US-President Donald Trump seriously considers labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization which implies that making business with the Islamist group becomes an offense under US-law. Hence, this move means a success for the conservatives who are critical towards the group’s ties to militant Islamist movements. Several countries like the United Arab Emirates, Syria or Russia banned its activities.
The Muslim Brotherhood was established in the 1920ies by the religious scholar Hassan Al-Banna and became increasingly influential in Egyptian society. In the 1950ies it was forced underground because it was blamed for violent attacks. Sayyid Qutb, one of the movement’s leaders, is known as the founder of modern jihadism. The Brotherhood’s ideology spread all over the Middle East and influenced existing groups or promoted the establishment of certain militant branches such as Hamas. The group was banned in Egypt until the revolution of 2011. In 2012, its candidate Mohammed Morsi even became president but was overthrown already one year later. The current Egyptian President, Al-Sisi, again labeled the group a terrorist organization.
The Muslim Brotherhood also has a strong presence in the USA. Ted Cruz introduced the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act” which seeks to add the group to a list of terrorist organizations including Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an institution with close links to the Muslim Brotherhood, argued that the bill aims at controlling Muslims in the USA and has no effect on national security. On former President Obama’s “We are the People” website a call for the US-government to designate the Brotherhood a terrorist organization was the tenth-most singed petition with more than 200,000 signatures. Notwithstanding, the former US-administration did not see evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its commitment to non-violence and therefore did not take any concrete steps.
The organization Faith Leaders of America (FLA) urges Donald Trump to condemn Islamic terrorist Imam Mohamed Magid, one of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA, as a dangerous Jihad practitioner. Magid delivered an Islamic prayer at the National Prayer Service in Washington one day after Trump was sworn in as president. Hence, FLA re-exposed him due to his links to jihad and leadership within militant terrorist groups. According to FLA, Magid is the Imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque which is among the most Sharia-adherent and jihadist institutions in the USA. In addition, he is president of the Muslim Brotherhood front organization Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Furthermore, the FLA called on Trump not to allow further participation of Magid in public events organized for the US-government.
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), jihadists have already infiltrated the justice system of the USA. Patrick Poole, a counter-terrorism expert and journalist, claimed already years ago that the Muslim Brotherhood has substantial influence on the US-administration. Mohamed Magid was a regular visitor to the White House when president Obama was in office and even advised the administration on international affairs and counterterrorism.
FLA is a group of 75 clerics and spiritual leaders who commit themselves to freedom of religion and speech and other liberties and therefore address threats to these values. Hence, they issued a joint statement to Donald Trump in which they support the president’s announced counter jihad actions. Notably, the FLA announced its backing for Trump’s declaration that he will designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. During his inaugural address Trump also promised to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism worldwide.
The new documentary “The Enemies Within” reveals that Islamists have already infiltrated the national security bureaucracy in the USA which endangers its citizens and the constitutional system.
A central indication is the testimony of Philip Haney who is a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security and an experienced counter-terrorism analyst. Haney claims that in some cases the government had deleted records related to terrorism cases from the system. The data in question is about the network of mosques and institutions linked to terrorist attacks like the shootings in Orlando or in San Bernardino. Government agencies even investigated Haney for doing his job because they accused him of putting records into the system although he was not authorized. These investigations took place although none of the agencies claimed that his findings were inaccurate. Therefore, Haney argues that the USA has enemies within its own administration.
Researcher Trevor Loudon also contributes insights into these hostile networks in the documentary. He describes alliances between radical Marxists and Islamic extremists who already penetrated the highest levels of the political system. Among others, Hillary Clinton is labeled a domestic threat due to her connections with dangerous Islamic movements like the Muslim Brotherhood. Haney even points out that the Muslim Brotherhood is directly responsible for sponsoring terrorism and therefore should be labeled a terrorist group. Therefore he argues that the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas should be shut.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is outlined in its “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for North America” seized by the FBI in 2004. It illustrates that the work of the Brotherhood is based on the grand Jihad that aims at destroying the Western civilization from within by infiltration and sabotage. Therefore, the Muslim Brotherhood needs so called “useful idiots” who help to promote their goals.
The Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch project has published a “Field Guide to Useful Infidels” that portrays 15 alleged pro-Islamist puppets. The most prominent names include actor Ben Affleck, Secretary of State John Kerry or CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour. The report summarizes their role in the redefinition of the Islamist threat. Some do that by arguing that ISIS killers shouldn’t be named “Muslim terrorists” to avoid the provision of religious legitimacy to their acts while others distract from the Islamist threat by pointing to non-Muslim terrorism or anti-Muslim hate crimes. Still others cooperate with Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or deprive law enforcement of the necessary training and resources to counter Islamist threats. Another tactic is that they legitimize Islamists as only representatives of Islam in the USA.
According to the report, the list of the top “useful infidels” for Islamist groups include the following persons: actor Ben Affleck, journalist Christiane Amanpour, writer Karen Armstrong, journalist Max Blumenthal, CIA director John Brennan, politician Chris Christie, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center Morris Dees, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace Matt Duss, Professor of Religion and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University John Esposito, Civil rights lawyer Glenn Greenwald, Secretary of State John Kerry and Activist Grover Norquist.
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior accused leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who fled to Qatar of supporting terrorists who committed a bomb attack on the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church in Cairo. In this incident 25 people were killed.
The ministry claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood trained and financed the perpetrators. According to investigations the group was led by a person who received support as well as instructions by Brotherhood members in Qatar. The suspected suicide bomber had been arrested in 2014 while securing Muslim Brotherhood convoys but was released soon afterwards. According to his lawyer, the suspect was tortured in prison when he was a teenager until he confessed that he had owned explosives. This might have contributed to his radicalization. However, the Muslim Brotherhood denies any involvement in the recent terrorist attack.
According to the Ministry of Interior, the Muslim Brotherhood instructed the Egyptian terrorist cell to carry out attacks in order to bring about sectarian Muslim-Christian strife. Until today no group has claimed responsibility for the church bombing but two militant groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, Liwa El-Thawra and Hasm, distanced themselves from the terrorist attack.
Saudi Arabia is about to remove the Muslim Brotherhood from its terrorist list although the group has been banned in the country since 2014. Recently, several meetings between representatives of the Saudi government and the Brotherhood have taken place in London, Istanbul and Riyad aiming at the normalization of the mutual relations. As a result, the kingdom will possibly redefine the status of the group in exchange for understandings between Saudi Arabia and the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. Consequently, sanctions imposed on individual members of the Brotherhood could be lifted including the unfreezing of millions of dollars in Saudi banks and the removal of travel restrictions.
The relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been tense since Egypt’s vote in favor of Russia’s intervention in Syria in the UN Security Council. Saudi Arabia stopped oil shipments to Egypt in return. This situation assumedly paved the way for the facilitation of the Brotherhood’s efforts to normalize its relationship with the Saudi government.
In addition to the removal of the Brotherhood from the terrorist list, there could be more political support for the Muslim Brotherhood also within Egypt. This would put pressure on the Egyptian government to reconcile with the group. Hence there is a danger that a reintegration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the political scene in Egypt could take place that would provide Saudi Arabia the opportunity to directly exercise influence on Egyptian politics.
Twitter recently awarded a “verification check” to an official English account of the Muslim Brotherhood despite the platform’s claim to fight hate speech. The reason to verify the account of an organization that is designated as terrorist group in several countries remains unclear since Twitter does not comment on individual accounts.
Under the leadership of Jack Dorsey Twitter faced critique on free speech issues when it suspended politicians and an account that supports women’s rights in Saudi Arabia for various reasons including the accusation of incitement.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood Twitter account has even aligned with Hamas and reaffirmed its full support for the group which is also a designated terrorist organization. It aims at the destruction of Israel and commits terror attacks. Some month ago, Twitter shut down accounts with links to Hamas but now it did not block the Muslim Brotherhood account. In addition, the non-English Twitter account of the Muslim Brotherhood is known to openly celebrate the death of Jewish people and is followed by radical Islamists.
President-designate Donald Trump supposedly plans to support a bill in Congress that would declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and thereby ban it in the USA. Trump’s foreign-policy adviser Walid Pheres told Egyptian media that the legislation that was already introduced by Ted Cruz was held up because the Obama administration backed the Brotherhood. In contrast, Trump will back the bill called the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act”. It identifies the group’s network in the USA, including the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations as a terrorist organization. Several other countries already banned it like Russia or some Arab countries.
Since the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial in 2007/2008 it is obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood aims at an agenda of Islamic supremacy called “civilization jihad” through the infiltration of the political system of the USA. This infiltration includes Muslim Brotherhood front groups as well as individuals in influential political positions such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, who is known to have personal connections to the group.
Members of Parliament criticized the Foreign Office for the “misguided” report into the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The central point of criticism was the appointment of Sir John Jenkins, the ambassador to Saudi Arabia, as person in charge of the report which gave the impression that the review was influenced by a foreign state. The report was only released 18 months after its completion and there was speculation that it was stalled because Middle Eastern allies in the fight against ISIS could be displeased by the report’s findings.
The Muslim Brotherhood played an important role in the revolution of 2011 in Egypt and is regarded as terrorist organization by many countries. Although the goal of the review was to gain more knowledge about the Muslim Brotherhood, it failed to explain significant factors of influence on the group such as its removal from power in Egypt in 2013 and the comprehensive repression of Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
US-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s leaked e-mails of 2014 to her campaign chairman John Podesta, who was then-counselor to President Barack Obama, suggest that Saudi Arabia and Qatar both provide financial and logistical support to the Islamic State and other Sunni terrorist groups.
Clinton wrote an e-mail to Podesta on August 17, 2014 with an eight-point plan to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Therein, it was envisaged that the USA would support Kurdish forces on the ground with military advisors and air strikes but avoid a ground operation. In addition to that, diplomatic and intelligence assets should be used in order to increase the pressure on the Saudi and Qatari government to make them stop supporting terrorist groups. Furthermore, it was envisaged that the USA would step up their commitment in the Kurdish Regional Government in order to bring Saudi Arabia and Qatar in a position of balancing policy between their rivalry over the domination of the Sunni world and the consequences of the pressure exercised by the USA. These actions were also expected to assist moderate forces in Lebanon, Libya and Jordan where insurgents were motivated by ISIS’s success in Iraq.