Arab media has reported that Egyptian prosecutors have charged five members of what it calls the “international organization” of the Muslim Brotherhood with money laundering and raising funds abroad. According to a report in Asharq Alawsat:
In what represents a judicial precedent, the Egyptian Public Prosecution has charged a Saudi preacher who is allegedly a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization with money laundering and raising funds abroad, along with 4 other Egyptians. According to the details revealed by the Egyptian Public Prosecution, 4 Egyptians and 1 Saudi Arabian have been charged. The Public Prosecution did not reveal information about the Saudi citizen, who is Saudi Arabian preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni who the Egyptians previously accused of being a member of the outlawed organization a few months ago before dropping the charges. Saudi preacher Awad Mohamed al-Qarni is not to be confused with his namesake the more famous Saudi preacher Dr. Aaidh al-Qarni. Egyptian Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud yesterday issued the order to charge the 5 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood International organization with money laundering and raising funds abroad for an outlawed group, and for their case to be transferred to the Egyptian State Security Emergency Court.
Also identified as part of the alleged money-laundering group was Ibrahim Munir Mustafa (aka Ibrahim Munir, Ibrahim Mounir), currently residing in the UK. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website refers to Mr. Munir as an Executive Bureau member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organization while an Egyptian news report identifies him as the Secretary-General of the International Organization and one of its founders in 1982 as well as a spokesman for the Brotherhood in London. The latter Arabic language news report also provides some biographical detail on Mr. Munir who it says was sentenced to life imprisonment in in Egypt in the 1950’s in connection with the events following the attempt assassination of then Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Following his early release in 1975, the report says Mr. Munir traveled and worked in the Gulf States on behalf of the Brotherhood following which he applied for and was granted political asylum in the UK. Mr. Munir is also known to be the general supervisor of the London-based Muslim Brotherhood publication known as the ‘Risalat Al-Ikhwan’ (Muslim Brotherhood Message).
The International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (IMB) can be considered to be the international leadership of the global Muslim Brotherhood most closely tied to the Egyptian organization. In 2004, a London-based Arabic newspaper identified further members of the International Organization:
The international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is an assembly of all national Brotherhood organizations, but its higher leadership is in the hands of the Egyptian organization represented in the guide and the Guidance Bureau. There are other leaders that help run the international organization, such as the Syrian Hasan Huwaydi, who is considered the third deputy of the guide, in addition to Faisal Mawlawi, leader of the Lebanese Brotherhood, Abd-Majid-Dhunaybat, controller-general of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and the Tunisian Rashid al-Ghannushi. The London-based Egyptian, Ibrahim Munir, takes care of coordination among the organization’s members in Europe. The leaders of the international organization have held their meetings with Egypt’s Brotherhood leaders in several European countries, as it is impossible to organize such meetings in Egypt, where the group is banned and targeted by security authorities.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood today has become a global network and that the Egyptian mother branch is not necessarily the most important part of the movement. Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, is often referred to by the GMBDW as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide stating only that
..he had consciously decided not to limit his scope of manoeuvre by tying himself ‘any movement which might constrain my actions, even if this is the Muslim Brotherhood under whose umbrella I grew and which I so defended…Would I, at the age of 77, accept what I turned down when I was 49?’
Since some of the leaders of the IMB are also closely tied to Qaradawi, Faisal Mawlawi for example, there may be overlap between the leadership structures of the IMB and Global Muslim Brotherhood but further research is need to clarify these relationships. A previous post details what is currently known about the IMB.
( Additional Source: Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, in Arabic 11 Nov 04 BBC Monitoring)