Via The Hill:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told lawmakers on Wednesday that a member of an Egyptian militant group labeled by the United States as a terrorist organization was vetted by three U.S. agencies before visiting the White House.
Napolitano said the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secret Service all thoroughly examined the Egyptian man, Hani Nour Eldin, before his visit to Washington D.C. where he met with members of Congress and senior administration officials.
Eldin is a member of the Gama’a al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Group, which has been designated by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization. But Eldin was also recently elected as a member of Egypt’s parliament in the Islamic Group’s political offshoot, the Building and Development Party.
Napolitano, at a hearing on Wednesday, echoed comments made by the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), who said that as the Arab Spring results in reformed governmental structures in the Middle East, the United States — in an effort to maintain diplomatic ties with the revamped countries — may be forced to talk with groups and individuals that it once labeled terrorists, but which have now been democratically elected to office.
“He was vetted before he got a visa against all known terrorists and other databases for derogatory information. None was found,” she said. “As he entered the United States, we too, vetted him against all of our holdings, including terrorists and information from a variety of sources [and] no derogatory information was found.”
“Before he entered the White House, he was vetted a third time by the Secret Service. No derogatory information was found. So then we can have some confidence that this was not a security breach in that sense.”