When Huma Met Hillary

On Election Day, people should be aware that they aren’t just voting for a candidate like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but they are also voting for everyone that that candidate will be bringing into the White House with them.

Huma Abedin has been one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides for twenty years, with extraordinary access and an unprecedented level of control.

But on the rare occasions that the media has covered Abedin, the words that come up most often in describing her are “mystery” or “mysterious.” With so much at stake in this election, and so much controversy already surrounding Abedin, America can’t afford a mystery.

The facts about Abedin need to be told in a clear-headed and factual way, including the facts about Abedin’s ties to Saudi Arabia, and its largest charity, the Muslim World League, an acknowledged funder of terrorism.

As Maureen Callahan laid out the basic facts about Huma Abedin in a New York Post article titled, “Despite countless scandals, Huma Abedin remains a mystery”:

With the FBI looking into Clinton emails contained on a laptop shared by Abedin and estranged husband Anthony Weiner — himself now the subject of an FBI investigation for sexting with a 15-year-old girl and sending a crotch shot with his toddler son sleeping next to him — Abedin has gone from loyalist to liability…

Not much is known about Abedin’s life before Clinton Inc. She was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Mich., to an Indian father, Syed, and a Pakistani mother, Saleha. Both were academics and devout Muslims. When Huma was 2, the family moved to Saudi Arabia, but almost nothing is known of Huma’s childhood and teen years. She returned to the United States to attend George Washington University, majoring in journalism with a minor in political science.

Her father co-founded the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, and after his death in 1993, her mother, whose writings subscribe to Sharia law, took over as editor-in-chief, a post she holds to this day. The journal has published articles in favor of female genital mutilation, the sexual subjugation of women and murder of apostates.

Newsweek reported in an April article, “Meet Huma Abedin, Mysterious Clinton Aide Whose Emails Might Change History,” that a Clinton insider described Huma as “very, very religious person—she didn’t smoke, drink or swear, always very polite.” This made her marriage to Anthony Weiner especially bizarre:

For a practicing Muslim, Abedin’s choice in husbands couldn’t have been more provocative. In 2010, she married Anthony Weiner, then an ambitious, hyperactive U.S. representative from Brooklyn. He is Jewish, which would prompt many conservative Middle Eastern Muslim families to disown their daughters, or worse. Bill Clinton officiated at their designer-dressed, pricey and pastoral New York wedding.

We all know how that marriage worked out. The initial Weinergate sexting story was broken after Andrew Breitbart exposed the truth about the many women with whom Weiner had online relationships. Those online affairs began just about a month after Weiner and Abedin’s wedding.

Huma Abedin exercises an astounding amount of control over Hillary Clinton, even limiting her access to husband Bill Clinton. As Newsweek reported in April:

Insiders understand that if they want anything from Clinton, they need to hit Abedin’s direct number first. Says New York financier and Clinton supporter Alan Patricof, “I don’t even waste time trying to find Clinton directly. I only would go to Huma. It’s like talking to Clinton.” On the campaign trail, Abedin still travels everywhere with the candidate. She does some bag-schlepping, but her job has evolved: She carries her own purse (she has a collection of designer “it” bags), but tucked inside it is Clinton’s cellphone. Even aspiring first husband Bill has reportedly complained that he cannot get past Abedin.

That same Newsweek piece hinted at the reason Huma Abedin remains a mystery woman: Journalists and people around her are forbidden to discuss Huma’s most controversial part of her biography—her connections to Saudi Arabia and the Muslim World League. According to Newsweek, “in Clinton circles, it’s the height of uncouth to mention Abedin’s nationality or childhood,” and so, few mainstream media journalists have even asked.

The New York Post lays out the basics on Huma Abedin and points out the holes in her resume:

Not much is known about Abedin’s life before Clinton Inc. She was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Mich., to an Indian father, Syed, and a Pakistani mother, Saleha. Both were academics and devout Muslims. When Huma was 2, the family moved to Saudi Arabia, but almost nothing is known of Huma’s childhood and teen years. She returned to the United States to attend George Washington University, majoring in journalism with a minor in political science.

The story Vanity Fair reported earlier this year filled in a couple of more details. It sketched out the fact that the Abedin family was brought to Saudi Arabia by an official in the Kingdom who headed up a group called the Muslim World League. His name was Abdullah Omar Naseef.

When (Huma) Abedin was two years old, the family moved to Jidda, Saudi Arabia, where, with the backing of Abdullah Omar Nasseef, then the president of King Abdulaziz University, her father founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, a think tank, and became the first editor of its Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, which stated its mission as “shedding light” on minority Muslim communities around the world in the hope of “securing the legitimate rights of these communities”…

 In his early years as the patron of the Abedin’s’ journal, Nasseef was the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, which Andrew McCarthy (…) claims “has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.”

The connection between the Abedin family and the Muslin World League is the most ominous connection that Huma Abedin has, but it’s often overlooked or ignored altogether. For example, neither the current New York Post story or April’s Newsweek article make any mention of the Muslim World League at all.

Huma Abedin and her entire family’s sponsorship by the Muslim World League is, however, the most troubling aspect of her biography because of the Muslim World League’s status as a terror funding group.

The connections between the the Muslim World League’s support for terrorism go back to 1980s, when Abedin family benefactor Omar Naseef was the general secretary of the Muslim World League.

In 1984, foreign mujahidin fighters were streaming in from all over the world to an office in Peshawar, Pakistan—the office of the Muslim League—to the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) or “The Services Center”—to fight in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union.

MAK had been created to recruit and raise money by three Muslims who believed in “the defense of Muslim lands”: Abdullah Azzam, Azzam’s protege, a Saudi Arabian named Osama bin Laden and an Egyptian called Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Donations to MAK came from a number of “Islamic charities” such as the Saudi Red Crescent, as well as a number of Saudi Arabian princes and mosques. MAK also worked with the Pakistan intelligence service, the ISI. The ISI was used by both the American CIA & Saudi Arabia Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah intelligence agencies to get money to Afghan fighters.

When the war against the Soviets ended, Al-Zawahiri and bin Laden would use the money they’d raised through MAK to declare global jihad on the West and al-Qaeda was born.

Just after the 9/11 attack, reports showed that intelligence officials believed for years that Naseef’s Muslim World League was connected to terror, but failed to inform the public of the connections due to pressure from Saudi Arabia.

As Newsweek reported less than a month after the 9/11 attack (emphasis added):

The Saudis have probably done more to penetrate Al Qaeda than any other foreign intelligence service, but Al Qaeda in turn has penetrated the Saudi regime. Two interrelated global charities directly financed by the Saudi government—the International Islamic Relief Organization and the Muslim World League—have been used by bin Laden to finance his operations. The organizations were left off the list of groups sanctioned by the United States last week, U.S. officials hinted to NEWSWEEK, in order to avoid embarrassing the Saudi government.

This inaction against Naseef’s Muslim World League was confirmed in a 2004 story by Harpers:

In other cases, the Bush Administration made a conscious decision not to pursue major Saudi conduits for terrorist funding. The clearest example involves two ostensible charities that are long known to have funneled money to Al Qaeda—the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and the Muslim World League (MWL). Both are financed directly by the Saudi government. MWL is an evangelical organization that was created to help spread Wahhabism, the Saudi brand of Islamic fundamentalism; IIRO is a humanitarian relief organization that operates primarily in Muslim countries.

Harper’s also noted that during the Clinton administration the Central Intelligence Agency issued a report about Naseef’s Muslim World League and the International Islamic Relief Organization.

Consider the timing: in the fall of 1996, Huma Abedin began working in the White House. According to Harpers:

Yet a 1996 CIA report alleged that IIRO helped to fund six militant training camps in Afghanistan, and noted that the former head of the group’s Philippines office—Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law—had been linked to plots to “target the pope and U.S. airlines”…

U.S. intelligence officials also believe that MWL employees were involved in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Although both IIRO and MWL were known to have funded Al Qaeda, U.S. government sources indicated to Newsweek in October 2001 that the Bush Administration left the two organizations off the list of designated terrorist groups in order to spare the Saudi government from embarrassment.

So how did Huma Abedin end up at the White House in the first place? To understand that, you need to understand how Saudi Arabia in the 1990s was spreading influence with both the Clinton administration and laying the groundwork to influence the Bush administration and Republican establishment.

The man behind that influence is now serving time in Federal prison for his role in funding terrorism. His name is Abdulrahman Alamoudi.

Abdulrahman Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2004 for his role in an assassination plot but was once described by the Washington Post as “one of America’s best-known Muslim activists,” who during the Clinton administration, “also helped found the Pentagon’s Muslim chaplain program and was involved in a variety of other Islamic political and charitable organizations.”

In March 1996, Alamoudi said he was “honored to be a member of the committee that is defending” Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) founder Musa Abu Marzook. As the Israeli business website Globes reported on Marzook in 2014:

“One of those fundraisers was Dr. Musa Abu Marzook, the number 2 man in Hamas,” Elad says. “At the beginning of the 1990s, he began a fundraising campaign in the US among wealthy Muslims, while at the same time founding several banking enterprises. He himself became a conglomerate of 10 financial enterprises giving loans and making financial investments. He’s an amazing financier.”

The U.S. administration ordered Marzook’s arrest in 1995 on charges of supporting terrorism. After he spent two years in a US prison, it was decided to expel him without trial. He kept the money. “When he was expelled from the US in 1997, he was already worth several million dollars,” Elad says, adding, “Somehow he evaded the clutches of the US Internal Revenue Service and was not charged with financing terrorism. People in the know say he probably became connected to the administration and cooperated with it. There is no proof, but it’s hard to think of any other reason why he escaped punishment for such serious offenses. In 2001, in the investigation of the September 11 events, it turned out that he had extensive financial connections with Al Qaeda, including the transfer of funds to the 21 Al Qaeda operatives accused of the attacks.”

Today, Marzook is considered one of Hamas’s wealthiest billionaires. “Arab sources estimate his wealth at $2-3 billion,” Elad says.

In late 1996—the same year that Hillary Clinton hosted his group for the Ramadan at the White Hosue—AMC founder Alamoudi spoke to a conference for the Islamic Association for Palestine held in Chicago.

At that event, Alamoudi said eventually America “will become a Muslim country.”

Alamoudi was emphatic that he was working to create political change in America while leaving open the possibility of violence elsewhere. He told his audience “you can be violent anywhere else but in America.” His speech was recorded and he said:

It will happen, it will happen (unclear word) Allah, I have no doubt in my mind, Muslims sooner or later will be the moral leadership of America. It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country. And I (think) if we are outside this country we can say ‘oh, Allah destroy America’, but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it. And the prophet told us that there are three ways of changing things, either by your hand or your mouth or within yourself, and we can change it by our hand and by our mouth, but positively. There is nowhere for Muslims to be violent in America, no where at all. We have other means to do it. You can be violent anywhere else but in America.

In 2000, Alamoudi would openly declared himself as a supporter of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah at an anti-Israel rally.

Alamoudi was the President of Muslim Students Association in the 1980s and both Huma Abedin and her father were members.

The Muslim Students Association was formed in 1963 by the Muslim World League. As the New York Times described the group’s origins, it was heavily influenced by Saudi Arabia:

Organized in the 1960s by foreign students who wanted collective prayers where there were no mosques, the associations were basically little slices of Saudi Arabia. Women were banned. Only Muslim men who prayed, fasted and avoided alcohol and dating were welcomed. Meetings, even idle conversations, were in Arabic.

Donations from Saudi Arabia largely financed the group, and its leaders pushed the kingdom’s puritan, Wahhabi strain of Islam. Prof. Hamid Algar of the University of California, Berkeley, said that in the 1960s and 1970s, chapters advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations and would brook no criticism of Saudi Arabia.

In was during this period in the early 1970s that Huma Abedin’s father Syed was connected to the MSA at Western Michigan University.

A search of the WMU website shows papers published by Abedin in 1972 and credited to “Abedin, Syed Z | Kalamazoo, Mich. : Muslim Students Association, Western Michigan University 1972.”

Given Syed Abedin’s involvement during the “slices of Saudi Arabia” early years of the Muslim Students Association, it’s not shocking that in 1979, Syed Abedin was picked to run the Institute of Muslim Minority in Saudi Arabia. According the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs inaugural issue in 1979, Naseef was the Institute’s Chairman.

Huma Abedin would spend the next 16 years growing up in Saudi Arabia. When Huma Abedin was sent to the United States for college, she become part of the MSA. A page from the group’s 1996 website at Archive.org lists her on the Executive Board as the Head of Social Committee.

It’s not surprising that Huma Abedin was part of the Muslim Students Association but it should raise eyebrows and it’s a valid subject for questions since the MSA has been breeding ground for known terrorists. As the Canary Mission website summarizes:

Anwar al-Awlaki was president of the MSA at Colorado State University during the mid-1990s. An al-Qaeda cleric linked to numerous terror plots including 9/11 and the Fort Hood shootings, al-Awlaki was the first United States citizen to be targeted and killed in a United States drone strike. After his death, he was linked to the terrorists responsible for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, to whom al-Awlaki had repeatedly preached, calling for the killing of newspapers editor, Stéphane Charbonnier. Omar Shafik Hammami was president of MSA’s chapter at the University of South Alabama during the early 2000’s. In 2006, Hammami abandoned his young wife and child and left for Somalia where he became a militant leader in the terrorist organization al-Shabaab. Ramy Zamzam was a past president of the MSA’s Washington, D.C. council, before his conviction in in 2010 for attempting to lead a group dubbed the “D.C. 5” to join the Taliban in Pakistan.

Alamoudi also helped put together the first dinner at the White House celebrating the end of the Ramadan fast known as Eid; an event hosted by Hillary Clinton and advised by Huma Abedin.

That 1996 event was put together by Alamoudi’s assistant director, Khaled Saffouri. In 1998, Saffouri explained to the Los Angeles Times how the that first White House Eid dinner developed:

The White House celebration of the Eid comes after years of efforts to educate the public about Islam and a specific effort to encourage recognition of Ramadan, said Khaled Saffouri of the American Muslim Council, a Washington-based educational organization.

After Saffouri organized an observance in the U.S. Senate in 1996 and personally invited the first lady, her aides asked him to organize a similar event at the White House.

On February 20, 1996 then-First Lady Hillary Clinton hosted the first dinner at the White House celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. In her remarks that night, she admitted:

Like many Americans, I have only recently gained a full appreciation of Islam. When I was growing up, there were no courses in Islamic history or religion in my schools and the Koran was not on too many bookshelves in American households. Fortunately, that has changed, as I know from my own family experience.

I have to admit that a good deal of what my husband and I have learned has come from my daughter, who some of you who are our friends know took a course last year in Islamic history. When she and I traveled to South Asia, she provided me with a running commentary on everything we saw and visited.

Mrs. Clinton’s “full appreciation of Islam” would come after a number of impossible-to-miss historic events involving Islamists that had shaped the United States. Most Americans in the modern era first became aware of the Islamist threat during the Iranian hostage crisis that began in the Carter administration.

More significantly, two major events involving Islam happened during the early years of the Clinton administration itself, both with long-term consequences: the Bosnian war and the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Understanding the threat of Islamist ideology should have been a prerequisite for leadership in the face of those events, but three years into the Clinton administration—after both the Bosnian War and the first attack on the World Trade Center—Hillary Clinton admitted that both she and the leader of the free world had learned “a good deal” of what they knew about Islam from 14-year-old high school sophomore Chelsea Clinton.

Bosnia has become an important point of recruitment for terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group, which is based out of Iraq and Syria. Nearly 40 percent of the nation is Muslim, and Bosnian national Husein Bosnic has become a top recruiter for the group in Europe, helping send more than 300 foreign fighters to Syria, according to a report in France 24.

Although Saffouri and Alamoudi would have an impact in the Clinton White House, they also wanted to have influence with Republicans.

One immediate impact was that Ramadan dinners became a White House tradition that extended through George W. Bush’s administration and have been carried on by Barack Obama.

In 1997, Saffouri—the man who put together the first White House Ramadan dinner event for the Clintons—would cofound the Islamic Free Market Institute with GOP political operative Grover Norquist and Morquist’s brother-in-law, Palestinian activist Majed Tomeh. Norquist was an important influncer on the Republican Party through this anti-tax group lobbying group Americans for Tax Reform and remains so today. Norquist is also the board of the National Rifle Association.

Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute, also known as the Islamic Institute, would be funded in part by a $20,000 check from Alamoudi. Another $20,000 came from a man named Jamal Barzinji.

The funding of the Islamic Institute by Barzinji and Alamoudi is well documented was admitted by Norquist in an interview with Glenn Beck in March 2015, where Norquist claimed that Alamoudi’s radicalism was not known at the time:

“He worked with the Pentagon for crying out loud,” Norquist said. “He traveled evidently for USAID or the State Department… He is somebody who was, at that point, people thought or said he was an OK guy.”

Republican Norquist co-founded a group called the Islamic Institute, funded by two $20,000 checks; one from former Muslim Students Association National President Abdurahman Alamoudi and another from one of the 1963 founders of the Muslim Students Association, Jamal Barzinji.

By the end of 1990s, there would be two powerful, unelected influencers on Islamic issues working behind the scenes at the Presidential level: Huma Abedin working with the Democrats and Grover Norquist working with the Republicans.

It is also worth noting that when questions about Huma Abedin were raised in 2012, that one of the people who sprang to her defense was Grover Norquist.

As Politico reported at the time in an article titled, “Norquist: Bachmann claim ‘indefensible’”:

“It’s completely indefensible, there’s nothing else to say,” Norquist said in an interview with POLITICO.

Norquist joked that the one thing he and Anthony Weiner had in common was that they “both married beautiful women.”

Norquist is married a Palestinian woman who met through the Islamic Institute. Norquist’s sister Loraine is also married to a Palestinian activist, Majed Tomeh, who co-founded the Islamic Institute with Norquist.

However she ended up in the White House, it’s clear from a search of records from the Clinton White House that Abedin quickly became a go-to resource on Islam for the future Secretary of State.

At the 1999 Ramadan dinner, Hillary said:

There are many people who have made today happen, but special thanks are due to Maureen Shea, Mona Mohib and Huma Abedin for putting together this event.

Maureen Shea was associate director of the office of Public Liaison at the White House.

Hillary Clinton goes on to to cite one example of Huma Abedin’s influence.

I must say that I have seen very personally the impact of Ramadan because of having Huma on my staff, and have had many occasions to talk with her about the particular meaning of Ramadan.

Later in that 1999 speech, Hillary Clinton would go on to say how she believed that the “values that are embodied in Islam” including the yearning “to live in peace” “strengthen the United States”:

Today, we celebrate Eid with special foods and exchanging of gifts, and by honoring the remarkable contributions of Islam that have enabled millions and millions of Muslims around the world to endure and thrive through the ages and enrich us all..

We also honor the universal values that are embodied in Islam—love of family and community; mutual respect; the power of education; and the deepest yearning of all: to live in peace. Values that can bring people of every faith and culture together, strengthen us as people, and ,I would argue, strengthen the United States as a nation.

Other documents from the Clinton era show how quickly Huma Abedin went from being a White House intern to becoming an important consultant on all things Islamic, including presidential speeches.

According to an email sent by Maureen Shea in 1999, Huma Abedin was one of White House’s “resident Muslims” and gave notes on a speech by President Bill Clinton.

Among the notes are pronunciation suggestions on the word “Muslim” as well as a note to take out a reference to Iraq as “too political.”

The Shea Memo read in part:

Subject: Comments on Video

01/11/99 09:33:24 AM

Hope this is helpful – I have consulted with Huma and Mona, our two resident Muslims!

First of all, can you get the President to pronounce Muslims not as Moslims but as Musslims!

Paragraph one:

  • As not all Arabs are Muslims, take out Arab and simply say; “On behalf of all Americans, Hillary and I would like to send our best wishes to Muslims both here and around the world as
  • If he could say “Eid Mubarak !EED-moo-bar-akl at the end which means “blessed Eid,” that

would be great.

Paragraph two :

• end with “and by the fasting which is one of its five pillars.”

Paragraph three: too political: Keep first line and take out the rest – the part on Iraq is especially out of place in a religious message.

The line that the “resident Muslims” wanted removed was “I especially hope we will see the lives of the Iraqi people improve. They have suffered from a harsh dictatorship for too long.”

That was considered too political.

By 1999, internal White House memos would show that the “generic” Clinton take on Islam would be that “we have no issue with Islam, issue is those who distort religion, or nationalism, or ethnic feelings to suit their political interests.”

This, of course, would be the standard line from the Clinton administration to the George W. Bush administration to the Obama administration; despite the rise of al-Qaeda and then ISIS, despite attacks on the World Trade Center, London and Paris and despite the sharp spike in worldwide terrorism since the Arab Spring, the messaging from Washington is always “we have no issue with Islam.”

A few days after terrorists toppled the World Trade Center in 2001, George W. Bush would stand in a mosque in an event arranged by Grover Norquist and Khaled Saffouri, the man who had organized the first Eid dinner at the Clinton White House. Bush would tell the world: “Islam is peace.”

Eleven years later, Hillary Clinton would be Secretary of State with Huma Abedin at her side. After terrorists from Ansar al-Sharia killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama would tell the United Nations that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

And now, Americas get to decide whether the future belongs to Huma Abedin.

Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.


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