Major U.S. Think Tank Influencing Dirty U.S. Politicians with Dirty, Filthy Arab Money

By Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack

When it comes to the top nations that support Muslim terrorist organizations including ISIS, Qatar ranks in the top 10. That includes Qatar’s support for the so-called Syrian opposition (which has increasingly been revealed as ISIS) and Hamas which the U.S. State Department covers up; one spokesman recently lied about this whole affair.  And now the New York Times just revealed a more than $14 million corruption scandal involving the American think tank group Brookings Institute which influences U.S. policy. It can’t get any dirtier than this.

Brookings and Qatar sponsor the Annual US-IWF every year.

Brookings and Qatar sponsor the Annual US-IWF every year.

The extent to which the relationship between Qatar and the Brookings Institute, a prominent U.S. think tank, includes the co-sponsoring of a highly suspicious annual event known as the U.S.-Islamic World Forum (US-IWF) since 2004, usually held in Qatar’s capital.

The New York Times reports that Brookings is seen as “pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities”.

In other words, Arab money has been doing the talking.

And now we know why our information on Middle East development collides with some of these think tanks’ shoddy opinions and truth censorship. In 2012, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal fled Syria and currently resides in Qatar. It was recently reported by that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is the target of a Hamas coup and may be in the process of fleeing to Jordan. Then we have the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been banned from the U.S. since 1999 but takes up residence in Qatar and has for years. Al-Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood’s propaganda network is based in Doha, Qatar and run by the government.

Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal and Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Qatar.

Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal and Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Qatar.

With that as a backdrop consider what the New York Times writes:

Qatar, the small but wealthy Middle East nation, agreed last year to make a $14.8 million, four-year donation to Brookings, which has helped fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar and a project on United States relations with the Islamic world.

Some scholars say the donations have led to implicit agreements that the research groups would refrain from criticizing the donor governments.

“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story,” said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.”

As you digest that, consider a recent article by William McCants, Director of U.S. Relations with the Islamic World for Brookings, which conflicts with the truth about Qatar. Entitled Five Myths about the Islamic State, check out myths #3 (in reality Truth #3) titled Qatar Funds the Islamic State and #2, International relations scholars agree arming the Syrian rebels is a bad idea, in that order.

See if “Myth” #3 doesn’t hint at $14.8 million worth of message moderation [our comments in bold]:

Qatar is everyone’s favorite boogeyman these days, responsible for all the Islamist ills facing America’s allies in the Middle East. There is some ground for the gripes given that Qatar gives safe haven and help to the Muslim Brothers, including the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas, and backs Salafi militias in Syria that either work with al Qaeda’s Nusra Front or include al Qaeda members. Some of Qatar’s citizens have also funded U.S.-designated terrorist groups [Uh, isn’t that more than enough to designate Qatar a State Sponsor of Terrorism?]. But [But? After conceding Qatar has all those connections, there’s a but?! Really?] the recent (and later walked-back) charge by a German minister that the state of Qatar directly funds the Islamic State has no foundation based on publicly-available knowledge. Until the U.S. intelligence community says otherwise, criticism of Qatar for funding Islamists should exclude the Islamic State. [As if funding Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Nusra, Salafi militias and al-Qaeda but NOT the Islamic State should diminish Qatar’s crimes?]

After reading that one, check out “Myth” #2, intended to build confidence that non-ISIS Syrian rebels can still be provided with weapons:

In response to Hillary Clinton’s argument that the United States should have armed the Syrian rebels to thwart the rise of the Islamic State, Marc Lynch wrote a thoughtful essay explaining why the policy was always a bad idea. In making his case, Marc appeals to the academic literature, which “is not encouraging.” But read the literature itself and you’ll find that it doesn’t lead to an obvious policy conclusion [did you catch that seed of doubt McCants planted?]. Want proof? Afshon Ostovar, a Middle East analyst at CNA Strategic Studies, and I read the same literature in early 2013 and came to the opposite policy conclusion.

McCants is trying to convince readers that while Qatar supports Hamas, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, it doesn’t support ISIS and therefore, we should feel comfortable supporting Syria’s moderate rebels, which is something Qatar wants us to do as well.

And now we see how sleazy politicians like John McCain pushes his agendas. The only way this would work is if the likes of McCain are successful in convincing the American people that the opposition is actually made up of “moderate rebels” that would be a better than Bashar al-Assad and stronger in the face of ISIS. As a state sponsor of terrorism (though not officially designated as such), Qatar would want to create this perception as well if it meant arming the opposition.

But it gets even worse, terrorism stems from an ideological agenda first; Brookings partnered with Qatar more than ten years ago to establish the U.S.-Islamic World Forum or (US-IWF). It is an annual event that often takes place in the Qatari capital of Doha. A quick read about US-IWF on the Brookings website shows the forum was created in the interest of, you got it “dialogue” and “bridge-building”:

The forum was launched in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Its goal was the development of research and outreach programs designed to improve U.S. relations with Muslim states and communities. A particular challenge in that moment of tension and frustration was the virtual absence of dialogue between leaders of the United States and the Muslim world.

With the generous support of the Government of Qatar, the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World launched the first U.S.-Islamic World Forum in 2004. The purpose was to promote a better understanding of the problems involved in U.S. relations with the Islamic world, through the creation of an ongoing and collaborative dialogue between Muslim and American leaders. At that first session, 165 leaders from the United States and 37 Muslim states – from government ministers to news editors – gathered to discuss topics from the Middle East peace process to private-sector entrepreneurship and new Internet media.

The US-IWF was created in 2002 with its first forum in 2004. Check out the video below from the Brookings website put together for the 2013 US-IWF forum. Does it not seem a bit off-putting at best to consider this was the strategy of a prominent Washington, DC think tank so soon after the 9/11 attacks? Now, 12 years later, Qatar harbors terrorists and is one of the chief financiers of terrorism as well as Brookings:

Just this past June, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson delivered the keynote speech at the 2014 US-IWF in Doha. In that speech, as reported, Patterson said at least three things that were shocking:

1.) She praised Qatar for taking five Taliban terrorist commanders off the U.S.’s hands in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl.
2.) Called for better relations between the U.S. and Iran.
3.) Called for more Qatari investment in the U.S.

It is worth noting that Patterson was the face of the Obama State Department in Egypt during the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi from power last year. Egyptians have been screaming that she was a complicit actor in attempting to keep Mursi in power. In the recent trial of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Patterson was implicated in assisting in fomenting unrest in the 2011 uprising that saw Mubarak’s overthrow, as reported.

It simply made no rational sense why the U.S. would support the release of jailed Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt after Mursi’s overthrow last year but that support came from Obama’s State Department in the form of Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns as well as two Republican Senators – John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Qatar was a huge supporter of the Mursi regime in Egypt as well. In fact, just days ago, Mursi was charged in Egypt with leaking state secrets to Qatar.

A review of shared U.S. interests in that regard should not dismiss that $14.8 million deal mentioned above and the influence it can buy.

2011 US-IWF in Washington, DC
Last year, much was made of a visit to the White House by al-Qaradawi deputy Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah.

However, Bayyah was also in attendance at the April 2011 Brookings-Qatar sponsored US-IWF, as was Senator McCain and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That very same month, McCain boasted that the Libyan rebels were his “heroes” while he was in Benghazi:

The 2011 US-IWF forum took place at precisely the time when the U.S. was focused on regime change in Libya. Again, this was something that Qatar supported as well.

Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah

Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah

Incidentally, Hillary Clinton – along with close adviser Huma Abedin – was in attendance at the 2011 US-IWF forum as well. Regardless of whether anyone thinks Abedin is a stealth Muslim Brotherhood agent, she is married to a Jew in Anthony Weiner. As a deputy to virulent anti-Semite and Muslim fundamentalist, Sheik Abdullah Bin Bayyah had to have found this hugely objectionable. That he doesn’t appear to have been offended is another in a long line of examples that point to the tactic of Muruna being used by Abedin; she seemed to have Bayyah’s tacit support.

As reported, Hillary inadvertently made that same admission in her book when talking about Huma joining her on a trip to Egypt to meet with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in 2012.

Hillary Clinton (Center, right) and Huma Abedin (Far right) at 2011 US-IWF.

Hillary Clinton (Center, right) and Huma Abedin (Far right) at 2011 US-IWF.

It was barely more than one year later when McCain was vigorous in his defense of Abedin and criticism of Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), et. al. when the congressmen attempted to raise questions about Abedin’s familial connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. Perhaps McCain sees Abedin as an asset in moving the Arab Spring to “China and Russia”.

Take note of the man seated directly next to McCain (seen at 1:20 mark) in the video below from the 2011 US-IWF. His name is Ali Suleiman Aujali. At the time, Aujali had recently resigned as Libya’s Ambassador to the U.S. and clearly began to switch sides by ingratiating himself with the players at the US-IWF. Aujali also supported the release of the Lockerbie bomber in 2009 from Scotland to Libya. At the 2:18 mark, notice how excited McCain is at the prospect of the Arab Spring spreading to “China and Russia”. Again, this is what the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey wants:

A short time after his appearance at the US-IWF, Aujali spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention and was introduced by Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director for CAIR-Chicago; CAIR and ISNA are both Muslim Brotherhood fronts (the same Muslim Brotherhood supported by Qatar and apparently Brookings):

As reported, Aujali spoke at the U.S. State Department’s Ben Franklin room just two days after the Benghazi attacks to celebrate the end of Ramadan and was introduced by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

One day earlier, Aujali met with ISNA President Mohamed Magid and Haris Tarin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Both of these groups have been identified as Muslim Brotherhood fronts.

Benghazi and US-IWF
Last year, in’s “Ironclad” Report, it was determined that Egypt – under Mursi – had a significant role in the Benghazi attacks. At a House Subcommittee hearing in which Rep. Dana Rohrabacher used our research to question think tank experts, the role of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood in the attacks was clearly played down by each one of those experts. One was Daniel Byman, Research Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Saban Center. Incidentally, Byman also attended last year’s US-IWF.

With that information, take a look at Byman (third witness from the left) in this exchange with Rohrabacher plead ignorance multiple times. The others clearly diminish an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood connection – under Mursi – as well. Qatar’s support of Mursi during the latter’s regime was indeed very strong. Implicating Mursi at a congressional hearing while McCain and Graham were visiting Egypt to have Mursi released would not have been in anyone’s best interest (save for the American people):

Another potentially key figure is Thomas Pickering, selected by Hillary Clinton to chair the “Independent” Accountability Review Board (ARB) that investigated Benghazi and published its report in December of 2012. As reported, Pickering traveled to Doha, Qatar last June and attended the 2013 US-IWF as well. Had the ARB report been critical or gotten to the whole truth, Pickering would have found himself in hostile Qatari territory just six months later:

Benghazi ARB Chairman Thomas Pickering at 2013 US-IWF in Doha, Qatar.

Benghazi ARB Chairman Thomas Pickering at 2013 US-IWF in Doha, Qatar.

The American people learned something quite interesting a couple of months later. When testifying in front of the House Oversight Committee, Pickering seemed to inadvertently reveal that an Egyptian terrorist group was involved in the Benghazi attacks. He caught himself and professed that he hoped that information was in the UNCLASSIFIED report; it was not:

To what extent if any, did Qatar’s close relationship with Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood regime influence Brookings, McCain, Pickering, Byman, et. al. to protect Brotherhood / Qatari interests relative to the Benghazi attack?

Sleeping with Qatar is Sleeing with Nazis… on Steroids
Of the disturbing monetary relationship between Brookings and Qatar, the New York Times writes:

Several legal experts who reviewed the documents, however, said the tightening relationships between United States think tanks and their overseas sponsors could violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the 1938 federal law that sought to combat a Nazi propaganda campaign in the United States. The law requires groups that are paid by foreign governments with the intention of influencing public policy to register as “foreign agents” with the Justice Department.

The reported behavior of McCain earlier this year says quite a bit about his allegiances. As relayed, Syrian Christian leaders who visited Capitol Hill to plead their case about the persecution of Christians were met by a very belligerent McCain:

Senator McCain, an Arizona Republican, evidently doesn’t want to hear negative stories about the rebels he’s working to arm. So he stormed out of a closed-door meeting with the Syrian clergy officials last week… McCain marched into the committee room yelling, according to a high-level source that attended the meeting, and quickly stormed out. “He was incredibly rude,” the source told Judicial Watch “because he didn’t think the Syrian church leaders should even be allowed in the room.” Following the shameful tantrum McCain reentered the room and sat briefly but refused to make eye contact with the participants, instead ignoring them by looking down at what appeared to be random papers.

Contrast that with what McCain said at the US-IWF three years earlier as the Arab Spring was beginning and we might be able to see why he was so belligerent:

“I am also excited and exuberant and exhilarated by what’s happening in the Mahgreb and in the Arab world. I think the Arab Spring will spread to China and Russia and other countries in the world. This is a seismic event of incredible historical proportion. I’m glad I’m alive to see it.” – Senator John McCain on the Arab Spring at the Brookings / Qatar – sponsored 2011 US-IWF

There’s nothing quite like enriching yourself with Nazi money and angrily berating the persecuted Jews who are asking for help.

That is, unless you compare it to enriching yourself with Muslim Brotherhood money and angrily berating the persecuted Christians who are asking for help.

Ain’t that right, Senator McCain?


Here is a highlight video of the 2011 US-IWF posted by Brookings:


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