FEATURED STORY: UK Muslim Brotherhood Leader With Obama In White House; Anas Al-Tikriti Supported Iraqi InsurgentsBy
UK Muslim Brotherhood leader Anas Al-Tikriti, who once supported the Iraqi insurgency against the US, has been part of a White House meeting held last week with an important Iraqi leader. A photo available on the White House Flickr feed shows Mr. Al-Tikriti standing to the right of Osama Al-Nujaifi, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, as al-Nujaifi is shaking hands with President Obama. The caption to the photo states:
President Barack Obama greets Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraqi Council of Representatives, after he drops by Vice President Joe Biden’s meeting with the Speaker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014.
Al-Nujaifi is often described as “the most senior and important Sunni leader” and has been mentioned as a possible future candidate for Iraqi President. According to media reports, during his Washington visit al-Nujaifi held a series of meetings that included:
- January 21 Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel (Pentagon)
- January 22 Secretary of State (unknown location)
- January 22 Vice-President Joe Biden (White House)
- January 24 Brookings Institute
One source reported that during his visit, Nujaifi met President Barrack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden twice, as well as senior US officials.” The date and location of any second such meeting is not known nor is it known if Al-Tikriti accompanied al-Nujaifi during his other meetings in Washington. Reports from Iraq suggest that Al-Tikriti’s presence in the delegation has stirred up significant controversy.
Anas Al-Tikriti is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. Anas Al-Tikriti is one of the leaders of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), part of the UK Muslim Brotherhood. He formerly was a leader in the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) which had for many years been the most active organization in the UK Brotherhood but he and other leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the BMI. One of the other leaders of the BMI is Mohammad Sawalha, a former Hamas commander. Anas Al-Tikriti also heads the Cordoba Foundation, a UK lobby group for the Muslim Brotherhood purporting to be an independent research center.
In April 2004, Al-Tikriti gave an interview with Islam Online, at that time associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, in which he said while he hoped that nobody would be killed he supported the right of Iraqis to use “any means and methods” to expel the “occupation”:
I am all for the effort and struggle to free Iraq and end the occupation. I would rather that happen without any silage of blood on any side, the coalition forces or the Iraqis. If there are political avenues that are efficient and would work, then they must be exhausted. However, to expect to rule people with guns and missiles and not expect a reaction in kind is extremely foolish and naive. Also, to occupy a people and expect them not to retaliate is also unrealistic. Even the United Nations recognizes the right of an occupied people to free themselves using any means and methods, and the Iraqis aren’t exempt from that liberty. However, my wish is that not one single Iraqi is killed, not one single American or British soldier is killed…and Iraq is freed from occupation. If that can be achieved, then I’m all for it.
While careful to criticise al-Qaeda, Al-Tikriti hrpeatedly expressed support for insurgents fighting British and American troops in Iraq. In an interview in June 2006 on the MB website, Al-Tikriti blamed the “occupation forces” for being the “real cause of destruction in Iraq” and reaffirmed “the right of the Iraqis to engage in legitimate resistance against foreign occupation abiding by the international laws and traditions”:
Al Tikriti also lashed out at the occupation forces accusing them of being the real cause of destruction in Iraq and killings of the Iraqi people “It was the occupation in the first place which opened the doors for Al-Zarqawi or the Badr Brigades (Shiite militia) which kill the Sunni scholars on a daily bases. It was also the same ugly occupation and through its horrific actions in Abu Gharib and the massacres in Haditha and Ishaqi, that caused some Iraqis to sympathizes with Al-Zarqawi and those like him” Al Tikriti called upon members of the Iraqi resistance to embolden its true patriotic image before the world and refrain from killing for the sake of killing but only to resist the occupation. He concluded by reaffirming the right of the Iraqis to engage in legitimate resistance against foreign occupation abiding by the international laws and traditions.
The GMBDW sees only two possibilities for why Anas Al-Tikriti was allowed into the White House. Either the relevant officials had no idea who he really is, not an encouraging notion, or they did know and did not care. The second explanation is particularly disturbing in light of the common belief in Egypt that the Obama administration is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
In June 2013, the GMBDW reported that Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, a Global Muslim Brotherhood figure who belonged to an organization that also once called for attacks on US troops in Iraq, had visited the White House where he met with senior White House officials and representatives of other government agencies including an aide to President Obama and US OIC Envoy Rashad Hussain. Allowing such major figure in the Global Muslim Brotherhood into the White House can only serve to bolster the aforementioned perception that the Obama Administration is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.