During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on that the United States should expect more visits from members of a designated terrorist organization.
The comments, coming from the head of a department tasked with keeping America safe from terrorist threats, are jaw-dropping.
“I think you are right in pointing out that as we move forward we are going to continue to have visitors to this country that the State Department and others feel are useful to bring to the country to have discussions moving forward, who say they are members of the political party that in the past have been so designated,” Napolitano told committee chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) during the hearing this morning.
Napolitano was justifying the government’s decision to invite Hani Nour Eldin — an Egyptian parliamentary member elected as a member the Islamic Group (Gamaa Islamiya), which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department — to the White House to meet with high-ranking Obama administration and State Department officials.
After King reminded her that Eldin is a member of a designated foreign terrorist group, Napolitano replied, ”I think we have to add more nuance to that.”
“We have to know what the group was. Is it now a political party that is running the government of a country that has strong ties to the United States?” she said. She also added that Eldin was properly “vetted” before he granted entry into the U.S. “Everyone who looked at this person felt confident that he was not a security risk to the White House or to the United States,” she said.
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