The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretly assembled a terrorist “hands off” list that permitted individuals with terrorist ties unfettered entrance into the United States, according to document released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa).
The existence of a “hands off” list that permitted easy entrance for suspect individuals into the United States has drawn concern from Grassley, who released a cache of internal DHS emails detailing the list’s existence and discussion about permitting an alleged member of the Muslim Brotherhood to enter the United States.
The emails—sent between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—reveal a row over the admittance of one alleged Muslim Brotherhood official tied to Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror groups.
While the individual in question is not named in the heavily redacted emails, the Washington Free Beacon has learned that the person referenced is Jamal Badawi, a Canadian Islamist leader who has praised suicide bombing and is close to Hamas and Hezbollah.
Additionally, the emails reveal a larger campaign by DHS and its former head Janet Napolitano to purge internal records of hundreds of terror suspects, including Badawi, who had his records purged in December 2010.
Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon and had reviewed unredacted versions of the emails indicated that many files pertaining to foreign terror suspects may have been purged by DHS. The sources said congressional investigators are currently looking into the matter.
The emails between ICE and CBP that were released by Grassley show confusion as to why Badawi was being permitted entrance into the United States.
“I’m puzzled how someone could be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, be an associate of [redacted], say that the U.S. is staging car bombings in Iraq and that [it] is ok for men to beat their wives, question who was behind the 9/11 attacks, and be afforded the luxury of a visitor visa and de-watchlisted,” one official wrote in the May 2012 emails released by Grassley.
“It doesn’t appear that we’ll be successful with denying him entry tomorrow but maybe we could re-evaluate the matter in the future since the decision to de-watchlist him was made 17 months ago,” the email states.
One of the unnamed officials goes on to state: “Based on a review of the statements of the subject, I think it is clear that he [Badawi] meets the definition of endorsing and inciting.”
Grassley, in his initial letter to DHS on the matter, asked that officials explain why Badawi was removed from the terror watch list and to “describe the nature, extent, and reasons for the involvement of the DHS secretary or her staff in the removal of the individual from the watchlist.”
Grassley also is seeking to learn “how many people are on the ‘hands off’ list mentioned in the email” and “what qualifies someone to receive the ‘hands off’ designation?”
Officials responded to Grassley in April, telling him that they “would be happy to provide a more detailed briefing on the particular case cited in your letter … in the appropriate setting.”
Badawi, the individual at the center of Grassley’s investigation, has long been tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
He also sits on the board of directors of Qaradawi’s International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), which issued a fatwa in 2004 authorizing the killing of American troops in Iraq, according to reports.
Badawi also was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the U.S. government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation, which was convicted of funneling money to the terror group Hamas.
Badawi has been recorded in the past powwowing with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, who has been designated by the United States as a terrorist.
Individuals tied to terror groups have gained entrance to the United States in multiple instances over the past few years.
Hani Nour Eldin, a member of the Egyptian Islamic Group, a U.S. designated terror outfit, met with the Obama administration in 2012, according to the Daily Beast.
Additionall, former DHS head Napalitano has told members of Congress that they should expect members of terror groups to be admitted to the United States for meetings.