State reviewing how member of terror group visited White House

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. State Department is reviewing how it granted a visa to an Egyptian lawmaker who met with top Obama administration officials and who is known to be a member of a terrorist group.

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Hani Nour el-Din, during a visit here last week by lawmakers elected since the Egyptian revolution, met with deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough and deputy secretary of state William Burns.

The story was first broken by the Daily Beast/Newsweek.

El-Din is also a member of Gamaa Islamiya, now a registered party, but during the regime of Hosni Mubarak, an armed Islamist group that clashed with authorities.

CNN on Saturday quoted Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, as saying how El-Din got the visa is under review.

El-Din told the Daily Beast that he was not a terrorist and he was targeted for political reasons.

Omar Abdel Rahman, the “blind sheik” serving a life sentence in the United States for his role in plotting the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and for other conspiracies, is Gamaa Islamiya’s spiritual leader.

El-Din, according to the Daily Beast, asked McDonough to transfer Rahman to Egypt to serve out his sentence there. McDonough declined.

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