The Center for Security Policy recently released a report which reveals that Representative Andre Carson, Democrat of Indiana, has long been personally associated with individuals and organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Besides his function as Member of the Congress, Mr. Carson was appointed to the House Intelligence Committee that is responsible for overseeing the most sensitive matters with respect to all efforts of the USA to understand and counter foreign and domestic enemies. The fact that this obvious security problem has so far remained undetected highlights the government’s dangerous failure to address threats that derive from the Muslim Brotherhood and its network.
The Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments insists that ISIS was birthed by the Muslim Brotherhood and both organizations share common goals. Although they are publicly hostile to each other, they both
- share a common extremist ideology
- commit terrorist acts and wage a destructive and murderous war against their homelands
- use lying and deception in the name of religion
- exploit women to further their agenda.
Thus, there are ties of cooperation between them that poses a danger across borders. The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who pledged to support the Obama administration’s war against ISIS, urged the president to recognize that Islamic extremism extends beyond the borders of Iraq and Syria. Terrorist threats also arise in Libya, Sudan, Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula. Unfortunately, Al-Sisi’s warning proved correct when 21 Egyptian Christians were recently beheaded by ISIS in Libya.
Another terrorist organization with close links to the Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas. Both groups implement sharia governance, deliberately target civilians, have genocidal beliefs and seek the establishment of a caliphate. After the Muslim Brotherhood´s Mujahedeen army repelled the Soviets from Afghanistan it split into two groups and one of them is Al-Qaeda. Also ISIS has ideological roots that trace all the way back to the Wahhabist strain of Islam that promotes a strict and conformist form of Islam. The central difference between the two groups is Wahhabism’s “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” doctrine that refers to the Saudi king. ISIS rejects this doctrine for which reason Saudi Arabia feels as threatened as anyone else by its rise.
ISIS’s modern roots can be traced to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who became a well-known jihadist due to his campaign of suicide bombings in Iraq, earning Osama Bin Laden’s endorsement. Al-Zarqawi returned the favor by rebranding his terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in Iraq. By 2011, the organization was being led by current ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. At that time, the Shi’ite-dominated Maliki government that was looking for payback after years of Sunni Ba’athist domination, coupled with the Obama administration’s troop withdrawal laid the basis for ISIS’s current rise. Then, another rebranding took place as the organization became ISI. Only with the addition of new troops including former commanders and soldiers in Saddam’s military, Al-Baghdadi opened a second front in Syria and ISI became ISIS. ISIS has seized large parts of both Iraq and Syria, along with billions of dollars, gained through bank seizures and oil revenue that make them the richest terrorist organization ever. Despite the assumption that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are enemies, in the case of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, there was at least some indication that Al-Qaeda and ISIS worked together which underlines the danger of links between terrorist organizations.
A long-awaited review into the Muslim Brotherhood by the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir John Jenkins, is expected to reveal that although the Brotherhood itself is not a terrorist organization, there exist links between its multifaceted network and terrorism. Only a summary of the Jenkins report will be published but separate investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found a number of overlaps between the Brotherhood’s operations in the United Kingdom and those of organizations linked to Hamas, which is designated as terrorist organization by Western countries. Organizations linked to the Brotherhood and linked to Hamas share common premises. Furthermore, the Palestinian Return Center, the Brotherhood campaign group with good relations to mainstream politics, has regularly hosted Hamas leaders at its annual conference. Although Hamas’s 1988 founding charter states that it is a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, the British government has tended to treat Hamas and the Brotherhood as unconnected organizations.
The Brotherhood’s overall goal is to replace secular democratic government with an Islamic caliphate under sharia law. Nevertheless, the Brotherhood’s leaders insist that the organization works democratically and claims that the British Government review is only a kind of concession by the UK to Gulf dictatorships.
Last month, the State Department hosted a delegation of leaders closely related to the Muslim Brotherhood. The visitors included former members of the Freedom and Justice Party, a political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Thereby the State Department insulted the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, an ally in the fight against jihadism. Egypt declared that the meeting was not understandable since the Brotherhood is perceived as terrorist group by several Arab countries.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki downplayed the importance of the meeting and tried to legitimize it by claiming that it was arranged by the respectable Georgetown University. However, the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned delegation seized the opportunity to propagandize the meeting. One of them even posed for a picture in front of the State Department’s logo, displaying the jihadist group’s four-finger symbol of defiance. On Monday, that State Department admitted that it misled reporters about the meeting and falsely claimed that Georgetown University sponsored and funded the delegation.
President Obama obviously has a favorable attitude towards the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood that goes back to the earliest days of his first term as president when his administration invited Muslim Brotherhood leaders to attend his speech to the Islamic world in Cairo on June 4, 2009. In 2012, members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood met with US-officials including White House staff following Egypt’s revolution and in 2014, a UK-based Muslim Brotherhood leader met with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. Later, the White House issued a statement declaring that “We have not seen credible evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood has renounced its decades-long commitment to non-violence.” The statement completely ignored the Brotherhood’s active support for Hamas, which itself is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In this context it has to be kept in mind that the Muslim Brotherhood published a document in 1991 entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” in which it declares, “The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” And only days after the Brotherhood-aligned delegation was hosted at the State Department, the organization released a new statement calling for “a long, uncompromising jihad.”
The State Department hosted a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leaders to discuss the ongoing opposition against the current government of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. He came into power after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian delegation included a Brotherhood-aligned judge, the secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group that has close ties to the Brotherhood, as well as two leading members of the Brotherhood itself.
A State Department official said that meetings take place with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt but declined to elaborate on who may have been hosted or on any further details about the talks.
Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) explained that the State Department is interested in maintaining a dialogue with the Brotherhood due to its continued role in the Egyptian political scene especially on the assumption that Egyptian politics are unpredictable.
Samuel Tadros, an Egypt expert and research fellow at the Hudson Institute admitted that the visit is meant to rally support for the Muslim Brotherhood’s ongoing efforts against President Al-Sisi. Thus, the visit aimed at organizing the pro Muslim Brotherhood movement in the USA among Arab and Muslim communities and at reaching out to the administration and the policy community in Washington. This shows that the State Department and the Obama administration do not even recognize the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East and in particular the world’s largest protests in history that took place in Egypt in 2013 against the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Morsi.