Islamic media is reporting on comment made by Kemal Helbawy, a Muslim Brotherhood leader formerly residing in the UK, who praised Osama Bin Laden as a “leader of jihad.” According to a MEMRI translation of an OnIslam interview:
In a live question-and-answer session titled ‘Bin Laden Dead: What Next?’ on Onislam.net, Dr. Kamal Helbawy answered questions about the situation in the Arab and Muslim world following the assassination of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Dr. Helbawy, an Egyptian, served as official spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West from 1995-1997. While living in London, he helped create the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB, on whose board he still serves) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). During the onislam.net discussion, Dr. Helbawy praised bin Laden for being a leader of jihad, saying ‘We appreciate him as a rich man living in KSA who left this luxurious life and moved to a hard life in mountains and caves. He helped his Afghan brethrens and participated in Afghan jihad effectively.’ Dr. Helbawy also accused the U.S. of being behind the 9/11 attacks, saying, ‘I think that what the Americans claim about September 11th was a trick and a bait they accused Al-Qaeda of. All evidences and indications refer that the Americans are the ones who planned this matter.’ He further wrote, ‘I ask Allah to have mercy upon Osama bin Laden, to treat him generously, to enlighten his grave, and to make him join the prophets, the martyrs, and the good people.’
Source: Onislam.net, May 2, 2011
An earlier post discussed Dr. Helbawy’s relocation to Egypt from the UK.
According to his resume, Helbawi is the former official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, one of the founders of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), and one of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain, a U.K. umbrella organization that acts as part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. He is currently the director of the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism (CFSOT) which purports to be a think-tank describing itself as follows:
…an independent research and consultancy organisation, dedicated to the in-depth study of Islamic resurgence, democratisation and extremism in the Muslim world. Working with high-quality primary sources, CFSOT delivers unique information and analysis to its clients. The centre publishes a monthly journal and provides training and courses on terrorism-related issues as well as bespoke consultancy services.