Friday, October 28, 2011
DHS Advisory Council member Mohamed Elibiary allegedly shopped sensitive intel reports to media for story on "Islamophobia"
I met Mohamed Elibiary at the America's Truth Forum Symposium in Dallas a few years ago. Elibiary was then the President and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, which he cofounded in 2002 to "promote a Centrist Public Policy environment in Texas by coordinating the state level government and interfaith community relations for the organized Texas Muslim community." He is a prominent "moderate," but he spoke at a 2004 conference in Dallas lauding the "Great Islamic Visionary" Ayatollah Khomeini. Subsequently, he had acrimonious discussions with Dallas Morning News columnist Rod Dreher, to whom he issued what looked to many, including Dreher himself, like a threat. Despite all that and more, he was named to the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. But now he is in a bit of hot water over shopping around highly sensitive intelligence documents to try to get the media in Texas to do a story about "Islamophobia" in the Texas Department of Public Safety. And Pamela Geller asks the salient question: "Who else is the devout Elibiary shopping sensitive intel to?" This is, after all, a man who once offered to give me Hamas top dog Khaled Meshaal's email address.
"BREAKING: Homeland Security Adviser Allegedly Leaked Intel to Attack Rick Perry," by Patrick Poole at PJ Media, October 26 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Texas Department of Public Safety officials are asking questions following a report that Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council member Mohamed Elibiary may have been given access to a sensitive database of state and local intelligence reports, and then allegedly shopped some of those materials to a media outlet. He allegedly used the documents to claim the department was promoting “Islamophobia” — claims that the media outlet ultimately rejected. They declined to do the story.
Earlier today, I received confirmation from a left-leaning media outlet that Elibiary had recently approached them asking to do a story attacking Texas DPS:
Yes, he approached us and gave us some reports marked FOUO [For Official Use Only] that he said showed a pattern of Islamophobia at the department. He emphasized that some of the regional fusion centers were shut down a few years ago after the ACLU complained that they were targeting Muslim civil rights groups and said that this was being directed by [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry.
We looked at the reports and they weren’t as he had billed them to us. They seem to be pretty straightforward, nothing remotely resembling Islamophobia that we saw. I think he was hoping we would bite and not give it too much of a look in light of the other media outfits jumping on the Islamophobia bandwagon.
I asked if there was any sense of his possible motivation:
Oh, self-promotion definitely. It was clear up front that he wanted to be a quoted source in the story. We’ve used him as an unnamed source in previous stories. There’s nothing unusual or unseemly about that because officials do it all the time, but this was the first time he approached us with documents. Honestly, if they had been what he represented them as we would have probably run with the story. But we looked at them and saw this was a partisan hatchet job that could blow back on us so we passed on it.
In light of these allegations, I spoke today with Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw. He confirmed that Elibiary has access to the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest (HS SLIC) database, which contains hundreds of thousands of intelligence reports and products that are intended for intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies....
I asked Director McCraw if he knew whether Elibiary had access to TX DPS reports on the HS SLIC, to which he replied:
We know that he has accessed DPS documents and downloaded them.
McCraw stated that he will be requesting that DHS conduct an investigation to determine whether or not Elibiary improperly handled any sensitive intelligence products, and said that he will reserve judgment until an investigation is complete. He added:
If in fact this happened we will be extremely disappointed in him. We’ve worked with him and other groups to get their comments regarding a wide range of issue in order to be inclusive.
Ah, inclusiveness -- what could be more important?
Oh, and about Elibiary: I tried to tell you. I emailed him asking him for comment and if I hear back from him, you will be the first to know.