Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Arrested White House official lobbied for convicted terrorist operative

David Hossein Safavian, the senior White House official arrested September 19 in connection with a lobbying scandal, was director of a Muslim activist group and once lobbied for an Islamist operative now serving a 23-year sentence in federal prison for terrorist-related crimes.

As Paul Sperry documents in his book Infiltration, Safavian lobbied for Abdurahman Alamoudi, founder of several Washington, DC-based Muslim groups and an outspoken supporter of State Department-designated terrorist organizations.

In a plea arrangement, Alamoudi admitted guilt to crimes related to laundering Libyan money, and agreed to cooperate fully with federal investigators on other cases.

Until Friday, Safavian was the federal government's chief procurement officer. The FBI alleges he conducted criminal activity in relation to a cover-up of alleged crimes involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Safavian is a close associate of Republican operative Grover Norquist, with whom he served as director of the Islamic Institute.

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