U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin
Editor's note: Hillary Clinton is finally being investigated for her email server scandal and potential security breaches of sensitive information that may have occurred during her tenure as Secretary of State. During this investigation, will authorities finally look into the security threat at the Clinton State Department that involved Clinton's longtime confidant and senior aide, Huma Abedin? The question remains: How was an individual with such extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood allowed high-level access to the State Department? To understand the extreme menace to national security posed by the Abedin-Clinton partnership, read the in-depth DiscoverTheNetworks profile of Hillary's right-hand woman below.
Huma Abedin was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her father, Syed Abedin (1928-1993), was an Indian-born scholar who had worked as a visiting professor at Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz University in the early Seventies.
When Huma was two, the Abedin family relocated from Michigan to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This move took place when Abdullah Omar Naseef, a major Muslim Brotherhood figure who served as vice president of Abdulaziz University (AU), recruited his former AU colleague, Syed Abedin, to work for the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a Saudi-based Islamic think tank that Naseef was preparing to launch. A number of years later, Naseef would develop close ties to Osama bin Laden and the terrorist group al Qaeda. Naseef also spent time (beginning in the early 1980s) as secretary-general of the Muslim World League, which, as journalist Andrew C. McCarthy points out, "has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology."
It is vital to note that IMMA's "Muslim Minority Affairs" agenda was, and remains to this day, a calculated foreign policy of the Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs, designed, as Andrew C. McCarthy explains, "to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West." For details about this agenda, click here.
At age 18, Huma Abedin returned to the U.S. to attend George Washington University. In 1996 she began working as an intern in the Bill Clinton White House, where she was assigned to then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Abedin was eventually hired as an aide to Mrs. Clinton and has worked for her ever since, through Clinton's successful Senate runs (in 2000 and 2006) and her failed presidential bid in 2008.
It is noteworthy that in 2001-02, soon after Abedin left that executive board, the chaplain and "spritual guide" of GWU's MSA was Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda operative who ministered to some of the men who were among the 9/11 hijackers. Another chaplain at GWU's MSA (from at least October 1999 through April 2002) was Mohamed Omeish, who headed the International Islamic Relief Organization, which has been tied to the funding of al Qaeda. Omeish’s brother, Esam, headed the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Brotherhood’s quasi-official branch in the United States. Both Omeish brothers were closely associated with Abdurahman Alamoudi, who would later be convicted and incarcerated on terrorism charges.
From 1996-2008, Abedin was employed by the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs(IMMA) as the assistant editor of its in-house publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA). At least the first seven of those years overlapped with the al Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Omar Naseef's active presence at IMMA. Abedin's last six years at the Institute (2002-2008) were spent as a JMMA editorial board member; for one of those years, 2003, Naseef and Abedin served together on that board.
Throughout her years with IMMA, Abedin remained a close aide to Hillary Clinton. During Mrs. Clinton's 2008 presidential primary campaign, a New York Observerprofile of Abedin described her as "a trusted advisor to Mrs. Clinton, especially on issues pertaining to the Middle East, according to a number of Clinton associates." "At meetings on the region," continued the profile, "... Ms. Abedin’s perspective is always sought out."
When Mrs. Clinton was appointed as President Barack Obama's Secretary of State in 2009, Abedin became her deputy chief of staff. At approximately that same point in time, Abedin's name was removed from the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs' masthead.
Apart from their working relationship, Abedin and Mrs. Clinton have also developed a close personal bond over their years together, as reflected in Clinton's 2010 assertion that: “I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would [be] Huma.” In 2011, Secretary Clinton paid a friendly visit to Abedin's mother, Saleha, in Saudi Arabia. On that occasion, Mrs. Clinton publicly described her aide's position as “very important and sensitive.”
On July 10, 2010, Huma Abedin, a practicing Muslim, married then-congressman Anthony Weiner in a ceremony officiated by former president Bill Clinton. A number of analysts have noted that it is extremely rare for Islamic women—particularly those whose families have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood—to marry non-Muslims like Weiner, who is Jewish. Indeed, Dr. Anwar Shoeb, the highest-ranking faculty authority at the prestigious College of Sharia and Islamic Studies in Kuwait, formally declared that Abedin's marriage to Weiner was “null and void” under the dictates of Sharia Law, which explicitly forbids matrimony between a Muslim woman and an "infidel"; in fact, Shoeb classified the Abedin-Weiner union as a form of “adultery.”
Abedin went on maternity leave after giving birth to a baby boy in early December 2011. When she returned to work in June 2012, the State Department granted her an arrangement that allowed her to do outside consulting work as a “special government employee,” even as she remained a top advisor in the Department. Abedin did not disclose on her financial report either the arrangement or the $135,000 she earned from it, in violation of a law mandating that public officials disclose significant sources of income. Abedin's outside clients included the U.S. State Department, Hillary Clinton, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and Teneo (a firm co-founded by Doug Band, a former counselor for Bill Clinton). Good-government groups warned of the potential conflict-of-interest inherent in an arangement where a government employee maintains private clients.
In June 2012, five Republican lawmakers (most prominently, Michele Bachmann) sent letters to the inspectors general at the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and State, asking that they investigate whether the Muslim Brotherhood was gaining undue influence over U.S. government officials. One letter, noting that Huma Abedin's position with Hillary Clinton "affords her routine access to the secretary [of state] and to policymaking," expressed concern over the fact that Abedin “has three family members—her late father, mother and her brother—connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” Some other prominent Republicans such as John McCain and John Boehner disavowed the concerns articulated in the letters.
On February 1, 2013—Hillary Clinton's final day as Secretary of State—Abedin resigned her post as Mrs. Clinton's deputy chief of staff. Yet she would continue to serve as a close aide to Clinton.
On March 1, 2013, Abedin was tapped to run Clinton’s post-State Department transition team, comprised of a six-person “transition office” located in Washington.
In early March 2015, it was reported that throughout her entire four-year tenure as Secretary of State (SOS), Hillary Clinton had never acquired or used a government email account, and instead had transmitted -- in violation of government regulations -- all of her official government correspondences via a personal email account that was housed on a private server. In addition, Abedin and Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, also had email addresses on the secret server while employed at the State Department.
After Hillary Clinton announced in the spring of 2015 that she was running for president (2016), Abedin was named vice chair of the Clinton campaign.
Huma Abedin's brother, Hassan Abedin, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and is currently an associate editor with the JMMA. Hassan was once a fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies, at a time when the Center's board included such Brotherhood-affiliated figures as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Abdullah Omar Naseef.
Huma's sister, Heba Abedin (formerly known as “Heba A. Khaled”), is an assistant editor with JMMA, where she served alongside Huma prior to the latter's departure.