Jul 13, 2012 at 8:47 am
WASHINGTON (KNSI) - Just days after St. Cloud congresswoman Michele Bachmann called for investigation of five federal agencies she says have been infiltrated by radical Islamic influences, the first Muslim elected to Congress is attacking those claims.
Fellow Minnesota lawmaker Ralph Ellison is challenging Bachmann to name names and provide facts behind her allegations. Ellison sent off a letter to Bachmann Thursday, in it, he calls on Bachmann to present her evidence of compromised influences in five federal agencies.
Bachmann and four fellow legislators signed letters last month, calling for investigation of possible Islamic elements working within the departments of Defense, Homeland Security Justice and State as well as National Intelligence.
One target of Bachmann's claims, Huma Abedin, is the wife of former congressman Anthony Weiner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff.
"One of the people who are the closest to Secretary of State Clinton has very strong ties to the Muslim brotherhood within her family," Bachmann said. "So we are asking the inspector general to take a look at it."
Ellison argues if Bachmann has sources for her information, she owes it to the country to reveal them to the proper authorities, not in front of the media. Bachmann says it is all in the name of national security.
"We're not defaming anyone, this isn't personal," Bachmann said. "We just think that in a very sensitive position like that, we should have the inspector general take a look because this is our country's safety and every single day we are dealing with terrorist threats."
According to Bachmann, elements like the Brotherhood gaining access to the corridors of government power cannot go unchallenged.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is not just a benign organization," Bachmann said. "This is an organization that speaks to have suicide bombing as its highest goal. That is not just an idle organization."
Despite a call for extreme vigilance when it comes to radical groups, she is quick to point out this is not an attack on all Muslims.
"I don't want anyone to think that this is about being mean to Muslims," Bachmann said. "That's not what this is about. This is about people who are radicalized. There is a big difference, and that is what we are against."
Bachmann said the danger posed by radical Islamic influences can't be ignored.
"There intention is to have suicide bombing and to blow things up and kill people," Bachmann said. "I'm not going to stand for that; I'm going to fight against it because I want people to be safe."
Temp: 73°F (23°C)
Wind: 8 N