FEATURED STORY: UK Muslim Brotherhood Leader Meets Obama In White House; Anas Altikriti Supported Iraqi Insurgents

Anas Altikriti (1st from left)
Anas Altikriti (1st from left)

UK Muslim Brotherhood leader Anas Altikriti, who once supported the Iraqi insurgency against the US, has apparently been part of a White House meeting with an important Iraqi leader. A photo available on the White House Flickr feed appears to show Mr. Altikriti standing to the right of Osama Al-Nujaifi, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, as al-Nujaifi is shaking hands with President Obama. The caption to the photo states:

President Barack Obama greets Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraqi Council of Representatives, after he drops by Vice President Joe Biden’s meeting with the Speaker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Jan. 22, 2014.

Al-Nujaifi is often described as “the most senior and important Sunni leader” and has been mentioned as a possible future candidate for Iraqi President. According to media reports, during his Washington visit  al-Nujaifi held a series of meetings that included:

  • January 21 Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel (Pentagon)
  • January 22 Secretary of State (unknown location
  • January 22 Vice-President Joe Biden (White House)
  • January 24 Brookings Institute

One source reported that during his visit, Nujaifi met President Barrack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden twice, as well as senior US officials.” The date and location of any second such meeting is not known nor is it know if Atikriti accompanied al-Nujaifi during his other meetings in Washington.

Anas Al-Tikriti is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. In addition to his role at Cordoba, Al-Tikriti is one of the leaders of the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood but many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the BMI. According to an Israeli think-tank report, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue.

In April 2004 Altikriti gave an interview with Islam Online, at that time associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, in which he said that the “struggle of the Iraqi people, militarily and politically must continue until the occupier leaves and a true patriotic and democratic government is elected”. He stated his preference for political rather than violent “resistance”, yet affirmed the right of Iraqis to use “any means and methods” to expel the “occupation”:

I am all for the effort and struggle to free Iraq and end the occupation. I would rather that happen without any silage of blood on any side, the coalition forces or the Iraqis. If there are political avenues that are efficient and would work, then they must be exhausted. However, to expect to rule people with guns and missiles and not expect a reaction in kind is extremely foolish and naive. Also, to occupy a people and expect them not to retaliate is also unrealistic. Even the United Nations recognizes the right of an occupied people to free themselves using any means and methods, and the Iraqis aren’t exempt from that liberty. However, my wish is that not one single Iraqi is killed, not one single American or British soldier is killed…and Iraq is freed from occupation. If that can be achieved, then I’m all for it.

While careful to criticise al-Qaeda, Altikriti has repeatedly expressed support for insurgents fighting British and American troops in Iraq. In an interview in June 2006 on the MB website, Altikriti called upon “the Iraqi resistance” to “refrain from killing for the sake of killing but only to resist the occupation”. He reaffirmed “the right of the Iraqis to engage in legitimate resistance against foreign occupation abiding by the international laws and traditions”.

Al Tikriti also lashed out at the occupation forces accusing them of being the real cause of destruction in Iraq and killings of the Iraqi people “It was the occupation in the first place which opened the doors for Al-Zarqawi or the Badr Brigades (Shiite militia) which kill the Sunni scholars on a daily bases. It was also the same ugly occupation and through its horrific actions in Abu Gharib and the massacres in Haditha and Ishaqi, that caused some Iraqis to sympathizes with Al-Zarqawi and those like him” Al Tikriti called upon members of the Iraqi resistance to embolden its true patriotic image before the world and refrain from killing for the sake of killing but only to resist the occupation. He concluded by reaffirming the right of the Iraqis to engage in legitimate resistance against foreign occupation abiding by the international laws and traditions.

The GMBDW sees only two possibilities for why Anas Al-Tikriti was allowed into the White House. Either the relevant officials had no idea who he really is, not an encouraging notion, or they did know and did not care. The second explanation is particularly disturbing in light of the common belief in Egypt that the Obama administration is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

In June 2013, the GMBDW reported that Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, a Global Muslim Brotherhood figure who belonged to an organization that also once called for attacks on US troops in Iraq, had visited the White House where he met with senior White House officials and representatives of other government agencies including an aide to President Obama and US OIC Envoy Rashad Hussain. Allowing such major figure in the Global Muslim Brotherhood into the White House can only serve to bolster the aforementioned perception that the Obama Administration is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

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