Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and a handful of her GOP colleagues have taken heat in recent days for asking inspector generals at the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate whether members of the Muslim Brotherhood are infiltrating the highest level of government.
Bachmann's been attacked for targeting long-time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who she says has three family members connected to the Muslim Brotherhood organizations. House Speaker John Boehner warned Thursday that Bachmann's allegations crossed the line.
"I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous," Boehner said at his weekly presser. [Opinion: Bachmann's Vicious Smear Campaign.]
But all signs point to the likelihood that Bachmann didn't develop these ideas on her own.
Rather, it looks to be the brain child of Frank Gaffney, the president of the American Center for Security Policy, a nonprofit that received $4,084,750 in contributions in 2010 to educate Americans on the "Shariah threat."
In recent years, Gaffney, who worked in the Pentagon during the Ronald Reagan administration, developed a 10-part class titled "the Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within." The video was the source for many of the claims made in the letters to the inspector generals and was cited as evidence in every single one.
"It is fair to say that in addition to the very considerable amount of research she has been doing herself, that they used our material as part of their documentation for what prompted them to write for these investigations," Gaffney says. "I've known her for probably 8 years or so and... we've continued to communicate with frequency."
Bachmann's staff was not immediately available for comment.
Gaffney has been disappointed by the media's treatment of Bachmann since she sent the letters calling for investigations. [See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]
"Obviously the critics of this initiative have chosen to go after Bachmann alone," Gaffney says. "There were four other members, all of whom had membership positions who also felt these kinds of questions that were being posed here needed to be answered."
Gaffney claims the Muslim Brotherhood strategic plan is to evoke a "civilization-jihadist process," a war from within that will erase Western culture. He strongly defends Bachmann's calls for an investigation. "My view of all of this is any of the people who are now taking her specifically to task..troubled themselves to do even a fraction of the homework she has done, they would understand the requests being made are entirely justified and necessary," he says. "For them to make statements that she is a fringe or a conspiracy theorist or uninformed is really not only offensive, but cheeky since they haven't done any due diligence of their own."
Gaffney says the U.S. government has been bowing down to radical Islam under the guise of political correctness.
Throughout the years Gaffney's testified to the threat of Sharia law on multiple occasions.
He spoke in support of the lawsuit to stop a mosque from being built in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 2010. And in 2011, Gaffney voiced his suspicion that the Conservative Political Action Conference was being infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Gaffney says he's not so sure Obama is not a Muslim. He also accused the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, of affiliating himself with terrorist groups who were seeking to infiltrate the Bush administration. In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center named Gaffney to its list of 30 radicals on the right to watch.
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