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DreamShotThe GMBDW has been publishing for over seven years. Prior to this, following 9/11, the GMBDW editor was already gathering information on the networks, leadership, ideology, funding, and other salient facts about the global network later named the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB). From the outset, our greatest challenge has been gaining acceptance for the notion that there even is such a phenomena as a Global Muslim Brotherhood as we have defined it. Some 3700 posts later, that challenge still exists due to a regrettable combination of ideology, political correctness, and willful blindness to the factual evidence presented on these pages. On any reasonable view, these facts speak for themselves.

More recently, an additional challenge has emerged, namely the use of GMBDW research to spin unsubstantiated and fanciful stories about the same networks we have so carefully tried to document. The most egregious example is the claim, since gone viral, that the Muslim Brotherhood has “infiltrated” the Obama administration. Stories based on this alleged infiltration typically feature rogues galleries of “Muslim Brotherhood operatives” said to be whispering in the ear of the Obama administration and aimed at causing the downfall of the United States. In most cases, the stories include high-profile individuals first identified by the GMBDW as tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood using criteria we have long since publicly explained. These high-profile individuals are:

1. Mazen Asbahi- On August 1 2008, the GMBDW (then known as the GMBDR) ran a post identifying Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi as an adviser to the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and NAIT as part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist trial, as was NAIT board member Jamal Said. The post also listed Mr. Asbahi’s connection to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The GMBDW ran a second post on the same day that identified Asbahi’s ties to two further US Muslim Brotherhood organizations- the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and an Illinois LLC called SA Consulting. At this time the GMBDR was private and the post received very little attention until August 6th when the Wall Street Journal published an article revealing that Mr. Asbahi had resigned from the Obama campaign after the Journal had queried him about his USMB ties. The Journal credited the GMBDR for breaking the story.

2. Dahlia Mogahed- On April 12 2009, the GMBDW reported that one of the two Muslim members appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships was Dahlia Mogahed, a protege of John Espositio, perhaps the best known academic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. Although the report on the appointment was not exclusive to the GMBDW, we were the only publication to note that Ms. Mogahed is the daughter of Elsayed Mogahed, an Egyptian immigrant who is a former engineering scientist at the University of Wisconsin and director of the Islamic Center of Madison (ICM). The website of the ICM links mainly to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations and Souheil Ghannouchi, the President of the Muslim American Society (MAS), was ICM Imam and President for several years. The MAS is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and closest to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

3. Huma Abedin- On February 7 2010, the GMBDW reported that that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had addressed students at the Dar El-Hekma women’s college in Saudi Arabia, known to have been co-founded and patronized by an individual designated as a terrorist by the U.S as well as by important Saudi bankers and members of the Bin Laden family. As part of that story, we noted that the Vice Dean of institutional advancement at Dar El-Hekma is Saleha M. Abedin who was one of the founders of the College, as well being the mother of Huma Abedin, a Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton. We also reported that Saleha Abedin, along with her late husband Syed Z. Abedin, were founders of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, a London organization that is known to have been close to the Saudi Muslim World League. We subsequently reported that Saleha Abedin was serving as a board member of the International Islamic Council for Dawa and Relief (IICDR), an umbrella group for 86 Islamic organizations, many of which are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, or support for Al Qaeda. We also delved into the ties of Huma Abedin’s brother Hasan Abedin who was an officer of the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies,  chaired by Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, a Saudi with his own extensive ties to Islamist organizations. A variety of other actors later claimed credit for unearthing the information about Human Abedin’s parents that was first reported by the GMBDW.

4. Rashad Hussain- On February 14 2010, the GMBDW reported on the US Muslim Brotherhood connections of Rashad Hussain, a White House attorney who was President Obama’s newly appointed envoy to the OIC. Those connections including ties to the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Muslim Student Association (MSA), and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS). The post also revealed that an annual MSA conference, Mr. Hussein appeared along side the daughter of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian and labeled Al-Arian’s prosecution “politically motivated persecution.” The post further noted that the sentences pertaining to Mr. Hussein statement had been removed from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) report on the MSA conference but were still available at the Internet Archive. The story was subsequently “appropriated” by another media outlet who only belatedly and partially credited the GMBDW as the original source of the story.

5. Mohamed ElibiaryOn October 30 2010, the GMBDW reported that Department of Homeland Security had sworn in three new members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council one of whom was Mohamed Elibiary, who we exclusively identified as the President and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, an organization with ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood and the US Hamas infrastructure. Since that time, Mr. Elibiary has been widely discussed in a variety of venues and described as a “noted Islamist” though he was virtually unknown until the GMBDW highlighted his background.

Reasonable observers will agree that these individuals would make very odd choices indeed as “infiltrators”, since the very notion of infiltration implies the necessity of concealing at all costs one’s true background, activities, and affiliations and since the information gathered by the GMBDW was entirely public and accessible to any party had they chosen to look. (We won’t bother posing the obvious questions about how the alleged infiltration was supposed to have been planned, sponsored, executed and controlled.)

Occam’s Razor, crudely put, suggests that all things being equal the simplest explanation is to be preferred. As evidenced by President Obama’s June 2009 “New Beginning” speech in Cairo, it is clear that he entered office with the desire to “repair” relations with the Islamic world following the events of the Bush Administration. It also seems clear that the Obama administration gives no credence to the notion of a Global Muslim Brotherhood and thus would have no reason to explore further any such ties of their appointees nor assign any adverse significance to them if discovered. Thus, as part of this new beginning, ties to Islamist organizations would seemingly no longer be considered a bar to public office under an Obama administration and, in fact, would likely be considered a positive factor, as in the case of Rashad Hussain who would be charged with managing the US relationship with the countries of the Islamic world. In short, the GMBDW judges that the three Obama appointees were selected, at least in part, precisely because of their ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and not in spite of them. (Huma Abedin is discussed below.)

That said, there remains the pertinent issue of what influence, malign or otherwise, these individuals may have had on Obama Administration policy toward the Middle East or in other relevant policy arenas. Clearly Mr. Asbahi could have had only marginal impact since he did not survive the presidential campaign to become part of the Obama Administration. Human Abedin is a somewhat different case requiring more lengthy analysis but we will note that her family ties are mainly to Saudi Islamist organizations that although close to the Brotherhood are not the same. (There was an attempt to concoct a “Muslim Sisterhood” to try and shoehorn the Abedin family into the Muslim Brotherhood category). While her family ties should obviously have been an issue for her security clearance, there is no evidence to suggest that Ms. Abedin was herself either an Islamist or that she played any significant role in US policy making. As far as the Clintons and their apparent receptivity to the the Muslim Brotherhood, first exposed by the GMBDW in May 2013, their interaction with the GMB dates back to December 1995, prior to when Abedin could have had significant influence and when Muslim Public Affairs Council leader Mather Hathout was invited to the Clinton White House to discuss the Bosnia peace agreement with senior administration officials.

As part of President Obama’s “Spiritual Cabinet”, it does seem that Dahlia Mogahed and Rashad Hussain did play a role in the Administration’s outreach to the Muslim world and to development of its counter-terrorism policy as did Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisor Mohamed Elibiary who along with Ms. Mogahed was a member of the DHS Countering Violent Extremism Working Group. However, far more important was Dr. Quintan Wiktorowicz, originally an obscure academic best known for his unproven theory that increased religiosity actually deters terrorism. As the GMBDW reported in May 2013, Dr. Wiktorowicz was originally posted to the US embassy in London where he initiated a pilot program to partner with unidentified local Muslim communities in an attempt at countering “violent extremism” that was later expanded to other countries. It was during this time that an official of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), part of the US Muslim Brotherhood, was invited to the UK to meet with young British Muslims. Dr. Wiktorowicz was later promoted to the US National Security Council as Senior Director for Global Engagement and later as Senior Director for Community Partnerships. As a White House official, Dr. Wiktorowicz helped to devise the Administration’s strategy for countering radicalization titled “Empowering Local Partners To Prevent Violent Extremism In The United States” and revealed in August 2011. As we noted, Dr. Wiktorowicz’s theories, history, and statements suggest his strong support for having included the US Muslim Brotherhood as part of the new strategy.

Despite our reporting on Dr. Wiktorowicz and his key role in US counter-terrorism policy, he is never mentioned by the infiltration theorists who seem remarkably uninterested in how US policy was actually made nor the historical context in which it is embedded.  As former Wall Street Journal journalist Ian Johnson has observed:

Most—including the Obama administration —seem to think that [the Muslim Brotherhood] is a movement the West can do business with, even if the White House denies formal contacts. If this discussion evokes a sense of déjà vu, this is because over the past sixty years we have had it many times before, with almost identical outcomes. Since the 1950s, the United States has secretly struck up alliances with the Brotherhood or its offshoots on issues as diverse as fighting communism and calming tensions among European Muslims. And if we look to history, we can see a familiar pattern: each time, US leaders have decided that the Brotherhood could be useful and tried to bend it to America’s goals, and each time, maybe not surprisingly, the only party that clearly has benefited has been the Brotherhood.

The GMBDW does not consider itself either naive or sanguine about anything to do with the Global Muslim Brotherhood and we like to think that we have played a role in exposing the world to the nature of the phenomenon. Readers will attest to our many warnings about the threats we see posed by the Brotherhood networks and we have long argued against providing the GMB with a stamp of legitimacy. Bringing Islamists, or those sympathetic to Islamists, into government roles has also demonstrably not improved the relationship of the US to the Islamic world. As the Pew Research Foundation reported in 2012:

In a number of strategically important Muslim nations, America’s image has not improved during the Obama presidency. In fact, America’s already low 2008 ratings have slipped even further in Jordan and Pakistan.

We originally reported on the Obama appointments in order to provide useful information on how the administration would be developing its policy toward the Global Muslim Brotherhood. We have watched in dismay as this same information has increasingly been distorted and misinterpreted and as a whole new cast of characters have been added with only the most marginal of ties to the GMB, or no ties at all, or whose importance as been inflated to fantastical proportions. At one time, an individual was offering for purchase what he said was a database of over 10,000 “Muslim Brotherhood operatives” located in the US while a radio host has called for brigades of local citizens to conduct surveillance on local mosques for “signs of Muslim Brotherhood activity.” The label “Muslim Brotherhood” has also been appended by opponents to virtually any Muslim figure or organization with whom there is a political disagreement, Feisal Rauf being perhaps the most well known example. (Whatever else Mr. Rauf may be, the GMBDW found no meaningful ties to the GMB.)

In order to combat the pernicious influence of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, it is vital for there to be a realistic understanding of the network that is based on actual evidence about who or what is involved and how it actually functions. While we are fully aware of and since 2008 have posted about GMB deception strategies, fanciful and exaggerated claims about legions of Muslim Brotherhood “infiltrators” with narratives that are constructed for the benefit of ideological communities do nothing to further this understanding and do a disservice to this important cause. They also run the risk of serious damage to the civil fabric in the US by promoting suspicion and hatred among fellow Americans. The GMBDW very much regrets any misuse of the information we have provided that is being used for unsavory ends.

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Islamist media is reporting on the launch of a $1 billion campaign ostensibly for the rebuilding of the Gaza strip and initiated by a new organization headed by a well known UK Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood figure. According to the Middle East Memo report, the first forum of the Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip was held in Istanbul and sponsored by Qatar Charity:

441The Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip launched a campaign yesterday to raise $1 billion for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip; $100 million is set to support shelter and emergency relief services in the enclave.

The committee, which held its first forum in Istanbul, announced the formation of the Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip.

The participants called for the activation of relief campaigns and convoys to break the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and to continue organising international activities to support Gaza, demanding Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories come to an end.

They stressed on the need to take all legal measures before local and international courts wherever possible to prosecute Israeli officials for their crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip and urged the Palestinian unity government to assume its responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip and its citizens without discrimination or distinction and to lifting the Israeli blockade as well as the establishment of the port and the airport.

They also called on Egypt to open the Rafah border crossing to allow the transfer of aid and construction materials as well as humanitarian convoys to meet the Palestinians’ needs and facilitate the exit of wounded individuals.

The two day forum, which was attended by 250 participants from 35 countries representing more than 70 foundations, was sponsored by Qatar Charity.

The participants presented research papers highlighting the Israeli aggression and its implication on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The forum aimed to unify grassroots efforts to provide a helping hand to the Gaza Strip and to organise and accelerate the delivery of aid to the needy as well as to identify the enclave’s needs. The event included a presentation of the Miles of Smiles convoy’s efforts which includes more than 50 charitable organisations from more than 15 countries.”

An Aljazeera Arabic language report on the forum identified the following individuals, all important leaders of the Global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas:

  • Essam Yusuf was identified as the head of the new organization. Mr Yusuf is also the long time head of INTERPAL , an important UK Palestinian charity, and former head of the Union of Good, both important parts of the global Hamas fund-raising network. He is also the head of the “Miles of Smiles” Gaza convoys referred to in the above report and which are close to Hamas in Gaza.
  • Wael Saqqa was identified as head of the founding forum for the new organization. Mr. Saqqa is a Jordanian engineer, long-time member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and founder of the Arab And International Commission To Build Gaza, discussed below.
  • Zaher Birawi was identified as the coordinator of the International Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG), a part of the Gaza flotilla movement whose Vice-President is Mohammad Sawalha, a former Hamas commander and a leader in the UK Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Birawi is the long time media and public relations spokesperson for the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) , a part of the UK Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support infrastructure and also a director of the Palestine Return Centere (PRC) which has also strong ties to Hamas and to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. In July 2012, we reported on a meeting with Hamas leaders that included Mr. Birawi.

The Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip appears to have had its origins in the Arab And International Commission To Build Gaza (AICBG) which was founded in 2009 by Wael Saqqa. At that time, he AICBG included the following individuals as members  of its board of directors:

  • Wael Saqqa (Chairman of the Board)
  • Ahmet Davutoglu (then Turkish President)
  • Necati Ceylan ( President of the Türkiye Gönüllü Te?ekkülleri Vakf? (TGTV) , an umbrella group founded in 1994 to foster ties amongst Islamist NGOs in Turkey.
  • Osama al-Issawi Member (Hamas Minister)

The establishment of the The Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip is judged by the GMBDW to be an important development seemingly aimed at merging Hamas fundraising and the Gaza flotilla movement to be led by well-known Hamas/Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders and under Qatari and Turkish auspices. The GMBDW reported last week that the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a Turkish group close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with Qatar Charity. As noted in that post, Turkey has become a new center for the global Brotherhood as evidenced by the numerous GMB meetings being held in Istanbul and the somewhat over the top praise lavished on Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who recently declared Istanbul to be the seat of the Islamic Caliphate. Qatar in turn is a major sponsor of the Global Muslim Brotherhood networks though its official and quasi-official organizations such as Qatar Charity, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the Qatar Foundation. Youssef Qaradawi and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal are also hosted and resident in Qatar. The establishment of this latest organization is further evidence of the growing importance of Qatar and Turkey as state sponsors of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The GMBDW also judges that the framing of the new organization’s purpose as reconstruction aid for Gaza is a clever strategic move designed to make it difficult for opponents of Hamas to block funds from entering Gaza. As the building of a massive tunnel network (partly aided by Qatar) has shown, it will be impossible to prevent Hamas from using the aid for military purposes and Hamas leaders have already declared “Our resistance will continue until all our demands are met and we are getting closer to victory and al-Quds (Jerusalem).”

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In the category of Global Muslim Brotherhood networking, the Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) is reporting that it is attending the summer school organized by by the US-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and entitled, “Muslims in Europe: Challenges of Pluralism’ taking place in Sarajevo.” The summer is described by as follows:

FEMYSO

FEMYSO

The programme is designed for European undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in Islamic studies, humanities or the social sciences and who are interested in developing their knowledge and expertise in the topics listed here. The programme will also provide an opportunity for participants to present and discuss their particular research in workshops. During the course of the programme, participants will complete a total of 80 hours of direct research and instruction and will receive a certificate of attendance from the organisers and the International University of Sarajevo.

In November 2013, the GMBDW reported that US Naval Academy instructor Ermin Sinanovic, also the IIIT Research Director, was teaching at a similar IIIT summer school held in Sarajevo. Also teaching at the 2013 school was

  • Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Jasser Auda,  a member of the IIIT Academic Council and close associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi as well as Tariq Ramadan.
  • Louay Safi, a US Muslim Brotherhood leader and former IIIT Research Director.

A NEFA Foundation report identifies the Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO) as the youth/student arm of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Over the years, FEMYSO has developed a relationship with both the Council of Europe and the European Commission where it has been invited since 2003 to attend meetings of the Group of Policy Advisers (GOPA). One of the important leaders of FEMYSO over the years has been Ibrahim El-Zayat, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany. Michael Privot, a Belgian convert and former youth leader in FIOE who in 2008 had openly acknowledged being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, has written in his blog that he has “put an end to all my links and ties with the European Muslim Brotherhood.” The GMBDW has  reported that newly elected members of the  organizations Executive Committee include relatives of important Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as the daughter of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi.

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) describes itself as “a private, non-profit, academic, cultural and educational institution, concerned with general issues of Islamic thought and education” and using the slogan “Towards Islamization of Knowledge and Reform of Islamic Thought.”  The concept for IIIT was developed at a meeting held in Lugano, Switzerland that was attended by many luminaries of the Global Muslim Brotherhood including Youssef Qaradawi. IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Iraqi-born Jamal Barzinji and Hisham Altalib who wished to promote the Islamization of Knowledge as conceived by Ismail Al-Faruqi and who were also early leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). A 1991 internal document of the US Muslim Brotherhood, introduced as evidence in the holy Land Foundation trial, included IIIT in “a list of our organizations and organizations of our friends.”

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The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website is reporting that the an advisor to the deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, currently jailed and awaiting multiple trials, has send a message to Hamas in Gaza on behalf of Dr. Morsi congratulating Hamas on their “brilliant victory over the Zionist enemy – the epitome of terrorism in the world.” According to the Ikhwan Web report:

Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi

August 27, 2014 Ahmed Abdel-Aziz, National Media Advisor to President Mohamed Morsi, sent a congratulatory message on behalf of President Morsi and his presidential team to the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt announced a ‘comprehensive long-term’ cease-fire truce between the Zionist entity and the Gaza Strip.

In the congratulations message, Abdel-Aziz said: ‘On behalf of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, his presidential team and the Egyptian people, I extend my congratulations to the political and military leaderships of the valiant Palestinian resistance, with all factions, in this brilliant victory over the Zionist enemy – the epitome of terrorism in the world’.

He concluded the message addressing Palestinian factions, saying: ‘I ask God to bless your unity, so you can ultimately liberate Palestine’. “

Meanwhile, Associated Press is citing Egyptian news agency reports that that Dr. Morsi has refused to answer a prosecutor’s questions about allegations that he leaked classified documents to Qatar via Al-Jazeera. According to the report, if the charges are referred to court, it would be the fourth case underway against Dr. Morsi who was deposed by the military last summer following mass protests against his rule. The GMBDW reported in February that Egyptian prosecutors had accused ousted President Mohammed Morsi of leaking state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.  Dr. Morsi could received the receive the death penalty as a result of his many trials.

In June 2012, the Egypt Independent published a revealing profile of Mohamed Morsi.

For a compendium of the extremist statements made by Morsi, go here.

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US media is reporting that an Israeli civil rights attorney has sent a letter to the US Attorney General requesting that the US Department of Justice extradite Hamas military commander Saleh al-Arouri for his role in the kidnapping and murder of American citizen Naftali Fraenkel.

Saleh al-Arouri

Saleh al-Arouri

August 26, 2014 Israeli civil rights attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant AG Leslie Caldwell, requesting the Department of Justice extradite Hamas West Bank commander, Saleh al-Arouri, for his role in the kidnapping and murder of American citizen Naftali Fraenkel.

Al-Arouri, who runs the U.S. deemed terror group in the West Bank from Turkey, was seen on a video last week, addressing the fourth conference of the World Union of Islamic Sages in the Islamic Republic, and ‘boasting’ that Hamas’ Qassam Brigades had carried out the June kidnapping and killing of Fraenkel and Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach and Gil-ad Shaar.

According to The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center near Tel Aviv, ‘He read his speech, saying that he was speaking on behalf of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.’

Darshan-Leitner, Founder and Director of the Shurat HaDin–Israel Law Center, a non-governmental organization (NGO), cites the aforementioned video in her letter to the Attorney General. She asks the Department of Justice to ‘take all necessary steps to compel the government of Turkey to extradite’ as well expresses confidence ‘that an investigation into the evidence of the kidnapping and murder of Fraenkel will result in the indictment and extradition of senior Hamas leader al-Arouri from Turkey.’

Pursuant to the Treaty of Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between both the U.S. and Turkey, the Islamic Republic is legally bound to extradite al-Arouri if he ‘committed a criminal act that would be punishable by Turkey, had the offense been perpetrated within its territorial jurisdiction,’ wrote Darshan-Leitner. ‘The US is the only country that can bring Arouri to justice.’

Read the rest here.

Last week, the GMBDW was the first to report that  that Salah al-Arouri, a Hamas military leader residing in Turkey, had admitted that the Hamas military wing was responsible for the kidnapping, an event which sparked the recent round of the Gaza conflict. The admission was made at an Istanbul meeting of the iInternational Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, and attended by various Brotherhood luminiaries as well the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister. Subsequent Israeli media reports say that Salah al-Arouri (aka Saleh al-Arouri), who is based in Turkey, was also the mastermind behind what has been described as a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank that was intended to end the rule of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and spark a third intifada. False claims that the Israeli police had exculpated Hamas in connection with the crime were for a time a staple on websites linked to a or sympathetic to Hamas and/or the Muslim Brotherhood.

We also reported last week that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal had further confirmed that Hamas members were behind the West Bank killing of three Israeli teenagers.

For a profile of Khaled Meshaal, go here.

For a profile of Saleh al-Arouri, go here.

For our report on the IUMS meeting, go here.

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The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has reported the results of its 2014 elections for national leadership. According to the report:

Azhar Azeez

Azhar Azeez

(Plainfield, IN 8/27/14) Today, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is proud to announce the election of the incoming group of ISNA leaders elected to the Majlis Ash-Shura. They will begin their term on September 1, 2014.

The elected leaders join 16 current Majlis members with new ISNA President Azhar Azeez and ISNA Vice President Altaf Husain.

Below are the incoming members:

ISNA President: Azhar Azeez ISNA Vice President-USA: Altaf Husain ISNA Vice President-Canada: Pervez Nasim ISNA Majlis Member: M. Affan Badar ISNA Majlis Member: Ziauddin Mahmood ISNA Majlis Member Manzoor Ghori

‘ISNA members have elected a next group of leaders that will build from the foundations of a 50-year legacy, and take the organization to the next level that is relevant and receptive to the community we serve ,’ said ISNA Executive Director Hazem Bata. ‘I look forward to working with the elected leadership in continuing to provide not only the services and programs we currently offer, but also explore new ideas and services that meet the needs of our ever changing community. We invite the community to meet the incoming leadership at the convention.’

Read the rest here.

His current ISNA bio describes the he newly elected ISNA President as follows:

Azhar Azeez was born in HYDERABAD, INDIA and moved to US in 1995. He has a bachelors degree in Finance from the prestigious Osmania University and a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and currently is pursuing his PhD in Islamic studies. For 13 years he worked for major US corporations such as General Electric, American General Life and Capital One. He currently serves as the senior National Director of Islamic Relief USA which is one of the largest Muslim charity in the world. He is a member of ISNA Executive Council since 2002 and was elected as the vice president of ISNA. in 2010. He currently heads as the President of the North Texas Islamic council which represent 35 Islamic Organizations in Dallas/Fort worth area. He is the founder and the past President of Islamic Association of Carrollton, Texas one of the large mosques in the suburbs of Dallas, TX.

Mr. Azeez’s 2010 ISNA bio however, cited by the GMBDW when Mr. Azeez was elected as the ISNA VP, said that he was also a founding member and past President of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) –Dallas/ Fort Worth Chapter, a fact curiously omitted above. CAIR of course is well-known to be a part of the US Muslim Brotherhood and tied to the Hamas support infrastructure in the US while in 2011, the GMBDW reported on the Brotherhood ties of both Islamic Relief USA as well as its parent organization Islamic Relief Worldwide. 

In addition, as late as 2011 Azhar Azeez was listed as a member of the Grassroots Leadership Advisory Council of the Freedom and Justice Foundation (FJF), a now defunct organization co-founded by Mohamed Elibiary, a Senior Fellow of the US Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council. Many of the other members of the FJF Advisory Council were known to be associated with the Islamic Association of North Texas (IANT) which operates the Dallas Central Mosque (DCM). Both the IANT and the DCM are known to be associated with the US Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas infrastructure in the US including the now defunct Holy Land Foundations (HLF). A former FBI analyst has also written that the two of the Elashi brothers, later convicted of terrorism financing as leaders of the HLF, had personal ties to the DCM, one serving as a board member and the other active in an affiliated Islamic School. After the arrests of the Elashi’s, the DCM hosted fundraising events for their legal defense. A 2005 report by the Center For Religious Freedom (CRF) found numerous examples of Saudi ideological material at the DCM (aka Richardson Mosque) Other members of the FJF Advisory Council were leaders of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), both organizations being important parts of the US Muslim Brotherhood.

A GMBDW profile, details ISNA’s own history of ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as well as its history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. In 2013, we posted an analysis titled “The Rehabilitation Of ISNA; Have They Really Changed?”  in which we wrote:

…the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch has known for sometime that important elements of the US government were of the opinion that ISNA was an organization that had substantially changed in character over the years. In 2009, we met privately with an FBI official who told us that they were of the opinion that ISNA was under new leadership and that this reflected a meaningful change in the organization. Since that time, the GMBDW and its predecessor publication has reported on numerous occasions where the US government has acted in such a manner that suggests concurrence with this view of ISNA as a rehabilitated organization.

 As we concluded:

….despite these notable developments, there are good reasons why the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch remains deeply skeptical about any true change in the nature of ISNA. To begin with, many important US Muslim Brotherhood leaders remain active in the organization.

In 2010, we reported on the problematic ties of the newly elected ISNA Secretary-General Safaa Zarzour and the election in 2014 of an ISNA president with the troubling background detailed above does nothing to alter this picture. We wrote only two weeks ago that we would be watching for any signs that our skepticism about ISNA was either  justified or ill-conceived. Until such a time that ISNA is led by individuals with an untainted background, we see no reason to move from the skeptical position.

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Israeli media is reporting that the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a Turkish group close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with Qatar Charity. According to a Jerusalem Post report:

ihhdan_suc_duyurusu_h8795August 26, 2014 The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) that was behind the 2010 Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with Qatar.

Bulent Yildrim, chairman of the Turkish IHH organization, and Qatar Charity CEO Yousef bin Ahmad al-Kuwari signed the strategic agreement that was announced at a press conference held in Doha, Qatar.

The agreement ‘will bring both organizations already existing union closer,’ with the two aid agencies becoming ‘permanent partners,’ the IHH website reported on Monday.

The two organizations plan to carry out short- and longterm projects in various places.

They plan to carry out joint projects and to support each other’s existing ones, said IHH.

Within two months, the organizations’ representatives will meet to discuss ‘priority projects.’

Doha and Ankara have been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups throughout the Middle East, upsetting relations with Israel and with status quo anti-revolutionary Sunni powers such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

IHH plans to send ships carrying aid to Gaza again to challenge the Israeli blockade, it said earlier this month.

Activists from 12 countries have decided to launch a convoy of boats to Gaza ‘in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression,’ IHH said.”

The GMBDW considers the agreement between IHH and Qatar Charity (aka Qatar Charitable Organisation) another significant step in cementing the role of Turkey and Qatar as major state sponsors of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

A 2011 report report authored by the GMBDW editor looked at the role of IHH as the lead organization for the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. The report concluded:

  • There was strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the flotilla with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network.
  • Far from being merely a humanitarian organization IHH is rather is a highly politicized, Islamist group.
  • Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

More recent GMBDW reporting on IHH has included:

  • The GMBDW reported last month that the IHH was recruiting “human shields” to serve in the  Gaza conflict.
  • In September 2012, the GMBDW reported that  that the IHH might have been involved in transporting weapons to Syria on behalf of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
  • In June 2012, we reported that the IHH President was being investigated for allegedly financing al-Qaeda through his organization.

Qatar, in turn, is a major sponsor of the Global Muslim Brotherhood networks though its official and quasi-official organizations such as Qatar Charity, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the Qatar Foundation. Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal are also hosted and resident in Qatar which itself is a major funder of Hamas.

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The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a press release indicating that its executive director has attended the funeral of Michael Brown, the teenager who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri. According to the statement:

Nihad Awad

Nihad Awad

August 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is attending today’s funeral for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Mo.

‘I believe it is important for all Americans to show their support for racial equality and social justice and to be part of the national dialogue on these important issues,’ said Awad.

Last week, CAIR joined the NAACP and other civil rights groups in calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting.

CAIR representatives also took part in a national American Muslim call-in discussion of the Michael Brown and joined almost 100 national civil rights groups, coordinated by The Leadership Conference and Civil and Human Rights, in calling for federal action to prevent discriminatory profiling.

Nihad Awad was cited last week in an IslamOnline article urging Americans to “value every precious life:”

Nihad Awad, national executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed, and said what’s happening in Ferguson is symptomatic of long-standing historical injustices that black people have suffered in America for decades.

“Our nation has been trying to heal for years, but there is a deep social history that has to be fixed by restructuring our perception of culture and showing respect to one another,” he said. “We have to value every precious life.”

Given his historical association with Hamas, Mr. Awad’s seeming attempts to reinvent himself as a spiritual leader strike us as disingenuous and hypocritical to say the least and his publicized attendance at the funeral in rather poor taste.

The GMBDW reported last week on what appears to be the growing effort by the US Muslim Brotherhood to gain increased legitimacy by associating itself with broader civil rights issues in the US.

For a profile of CAIR, go here.

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The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a new umbrella group for the US Muslim Brotherhood, has issued a condemnation of the murder of the American journalist James Foley by what the statement calls the “so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.” According to the statement:

1435382(WASHINGTON DC 08/20/2014) — The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several leading national and local Muslim organizations, condemns the murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

We offer our deepest condolences to James’ family and pray they will find comfort and solace during this difficult time. The USCMO roundly condemns this group and rejects its ideology and actions. The terror organization, which is also known by the acronym ISIS, does not speak or act on behalf of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. In fact, they have killed so many Muslims indiscriminately. Their actions are reprehensible, inhumane and completely contravene all aspects and tenets of Islam. ‘We are heartbroken by the brutal death of Mr. Foley,’ said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary general. ‘It states in the Qur’an that the taking of one life is the equivalent of killing of all humankind and the saving of one life is equivalent to the saving of all humankind. Islam abhors and rejects the murder, mayhem and terror being spread by this group of criminal individuals.’ The USCMO also warns the public to avoid spreading Islamophobia by using the actions of ISIS to characterize and demonize all Muslims, globally and here in the United States. We agree with the words of James’ mother, Diane, who told the media that, ‘Jim’s death can bring our country together in a stronger way in the values that Jim held dear. He never wanted us to hate or be bitter.’”

The GMBDW notes that the ISIS murder and the organization itself have been widely condemned by the US Muslim Brotherhood.

The GMBDW reported in March on the formation of the USCMO, now comprised of seven US Muslim organizations and a secretary-general almost almost all tied tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood. As we noted in 2010, one of the common tactics of the US Muslim Brotherhood is to construct coalitions of its own front organizations as well as inter-related groups and individuals, giving the appearance that the Brotherhood has more broad-based support than it actually enjoys. The new US Council of Muslim Organizations is just the latest in a long series of such “umbrella groups” formed by the US Muslim Brotherhood.

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August 14, 2014 Egyptian media is reporting on the formation of a Egyptian opposition group based in Turkey. According to an Al-Ahram online report,  the spokewoman for the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) claims that “Muslim Brothers comprise less than 20 per cent“ of the group’s members:

Only days before the one-year anniversary of the break-up of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, a new opposition group has announced its formation from its base in Turkey.

The Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) held its first press conference on Friday in Istanbul. The group claims it is ‘resisting the 3 July military coup’ and battling for the ‘bread, freedom, social justice and dignity’ that was the rallying cry of the 25 January Revolution.

Speaking in the Turkish capital, the ERC said it is ‘an entity for Egyptian forces and individuals abroad … who maintain the principles of the 25 January Revolution, are faithful to constitutional legitimacy, seek a civil state and oppose all forms of corruption, tyranny and the military coup and its consequences.’

……

The ERC listed its goals as ‘uniting all revolutionary forces and youth, mobilising international support, realising the 25 January Revolution’s aims, dismantling corrupt institutions and establishing equal citizenship, justice, freedom and human dignity.’

The group called on foreign states to support the council against Egypt’s ‘military-backed government.’

The ERC appeared on the scene a week ahead of the first anniversary of the dispersal of Islamist protest camps in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares. Its avowed aims are almost identical to those of the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy (NCSL), the group of Brotherhood sympathisers that has been leading calls for Morsi to be reinstated as president.

‘The ERC is not a replacement for the NCSL,’ ERC spokesperson Maha Azzam told Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubasher. The NCSL operates in Egypt, while the ERC will address the international community. According to Azzam, Muslim Brothers comprise less than 20 per cent of the ERC’s members.

She said the group may take the lead in trying to refer members of the current regime to the International Criminal Court.

Read there rest here.

The GMBDW doubts, given the background of the ERC spokeswoman, that her definition of who or who is not tied to the Muslim Brotherhood can be trusted.

ERC spokeswoman Maha Azzam,  an associate fellow at the UK Chatham House, was part of a June 2006 panel event sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and titled “Engagement or Quarantine: How to Deal with the Islamist Advance.” The description of Ms. Azzam’s presentation says that she argued “as Islamism becomes more entrenched, it brings with it stronger barriers against violence.” Also participating in the Carnegie event were:

  • Najib Ghadbian, University of Arkansas, known to be an advocate for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood
  • Mark Perry, Conflicts Forum, a group whose advisory board includes Azzam Tamimi, a UK Muslim Brotherhood leader and Hamas spokesman, and Ismail Patel, head of the UK pro-Hamas Friends of Al-Aqsa, 

Recent events have shown the ever increasing importance of Turkey as a key center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

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