Egyptian with Al Qaida ties met with Obama NSC official

Special to

WASHINGTON — The United States has acknowledged that it approved the
entry of an Egyptian member of an Al Qaida-aligned group.

The State Department confirmed reports that it granted a visa to Hani
Nour Eddin, a senior member of the Al Qaida-aligned Gamiat Islamiya.

Hani Nour Eddin.

The department said Eddin, a parliamentarian, was part of an Egyptian delegation hosted by the White House and other government agencies in late June.

“We are looking into the circumstances of this particular case, and I
don’t have anything more until we get a chance to work through that,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

In a briefing on June 22, Ms. Nuland acknowledged that Eddin’s
background was not known to those who issued his entry visa. She said Eddin was granted access to senior administration officials, including the deputy national security adviser of President Barack Obama.

“We’re trying to better understand this particular case,” Ms. Nuland

The Egyptian delegation, comprised of six Islamist parliamentarians,
was invited by the Woodrow Wilson Center. The center said the names of the
Egyptians were recommended by the State Department.

Gamiat has long been on the State Department’s terror list. The group
claimed responsibility for mass-casualty attacks on civilians in the 1980s
and 1990s in its campaign against the regime of then-President Hosni

Eddin maintains a Facebook page in which he cites his membership in
Gamiat. He was said to have lobbied senior U.S. officials to transfer to
Egypt Omar Abdul Rahman, sentenced to life in connection with the bombing of
the World Trade Center in 1993.

In March, the State Department denied a visa to an Israeli
parliamentarian. Michael Ben-Ari, identified as a supporter of the late
Rabbi Meir Kahane in the 1980s, was not permitted to join an Israeli
parliamentary delegation invited to Washington to meet leaders of Congress.

“What I can say is that anybody issued a visa goes through a full set of
screenings,” Ms. Nuland said. “Those screenings do depend, however, on the
integrity of the information that’s available to us at the time that we do
screen. And this particular case is one that we are now looking into.”

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