Affiliates of the Iraqi terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, are praising and potentially recruiting extremists based on controversial tweets by a senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser who recently claimed that ISIL is proof that a Muslim "caliphate" is making an "inevitable" return.
The recent tweets by Mohamed Elibiary, a controversial figure who serves as a senior member of DHS’ Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), were recently picked up in the Arabic press and widely disseminated on Twitter by multiple Islamic extremists.
Recent Stories in National Security
Elibiary’s tweets—which disparaged Americans as showing "belligerence" after the 9/11 terror attacks and told of the "inevitable" return of the Muslim caliphate—drew widespread criticism online and prompted calls for his removal from DHS’ advisory committee.
Now the comments are being circulated and praised by Islamic jihadists affiliated with ISIL and Syrian extremists.
"Starting yesterday, Arabic reports of Elibiary's comments went viral on social media and were especially disseminated by Islamic extremist Twitter accounts and those affiliated with [ISIL] and/or jihadi fighters in Syria, Iraq, and even Yemen" Oren Adaki, an Arabic language specialist at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told the Washington Free Beacon.
"Many of these tweets were accompanied by #Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_Syria and #Remains hashtags, implying that the Elibiary's comments validated that the U.S. recognizes and has come to terms with ISIL's advance in Syria and Iraq," Adaki said.
Elibiary’s made the comments late last week during a discussion about ISIL’s rise in Iraq.
"As I’ve said b4 inevitable that ‘Caliphate’ returns," Elibiary tweeted in response to a question about ISIL, which is currently seeking to overthrow the Iraqi government and instate strict Sharia law in the country.
"Choice only whether we support [European Union] like Muslim Union vision or not," continued Elibiary, who has "advised numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations on homeland security-related matters," according to his biography on DHS’ website.
Additionally, Elibiary claimed that conservatives "misread" the 9/11 terror attacks and "should reassess" their "belligerence."
These controversial comments quickly ricocheted through the Muslim world after the Arabic website Rassd republished the comments in Arabic and touted the words of what it called a key "Obama adviser."
That article was then disseminated and celebrated on Twitter by several accounts affiliated with ISIL.
"Obama Adviser: The caliphate will return, that is inevitable," the Arabic tweet reads, according to a translation provided by FDD’s Adaki.
The tweet, first picked up on by the website Weasel Zippers, includes the hash tags "#Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_Sham" and "#Remains."
The tweet also includes a screenshot of the Rassd article on Elibiary’s tweets, including a portion of the piece that reads: "Mohammad al Abyari, adviser to the American president for domestic security, warned in a tweet on the social media site ‘Twitter’ about the rise of the Islamic caliphate."
Terrorism analyst Patrick Poole said that Elibiary’s tweets are being used to recruit jihadists and that he should face repercussions for employing such rhetoric given his sensitive position at DHS.
"For years those of us complaining about Elibiary's extremist statements have done so to no avail," Poole said. "The Obama administration has repeatedly doubled-down on their support for Elibiary and recently promoted him to homeland security senior fellow."
"I have personally briefed a roomful of members of Congress about the situation, and only a very few have been willing to publicly raise the issue while most have privately admitted the problem but sat back and done nothing," Poole said. "The question for both the administration and Congress now is what are they going to do about the patently surreal position that Elibiary's cheerleading for the ‘inevitable caliphate' is being used fairly and in context by [ISIL] to recruit for jihad?"
Elibiary has long been a controversial figure in some political circles.
He has come under heavy criticism in the past for claiming that America is "an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution."
Elibiary also stated at the time that "sociologically speaking" the Christian right is "similar" to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that he has described as "pragmatic" and "non-violent."
Elibiary also has argued that the Muslim Brotherhood poses little threat to the United States and he once referred to former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as "Egypt’s Mandela," a reference to the recently deceased South African leader.
Elibiary did not respond to an email request seeking comment on the response to his tweets.