Last week, Patrick Poole had a devastating critique on a slipshod piece of Muslim Brotherhood apologia written by former New York Times reporter David K. Shipler. Shipler, as has become routine for such stories carried out by ideologically-motivated journalists, attempts to downplay and disregard the significance of the documents unveiled in the Holy Land Foundation trial, most especially the “Explanatory Memorandum”.
Prosecutors in the HLF trial used numerous internal MB documents to show how the the Muslim Brotherhood established Palestine Committees across the world, including in the United States, in order to support and fundraise for Hamas. The “Explanatory Memorandum on The General Strategic Goal For the Group in North America,” is the most often cited of these documents, in part because it contains a list of “organizations” associated with the Brotherhood, and because it provides insight into a long-term Muslim Brotherhood plan to wage a “Grand jihad” in the United States.
Because the document was entered into court by federal prosecutors, apologists like Shipler cannot actually deny the validity of the document itself, although they do attempt to cast aspersions upon it by associating the Memorandum with the notorious forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
But unable to openly dispute the legitimacy of the text, they instead attempt to divorce it from the other reams of supporting documentation also introduced as evidence, and focus on its author, Mohammed Akram Adlouni- painting him as a delusional old relic who was roundly ignored within his own organization. But given Akram’s position on the Executive Office of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, and on its Shura Council, dismissing him as a mere “secretary” or “underling” makes sense only if one is equally willing to assume that all “Secretary” Josef Stalin did for the Soviet Communist Party was take dictation.
Indeed, in writing the “Explanatory Memorandum” which attempts to explain and outline the “General Strategic Goal” of the North American Muslim Brotherhood, Akram was fulfilling the assigned role of the “executive office” of which he was a member. We know this, because in another key Brotherhood document submitted at trial, U.S. Muslim Brotherhood “Masul” for the Executive Office Zeid Al-Noman explained:
“As for the duties of the Executive Office, it executes and follows up on the works of the Group and its different bodies according to the general policy and the resolutions…, and the resolutions issued by the Shura Council. It has to follow up and guide the activities of the general work organization and to make sure they run according to the Group’s plan with what achieves its goals.”
In other words, authoring a memorandum to “follow up” on “the Group’s Plan” is entirely consistent with the position Akram’s is known to have held on the Executive Office.
But, as apologists point out, Akram wrote the memorandum in 1991. Where is he now? After writing the Memorandum was he dismissed from office or expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood for his “misguided views”?
Today, Mohammed Akram Adlouni is the General Secretary of the Al Quds International Foundation, a Special Designated Global Terrorist entity, accused by the Treasury Department of financing Hamas. The Treasury Department notes:
“Hamas’s leadership runs all of the foundation’s affairs through Hamas members who serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors, and other administrative committees. All documents, plans, budgets, and projects of Al-Quds are drafted by Hamas officials. Several senior Hamas officials, including Specially Designated Global Terrorists Musa Abu-Marzuq and Usama Hamdan, served on Al-Quds’ Board of Trustees. Representatives at an Al-Quds conference were told to consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Hamas in their respective countries.”
The email address that the OFAC Sanctions List includes for the Al Quds International is directly listed as belonging to “Dr. Mohammed Akram al-Adlouni” on the group’s webpage.
Despite moving from the country and changing positions, Akram remained in touch with known members of the U.S. network, at least as late as May, 2008, when he shared the stage with his former colleague on the U.S. Palestine Committee, CAIR executive Director Nihad Awad.
Only a few months later, in November, 2008, the federal government secured a conviction against the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas, in part thanks to the “Explanatory Memorandum.” As Department of Justice Official Jeff Breinholt has stated, far from being irrelevant, or representative only of Akram’s personal fantasy, the Explantory Memorandum does provide key insight into the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and it’s activities. In the Investigative Project on Terrorism Film, “The Grand Deception,” Breinholt, a former Deputy Chief for Counterterrorism at DOJ, says Memorandum made:
“Pretty clear as to how they viewed their own objective. And they’re talking about the United States here. For the first time that was almost direct proof of what we had long suspected about their true political goals in the United States…
“Something like the explanatory memo is a bonanza for the art of intelligence because it actually is the target or the subject speaking in their own words about what they intend. You don’t have to read too much into that.”
But you do have to do a fair amount of misrepresentation of the Memo, and Akram himself, in order to dismiss and ignore it. Sadly too many journalists are willing to do exactly that.