By Mary Fanning and Alan Jones | October 26, 2017
The Obama administration placed Aimen Nabi Mir, former two-time president of the youth wing of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), into the top advisory position to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a national security post at the Treasury Department.
Aimen Mir was the CFIUS Staff Chairperson from 2009 until 2014. During that time, Aimen Mir played a key role in the CFIUS panel’s decision to approve the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s Rosatom. Mir also played a key role in the Treasury Department’s refusal to investigate the UAE’s Gulftainer 35-year cargo container terminal lease at Port Canaveral, a critical military infrastructure facility for U.S. naval and space operations. Both decisions severely damaged United States national security.
Aimen Mir helped set the table for Vladimir Putin to seize control of over 20 percent of U.S. uranium and was part of the decision that awarded control of Port Canaveral’s cargo container terminal to Saddam Hussein’s rogue nuclear weapons scientist and designated Iraq War enemy combatant, Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar. Dr. Jafar’s brother and business partner, Gulftainer co-owner Hamid Jafar, was under investigation by the Treasury Department and four congressional committees for his ‘Oil For Superweapons” scheme in concert with Saddam Hussein.
For starters, Aimen Mir’s ISNA connections are troubling. ISNA is one of the largest Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial.
Further, Aimen Mir is the son of Kashmir-born physician Dr. Ghulam Nabi Mir, an ISNA Founders Committee member. Dr. Mir is also the president of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF), an Islamic platform Dr. Mir uses to aggressively advocate for Kashmir’s secession from India in order to join Pakistan. WKAF’s Secretary General “Dr.” Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, is a convicted felon, also from Kashmir, who served as a Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) operative inside the United States.
Fai was arrested by the FBI in 2011 for covertly operating as an unregistered foreign agent while receiving $3.5 million dollars in wire transfers from the ISI. Fai used some of that money to fund an elaborate lobbying operation pushing Kashmiri “independence” on unsuspecting U.S. officials who remained seemingly unaware that Pakistan was running the operation. In 2013, Fai was granted early release from U.S. federal prison by the Justice Department.
Like his father’s ISI partner Fai, Aimen Mir appears to have been running his own operation at CFIUS.
Aimen Mir was the CFIUS Staff Chairperson from 2009 until 2014. During Mir’s five years in the staff chairperson’s seat, CFIUS approved Russia’s 2010 purchase of Uranium One, effectively handing Vladimir Putin control of 20 percent of America’s uranium. Also during Mir’s term, the Treasury Department refused to conduct two legally-required CFIUS investigations of Port Canaveral’s 2014 container terminal lease concession to the UAE’s Gulftainer.
The Gulftainer deal effectively placed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons mastermind, Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar, along with his longtime Russian KGB/SVR and Iranian regime associates and a UAE Emir inside the wire of a national-security sensitive U.S. port. Gulftainer misrepresented its true ownership; facts that Mir could and should have uncovered easily.
A World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) document (now scrubbed from the IFC website) proved that Gulftainer was owned in part by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Emir of Sharjah, UAE. Under the Foreign Investment National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA), foreign government ownership of an acquiring entity automatically triggers a mandatory CFIUS review, regardless of whether the transaction is a purchase or a lease. Aimen Mir understood CFIUS and FINSA law and chose to ignore it, as did Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
In 2014 the Treasury Department promoted Aimen Mir to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security after the Clinton Foundation-connected Uranium One and Gulftainer Port Canaveral deals closed. Mir’s LinkedIn profile and post-Trump administration inauguration postsshow he’s still at the Treasury Department, now as a career civil servant.
In Gulftainer’s case, the supposedly-rigorous CFIUS national security review process for direct foreign investment transactions was completely and stunningly bypassed. An email released by Wikileaks implicates Gulftainer and the Clintons in a pay-to-play operation involving the Port Canaveral deal.
Both Uranium One and Gulftainer have deep ties to Russian intelligence, nuclear weapons, and uranium enrichment. Gulftainer has additional ties to the Iranian regime and to the architects of Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal.
Gulftainer executive board chairman Badr Jafar visited the White House in 2014, six weeks before the secretly-negotiated Gulftainer deal was announced, signed, and closed.
According to Aimen Mir’s LinkedIn profile, since graduating from Georgetown in 2000, he never served in any national security position before his CIFIUS chairperson appointment. Mir’s work experience was as an immigration attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (WilmerHale) representing people from the Middle East seeking asylum in the United States.
CFIUS staff members such as staff chairperson Mir wield tremendous power in the CFIUS process workflow. They conduct research and make recommendations to cabinet-level CFIUS board members or their designated representatives and, through omission, can conceal from those Cabinet members critical national security information about foreign companies looking to invest in U.S.-based operations.
If a CFIUS application is approved before advancing from the 30-day initial review to an additional 45-day investigation involving 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, dangerous deals like Uranium One and Gulftainer deals can fly under the radar of the intelligence community.
According to a 2015 Breitbart report on CFIUS review of the Uranium One deal, “surprisingly the 2009 Annual Report submitted to Congress by CFIUS inaccurately described this approved transaction by stating the company acquiring a minority interest was Canadian rather than Russian.” Breitbart contacted Aimen Mir at the time of that report to ask him if the Uranium One transaction was subjected to a secondary 45-day review but received no response.
The Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States 2015 Annual Report to Congress Public/Unclassified Version, released over a year late, reveals that between 2013 and 2015, there were no covered transactions in the transportation sector involving acquirers from the UAE. In other words, the Treasury Department determined that the Gulftainer deal was not a ‘covered transaction’ and therefore CFIUS did not conduct the required investigation of the deal. That determination was likely made by Aimen Mir and it kept Gulftainer and U.S.- designated enemy combatant Dr. Jafar off the intelligence community’s radar.
The Treasury Department determined that a CFIUS review was not required for Gulftainer’s Port Canaveral deal, according to a 2015 Orlando Sentinel report:
“Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego, had asked for a formal Treasury Department review of security issues due to a foreign-owned company operating port facilities.
Port spokeswoman Rosalind Harvey said that never happened. “After extensive filing of all required paperwork to U.S. Treasury Department officials, the panel found that no review was required because the agreement was a lease and not a purchase of Port assets,” Harvey said.”
Unfortunately, there is more.
James Rickards, author and former advisor to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) Support Group of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), stated in an October 18, 2017 tweet that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper “disbanded” the CFIUS DNI advisory group “before Uranium One.”
It is noteworthy that Director Clapper went before Congress to testify under oath that the NSA, CIA, and other intelligence agencies were not collecting massive amounts of telephonic and Internet metadata on hundreds of millions of innocent American citizens. Revelations by Whistleblower Edward Snowden proved otherwise.
Subsequently Director Clapper was found to have been untruthful and resigned on November 17, 2016, effective the day Donald Trump was sworn in, January 20, 2017. Clapper has not been prosecuted for perjury.
CFIUS rules are clear about what constitutes a ‘covered transaction’:
Considering the post-9/11 national meltdown over the UAE’s Dubai Ports World deal, it is inconceivable that the Gulftainer deal would have received approval without a thorough intelligence review. The Congressional enactment of the Foreign Investment National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) was designed to heavily reinforce CFIUS in order to prevent a repeat of Dubai Ports world debacle.
The Gulftainer (GT USA) Port Canaveral 35-year concession is subject to CFIUS review because:
Gulftainer is responsible for safety and security and makes all substantial business decisions at the Canaveral cargo terminal;
Gulftainer oversees day-to-day operation of the Canaveral cargo terminal;
Port Canaveral is critical infrastructure for commercial maritime, military sealift, surface naval, submarine naval, commercial space, and military space operations;
Gulftainer’s cargo terminal is near four military bases: Two USAF, one USN, and one USCG;
Gulftainer’s cargo terminal is near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center;
Gulftainer’s cargo terminal is near the Eastern Range, critical for space missions and missile testing;
Gulftainer is partly-owned by a foreign government (Ruler of Sharjah, UAE), Iraqis involved in WMD production (Jafar family), possibly other “senior Iraqi military figures,” and in business with Russian Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs).
It is unclear how Aimen Mir was able to obtain a security clearance.
AUTHORS: Mary Fanning and Alan Jones
Center for Security Policy
For over twenty-five years, the Center for Security Policy has pioneered the organization, management and direction of public policy coalitions to promote U.S. national security. Even more importantly, the Center’s mission has been to secure the adoption of the products of such efforts by skillfully enlisting support from executive branch officials, key legislators, other public policy organizations, opinion-shapers in the media and the public at large.