The U.S. State Department provided members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood with VIP treatment at JFK airport and exempted them from extra security screening, according to internal government documents.
The preferential treatment, referred to as "port courtesy," is generally reserved for visiting dignitaries but was reportedly provided to members of the Muslim Brotherhood in March and April of 2012. The development was first reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which compiled State Department documents obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
The U.S. government welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party with open arms even before they took over the Egyptian government in 2012.
Documents, marked "sensitive but unclassified," show that one senior Muslim Brotherhood official and visiting delegate, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, was even escorted through security checkpoints at JFK. He also reportedly avoided all "secondary inspection," which includes TSA agents going through baggage and electronic equipment belonging to potential security threats.
Dardery had "been linked to a child pornography investigation in the United States years earlier. Under normal circumstances, he likely would have been subjected to extra scrutiny," according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
“We did not hear anything further from the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] so we assume to departure went smoothly,” a department official reported after the trip.
TheBlaze has reached out to the State Department and will update this story should they respond.
Though the Muslim Brotherhood took over the Egyptian government when Mohammed Morsi was elected president in 2012, the Islamist group was overthrown during a military coup in 2013.
The Brotherhood and its supporters have held near daily protests since Morsi's ouster but over the past weeks, the cumulative weight of a tough security crackdown that killed hundreds and jailed top leaders has left the group deeply weakened.
"The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 with the goal of establishing a worldwide Islamic state. Just weeks before the delegation visited the United States, a Brotherhood spokesman said that goal remained at the forefront of the group's ambitions," the IPT report adds.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that Dardery was also a visiting delegate in addition to being a senior Muslim Brotherhood member.
(H/T: NY Post)