WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Abedin has been accused of having ties or sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist Islamic groups that rose to power or influence while she worked for Hillary Clinton at the State Department from 2009 to 2013.
"There are a lot of stories going around about Huma Abedin as a Saudi-Muslim Brotherhood plant, but the truth is much more alarming," Middle East analyst and political commentator Dan Lazare said.
Abedin is now widely expected to become White House chief of staff if Clinton is elected US president next Tuesday.
"The United States has pursued a consistent pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Salafist policy since the opening days of the Cold War."
Successive US administrations had followed this policy to maintain the long-standing US-Saudi alliance, and because they believed in the Muslim Brotherhood as a counterweight to Communist or radical-nationalist influence in the Middle East, Lazare explained.
"What better way was there to destroy the Soviets than to encourage Islamic fundamentalist penetration or subversion from within? Washington was interested in jihad long before the Saudis were."
However, this policy hit a significant setback when al-Qaeda carried out the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 US citizens, Lazare acknowledged.
"But we know what happened next: The Saudi-Salafist angle was hushed up while blame was shifted to secular-nationalist Iraq. After the briefest of interruptions, the US-Saudi alliance was once again up and running."
In this long-established atmosphere, Abedin’s family background and ties were not seen as unusual or alarming, Lazare explained.
"If Abedin's Saudi-Muslim Brotherhood ties failed to raise eyebrows in Washington, it is because no one saw them as the least bit problematic."
"Given all this, Huma Abedin seems like distinctly small potatoes."
Abedin was probably protected by Clinton from ever having to undergo routine vetting before serving as her top lieutenant, veteran former CIA counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi told Sputnik.
"I would suspect that she [Abedin] was never properly vetted by State Department security. Senior members of an administration are often allowed to bring in their own personal staff."
If objections were raised regarding Abedin’s background, Clinton could have insisted that she be cleared anyway on her own authority, Giraldi explained.
"That is precisely how folks like Doug Feith and Richard Perle were cleared at the Pentagon in spite of their counter-intelligence FBI files based on their sustained contact with Israeli intelligence officers. Paul Wolfowitz cleared them on his own authority over the objections of those who did the investigations."
Perle served as assistant secretary of defense under US President Ronald Reagan, while Feith served as undersecretary of defense for policy under President George W. Bush and Wolfowitz served under Bush as deputy defense secretary.