JERRY GORDON:Counterterrorism Experts Coughlin and Emerson Blocked from Presenting at Washington Intelligence Forum

Counterterrorism Experts Coughlin and Emerson Blocked from Presenting at Washington Intelligence Forum

Bill Gertz, Washington Times, Pentagon and Intelligence columnist had a report on October 6th about counterterrorism experts: Steve Coughlin and Steve Emerson, “Anti-Terror Trainers Blocked.” They were apparently denied making scheduled presentations at an event sponsored by the intelligence subcommittee of the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments because of alleged objections raised by Federal Department of Homeland Security and White House officials. Gertz who is a defender of both Coughlin and Emerson wrote:

The CIA and Department of Homeland Security abruptly canceled a conference in August on homegrown U.S. radical extremism in what officials close to the issue say was an effort to block two conservative anti-terrorism experts from presenting their views.

The conference was slated for Aug. 10 through 12 at agency headquarters in McLean and was to have been hosted by the CIA Threat Management Unit. It was organized by the intelligence subcommittee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

“The conference topic is a critical one for domestic law enforcement, and the sponsors – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security -have decided to delay the conference so it can include insights from among other sources, the new National Strategy for Counterterrorism in an updated agenda,” wrote CIA police officer Lt. Joshua Fielder in an email announcing the postponement in early August.

According to people close to the conference, the event was ordered “postponed” after Muslim advocacy groups contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the White House about the scheduled speakers, who included Stephen Coughlin and Steve Emerson, both specialists on the Islamist terror threat.

Mr. Coughlin, a former Pentagon Joint Staff analyst, is one of the most knowledgeable counterterrorism experts specializingin the relationship between Islamic law and terrorism.
Mr. Emerson, head of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, is a leading expert on Islamic violent extremism, financing and operations.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return a call seeking comment.

One intelligence official said the conference was stopped after the White House learned that Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Emerson were speaking.

This official said that to prevent the two experts from taking part in future conferences, the Administration is drafting new guidelines designed to prohibit all U.S. government personnel from teaching classes on Islamic
history or doctrine.

The new rules also will seek to prohibit the use of federal funds to pay contractors for such training.
Coughlin responded in an email to this author:

To be specific, I heard that DHS caused the CIA training to be suspended based on their claim that domestic terrorism was in their jurisdiction! In fact, it was my impression, not full proof in this that CIA ultimately had to be ordered to stand down!

That the DHS should convey the objections of Muslim advocacy groups should come as no surprise to Iconoclast readers. We have noted Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano appointments of Arif Alikhan as Assistant Secretary at DHS for Policy and Kareem Shora to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Alikhan, as we have pointed out was a former Bush Department of Justice official and Deputy Mayor in Los Angeles for Public Safety. In that capacity he was instrumental in killing an L.A.P.D. Muslim community policing project. Alikhan was a member of Muslim Brotherhood front group, MPACT.

This episode is a furtherance of concerns about Muslim Brotherhood influence in defense-related forums. We posted on an alleged victory at the National Defense University Foundation over trustee members R. Leslie Deak and Farouk Shami. They have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Authority Fatah-PLO Washington Representatives. We apparently spoke too hastily. The current head of the NDUF, Alan Zimmerman, has apparently delayed the Minutes of the Board meeting as if the meeting never occurred and denied the June votes of the board on amendment of the group’s by-laws which called for the removal of both Deak and Shami. Could the reason be an association with a nemesis of Coughlin’s and colleague of Zimmerman’s at DRS Technologies, Inc.,  a major defense contractor, none other than Heshem Islam? Islam was the former Muslim Outreach aide to former Bush Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Gordon English. Islam may have been instrumental in Coughlin’s removal as a consultant to the Joint Staff in the Pentagon on Islamic Jihad Law doctrine. Islam accused Coughlin of being “a Christian fanatic with a pen.” Islam is a Vice President for International Relations at DRS, owned by Italian aviation and defense technology firm, Finmeccanica. Zimmerman is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. Both are located in the Washington offices of New Jersey-based, DRS.

The recent episode with the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments intelligence conference fiasco and the NDUF board of trustees’ affair underlines the extent to which Muslim Brotherhood influence has deepened under the Obama Administration surpassing that of the Bush Administration.

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