A GOP challenger to Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) is blasting the Democratic congressman for hosting a Capitol Hill briefing with a human rights group run by a designated al Qaeda terrorist.
A representative from Geneva-based NGO Al Karama was scheduled to participate in the Nov. 19 briefing on U.S. drone policy with Reps. Grayson, Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), the Washington Free Beacon first reported Monday. The representative was unable to attend because of reported visa issues.
Al Karama’s president and founder Abdul Rahman Naimi was designated as a global terrorist and al Qaeda financier by the U.S. Treasury Department in December.
Jorge Bonilla, a Republican running for Grayson’s seat in Florida’s 9th district, called the briefing a "slap in the face to the brave men and women who have served in the Global War On Terror," according to a statement published by the National Review:
Calls for review of our overseas and domestic drone policies are an entirely appropriate part of our national conversation, and oversight of such policy matters is well within the purview of the United States Congress.
However, I am outraged to discover that several progressive Members of Congress (including Alan Grayson) sought to elicit testimony from a representative of a group with deep links to Al Qaeda, headed by an individual who was found to have funneled millions of dollars to Al Qaeda at the height of the Iraqi insurgency. In other words, we are now consulting our drone policy with potential targets.
Such an invitation is a slap in the face to the brave men and women who have served in the Global War On Terror, to our returning Wounded Warriors, to our cherished Blue and Gold Star Families, and to the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom.
Grayson was reelected to congress in 2012, after losing a prior seat in 2010. He drew fire during his 2010 campaign when he released an ad calling his GOP opponent Daniel Webster "Taliban Dan." The ad was widely criticized by fact-checkers as misleading.