When it comes to John McCain’s Syria Trip, Focus on the Names of People whose Identities we DO KNOW

The controversy over who Senator John McCain (R-AZ) posed with in photos during a visit to Syria last year is beginning to go mainstream. The Drudge Report is linking to an article by Matthew Boyle at Breitbart. At issue are the names and allegiances of the Syrians McCain was posing with. McCain’s office is saying it won’t identify the men he was standing with out of concern for their safety. Last year, his office said it didn’t know their identities.

John McCain in Syria in 2013 with SETF's Mouaz Moustafa (right).

John McCain in Syria in 2013 with SETF’s Mouaz Moustafa (right).

This resurrected controversy was given new life in the form of a swing-for-the-fences internet rumor suggesting that one of the men McCain met with was ISIS Caliph al-Baghdadi. That claim has been debunked by Shoebat.com.

To his credit, Boyle doesn’t go there in his article and instead focuses on inconsistencies from McCain’s office relative to other figures in the photo whose identities are not confirmed. Like so many others however, Boyle avoids addressing the backgrounds of individuals in the photos whose identities are known.

Here is all Boyle writes about the man McCain traveled to Syria with and can be seen wearing a kaffiyeh in the photos – Mouaz Mostafa:

“The people in the pictures with Senator McCain in Syria included General Salim Idris, then-Chief of Staff of the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Mouaz Moustafa, the Executive Director of the DC-based Syrian Emergency Task Force (which supports the moderate opposition and helped arrange some of the trip), and fighters and commanders from the Northern Storm Brigade, a FSA-aligned group,” McCain’s spokesman Brian Rogers told Breitbart News.

That’s it. One reference to Moustafa and it’s based on a faulty premise that his organization supports the ‘moderate opposition’. In addition to Salim Idris, there is one other individual McCain posed with whose identity is known. Her name is Razan Shalab AlSham. She is identified as the Field Director of the SETF. Moustafa and AlSham are the top two staff members of SETF, respectively.

(L to R): John McCain, FSA General Salim Idris, and Razan Shalab AlSham of SETF.

(L to R): John McCain, FSA General Salim Idris, and Razan Shalab AlSham of SETF.

SETF Staff Page: Moustafa No. 1 and AlSHam No. 2.

SETF Staff Page: Moustafa No. 1 and AlSHam No. 2.

Though not seen in the photos above, the Political Director of the SETF at the time of McCain’s visit was also with him. Her name is Elizabeth O’Bagy who, after being released for not revealing a conflict of interest last year, was actually hired by McCain as Shoebat.com reported.

As for the SETF, the controversy surrounding O’Bagy is well-documented. As Shoebat.com reported, McCain inadvertently exposed it during a Senate Committee hearing.

In the weeks that followed, the SETF website underwent significant but incremental changes. Perhaps the first alteration was the removal of the photo of Ahmad Soliman. As Shoebat.com reported, of the four individuals pictured below, Soliman’s removal being first was likely not by accident. He had by far, the most demonstrable history showing connections to Muslim Brotherhood front groups. While at the University of Michigan, Soliman attended the ISNA reunion there and had connections to the local MSA chapter and CAIR. All of these are Muslim Brotherhood front groups.


With the unwanted spotlight now on SETF and O’Bagy, Ahmad Soliman was taken off the SETF site but would later return without a photo and with an altered spelling to his name.

"Ahmad" Soliman taken off website after O'Bagy outed last year.

“Ahmad” Soliman taken off website after O’Bagy outed last year.

A visit to the SETF website today shows a man by the name of “Ahmed” (with an “e” instead of an “a”) Soliman; his photo is not present:

"Ahmad" is now a faceless "Ahmed".

“Ahmad” is now a faceless “Ahmed”.

It’s not just staff members of SETF that should sound alarm bells; it’s Board members too, as Shoebat.com has reported on at length. In particular, Dr. Yahya Basha and Bassam Estwani. The former once led the now defunct American Muslim Council (AMC) founded by convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi and is connected to Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR and MPAC. Estwani is a very big fish and used to be the chairman of the very notorious Dal al-Hijrah mosque that was home to Imam Anwar al-Awlaki and visited by no fewer than two 9/11 hijackers. Estwani once hosted Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi at Dar al-Hijrah.

Qaradawi (L) and Estwani (seated on floor) at Dar al-Hijrah prior to 1999. Estwani sits on Board of SETF.

Qaradawi (L) and Estwani (seated on floor) at Dar al-Hijrah prior to 1999. Estwani sits on Board of SETF.

Yahya Basha and Bassam Estwani on Board of SETF.

Yahya Basha and Bassam Estwani on Board of SETF.

Instead of wondering who the unidentified Syrians were who McCain posed with, why doesn’t the media do its homework on the highly suspect SETF and these individuals connected to it:

Mouaz Moustafa
Elizabeth O’Bagy (formerly of SETF, now works for McCain)
Ahmed / Ahmad Soliman
Bassam Estwani
Yahya Basha

Despite this extremely imposing mountain of evidence, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to arm rebels the SETF supports. Shockingly, four of the seven Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi were among those YEA votes, which displays their collective ignorance.

The Senate was actually no different. Only 22 out of 100 Senators voted against arming the Syrian rebels supported by McCain and his beloved SETF.

In addition to the majority of both houses of Congress indicating a complete lack of knowledge – courtesy of their votes – relative to how the Muslim Brotherhood operates, Mouaz Moustafa’s bio on the SETF website boasts about his work with the Libyan Emergency Task Force (LETF) until Gadhafi was overthrown, at which point, he moved over to SETF, providing even more evidence that if Assad is overthrown, Syria will look like Libya does now.

As people look for the explosive story that McCain was posing with actual terrorists, to include the big kahuna himself al-Baghdadi, the most explosive and irrefutable truth is right under everyone’s nose! That it’s missed is so symptomatic of what we see every day from politicians.


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