| Accused Spy for Iran Allegedly Radicalized During Stint at US University That Took $100M From Muslim Nations|
A former U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist accused of espionage for Iran, Monica Witt, was allegedly radicalized in part during a stint at a Washington university that has taken $100 million from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.
Certain American universities have received funding from the U.S. government with a partial goal of training students to be diplomats and intelligence specialists for the U.S., while simultaneously accepting financial donations from Middle East countries. In some cases, the programs have been staffed by academics who are critical of U.S. policy and who publicly espouse fringe positions.
Witt was charged Feb. 13 by the Department of Justice with sharing government secrets with Iranian officials. She was allegedly helping create a cyber-hacking operation on fellow former agents. She is at large and believed to be in Iran.
Muslim-majority nations — plus a handful of private groups associated with them — have given $100 million to George Washington University in the form of gifts and contracts since 2011, according to Department of Education disclosures. That includes $80 million from Saudi Arabia, $14 million from Kuwait, $4.5 million from the United Arab Emirates, and $730,000 from Turkey. Most of those countries gave as recently as June 2018.
The Middle East centers of Washington-area universities provide a direct line to shaping U.S. policy. In 2011, for example, GWU’s now-director of the Middle East studies program Nathan Brown testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: “We have no policy toward the [Muslim] Brotherhood. And let me stake out what might seem to be an odd position here: I do not think we need a policy.”
Even as GWU receives financing from Middle East interests, the Department of Education has used taxpayer money to amplify its ability to shape the way Americans think about the region. For 2019-2021, it received a quarter million dollars for “Foreign Language and Area Studies” of the Middle East from a U.S. taxpayer-funded program known as Title VI.
Title VI grantees often have a trickle-down influence that shapes how not only college students, but young schoolchildren understand the Middle East. The Education Department says that “In addition to supporting foreign language and area studies instruction and research, Title VI” recipients will “conduct outreach and develop programs that expand global opportunities for K-16 educators.”[…]
[Note: The incursion of Islamic money into U.S. education isn’t news to long-time Gates of Vienna readers]