Huma Abedin was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her father was Syed Abedin (1928-1993), an Indian-born scholar who in the early 1970s had been affiliated with the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Western Michigan University. Her mother is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, a sociologist known for her strong advocacy of Sharia Law.
When Huma was two, the Abedin family relocated from Michigan to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This move took place when Abdullah Omar Naseef, a major Muslim Brotherhood figure who served as vice president of Abdulaziz University (AU), recruited his former AU colleague, Syed Abedin, to work for the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), a Saudi-based Islamic think tank that Naseef was preparing to launch. A number of years later, Naseef would develop close ties to Osama bin Laden and the terrorist group al Qaeda. Naseef also spent time (beginning in the early 1980s) as secretary-general of the Muslim World League, which, as journalist Andrew C. McCarthy points out, “has long been the Muslim Brotherhood’s principal vehicle for the international propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology.” IMMA’s close ties to the Muslim World League are further evidenced by the fact that IMMA’s in-house publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), has long listed its official address as 46 Goodge Street in London — precisely the same address as that of the Muslim World League’s London office. In one noteworthy article written by Abedin’s mother, JMMA blamed America for having brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself. Another JMMA piece, from 1999, alleged that Jewish Americans who were pro-Israel had been able to “work the [political] system” in the United States to their own advantage, and had been “greatly aided by the American memory of the Holocaust.”
It is vital to note that IMMA’s “Muslim Minority Affairs” agenda was, and remains to this day, a calculated foreign policy of the Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs, designed, as Andrew C. McCarthy explains, “to grow an unassimilated, aggressive population of Islamic supremacists who will gradually but dramatically alter the character of the West.”
At age 18, Huma Abedin returned to the U.S. to attend George Washington University. In 1996 she began working as an intern in the Bill Clinton White House, where she was assigned to then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Abedin was eventually hired as an aide to Mrs. Clinton and has worked for her ever since, through Clinton’s successful Senate runs (in 2000 and 2006) and her failed presidential bid in 2008.
From 1997 until sometime before early 1999, Abedin, while still interning at the White House, was an executive board member of the George Washington University Muslim Students Association (MSA), heading the organization’s “Social Committee.”
It is noteworthy that in 2001-02, soon after Abedin left that executive board, the chaplain and “spritual guide” of GWU’s MSA was Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda operative who ministered to some of the men who were among the 9/11 hijackers. Another chaplain at GWU’s MSA (from at least October 1999 through April 2002) was Mohamed Omeish, who headed the al Qaeda-affiliated International Islamic Relief Organization. Omeish’s brother, Esam, headed the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Brotherhood’s quasi-official branch in the United States. Both Omeish brothers were closely associated with Abdurahman Alamoudi, who would later be convicted and incarcerated on terrorism charges.
From 1996-2008, Abedin was employed by the IMMA as the assistant editor of its aforementioned publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA). At least the first seven of those years overlapped with the al Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Omar Naseef’s active presence at IMMA. Abedin’s last six years at the Institute (2002-2008) were spent as a JMMA editorial board member; for one of those years, 2003, Naseef and Abedin served together on that board.
Throughout her years with IMMA, Abedin remained a close aide to Hillary Clinton. During Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, a New York Observer profile of Abedin described her as “a trusted advisor to Mrs. Clinton, especially on issues pertaining to the Middle East, according to a number of Clinton associates.” “At meetings on the region,” continued the profile, “… Ms. Abedin’s perspective is always sought out.”
When Mrs. Clinton was appointed as President Barack Obama‘s Secretary of State in 2009, Abedin became her deputy chief of staff. At approximately that same point in time, Abedin’s name was removed from the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs‘ masthead.
Apart from their working relationship, Abedin and Mrs. Clinton have also developed a close personal bond over their years together, as reflected in Clinton’s 2010 assertion that: “I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would [be] Huma.” In 2011, Secretary Clinton paid a friendly visit to Abedin’s mother, Saleha, in Saudi Arabia. On that occasion, Mrs. Clinton publicly described her aide’s position as “very important and sensitive.”
Abedin went on maternity leave after giving birth to a baby boy in early December 2011. When she returned to work in June 2012, the State Department granted her an arrangement that allowed her to earn outside income as a private consultant, even as she remained a top advisor in the Department. This arrangement was made possible when Mrs. Clinton personally signed off on documents—dated March 23, 2012—that changed Abedin’s title from “deputy chief off staff” to “special government employee.” Abedin’s outside clients included the U.S. State Department, Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Teneo (a New York-based global advisory firm co-founded by Doug Band, a former counselor for Bill Clinton).
Abedin did not disclose on her financial report either the special employment arrangement or the $135,000 she earned from it, in violation of a law mandating that public officials reveal significant sources of income. In fact, her title change did not become public knowledge until May 2013. Good-government groups warned of the potential conflict-of-interest inherent in an arangement where a government employee maintains private clients.
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit showed that both before and after Mrs. Clinton signed off on the special employment deal for Abedin in March 2012, Abedin repeatedly—for months on end—dodged State Department requests that she disclose financial and employment information about her husband, Anthony Weiner, who had left Congress amid personal scandal in June 2011. For details about Abedin’s repeated failures to comply with those requests, click here.
On February 1, 2013—Hillary Clinton’s final day as Secretary of State—Abedin resigned her post as Mrs. Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Yet she would continue to serve as a close aide to Clinton.
On March 1, 2013, Abedin was tapped to run Clinton’s post-State Department transition team, comprised of a six-person “transition office” located in Washington.
In early March 2015, it was reported that throughout her entire four-year tenure as Secretary of State (SOS), Hillary Clinton had never acquired or used a government email account, and instead had transmitted — in felonious violation of the Espionage Act and other government regulations — all of her official government correspondences via a personal email account that was housed on a private, unsecured server. In addition, Abedin and Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, also had email addresses on the secret server while employed at the State Department.
After Hillary Clinton announced in the spring of 2015 that she was running for president (2016), Abedin was named vice chair of the Clinton campaign.
On June 28, 2016, Abedin — as part of an FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit and repeated use of the aforementioned unsecured email server — said, in a sworn deposition, that she had turned over to the State Department all of the electronic devices that contained any of her government work on them, so the records (including emails she had sent and received) could subsequently be reviewed by the FBI.
On August 28, 2016, the New York Post published excerpts and photos from sexually explicit texting exchanges in which Weiner had engaged with two women in the summer of 2015. The next day, Huma Abedin announced that she was separating from Weiner.
In October 2016 it was learned that, in the course of reviewing Weiner’s computer files and emails, FBI investigators had discovered a laptop computer that he had shared with Abedin. On that computer were some 650,000 email records, including thousands that been sent to, or by, Abedin. Many of these were communications between Abedin and Hillary Clinton. As a result of this development, FBI director James Comey announced on October 28 that the Bureau was reopening its previously closed investigation of Clinton’s email scandal. Moreover, it was now clear that Abedin had been untruthful in telling investigators that she had given all of her devices to the State Department.
On May 19, 2017, Abedin filed for divorce from Anthony Weiner. In January 2018, the couple ended their pending divorce case, citing, in identical statements from their respective lawyers, their mutual desire to protect their 6-year-old son by settling the case outside of the courtroom.
For a discussion of the reasons behind this decision, click here.
Huma Abedin’s brother, Hassan Abedin, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and has served as an associate editor with the JMMA. Huma’s sister, Heba Abedin (formerly known as “Heba A. Khaled”), is an assistant editor with JMMA, where she served alongside Huma prior to the latter’s departure.
For additional information on Huma Abedin, click here.