Billoo outside the Supreme Court (Source: Lorie Shaull/Flickr)

 

President Donald Trump’s plan to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist entity, in much the same way as he has Iran’s IRGC is currently making its way through the political process.  Whether he will succeed, remains to be seen.  As well, the issue of CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood gained prominence earlier this month when the controversial newly elected Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar denigrated the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attack by cavalierly describing it as “Some people did something” at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) event, an organization with which she is closely affiliated. 
In light of these events, as well as the Democratic Black Caucus’ association with antisemite Louis Farrakhan, of which they remain unapologetic – the Black Caucus and CAIR are closely aligned – convinced me to dust off an article I wrote for Ami Magazine in 2012 on CAIR, based on documents covertly retrieved by operatives planted within the Virginia based organization.  Gaubatz, who directed the undercover operation, agreed to be interviewed and very generous with his time.  He sent me a copy of his book titled, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret, Underworld Conspiring to Islamize America, the product of his surveillance enterprise.  During our interview, he offered insight into an organization that was, for the most part, whitewashed by the Obama administration, much to the chagrin of moderate Muslims who insist that CAIR does not speak for them.  As an interesting aside, in 2012, when the article was written, the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia still seemed closely aligned financially and ideologically.  Since then, the Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia have become bitter enemies, as exemplified by the murder of the pro-Brotherhood journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Going Undercover

 

When the call went out for volunteers to shred a basement-full of documents and memos, a collective groan was heard. Spending weeks feeding papers into a tiny shredder all day long was hardly what these young, bright-eyed Islamic interns had signed up for at the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR). There was one hand, however, that shot up eagerly — that of Dawud (David) Marshall a tall, stocky, 29-year-old with big blue eyes and smoothly groomed blond hair. His manner was soft-spoken and respectful, and since arriving a few days earlier, he showed a passion and willingness to do whatever it took to benefit the ummah.

The top personnel at CAIR had high hopes for this newly- converted, or as they put it “reverted” (according to Islam one reverts to an original state of purity) Islamic recruit. He came very highly recommended. Khalid Iqbal, then director of operations at CAIR’s Hendon, Virginia offices, had personally vouched for his intelligence and enthusiasm. Iqbal had gotten to know Marshall well—they often prayed together at an Islamic think-tank across the street from CAIR—and had taken him under his wing. Two office interns, women—also “reverts”— also enthusiastically added their endorsement and clearly could not wait for him to arrive. One could see at a glance that their assessment was correct. Dawud was all one could wish for in a soldier for Allah. He was a Salafi purist, a true believer.

However, David Marshall and the two female interns weren’t believers; they were part of a covert six-month operation aimed at exposing the real face of CAIR. David Marshall was Chris Gaubatz, the son of Paul David (Dave) Gaubatz, a highly decorated military officer in charge of the operation. What they uncovered regarding CAIR’s nefarious activities was astonishing, and clearly implicated the Obama administration that was cavalierly consorting with terrorists in the White House.

As an intern assigned to CAIR’s civil rights department, Dawud took his responsibilities seriously. He meticulously recorded the concerns of Muslim callers, researched background materials and forwarded significant information to his superior. Now, faced with a roomful of papers needing shredding, Dawud worked with equal diligence. Among the clearly labeled boxes, he noted the name Nahil Awad, founder and executive director of CAIR, as well other CAIR executives. Inside the boxes were confidential internal memos, agendas, long-term goals, wire transfers, and bank statements, as well as a slew of other documents. Dawud smiled. Allah was indeed good.

Removing the documents from the premises was not difficult. Every Friday, the intern carried out a boxful of pamphlets and reading material with the blessings of CAIR’s top leadership, which he distributed among local mosques. At one of his stopovers, Dawud met Imam Abdul Alim Musa, a follower of a radical Islamic cleric who had publicly declared that by the year 2050 Islam would rule the world, a belief considered by some to be the “sixth pillar of Islam.” Not to be outdone, Imam Musa, who runs the Masjid Al-Islam on A Street, openly praised suicide bombers and called for treason against the US government. Another of Dawud’s destinations was the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center of Falls Church, Virginia, where some of the 9/11 hijackers received support. In 2000, Esam Omeish, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood and founder of the Muslim American Society, hired the late terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki as its imam. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) records, Omeish met with top Obama officials three times at the White House.The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is currently under FBI surveillance.

These mosques, though, were not Dawud’s primary destinations. After completing his outreach tasks, he directed his Toyota Tercel across the Potomac to meet up with the leader of this covert operation, his father Dave, who stockpiled the carefully selected documents Dawud handed over. “Chris brought me the smoking guns linking this nation’s preeminent Islamic lobby group to terrorism, fraud, and sedition,” Gaubatz told Ami in an exclusive interview, speaking from his Roanoke, Virginia office.

Gaubatz is a counterintelligence, and counterterrorism expert who spent 15 years as a special agent with the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigation. He held the government’s highest security clearances, including Top Secret SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information). His recently published book, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret, Underworld Conspiring to Islamize America, coauthored with Paul Sperry is based on documentation uncovered during this covert operation. The book exposes CAIR as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood, a view shared by the FBI. Since the book’s release, Gaubatz received several death threats. He currently trains law enforcement personnel in counterintelligence and counterterrorism techniques.

His involvement with this project came about through Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy and former Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. In 2007, Gaffney approached Gaubatz with a proposal: Would he be interested in sending operatives undercover inside CAIR’s national headquarters? Some months earlier, the US government filed an action against the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in the US, for allegedly supporting Hamas. At the hearings, an FBI agent testified that CAIR was a “member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee,” and that its leaders “listed as individual [Hamas] members.”

This was not the first time they collaborated. About two years earlier Gaubatz joined Gaffney’s Mapping Sharia Project: its objective was to ascertain whether a correlation existed between highly sharia-adherent mosques and political violence committed in the name of Islam. Given his career credentials, Gaubatz, now 53, was the perfect candidate for that job. He spoke Arabic and was intimately familiar with Muslim customs, having spent two years in the Middle East, primarily Iraq. Gaubatz was quick to take Gaffney up on his offer, having had his suspicions about the goings-on in American mosques for some time. While stationed in Iraq, he and his colleagues infiltrated mosques in which Ba’ath and fedayeen leaders hid and found stockpiles of weapons inside. Also, in interviews with hundreds of Sunni POWs, they “were told over and over again that the next attacks against America will be aimed at the heart of the American people. These were not necessarily physical attacks, but one targeting our children through schools and universities,” Gaubatz says.

On returning to the States, Gaubatz began investigating mosques on his own. He attended as a congregant many in Virginia and familiarized himself with much of the literature and videos from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia distributed among worshipers. He found them highly offensive to Christians and Jews and violent in intent. It was quite an education. “When I came back from Iraq the only education about Islam that I obtained was from the federal government, much of which they watered down.”

Keeping an open mind, he invited CAIR representatives to address his trainees about Islam. He immediately caught on that CAIR was deceitfully portraying Islam as a peaceful, tolerant religion. Gaubatz knew otherwise. “While in Saudi Arabia, I saw Saudi customs officials going through the troops’ luggage, and if any of these 18-year-olds had a Bible they threw it in the trash,” he recalls.

Subsequently, he disassociated himself from CAIR and no longer asked them to address his trainees. In the course of the next two years, working under Frank Gaffney and lawyer David Yerushalmi, he and his agents visited 250 mosques throughout the US, dressing in a sharia-compliant way so they wouldn’t stick out. “Going there one time was enough to see what was going on,” Gaubatz explains. “If they display or distribute literature written or published by convicted terrorists—well, you know something is wrong with that mosque. Remember, these materials are distributed to children, as well.”

What he found was that 80% of the mosques he and his agents attended distributed literature advocating violence against non-Muslims. The project also concluded that non-sharia-based mosques and Muslims were more tolerant of others—at least as indicated by the absence of jihad-promoting literature. Based on visits to some 2,300 US mosques, the study concluded: The higher the sharia-compliance, the more violent the material. Having completed the first assignment successfully, Gaubatz was eager to take on Gaffney’s next proposition —infiltrating what Gaubatz calls “the belly of the beast.”

CAIR National resides in a brick three-story building adjacent to Capitol Hill. Security is very tight; to enter one must bypass a magnetic card reader and a buzz-in system. Still, he had no problem planting two female hijab-clad operatives inside. “As paranoid as they are about outside threats, no one ever asked my interns to show identification. They were overly confident,” Gaubatz wryly states.

In fact, of the 20 interns working inside CAIR, Gaubatz’s two were the most trusted, primarily because they made sure to remain sharia-compliant at all times —looking, sounding and acting the part. “That’s the key,” Gaubatz declares.

Their job was to scout out the inner workings of the office and security arrangements, but mainly to determine where to place Chris. “We were not going there to find out if another attack was on the way. What we were after was documentation, and we got that in spades. During his six-month internship, Chris snuck out 12,000 highly-explosive documents. These revealed not only the inner workings of CAIR but information on the anti-Israel lobby and the entire left-wing anti-American conspiracy that includes the Congressional Black Caucus.”

The documents provided a treasure trove of damaging information. Gaubatz and his spies uncovered proof positive that CAIR associated with terrorists and that much cash was spent springing them from prison. Several members on its executive board were on record inciting violence against America. Closely tied to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda; they obstructed terrorist investigations, are bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, and are buying up significant properties in the Washington, DC area. CAIR also plants interns in Congressional offices—Nancy Pelosi has one of those; and individual Democratic members of Congress and senators, including Jesse Jackson, are on their payroll.

Their dishonesty is not limited to non-Muslims. The documents exposed a class action suit brought against CAIR by disgruntled Muslims who had paid thousands of dollars in legal fees (often their entire savings) to procure immigration visas for family members and got nothing in return. The “lawyer” engaged by CAIR never went to college and was an ex-convict to boot. A religious discrimination suit was also being waged against CAIR by former Shiite employees. “CAIR portrays itself as secular,” Gaubatz remarked wryly.

After classifying the documents, some were handed over to the FBI. The rest is currently before a judge. “Two days before the release of my book, CAIR filed a civil suit against us demanding the documents back. Ironically, by admitting ownership, they saved us two years of legal hassles validating them. CAIR lost their suit: On the contrary, the judge acknowledged that we prevented the shredding of criminal evidence. CAIR does everything to drain people emotionally and financially. Despite that, nobody, including all the people named in the book, ever sued us for defamation.”

Gaubatz believes that it is attitudes and policies meant to appease the Saudis— first by President George Bush and later intensified by President Barak Obama—that hamper law enforcement officers from doing their jobs keeping Americans safe. As the CAIR documents revealed, Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in altering the mindset of Americans regarding the true nature of sharia-based Islam. “CAIR’s strategy, bankrolled by millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, is to establish an Islamic nation in the US living under sharia law. They are doing that through liaisons with senior law enforcement, universities, the media, and even Hollywood—influencing the movies produced —as well as by engaging in interfaith dialogues with Christian and Jewish leaders. They want to come across as secular and tolerant, but they aren’t.”

Many of their methods are incredibly insidious. Gaubatz cites CAIR’s “Library Project” as an example. “Saudi Arabia ships English language children’s books placed in schools and libraries across America. The books are attractive, rather innocuous looking, and they paint a beautiful picture of Islam, as a tolerant religion. A note printed on the title page of the book reads, ‘If you like this book, you can order others by the same author.’ What most people don’t know is that its author, Ali Al Timimmi, was convicted of treason in 2006 in Virginia and that he spent eight years in jail.”

Saudi Arabia has also invested millions of dollars in Georgetown University to spread the word “Islamophobia,” an artificially constructed word intended to intimidate anyone who dares to point out anything negative about Islam. This maneuver ties the hands of law enforcement officers, and those, like him, hired to train them. Gaubatz has personally felt its impact. “When I go to the police academy, I inform the recruits of the realities of Islam—that regardless of what CAIR claims, Islam advocates violence. I show them the literature, which they distribute. However, it’s become harder for people like me to teach at these academies because of Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. Attitudes such as mine can render counterterrorist academies “Islamophobic.” The academies don’t know how to counter that,” Gaubatz says. He has the distinction of being one of nine trainers targeted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a liaison of 56 Muslim countries that claims to advocate Islamic interests.

Today, counterterrorism is shifting away from gathering human intelligence and relying more on wiretaps and drones. Gaubatz disapproves of this shift. “The only real way to beat terrorism is to have more human intelligence,” he says.

If you can’t call a spade a spade, due to political correctness, you cannot give law enforcement the intelligence needed to do its job. In that case, everybody loses—including innocent Muslims. Under the Obama administration, the situation has gotten so bad that CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood determines what is included in Department of Homeland Security’s training guidelines. “CAIR is essentially telling our government how to train our counter-terrorists. Gaffney calls it ‘a formula for disaster.’ In today’s climate, to open an investigation into any mosque or Islamic leader in the US, it takes an act of Congress. It has to go through so many layers that one of two things happen: Either they deny the request, or it takes so long that the information is no longer timely.”

Gaubatz cites one unfortunate example: “One of my researchers, a young woman, befriended a seven-year-old girl while attending sharia classes. Within a couple of days, the child opened up to her, complaining that her hands and her legs were hurting because the imam hits her when she doesn’t know an answer. Then she began referring to her ‘husband’ on several occasions. At that point, I closed down the operation and immediately notified the responsible law enforcement authority. He told me his hands were tied. Before doing anything, he would have to present the case before the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force that is set up in each major city but is primarily run by the FBI. There is an unbelievable amount of red tape preventing immediate action.”

Authority in all matters Islam-related was removed from state and local law enforcement and placed into the hands of the FBI that is more removed from the situation. “To my mind, the first line of defense rests with local or state authorities. After all, they know best what’s happening in their neighborhoods. However, the way the system works, unless a terrorist falls into their hands— like if they stop a suspicious car and find a Muslim with guns who just happened to come from a mosque—there’s nothing they can do short of notifying the FBI. The FBI has full authority to investigate, but often their hands are tied. In 99% of cases, the FBI will not act against institutions, or confiscate materials calling for incitement against America; they consider those protected by the First Amendment. That isn’t the case when it comes to non-Muslim cultural or religious centers or materials. A violent act would have to be committed before they allowed their personnel to enter a mosque. Just like in Iraq, here in the US, mosques have become safe houses.”

Gaubatz teaches his trainees to conduct their own investigations, going into mosques and reading the literature distributed there. “Being able to identify mosques that are potential problems in their neighborhood is extremely important. In the course of my research with the Mapping Sharia Project, we visited a mosque in Killeen, Texas, near where the Fort Hood military base massacre took place. We identified it as very high risk. A few months later one of its worshippers, Nidal Malik Hasan, an army major and psychologist, went on a rampage killing 13 army personnel and wounding 29 others. “The Patriot Act that Mr. Obama extended on May 26, 2011, increases the authority of law enforcement and counterterrorism agents to conduct surveillance of what they refer to as ‘lone wolves,’ people suspected of terrorism but not linked to any known terrorist groups. However, there is no such thing. When the mosque Major Hasan attended teaches its worshippers to go out and do precisely what he did, then he’s not a lone wolf. He is simply following their guidelines.”

Is Dave Gaubatz pessimistic or optimistic about America’s future? “I am leaning more towards pessimism, largely because of this culture of political correctness and the vast amount of money Saudi Arabia is investing in altering the American mindset.”

 

Guests

 

After an extensive year-long investigation, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) concluded that from 2009 on, Islamists paid hundreds of visits to the White House meeting with high-level government officials. These visitors included those designated by the Justice Department as unindicted co-conspirators in a vast money-laundering case involving millions of dollars funneled to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation, as well as others found guilty of obstructing terrorist investigations and promoting radical anti-American Islamic conspiracies.

In comparing White House visitor log entries, IPT discovered that among other Islamist-leaning American organizations, top representatives of CAIR visited the White House 20 times—this despite the FBI having severed all ties with the organization in 2008. Records show, for instance, that Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR’s Los Angeles office, met with Paul Monteiro, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, on July 8, 2011, and Patrick Gaspard, assistant to the White House director of political affairs, on June 6, 2009. IPT claims that Monteiro conducted clandestine liaisons with CAIR executives on several occasions.

Ayloush, a delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, publicly denounced America as having been controlled by a “foreign lobby”—meaning Israel, and publicly defended Palestinian terror. Gaubatz is dismayed but not surprised. “Mr. Obama is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood’s concerns. He wants them seen as a cultural and religious entity that has a right to their customs and beliefs and is not a threat to the average American.”

Does the president truly see CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood as representing moderate voices of Islam? Gaubatz adamantly denies this to be the case. “I think Mr. Obama knows who they are. CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood are no different from any other Islamist organizations — Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaida; they all share the same ideology advocating violence and treason. They all hate Israel equally, and support Hamas. To my mind, Mr. Obama has shown more respect for sharia [Islamic religious] law than for the US Constitution.”

 

Originally published in Ami Magazine, November 28, 2012, p. 56-64, slightly revised version