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A Slap On The Wrist By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nada Nadim Prouty is a Lebanese national who has been employed by both the FBI and the CIA. She has admitted that she searched FBI files for information on investigations connected to the jihad terrorist group Hizballah – although, according to her plea agreement, she “was not assigned to work on Hezbollah cases as part of her F.B.I. duties and she was not authorized by her supervisor, the case agent assigned to the case, or anybody else to access information about the investigation in question.”

For that, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn on Tuesday gave her a $750 fine – and no jail time at all.

Cases Prouty sought information about included those of two accused Hizballah operatives in the U.S. – namely, her sister and brother-in-law. Her brother-in-law, Talal Chahine, is the owner of La Shish, a restaurant chain in the Detroit area. Chahine has fled the country to escape indictment for evading taxes and sending the restaurant money to Hizballah (to the tune of $20 million). While searching for information on Chahine, Prouty also took the time to search the files to see what information the Feds had on herself – an exercise intriguing in its implications. At the time of her guilty plea, some agents declared their suspicion that Prouty was actually a Hizballah mole. There is no doubt, meanwhile, that she is an illegal immigrant: she has also admitted to paying an American citizen to entering into a sham marriage with her so that she could obtain U.S. citizenship. She is currently married to a longtime State Department official who has held important positions in the Egyptian and Pakistani embassies. And while working for the CIA, Prouty had access to key Al-Qaeda detainees in Iraq.

For all that -- $750, and not a single second in prison. If Nada Nadim Prouty had been a serial double parker, she might have drawn a larger fine than that. But at this point, her case is closed. The only thing that U.S. Government agencies can do now is try to make sure that there will be no more Nada Nadim Proutys – if they have the will to do so.

How can they do it? In the first place by examining the culture that enabled her to rise so high in the first place. Before she was hired by the FBI, Prouty was a waitress at La Shish. That’s an impressive career move, but it does suggest that when the Feds hired her, they were primarily motivated not by her outstanding qualifications but by the pleasing thoughts that were dancing in their heads – thoughts about how good it would be to reach out to the Arab community in the Detroit area, so as to deflect the ubiquitous criticism of anti-terror efforts as “racism” and “racial profiling” that has come from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Arab American Institute, as well as from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Given the fact that such charges are taken seriously by the mainstream media, it is hard to imagine that when she was hired, Nada Nadim Prouty was asked any hard questions about just where she stood on Hizballah, or in general about the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism. Few agents, in any case, would even have known how to formulate such questions, or how to evaluate the answers. And if they were being asked of Arab and Muslim applicants, CAIR and its ilk would begin immediately to charge bigotry and demand that the application process be changed.

And given today’s political climate, they would probably succeed in this. But when you don’t ask, of course, and make no effort to investigate in any other way, you don’t get answers. If the FBI and the CIA don’t want the relatives of fugitives who are accused of funding jihadist groups illegally rifling through the files on the case, they shouldn’t hire them in the first place, or should subject them to rigorous and politically incorrect screening. The very fact that such an elementary recommendation has to be made indicates just how far all too many officials in these agencies have drifted from a healthy concern for the security of the United States. Apparently it is more important not to be racist than to be protected from potential jihadist moles.

Several CIA officials, meanwhile, have praised Prouty as a great agent and expressed interest in hiring her again. If they do, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.

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