An Arabic-language interview with self-described Muslim Brotherhood foreign Minister Youssef Nada has become available online. Nada, and his partner Ghaleb Ali Himmat, are best known for their role in establishing the infamous and now-defunct Al Taqwa Bank located “offshore” in the Bahamas. Numerous Muslim Brotherhood luminaries held shares in the bank, including the bank’s Sharia supervisor Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi and his family, which was supposed to conduct business in accord with Islamic principles. The bank was closed in 2000 after what Nada said were unforeseen developments related to the Asian financial crisis and a run on the bank caused by unfavorable publicity generated by accusations that the bank was funding Hamas. No documentation of the bank’s activities has ever been produced and Nada has refused to hand over the bank records which he said were moved to Saudi Arabia. Nada has claimed to the acting “foreign minister” for the Muslim Brotherhood and is known to have met with Saddam Hussein. Prosecution of Nada and Al Taqwa has also been dropped in Switzerland and Italy recently but Nada, Himmat, Nasreddin, and Al Taqwa remain on the U.S. and other lists of designated terrorists.
A full translation of the interview is not possible here but at first glance, Nada appears to be repeating his usual defense of Al-Taqwa- that it was the victim of the unforeseen Asian financial crisis and the Hamas-funding accusation. Recently, sources of unknown credibility have accused Nada of bankrupting the Al-Taqwa bank and using its money to either play the stock market or work with the mafia in Campione, Italy, where Nada now resides.