It's bad enough that John Brennan, President Obama's national security deputy, thinks Gitmo jihadi recidivism is "not that bad." But in his talk last week with Islamic law students at New York University, Brennan made even more reckless comments about our counterterrorism programs while pandering to one of the worst Muslim grievance-mongers and sharia peddlers in America.
During the question-and-answer session, Brennan welcomed a question from Omar Shahin. He identified himself as the head of the "North American Imams Federation." What he didn't mention was his role as the chief ringleader of the infamous flying imams. You remember them: They were the six Muslim clerics whose suspicious behavior -- provocatively shouting "Allahu Akbar!" before boarding the plane, fanning out in the cabin before take-off, refusing to sit in their assigned seats, requesting seat-belt extenders, which they placed on the floor -- led to their removal by a U.S. Airways crew in 2006.
In coordination with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Shahin and his radical delegation attempted to shake down the airline with a discrimination lawsuit and bully the citizen "John Does" who flagged the imams' security-undermining behavior. CAIR mouthpiece Ibrahim Hooper blasted "anti-Muslim hysteria" by those who saw something and said something about the imams' in-flight shenanigans. Shahin ranted in a teleconference strategy session in 2007 that, indeed, he and his cohorts were spoiling for the incident and planning to engineer "many, many cases" to sabotage airline security efforts.
As head of the Islamic Center of Tucson in Arizona (home to past jihadi dry-run plotters), Shahin preached that his followers must put Islamic sharia law above Western laws. He told the Arizona Republic that he doubted Muslims were behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, concluding: "All of these, they make it up." Brennan didn't appear to know who Shahin was. Somebody around him should have briefed him. Shahin's involvement in Hamas-linked charities and radical Wahhabi "youth groups" has earned the Jordanian-born naturalized citizen increased FBI scrutiny over the years.