One of the sitting members on the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s (HSAC) Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism is a 25-year-old immigrant of Syrian heritage who said that the 9/11 attacks “changed the world for good” and has consistently disparaged America, free speech and white people on social media.
Laila Alawa was one of just 15 people tapped to serve on the newly-formed HSAC Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism in 2015 — the same year she became an American citizen. Just last week, the subcommittee submitted a report to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, recommending that the DHS avoid using Muslim terminology like the words “sharia” and “jihad” when discussing terrorism.
Alawa says she immigrated into the U.S. when she was ten years old. Her family had already left Syria by the time she was born. “But I will always be Syrian. I will always be from Syria. I will always be of Syria,” she wrote in November 2015, calling the country her “homeland.”