Egypt, the country where the Muslim Brotherhood was established, has recently been sending harsh warnings to the West. A study conducted by the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies in Cairo reveals that the Muslim Brotherhood has established a strong network in the United States with the purpose of spreading its extremist philosophies. Several of the organizations with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood were listed as unindicted co-conspirators by the Justice Department in a trial against the Holy Land Foundations, the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The Egyptian President Al-Sisi went even further by saying the Muslim Brotherhood aims at “restoring the Islamic religious empire.” Though it uses different methods than the Islamic State (ISIS), the agenda is the same.
In the US, there has also been a debate why the Obama administration does not use the term “Islamic extremism.” In this context it has to be considered that the Obama administration has no less than six top advisors in the White House who are allegedly Muslim Brotherhood members and of course, the president himself has Islamic family ties. Thus, there should be concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood has a growing influence on political decisions in the USA and that it can freely spread its radical messages throughout the country.
The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) was established in 2007 and is designed as an umbrella organization for Muslim aid associations that operate in 71 countries, with a total income of £108 million. In the UK, the Forum was supported financially for running a faith project. Now its funding of about £250,000 was cut off by Britain’s Communities Secretary Eric Pickles after its alleged links with extremist organizations, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, were discovered. The investigations triggered wider concerns of its relations, including the use of extremist speakers around the UK whose activities are considered to fuel hatred, division and violence.
A Whitehall review of the MCF shows that besides a record of poor performance in its project, the Forum was unable to provide assurances about the activities of its member charities. Last September, The Telegraph revealed that several member charities of the MCF were early members of the “Union of Good”, which is a fund-raising body with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood that raised funds for Hamas. The United States has designated the Union a sponsor of terrorism.
On Wednesday Paris was hit by the deadliest terrorist attack in France’s recent history with at least 12 people being killed in a shooting. After gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest), and killed several staff members and security forces, two Islamist newspapers in Turkey came up with impious headlines. Yeni Akit newspaper chose the title, “Attack on the magazine that provoked Muslims” and comments on its Facebook page even labeled the bloodshed as “revenge” for the magazine’s criticism on Prophet Mohammad. The newspaper Türkiye chose the headline “Attack on the magazine that insulted our Prophet”.
The Arab League and Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s premier Islamic institution, on the other hand, were among many international organizations and countries that strongly condemned the terrorist attack. Al-Azhar referred to the attack as a criminal act, saying that “Islam denounces any violence”. Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, have also condemned attack as cowardly terrorist act.
US Congressman Andre Carson found himself scheduled with Mazen Mokhtar, an Al-Qaeda webmaster and Taliban fundraiser, on a panel entitled “Ferguson is Our Issue: We Can’t Breathe” at the 2014 convention of the Muslim American Society/Islamic Circle of North America (MAS/ICNA) in Chicago. In 2007, federal prosecutors declared that MAS was founded as the “overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.”
Mazen Mokhtar is an Egyptian imam and political activist. His name appeared in connection with a case of a UK-based Al-Qaida website that raised money for the Taliban and the Chechen mujaheddin. He allegedly operated a website that is a replica of websites operated by Babar Ahmad, who was already arrested in the United Kingdom on a US extradition warrant. However, during the investigation Mokhtar’s followers drew back on a “moderate Islamic cleric” narrative. Mokhtar now serves as Executive Director for MAS.
Once again, The Guardian has dedicated an article to the controversial Jenkins Report, dealing with activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. As Ian Black reports, the government is very unlikely to publish the report soon:
The General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg accepted a petition by the militant Islamist group Hamas to be removed from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations. In an EU-statement the hearing in the European court was characterized as technical and procedural. It is a legal ruling not a political decision. Thus, it does not stem from a change in the EU’s position regarding Hamas.
The Palestinian terrorist group argued in its petition that it was put on the EU terror list without giving Hamas an opportunity for a hearing and without sufficient evidence being presented. Hence, the petition was accepted based on the precedent of a similar case of the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. The General Court ruled on Wednesday that Hamas’s status had been determined by press publications rather than by acts examined and confirmed by competent authorities.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the court to restore the label of terrorist group to Hamas.”Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization, which states in its charter that its goal is to destroy Israel. We will continue to fight in with determination and strength so that it will never achieve its goal.”
In a Hamas statement issued by the office of the senior leader, Mousa Abu Marzook, the General Court’s decision was referred to as “a victory for all supporters of the right of our people in the resistance, and all supporters of the liberation against occupation.”
The court’s decision coincided with increasing European impatience with the frozen conflict in the Middle East and a general notion in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state. In a compromise resolution, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, voted 498 to 88, with 111 abstentions, to support “in principle the recognition of Palestinian statehood” in connection with revived peace negotiations.
At the end of November, some two dozen members of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood were arrested. They were accused of smuggling arms and money into Judea and Samaria as well as of the foundation of a secret armed organization. Furthermore, two members were accused of carrying out training in Gaza to commit terrorist attacks in the West Bank.
The name of Turkey-based high-ranking Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri came up several times in the investigations and also in connection to the murder of three yeshiva teens in Gush Etzion by Hamas terrorists in June this year. Hamas was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood and several sources meanwhile confirmed that Jordanian members of the brotherhood support the organizations with weapons and funding. Al-Arouri, however, stated that Hamas does not operate in Jordan at a military level and claimed that Hamas’ resistance is focused on occupied Palestine.
Only some day before the news about the arrests of the Muslim Brotherhood members became known to the public, the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, and the Israel Defense Forces announced that they had thwarted a transnational Hamas network that planned to carry out attacks against Israelis. The center of the network is situated in Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey and in several raids some 30 Hamas members were arrested.
In a large-scale operation against jihad recruiters and alleged financiers of the Islamic State (IS), some 900 police forces raided homes, prayer rooms and mosques in Vienna, Graz and Linz on November 28. As a result, 13 people were arrested and another 20 were taken in for interrogation. The raids follow a two-year investigation into people suspected of recruiting young volunteers to fight in Syria and Iraq. The raids were accompanied by two similar operations that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On September 3, the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) arrested 16 terrorist suspects in operation “Damascus” that was continued on November 14 with the arrest of another 11 alleged jihadists. According to media reports, among the suspects was the radical Vienna-based preacher Mirsad O. aka “Ebu Tejma”. Police also seized terrorist propaganda files and money.
So far, around 160 people have left Austria to join jihadists in the Middle East. Particularly Vienna and Graz are considered as hotspots by Bosnian jihadists and salafists who utilize Austrian cities as gateway to Western Europe. This fact reveals the urgent relevance of the conflict in Syria for Austria, since extremists make systematic efforts to radicalize and recruit people for the war. According to experts, at least three separate jihadist movements are operating in Austria and one of them has strong links to Bosnia.
According to the “Global Terrorism Index” published by the “Australian Institute for Economics & Peace”, Bosnia-Herzegovina is ranked 86th in the list of countries with regard to the impact of terrorist activities. This position makes Bosnia-Herzegovina the worst country in Europe. According to the CIA more than 350 fighters from Bosnia-Herzegovina have so far joined the fight of the IS in Iraq and Syria.