The website of the Syrian National Council, the umbrella group representing the opposition to the regime of Syrian President Assad, confirms the Muslim Brotherhood affiliation of one of its members as first reported by the GMBDW in 2008. The SNC website identifies Bassem Hatahet as a member if its “Muslim Brotherhood Alliance.” Mr. Hatahet was identified as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Belgium by a 2008 NEFA Foundation report which provided the following biographical details:
A January 2007 article posted on the Internet describes a Bassem Hatahet as a member of the FIOE.144 He is 43 years old and was born in Damascus, Syria where he likely still has relatives. Various sources list a residential address for Mr. Hatahet in northwest central Brussels.145 Security sources in Belgium describe Mr. Hatahet as the most important Muslim Brotherhood figure in Belgium, and a Bassem Hatahet was listed in a 1999 phonebook belonging to Youssef Nada, a self-described leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who was designated by the U.S. in 2002 as a terrorist financier.146 147 Mr. Hatahet is an executive in at least two real-estate related businesses in Brussels, and a March 2007 announcement published by the city of Brussels indicates that he was constructing an apartment building with eleven apartments at that time.148
A 2008 Belgian newspaper (see source below) report provided further biographical information on Bassem Hatahet:
Brussels resident Bassem Hatahet, 43 years old , is the son of a big shot of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brothers, whose attempt at coup d’etat was embedded in blood, in Hama, in 1982. After his arrival in Belgium, in 1985, via Germany, he started studying dentistry. He is behind the origin of a series of associations, dedicated to the collection of funds (for example Foundation Al aqsa), and many mosques, like Khalil (last in the hands of the Moroccan Brothers Justice and Development Party), in Molenbeek, or Assahaba, in Verviers. Presenting the profile of “financier”, he is active today in the European headquarters of the Brothers (Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe), located in Brussels. However, he never succeeded in obtaining Belgian citizenship.
FIOE is the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, described by another NEFA report as an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. The NEFA Belgian report also cites Hatahet’s connection to the Al-Aqsa Foundation, a part of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi’s Hamas fundraising coalition known as the Union of Good. Both the Al-Aqsa Foundation and the Union of Good are designated by the U.S. as terrorist entities. The NEFA Belgian report also provides further details on the Verviers Hamas support network.
A post from June 2011 reported on a conference of “Syrian opposition” groups held in Brussels and cited Mr. Hatahet as an an organizer of the conference.
Previous posts have noted that the SNC includes at least two known members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood- Louay Safi, a leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Najib Ghadbian, a board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). A post from August identified a leader of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a third individual tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood that is also a part of the SNC. The relationship between the SNC and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi should also be noted.
(Source: “L’homme clé” Le Vif/L’Express 25 Avril 2008, software translation)