The New York Times is reporting that Pakistani authorities have arrested a man who was close to the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) political party and who is linked to accused Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad. According to the report:
The Pakistani authorities have arrested two men in Karachi who they say were linked to Mr. Shahzad and are now questioning them in Islamabad, Pakistani officials say. One was close to Jamaat-e-Islami, a radical religious party that is staunchly anti-American and whose supporters have harbored operatives of Al Qaeda, a Karachi police official said.
Other media have reported that supporters of the youth wing of JEI held a rally in Karachi to support Mr. Shahzad. An earlier post reported that Mr. Shahzad was a “fan” of the writings of Abul Ala Mawdudi (aka Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi, an Islamist intellectual whose thought inspired the JEI.
The JEI was founded in 1941 and is Pakistan’s oldest religious party. The party had its origins in the thought of Maulana Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi (1903-79), the most important Islamist intellectual in the history of Southeast Asia. Maududi was also a major influence on the global Muslim Brotherhood with whom the JEI has long enjoyed close relations. In the United States, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is generally considered to represent the JEI. ICNA has a particularly close relationship with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the U.S. Brotherhood, and the two organizations have been holding joint conferences in recent years. In addition, many past and present leaders of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), also part of the U.S. Brotherhood, have backgrounds that are strongly associated with JEI. One notable example is India-born Muzammil Siddiqi, a past ISNA president and leader of the Fiqh Council of North America. A previous post has discussed a recent speaking invitation by ISNA to another JEI leader.