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U.S. officials want deradicalization advice from Hussein Hamdani

The Canadian government might not want him anymore, but the department of Homeland Security still wants to hear what Hussein Hamdani has to say about deradicalization. U.S. officials have invited him to speak at a conference on fighting violent extremism in Washington.

The Canadian government no longer wants his expertise, but American security advisers do

Hussein Hamdani is a Hamilton-based corporate and real estate lawyer who was one of the founding members of the Canadian government’s cross-cultural roundtable on national security. He has since been suspended by Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney. (Adam Carter/CBC)

The Canadian government might not want him anymore, but the department of Homeland Security still wants to hear what Hussein Hamdani has to say about deradicalization.

The Hamilton lawyer was suspended as an adviser on Muslim issues and security for the federal government earlier this month. But now, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of National Security have invited him to speak at a conference on fighting violent extremism.

So in July, Hamdani will be heading to Washington, DC to advise government officials at the local, state and federal levels – even though he's been suspended from doing so in his own country.

"This is consistent with what I have been saying all along: I have been vetted already, multiple times by CSIS and RCMP as well as U.S. security agencies," Hamdani told CBC News.

'Thankfully, the Americans are not playing politics'

Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney's office is looking into questions raised by the French TVA network about politically charged statements it alleges Hamdani made as a university student, and allegations about radical organizations that it says Hamdani had associations with.

Hamdani says he believes the decision is politically motivated because of his support for Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals. He denies all the allegations outright.

"Thankfully, the Americans are not playing politics with the critical work of saving our youth from going down this destructive path and they understand that I am a small but important piece in this goal," Hamdani said.

Blaney denies that politics played a part in the suspension, and previously said he was unaware that Hamdani was supporting the federal Liberals.

Offering practical advice

Blaney says that the reasons for the suspension are currently being reviewed.

"To tell you frankly, I was unaware of his political activity," Blaney said at an announcement earlier this month.

The conference at which Hamdani will be speaking is called "Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Lessons from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S."

According to an e-mail from the U.S. Department of Justice, the goal of the conference is to gather the best researchers from programs targeting violent extremism and to have them deliver "practical, timely and plain spoken results to practitioners who can use them."

Homeland Security has previously invited Hamdani to come to the U.S. and address American officials, too. His work was recently praised by Blaney himself at an anti-terror summit in Washington, D.C., for his grassroots approach to combating radicalism.

Representatives from the Department of Justice could not immediately be reached for comment.

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