A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser long engulfed in controversy over his radical views was let go from his role in the department last week after a long fight by lawmakers and others to revoke the individual’s privileges at DHS.
Mohamed Elibiary was until last week a senior member of DHS’ Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). After years of controversy about his status at DHS, Elibiaryannounced his final day with the department on Twitter earlier this month and said he would remain close to the agency.
Media outlets have raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his departure, speculating that his provocative comments about the “inevitable” return of the Muslim “caliphate” may have played a role.
New documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon indicate that Elibiary had no choice in the matter, and that he may have been let go by DHS in order to minimize the fallout from an investigation into allegations that he improperly accessed and used classified materials obtained with his security clearance.
Elibiary was originally appointed to HSAC in 2010 and reappointed in September 2013 with the elevated title of “senior fellow,” DHS informed Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) in a July letter about Elibiary’s status with the agency, according to a copy of that correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon.
“Mr. Elibiary will not be reappointed when his term expires in September of 2014,” Alan Bernstein, DHS assistant secretary for policy and chief diplomatic officer, informed Gohmert.
Bernstein provided no specific reason for this decision and a DHS spokesperson did not respond to a request for more information on the matter.
Patrick Poole, a counterterrorism analyst and writer who has closely tracked Elibiary’s career and first reported on the allegations against him, said that DHS is trying to limit the fallout of his controversial tenure at the department.
“Mohamed wants to pretend that he’s moving on to bigger and better things,” Poole said. “But it’s clear that Homeland Security threw him under the bus, and he’s going back to [his home state of] Texas with his tail between his legs.”
Elibiary has long been a lightening rod for controversy and a poster boy for critics who accuse the Obama administration of appointing radical advisers to a range of sensitive security posts.
Elibiary, for instance, came under fire in June for tweeting about the “inevitable” return of the Muslim “caliphate.” His tweets were later praised by affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and potentially used to recruit extremist followers.
Elibiary also has maintained that America is “an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution” and argued that the Muslim Brotherhood poses no threat to the United States.
While these comment have sparked outrage among critics who call Elibiary an extremist unfit to serve in such a sensitive role, the most concerning issue for lawmakers has been Elibiary’s alleged role in the “inappropriate disclosure of sensitive law enforcement documents,” as the letter from DHS frames it.
Please read more in the Washington Free Beacon.
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