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Syrian Opposition Council Meets with Extremist Cleric
by Ryan Mauro
There were concerns about the overrepresentation of the Islamists in the body right from the beginning. When the council was formally announced in Turkey, one of the figures handling the press conference was Dr. Louay Safi, who has a long history of affiliations with the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood.
According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, Safi was in contact with Muslim Brotherhood operative Sami al-Arian who was convicted as the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the U.S. Safi was the Research Director at the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Brotherhood front, when it financed Sami al-Arian's think-tank. Safi was listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the case against al-Arian. He was suspended as a lecturer for the military in February 2010 because of a criminal investigation.
Safi was a member of the advisory council for the United Association for Studies and Research's journal, a group which court documents identify as being part of the secret "Palestine Committee" set up by the Brotherhood to support Hamas. Since January 2004, he has been a top official with the Islamic Society of North America, another Brotherhood front that was listed by the government as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing Hamas. He's currently the chairman of the Syrian-American Congress, which presumably led to his position in the Syrian National Council.
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