Muslim Brotherhood Members Deported From Southern Africa


Based on government documents, a newspaper in Zimbabwe has reported that the African countries of Namibia and Botswana have deported several members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:

NAMIBIA and Botswana have arrested and deported several members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which has links with the al Qaeda movement, in a highly sensitive and secret operation. The Namibian is in possession of a highly confidential document forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the country’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Hadino Hishongwa, in which he revealed information about alleged infiltration of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood into the region. The extent of the infiltration could not be verified with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or with High Commissioner Hishongwa, as neither replied to a list of questions submitted two weeks ago. An official in Foreign Affairs said a file with the questions had been forwarded to acting Permanent Secretary Hinyangerwa Asheeke, who has yet to reply. Hishongwa wrote to the Ministry towards the end of September after he was briefed by a representative of the Botswana Intelligence Organisation (BIO), a part of the Botswana Police Service, about infiltration by mainly Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood elements into the southern African region, including Namibia. It is believed that the men carried visas stating that they are directors of non-existent companies and pretended to make a living from selling paintings, carpets and mirrors on the streets or door-to-door. They mainly stayed in Windhoek, Rundu, Oshakati and Gobabis. “However, this is largely a cover-up as they have virtually unlimited access to money via Visa cards which they use, inter alia to buy vehicles. These people are also said to be proficient in forging credit cards, ID cards and cellphone credit,” Hishongwa warned. …It is believed that Botswana has already detained over 25 Egyptians as illegal immigrants in Gaborone after a tip-off from their South African counterparts. About 20 cars with Botswana and SA registration numbers were parked at one of the premises where the suspects were arrested. For their part, South Africa’s Scorpion special investigative unit have arrested over 50 illegal Egyptian immigrants after they entered the country by ship from Pakistan and bribed corrupt police and customs officials. “Although the SA authorities subsequently withdrew their visas, some had already scattered to Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho ad Swaziland,” Hishongwa wrote. It is believed that while being interrogated, the majority of the suspects confirmed their allegiance to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which has links to al Qaeda. According to Hishongwa’s informant in the Botswana Intelligence Service, eight of those who made it out of South Africa had been arrested in Namibia by the end of September. At that stage there were already around 70 members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in Namibia.

According to a U.S. State Department report, Botswana has a Muslim community, primarily of South Asian origin, of just over 5,000 in a population of approximately 1.76 million. Muslims in Namibia are said to represent about 3% of a population of a population of about 2 million or about 600,000.

An earlier post discussed documents said to have been found in the home of a Muslim Brotherhood leader detailing a Muslim Brotherhood plan for expansion in Africa. Activities discussed in those documents centered on West Africa and included the offer of scholarships for African students to study in Cairo, the use of teachers to recruit new Muslim Brothers, and the formation of a “charity group.” In August, a Norwegian Institute announced  a research project titled “The Muslim Brotherhood Around the Horn of Africa.”

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