The Muslim Brotherhood Inquiry: What’s Happening?

Gatestone Institute, by Samuel Westrop, January 23, 2015

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the “principal findings” of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

“Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in each country work according to a common vision — but in complete operational independence, making the Brotherhood an informal global movement. It’s what makes designating the whole movement a terrorist organisation virtually impossible in the UK, as authorities knew from the very beginning. But the lack of a ban does not equal an exoneration or an endorsement — hardly the general tone of the review.”

The British government will publish only the “principal findings” of an inquiry commissioned by the British government into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Although the former head of the MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has described the Brotherhood as being, “at heart, a terrorist organization,” Brotherhood organizations in the UK have, nevertheless, long enjoyed the support of government ministers and taxpayers’ money.

Previous media statements have indicated that the report written for the inquiry, first commissioned in April 2014, has since sparked a great deal of argument between government ministers and officials and has led to a lengthy delay.

The biggest point of contention has reportedly focused on concerns over the expected reaction of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — both of which have recently designated the Muslim Brotherhood and some of its front groups as terrorist organizations – if the inquiry’s report is perceived to be a whitewash.

London, it seems, has long been an important hub for the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the past 50 years, Brotherhood members have established dozens of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, including lobby groups, charities, think tanks, television channels and interfaith groups.

The secretary-general of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, Ibrahim Munir, is a resident of London. In 2013, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry al-Youm reported that Munir was providing funds to the Egyptian Brotherhood through British Brotherhood groups such as the Muslim Welfare House — but under the guise of fundraising for Palestinians in Gaza.

This government inquiry was established to examine not just the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, but to understand better the workings of the worldwide Brotherhood network. This network is both big and nebulous. The inquiry sought to examine the network comprehensively, including the Brotherhood’s collaboration with other Islamic groups, such as Jamaat-e-Islami, a South Asian Islamist network that also has a strong presence in Britain.

Why, then, has the report been delayed?

The question that has dominated most British media reports of the inquiry’s findings has centered on the allegation of terrorism. The relationship between Western governments and the Brotherhood on this point has long appeared murky. In 2002, for instance, the United States government shut down the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood fundraising group for the Hamas terrorist organization. And in 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives: “I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”

At the same time, however, both the Bush and Obama administrations also sought to woo the Muslim Brotherhood. One anonymous Palestinian official, quoted in Asharq Al-Awsat, claimed: “The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, represented by Muslim Brotherhood, would be able to combat radical Islam.”

The inconsistency seems to have revolved around the Muslim Brotherhood’s connection to Hamas. Although Hamas’s 1988 covenant asserts that, “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine,” Western governments have nevertheless treated Hamas and the Brotherhood as unconnected entities — despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

In the United Kingdom, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas networks appear to overlap heavily. In 2005, for instance, the British government handed over the running of London’s Finsbury Park mosque to the Muslim Association of Britain [MAB]. The Muslim Association of Britain was founded by Muslim Brotherhood activists including Kemal Helbawi, who described the Israel-Palestinian conflict as “an absolute clash of civilisations; a satanic programme led by the Jews and those who support them, and a divine programme carried [out] by Hamas … and the Islamic peoples in general.”

One of the trustees appointed to run the Finsbury Park mosque was Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who, according to BBC reports, is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London. Yet the police and local government continue to fund the mosque with tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London, is a trustee of the Finsbury Park mosque, which receives tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money. (Image source: inminds YouTube video screenshot)

By ignoring both the operational and ideological relations between the Brotherhood and Hamas, Western governments have been able to claim a dedication to opposing terrorism while at the same time courting Islamist allies, ostensibly to help fight the jihadist threat. By 2009, for instance, the British government provided the Muslim Welfare House, mentioned earlier, with £48,000 of “counter-extremism” funds. To this day, leading Islamist charities, established by Brotherhood figures, continue to receive millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

The Muslim Brotherhood, without Hamas, has worked hard to present itself as a benign organization. It is the government’s apparent failure to demonstrate adequate evidence of connections to terrorism, some critics argue, that has led to the delay in publishing the inquiry’s report. The prominent newspaper journalist, Peter Oborne, has claimed that the report “had discovered no grounds for proscribing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group… Publication of the report as originally written would infuriate the Prime Minister’s Saudi allies — and not just them. The United Arab Emirates have long been agitating for the defenestration of the Brothers…. The reason [for the delay] is simple: money, trade, oil, in a number of cases personal greed.”

Peter Oborne, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, was, in fact, echoing the line taken by the Brotherhood itself. British Brotherhood operatives, such as Anas Al-Tikriti, recently placed an advertisement in the Guardian newspaper that claimed, “this review is the result of pressure placed on the British government by undemocratic regimes abroad, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.” The letter was signed by a number of senior Brotherhood activists, MPs, Peers and journalists — including Peter Oborne.

The “Saudi pressure” argument serves a useful purpose. There is not a lot that can undermine a government inquiry so much as an accusation of political leverage and foreign financial influence. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE regard the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat, and would like to see it suppressed. But neither the Saudis nor the Emiratis are naïve: both have worked to influence the British government for decades and both know how Westminster works. Hence, both know that it is extremely unlikely that the British government would ban the Muslim Brotherhood.

All that said, it is still possible to ignore Hamas and nevertheless link the Brotherhood to violence. In September 2010, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, advocated violent jihad against the United States, and declared that, “the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life… The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.” In 2013, Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters in Egypt attacked 70 Coptic Christian churches, and more than 1000 homes and businesses of Coptic Christian families were torched.

Banning the Brotherhood, however, is difficult for another reason. Security analyst Lorenzo Vidino writes:

“Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in each country work according to a common vision — but in complete operational independence, making the Brotherhood an informal global movement. It’s what makes designating the whole movement a terrorist organisation virtually impossible in the UK, as authorities knew from the very beginning. But the lack of a ban does not equal an exoneration or an endorsement — hardly the general tone of the review.”

If the delay in the report’s release has been the product of political wrangling at all, the debate within Westminster is most likely over the influence of the Brotherhood upon extremism and radicalization, and with which groups the government should continue to work.

There is already some indication that changes are taking place. On December 18, 2014, the government announced publicly that two Brotherhood-linked Islamic charities, Islamic Help and the Muslim Charities Forum, were to lose their government grants over links to extremism. The Department for Communities and Local Government stated that it would not fund any group “linked to individuals who fuel hatred, division and violence.” This loss of funding followed a Gatestone Institute report investigating the Muslim Charities Forum’s links to extremism, which was subsequently picked up by mainstream British media.

Also in December, Islamic Relief, after being placed on terror lists by both the governments of the UAE and Israel, published an “independent audit,” claiming there was “absolutely no evidence” to link the charity to terrorism.

The British government, which has provided over £3 million of funding to Islamic Relief since 2013, offered little comment, but did publish, at the end of December, a document revealing that the UK government would match £5 million of donations to Islamic Relief until 2016.

Herein lies the contradiction. The Muslim Charities Forum is essentially a project of Islamic Relief. The present chairman of the Muslim Charities Forum, in fact, is Hany El Banna, who founded Islamic Relief, the leading member body of the Muslim Charities Forum. Islamic Relief, as the Gatestone Institute has previously revealed, has given platforms to the same extremists as those promoted by the Muslim Charities Forum, an act that led to its loss of funding. Why would the British government discard one charity while embracing the other? Is this perhaps a sign of further sleight-of-hand to come? Rather than sanction the Brotherhood as a whole, is the government likely in future to work only with sections of the Islamist network?

We have seen such posturing before. In 2009, Britain’s Labour government cut ties with the Muslim Council of Britain after some of its officials became signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document that calls for attacks on British soldiers and Jewish communities. The government has continued, however, to work with and fund interfaith groups partly managed by MCB figures and Istanbul Declaration signatories.

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the “principal findings” of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

In spite of the expectedly unexciting report, the global Muslim Brotherhood still seems worried. Even the most benign report could damage the legitimacy upon which the Brotherhood thrives. Although unlikely, visas for Brotherhood residents in Britain could be revoked, and the report could produce a domino effect — sparking inquiries in other European countries. Evidently, the Brotherhood attaches great importance to its political and diplomatic connections and influence.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the report, media misinformation and Brotherhood propaganda have been spreading. Back in April 2014, the British government’s announcement of the inquiry produced a great deal of noise. The actual scope of the inquiry and the possible consequences, however, were left to the imaginations of the many commentators and conspiracy theorists.

Consequently, just as the full findings of the report are unclear, so is its significance. If certain sections of the Brotherhood are declared unsuitable, it seems that the report might provide a useful opportunity for the British government — aided by new statutory powers for the Charity Commission and proposed new counter-extremism powers — to crack down on those parts of the Muslim Brotherhood which serve to accrue financial and political support for Hamas.

Thus far, for the government, the Muslim Brotherhood inquiry has been a PR disaster. The eventual publication of the inquiry’s report could provide an opportunity for the British government to end its continued support and funding for Britain’s Muslim Brotherhood charities, and to stop treating Brotherhood operatives as representatives of Britain’s Muslim community. It would indeed be a shame if the only outcome of the inquiry were an even cozier realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities.

TERRORIST NATION

Published on Jan 9, 2015 by TruthRevoltOriginals

From the murder of the Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972, through the murder of 5 rabbis at prayer in 2014, the Palestinian cause has been driven by TERROR. In his latest Firewall Bill Whittle discusses their domestic front — Students for Justice in Palestine.

Rise of a Brotherhood Organizer: Deportation, Exile, and Return

1095743147Center for Security Policy, Jan. 7, 2015:

This piece continues the Center’s focus on the expanding role of the USCMO (United States Council of Muslim Organizations), the first political party in the U.S. to be openly affiliated with the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood. The emergence in 2014 of Sabri Samirah, a Jordanian banned from entry to the U.S. since 2003, but allowed back in eleven years later, as a key leadership figure and political organizer within the USCMO, marks an important stage in the Brotherhood’s “settlement process” as it seeks to expand its influence in American politics. The story of his rise through the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood and into the U.S. political scene follows.

Prior to his 2003 deportation from the United States, Samirah served as President of the United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA) from 1999 to 2003. Interestingly, and illustrative of the overlapping leadership typical of the Brotherhood’s U.S. network of organizations, the UMAA just happened to share office space with the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in Palos Hills, Illinois. In a letter dated 1 November 2000, Samirah, President of the UMAA, wrote to Rafeeq Jaber, President of the Islamic Association for Palestine and Secretary General of the UMAA Board of Trustees, to tell him that “The IAP, and all of its workers, and supporters are carrying a mission of central importance in the faith, civilization, history, and future of Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians in America and around the globe.” In addition to his UMAA presidency, Samirah simultaneously also had worked with Jaber and was Chairman of the IAP.

In Samirah’s capacity as a Muslim Brotherhood leader working for IAP and UMAA in the United States, it is essential to understand the connections between IAP and HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood nexuses for individuals who still hold positions of leadership today in the U.S.

In 1981, HAMAS operative Mousa Abu Marzook established the Islamic Association for Palestine, in part to create for HAMAS a U.S. organization that would be able to deny any links to HAMAS. On 8 October 1987, the United States Department of State (US DoS) designated HAMAS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The IAP later would be parent to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was incorporated in 1994 by IAP leadership Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber.

Per the US DoS, Foreign Terrorist Organizations are “designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  FTO designations play a critical role in the fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities.”

Under Section 219 of the INA as amended, the Legal Criteria for Designation of a FTO are as follows:

  1. It must be a foreign organization.
  2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C.  § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C.  § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
  3. The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

As shown by court documents, the IAP was a prong of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, until the U.S. government froze IAP’s assets and shut it down in December 2004 on grounds that it was funding terrorism. The IAP was named as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s twenty-nine likeminded “organizations of our friends” in the May 1991 Muslim Brotherhooddocument “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”

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Report: Qatar to banish Hamas’ Mashaal, who will relocate to Turkey

Hamas’ political bureau, is expected to leave his base in the Qatari capital of Doha and relocate to Turkey, Turkish press reports indicated on Tuesday.

Qatar has reportedly been under pressure from the international community to cease serving as a host of organizations considered by the West to be terrorist groups.

Hamas on Tuesday denied reports that Mashaal has been expelled from Qatar.

“There is no truth to what some media outlets have published over the departure by brother Khaled Meshaal from Doha,” Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq told Reuters by telephone.

Another Hamas source confirmed that Mashaal was still in Doha and has no plans to leave the country.

The ruling family in Doha has been accused of providing financial and political support to Hamas and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

Last year, the emir of Qatar denied accusations that the Gulf sheikhdom is a sponsor and supporter of Islamist terrorist organizations.

In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani rejected suggestions that the groups that Doha was backing were terrorist in nature.

“We have to see the difference between movements,” Al-Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “I know that in America and some other countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. In our part of the region, we don’t.”

The Qatari leader did say that his government opposed “certain movements in Syria and Iraq,” a reference to the Islamic State. He denied accusations that Qatar was funding IS or that his government was turning a blind eye to private citizens’ activities in support of the group.

In the interview, Al-Thani never mentioned Hamas by name, despite the fact that his government is known to provide financial support to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israeli officials have denounced Qatar for backing Hamas.

Earlier this year, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he deemed Qatar “the Club Med for terrorists.”

“In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza,” Prosor wrote. “Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the Emir of Qatar.’”

Also see:

A Veteran Brother Emerges to Lead the USCMO Political Agenda

Sabri Samirah: screenshot is from his Facebook account on 6 July 2014

Sabri Samirah: screenshot is from his Facebook account on 6 July 2014

Center for Security Policy:

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) used the November 2014 midterm elections to advance a number of its operational objectives through mobilization of Muslim voters in Illinois. Sabri Samirah, a political analyst and leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, led USCMO efforts to “get out the vote” in Illinois. As will be recalled, Samirah, former chairman of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in North America, a direct HAMAS off-shoot and the parent organization of CAIR (Council n American Islamic Relations), returned to Chicago, Illinois earlier in 2014 after 11 years in exile abroad. Samirah, no stranger to the Illinois political arena, quickly assumed leadership of several organizations: he is President of the newly-established American and Middle Eastern Affairs Center Think Tank (AMEAC) and CEO of theDevelopment Institute for Consultation & Training, LLC, (DICT). Prior to his 2003 deportation from the United States, Samirah previously had served as President of United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA) from 1999-2003. Now, playing on the same theme of Muslim unity, as Executive Director, he also heads another new organization called “UMMA” (not an acronym but the full name), established in September 2014 with its forthcoming website at www.OurUMMA.org.

Each of these organizations, described in more detail in following segments, played a role in the 2014 USCMO voter mobilization campaign and appears to be positioning itself to expanding that role further in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections. USCMO members actively helped coordinate a campaign to endorse statewide and federal political candidates viewed as accommodating toward Islam and shariah, including Illinois Republican Governor-elect, Bruce Rauner (who will be inaugurated in January 2015). This segment, the first of three, will highlight the emerging leadership role being played within the USCMO by Sabri Samirah.

While he is self-described as a “moderate, modern, Muslim, Arab American thinker;” Samirah has a history of associations with Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have called for the annihilation of worldwide Jewry and the nation of Israel. In 2003, the U.S. Department of State prohibited Samirah from entering this country within the scope of security measures implemented after the attacks of 11 September 2001. Officially, the “District Director of the Chicago INS Office, acting on behalf of the Attorney General, revoked his advance parole because the INS had received information that he was a ‘security risk to the United States.’” None of this prior background, however, deterred U.S. officials in 2014 from allowing him to return to the country, once again to take a key leadership position among Brotherhood-affiliated groups with a presence in Illinois and across the United States.

Just weeks after returning to the U.S., Samirah was a speaker at a 5 April 2014 fundraising dinner held by USCMO member group, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). He was introduced as “a longtime global and national Palestinian activist.” Another role model singled out for praise at the event was Rasmieh Odeh, a convicted terrorist who spent ten years in an Israeli prison. At this AMP dinner, she was praised by master of ceremonies Rami Bleibel as “a great community member, a great member for the Palestinian cause.” Later, in November 2014, Odeh would be found guilty of illegally entering the U.S. in 1995 for failure to disclose her prior terrorist record in Israel. Following her October 2013 indictment, Odeh was charged with naturalization fraud and eventually found guilty in the federal court case USA v. Odeh, Rasmieh Yousef of illegally entering the U.S. in 1995, when she did not disclose either her PFLP affiliation or her conviction and prison time in Israel in paperwork filed with U.S. immigration authorities.

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“Palestine” and the ICC

by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
December 31, 2014

1108The Palestinian Authority’s latest unilateral attempt to gain recognition as a state without negotiating any concessions failed Tuesday. But other mischief remains in play, including Wednesday’s move to join the International Criminal Court(ICC).

Earlier this month, “Palestine” was upgraded from “observer entity” to “observer state” at the ICC. It was another milestone on the Palestinian Authority’s road to international recognition as a state without having to negotiate directly with Israel, make any concessions, or commit to a genuine dialogue for peace, a unilateral stem directly violating both the Oslo Accords and UN Resolution 242. Countries supporting the move know – but are apathetic to the fact – that their actions only reinforce the PA’s intransigence and destroy any motivation the Palestinians might have had to compromise on any issue that would bring about a just peace for both sides.

The Palestinian Authority’s dream to try Israel in the ICC for so-called “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip is the height of absurdity. The PLO won international recognition after it claimed to have abandoned terrorism against Israel. If its operational wing, the Palestinian Authority, manages to penetrate the international legal network, sign the Rome Convention and bring Israel to trial for its activities in the Gaza Strip, senior PLO and Palestinian Authority figures will immediately find themselves in the ICC accused of their own crimes.

The Palestinian national consensus government, with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as “president,” is a coalition with Hamas, whose suicide bombers blew themselves up in Israel on busy streets and in crowded public places and caused thousands of deaths and maimings, to say nothing of abducting and murdering three teen aged boys just six months ago. The Palestinian government is responsible for the war crimes committed by Hamas this past summer, including launching long-range rockets at densely populated cities, among them Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and sending its death squads to murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately.

Israel conducts military operations against Palestinian terrorism with pinpoint precision and in accordance with the best international legal and moral criteria. This past summer, as always, it warned the civilian population before it attacked terrorists, whose leaders had fled like rats into the basements of hospitals to wait out the war. In contrast, Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately attacked the Israeli civilian population; they uttered no word of regret or sorrow, and certainly did not appoint a committee to investigate.

While Palestinians bemoan their failure to carry out a mass slaughter of Israeli civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure, mainly thanks to the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Israel is undertaking a comprehensive examination of complaints lodged by Palestinians, Israelis and the international community regarding possible illegal actions taken by Israeli soldiers and officers during Operation Protective Edge.

No country comes close to Israel in following the letter of the laws of warfare. Arab countries, many of which are currently engaged in mutual slaughter, cannot even approximate Israel’s conduct when it comes to morality. Needless to say, no Palestinian or other terrorist organization has ever examined its own behavior the way Israel constantly does.

There are many Palestinians honest enough to admit – although not brave enough to do so publicly – that if they had the weapons Israel does, not one single Israeli would be left alive. Article 7 of the Hamas charter decrees the total annihilation of all the Jews in the world. Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ partner in the Palestinian national consensus government, had the unmitigated gall to stand before the UN General Assembly and accuse Israel of genocide.

Read more at IPT

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel’s top experts on Arab affairs.

The Watchman Show: 2014 Year in Review

The Watchman, by Erick Stakelbeck, Dec. 30, 2014:

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we take a look back at the major stories that shaped 2014: ISIS, Iran, Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, and much more. Plus, Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer joins us for a look ahead at what to expect in 2015.

BBC Asia interviews a Hamas leader on their ties with Iran and ambitions

By Vlad Tepes:

This is a significant interview and while it was supposed to be available in English by request, no request was answered by those who asked. Please download and spread this video by any and all means in case it is removed. It must be seen and understood. While it isn’t a ‘sexy’ video of psychos screaming, it is an extremely powerful person calmly discussing geopolitically significant matters such as nuclear weapons, genocide, strategic alliances and enmity as well as ambitions as well as the implementation of sharia in Gaza. Add to this recent demonstrations of Hamas’ alliance with Turkey and we see what could be a game changer in the region.

Qatar: A Change of Heart? Or merely rearranging the Camels?

qatar_awareness_campaign_logoBy William Michael:

An Update from the Qatar Awareness Campaign

Several recent news reports point to the possibility that Qatar, the host nation of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be genuine in their attempt to reconcile with their Arab neighbors.  After expelling the Qataris and isolating them diplomatically, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt appear to have reached an accord with Doha.  The Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood was long ago banished from Saudi Arabia (in the late 1920s), and Egypt has violently suppressed them many times, notably after the assassination of Sadat.  Yet the daily report out of the Middle East suggests that KSA, UAE, and Egypt may really welcome Doha back into the family.

Consider:

  • Yesterday, it was reported that Qatar pledged to stop funding Hamas – truly remarkable, if true.
  • A few months ago, they expelled prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader”), and he will no longer broadcasting on Al Jazeera (if reports are to be believed).

It is possible that the month-long Qatar Awareness Campaign, which issued an open letter to nearly 30 companies, universities, individuals, and politicians who benefited financially from a relationship with terror-sponsoring Qatar, had something to do with this apparent change of heart.  The campaign identified Qatar as the primary sponsor of Islamic terror, with connections across the Middle East and North Africa to groups such as Hamas, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

But, there is another explanation for this apparent change of heart which, given Qatar’s two-faced nature, may be more realistic.

The MB could simply be shifting their bases of operation, leaving their financial hub, Qatar, alone (for the moment), thus providing their wealthy benefactor with the good press to alleviate them of the international pressure. For over the past four months, the world press had suddenly taken notice of the corrupt Gulf terror state, and its causing them trouble. FC Barcelona, for example, dropped their sponsorship deal Qatar Foundation over Qatar’s financing of Hamas.

The evidence for this “camel rearranging” is as follows:

  • Turkey, a close ally of Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood proxy themselves, welcomed the expelled Muslim Brothers from Qatar.
  • Qatar and Turkey recently reaffirmed their mutual support for “oppressed peoples” – i.e., Islamists in secularly governed countries, and Hamas in Gaza.
  • Other MB expelled from Qatar have gone to Libya, where the UAE/Egypt are in a proxy war with Qatar.
  • Hamas has been removed from the EU list of terrorist groups, providing more flexibility to terrorists in Palestine.
  • The White House (Obama) tacitly threatened to sanction Israel, and remains extremely hostile to Netanyahu.
  • Qatar’s reconciliation with their Gulf neighbors appears to be directly related to lower oil prices, which have crippled Russia’s economy and hurt Iran (Russia and Iran being no friends of Saudi Arabia).  This also directly affects Syria, a Russian and Iranian client state that is under siege by Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, elements in Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration.
  • ISIS is preparing to attack Israel.

Another development to take into account is the increasingly sharp language of the conservative press aimed at Obama and the Islamists.  We may finally be reaching a point where, sooner or later, the mainstream press is going to have to face up to the possibility that Obama is not who he says he is, but in fact an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Consider, the cop killer in NYC worked for Islamic Society of North America, and the president of ISNA is a close Obama advisor, including to DHS and the National Security Council.  The truth is getting harder to ignore.  As many people who have spent the time investigating Obama’s roots and connections have determined, the real threat to world peace is not in fact Qatar, but the Obama administration.

Now is truly the time to make the case that the administration is the North American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, and Hamas.  It must be done for posterity, before it is too late!

Let the chips fall where they may – the future belongs to the brave.

Meshaal on point of relocating Hamas’ political headquarters from Doha to Tehran

13930311000529_PhotoIDEBKAfile:

Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal, forced to quit his old headquarters in Damascus after abandoning his longtime host Bashar Assad and finding sanctuary in Doha – is again being hounded from pillar to post. DEBKAfile: A deal struck this week between Egypt and Qatar could result in the Hamas leader settling in the Iranian capital. This would afford Tehran a foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second Mediterranean outpost after Lebanon on the Israeli border.

The Egyptian-Qatar deal, revealed here by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, covers the future of the Muslim Brotherhood, the nemesis of Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisis, and its offspring, the Palestinian Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Their memorandum of understanding was concluded Wednesday, Dec. 24, in Cairo by a delegation of Qatari intelligence chiefs and the new Egyptian director of intelligence Gen. Khaled Fawzi. They spent most of the day hammering out its six points, which are listed here:

1.  Qatar withdraws its support from all Brotherhood operations against Egypt and Saudi Arabia;

2.  This point applies equally to any Hamas activity that may be interpreted as inimical to Egypt;

3.  Qatar’s assistance to Hamas will be limited to “civilian” projects (such as repairing war damage in Gaza), which too will be subject to President El-Sisi’s approval;

4. Given the close cooperation maintained at present between the Egyptian president and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on affairs relating to Gaza, Israel will implicitly have the right to disqualify certain Palestinian projects in the enclave;

5.  Qatar is to shut down the anti-Egyptian propaganda channel run by its Al Jazeera television station;

6.  The emirate is not required to sever all its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, just to keep them under control as its “strategic reserve.”

It is extremely hard to conceive of these two radical Islamist organizations bowing to the restrictions placed on their operations under the Egyptian-Qatari deal.

DEBKAfile’s sources add:  Brotherhood leaders have exited Doha and made arrangements to establish residence and a new center of operations in London, U.K.  Khaled Meshaal, after he was denied permission by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to set up shop in Istanbul, is on the point of a decision to relocate his offices in Tehran. Iran would thus gain a proxy foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second outpost on the Mediterranean after the first was provided by Hizballah in Lebanon. If Meshaal decided to settle in Tehran, Iran would acquire a handy springboard for action against Egypt and southern Israel.

Also see:

Turkey-based Hamas Leader Well Known to US Law Enforcement

IPT News
December 19, 2014

1105It has been a busy year of plotting death and destruction for Hamas leadership. As we noted Thursday, Hamas has three key operating bases in three separate locations – Gaza, Qatar and Turkey.

The Turkish operation may be the most active in plotting terror attacks. And the man who runs that base, Saleh Al-Arouri, has risen to prominence as a result. Al-Arouri has been linked to a series of terrorist plots and attacks primarily aimed at West Bank targets, an area where the terrorist group hopes to regain strength and popular support.

As a new Investigative Project on Terrorism report on Al-Arouri shows, while his infamy may be relatively new, his efforts to help Hamas foment terror date back years and are well known among American prosecutors and investigators.

Al-Arouri is a longtime Hamas military commander who operates openly in Turkey, a NATO member country and ostensibly an ally of the United States and the West.

He was the first Hamas official to acknowledge the group’s responsibility for the June abduction and murder of three Jewish teenagers in Israel.

Naftali Fraenkel, one of the murdered teens, was a U.S. citizen. The U.S. government is authorized to investigate and prosecute murder and attempted murder of U.S. citizens committed in foreign countries under Title 18, Section 2332 of the United States Code. This statutory authority is the basis for the FBI and other federal agencies to investigate many foreign terror attacks against U.S. citizens and for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring U.S. criminal charges against the perpetrators of such attacks.

U.S. law allows victims of foreign terror attacks to sue those responsible. Foreign state sponsors of terrorism that are officially designated as such by the U.S. governmentalso can be civilly liable for terror actions against the U.S. Turkey, of course, is not a U.S. designated state sponsor of terrorism.

In August, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder and director of the Israeli NGO law center Shurat HaDin, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting the U.S. government investigate, prosecute and extradite Al-Arouri from Turkey on charges related to Fraenkel’s murder.

Such legal action would not be the first time Al-Arouri’s name appeared in federal court proceedings. In 2003, three Hamas operatives were indicted in Chicago for a racketeering conspiracy. Those operatives were Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, and Chicago residents Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar. Marzook was in Syria and was never tried under the indictment. Salah and Ashqar were ultimately convicted of obstruction and contempt violations and sentenced to prison terms.

Al-Arouri was named among the “Hamas Co-Conspirators” in a superseding indictment in that case. Al-Arouri was described as a high-ranking Hamas military leader dating back to his role as a Hamas student cell leader at Hebron University in the early 1990s.” He received “tens of thousands of dollars for Hamas-related activities” from Salah which were used to buy weapons for terrorist attacks, the indictment said.

In addition, Al-Arouri appears in a 1999 federal court ruling involving a civil forfeiture action against Muhammad Salah. The court order described a 1992 trip Salah took to Israel and the Palestinian territories. There, he “funneled approximately $100,000 to an alleged HAMAS operative, Salah Al-Arouri, which, according to both Salah and Al-Arouri, was used to purchase weapons. Al-Arouri allegedly admitted to Israeli officials that he gave an individual named Musa Dudin approximately $45,000 of the money he received from Salah so that Dudin could purchase weapons in September 1992. Al-Arouri further related that Dudin purchased the weapons as planned and that these weapons were subsequently used in terrorist attacks, including a suicide attack resulting in the murder of an Israeli soldier in Hebron in October 1992.”

That was among a series of terrorist attacks “supported with weapons and money provided by Al-Arouri with funds he received from Salah” that led Israel to deport 415 Hamas operatives to Lebanon in December 1992, the court ruling noted.

As mentioned, Al-Arouri operates openly in Turkey. The first statement admitting that Hamas was responsible for kidnapping Fraenkel and two other students came during an August gathering of Islamic clerics. From that base, Israeli officials say, Al-Arouri also plotted a coup against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. If Al-Arouri succeeded, it would dramatically threaten U.S. national security interests in the region.

American law enforcement has the power to investigate Al-Arouri for killing Fraenkel, the American teenager. Failure to do so only enables his incessant plotting to kill people in Israel and, perhaps, his Palestinian foes.

Read the full report on Saleh Al-Arouri here.

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Hamas’s International Triangle of Bases: Gaza, Turkey and Qatar

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2014

1104In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has developed into a truly international entity. Today, it enjoys three territorial bases of operation: Gaza, the seat of the Hamas regime, Turkey, and Qatar.

According to Israeli intelligence estimates, each base serves a different purpose. The three branches have worked, alternatively, in harmony and in discord, together and independently, in line with the various terrorist activities they pursue.

“These are not the same leaderships,” one security source said, speaking of the Hamas command structure in each base.

“Qatar is home to Hamas’s political branch, headed by Khaled Meshaal. In Turkey [in the city of Istanbul], Hamas maintains a military branch headquarters, which sets up terrorist infrastructure. This headquarters is comprised partly of former Hamas prisoners who were ejected from Israel during the [2011] Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. In Gaza, there are both military and political operatives.”

Each branch plays a unique role, and relations between them fluctuate.

Hamas’s headquarters in Istanbul is headed by Salah Al-Arouri, a senior figure in the military wing who is focused on rejuvenating Hamas terrorism cells in the West Bank, and using it as a springboard for orchestrating deadly attacks against Israel.

Gaza is home to the main military wing, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, whose operatives focus on building up their offensive rocket capabilities, tunnel networks, and, like Arouri, they also seek to also set up West Bank terrorism cells.

On Thursday, Hamas held what is described as its largest military exercise since the summer war against Israel.

Gaza is also home to Hamas’s political wing, headed by Ismail Haniyeh.

“They all have their own interests. Those in Gaza have one point of view, those abroad have another. There have, in the past, been disagreements,” the source said.

One example of such internal conflict was the dispute between Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza over when to end the summer war with Israel. Meshaal pushed Hamas to continue the fighting, despite growing calls by Hamas in Gaza to agree to a ceasefire. The conflicting positions were partly the result of geography: Hamas in Gaza had a better real time understanding of the heavy costs Israel was inflicting on it during the fighting than the overseas Meshaal, who, from his luxurious Qatari surroundings, could afford the privilege of calling for more fighting.

Nevertheless, a basic level of cooperation and consent exists among all three branches. Saleh Al-Arouri in Turkey would not have embarked on a major mission to set up a large-scale Hamas terrorist network in the West Bank, plan atrocities against Israel, and aim to topple the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, without approval from Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza.

Cooperation may not always be close, but it exists.

“There are connections,” the security source said. “Hamas in Gaza is connected to those trying to orchestrate terrorism in Judea and Samaria. There is a circle of cooperation.”

Arouri could seek and receive assistance from Gaza, as he has done, but he can also try to work independently. “There are no laws,” the source stressed.

In recent months, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] uncovered two intricate Hamas terror plots to inflict mass-casualty attacks on Israelis, and to weaken Fatah in the West Bank. Both were tied to Arouri.

This discovery has led Israeli defense chiefs to become more vocal about the Hamas base in Turkey.

“Hamas’s terrorism headquarters are in Gaza and in Istanbul. It is unbelievable that a NATO member is hosting the headquarters of a terrorist organization in its territory,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told his Spanish counterpart earlier this month.

“We have stopped a coup planned by Hamas, which was organized in, among other places, its Turkish headquarters, against [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen in Judea and Samaria. We saved him from this revolution. Hence, there is much significance and importance in our having freedom to operate security-wise in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon stated.

Likewise, at the end of November, the Shin Bet and IDF announced that they had broken up a large-scale international Hamas terrorist infrastructure that was in the planning stages of multiple mass-casualty attacks, including an intended bombing of a soccer stadium in Jerusalem.

The plot included car bombings, bombing Jerusalem’s light rail system, and targeting Israelis overseas.

This case illustrates the growing centrality of Istanbul to Hamas terror activities in the West Bank. Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey has become a key command and planning center.

Earlier this year, the Shin Bet announced the thwarting of another large Hamas network in the West Bank, set up by Saleh Al-Arouri in Istanbul, and headed locally by a Hamas member in Ramallah.

Hamas funneled more than a million shekels [more than $250,000] to terror operatives to prepare a series of attacks, which were designed to allow it to shift attention away from Gaza, and ultimately lead to the fall of the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority, according to Israeli investigation. This would be achieved by provoking Israel into harsh responses in the West Bank, destabilizing the area and leading to the toppling of the PA.

Hamas has come a long way since the days when its founders, Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the Palestinian territories, set up indoctrination and social support centers.

Today, it is an international terrorist organization, which continues to plot new ways to murder and maim Israelis from its various bases, while it dreams of setting up a second Islamist-jihadist regime in the West Bank, as it did in Gaza.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

EU Removes Hamas from Terror List Due to ‘Paperwork’

mideast-palestinians-hamas-anniversaryjpeg-02b5a_c0-167-5672-3473_s561x327Breitbart, by JOEL B. POLLAK, Dec. 17, 2014:

The European Union has removed Hamas from its list of terror groups after a court ruled that the correct paperwork had not been filed. According to a decision Wednesday, the Palestinian group, which has murdered hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians in suicide bombings, rocket attacks, and executions, was listed as a result of “factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet,” instead of investigation by EU bureaucrats.

As a result, the General Court of the European Union ruled, the military and political wings of Hamas, which were added to the list in 2001 and 2003, respectively, must be dropped from the list of terror organizations until the right “paperwork” is completed, the Times of Israel reports.

However, the decision provides that Hamas funds in the EU remain frozen for three months until the EU decides to list it again based on its own findings, not those of the U.S. or media reports.

The Israeli government, which spent the summer defending Israeli civilians in a war Hamas started, was outraged by the EU’s decision. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahustated:

We are not satisfied with the European Union’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a ‘technical matter’. The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas–a murderous terrorist organization, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal–is an inseparable part of this list. We will continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves this goal.

The EU has often been slow to list violent anti-Israel militias as terror groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

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Defining Jihad Downward

Screen-Shot-2014-12-12-at-2.44.37-PM-190x142CSP, By Kyle Shideler:

My colleague Adam Savit has already taken the BBC to task for their write up of a recent report on Jihadist violence in the month of November, which neglected to include the murder of Israelis. This led me to drill down deeper into the report by the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political violence. Not only did the report neglect to include Hamas violence in its study of jihadi attacks, but it does so explicitly and intentionally. The report notes:

This definition excludes Shia militant groups such as Hezbollah that justify fighting in the name of jihad but are located outside the Sunni tradition. Indeed, the jihadists of al Qaeda, the Islamic State and like-minded groups regard Hezbollah as ‘apostates’ and have been among the most vociferous opponents of Shia militant groups in places like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

The definition also excludes the Palestinian group Hamas which advocates ‘jihad’ and – unlike Hezbollah – is widely recognized as Sunni. Its religious, social and political doctrine, however, is not Salafist.
Jihadist groups such as al Qaeda have repeatedly condemned Hamas for recognizing man-made laws and becoming involved in democratic elections, while Hamas, in turn, has repressed – and fought against – jihadist groups.

This justification is at best ignorant, and at worst mendacious.

While it is true that Hezbollah is fighting Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Syria, Hezbollah also has a long history of cooperation with Al Qaeda. Are the authors of this report unaware that it was Hezbollah which introduced Al Qaeda to the truck bombing techniques used in the Africa Embassy bombings (a role for which they have been held responsible in court) and that relationships between Iran’s terrorist facilitators the IRGC, Hezbollah and AL Qaeda were forged during the Pan Arab and Islamic Conference held by Sudan in the 1990s? Perhaps they are equally unaware that Hezbollah’s patron, Iran, has been held responsible for its role in 9/11 in federal court, due to its role in facilitating the movement of the hijackers, and that the 9/11 Commission notes the role of Hezbollah’s master terrorist Imad Mugniyeh in assisting the 9/11 attacks? One supposes that given its narrow justification the ICSR would not consider the  Embassy bombings or the 9/11 attacks  “jihadist” violence either.

Then there is the ICSR’s statement on Hamas. Hamas is the wing of the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for engaging in jihad terror against Israel. Hamas is completely open about this connection, having documented it in its original founding charter. Hamas was perhaps best described by leading Hamas representative Ismail Haniyeh who remarked that Hamas is the “jihadi movement of the Brotherhood with a Palestinian face.” From its earliest foundation, The Muslim Brotherhood’s own founder Hasan Al-Banna described his movement as consisting of “a Salafiyya message…”  Prior to founding the Brotherhood Al-Banna was himself a member of the Salafi groups, including the Society for the Prevention of the Forbidden.

Further more, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb’s most important work “Milestones”, was a major inspiration for Osama Bin Laden (according to the 9/11 Commission report again) and consists entirely of a discussion regarding how to restore the world to Islam, while using the methods of the early Muslims (i.e. Salaf).  The original founder of the MAK (Afghan Service Bureau) Abdullah Azzam together with Osama Bin Laden, and the author of “In Defense of Muslim Lands” the doctrinal work which best established Jihad as an fard al-ayn (individual obligation), was both a Muslim Brother and a co-founder of Hamas.  Azzam’s picture is still visible in the offices of Hamas today.

Besides Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam,  other Muslim Brotherhood members have also played a key role in creating the very doctrine of Al Qaeda, such as Abdul Mjid Aziz Al-Zindani, the leading cleric of the Yemeni branch of Muslim Brotherhood, was a close mentor of Osama Bin Laden and a contact of the AQ-linked Ansar al-Islam.  Al-Zindani was also a board member of the specially designated entity the Union of the Good, an organization run by Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose primary purpose is to fund Hamas.

The claim by ICSR that Hezbollah and Hamas should be excluded from an accounting of Jihadist violence merely because they (at times) have disagreed with Al Qaeda or other jihadist groups is utterly inane. After all Al Qaeda and ISIS are currently locked in a struggle themselves (see for example this video released today by MEMRI featuring ISIS members interrogating Jabhat al Nusra members and denouncing them as apostates), and Muslim Brotherhood-linked militias in the Syrian civil war fight alongside Al Qaeda, and yet the ICSR can’t quite bring itself to declare that Al Qaeda is not a jihadist group.

Jihad as religiously-obligatory warfare to establish Islamic law remains a concept which extends across both Sunni and Shia sects, and amongst all schools of Islamic law. There is no legitimate justification for excluding these groups, and to do so is to reduce the term “jihad” or “jihadist violence” until it is becomes meaningless. The reality is that Jihadist violence is a threat larger than simply just the “Salafi-jihadi” matrix which some insist on shoving it into.

Congress Calls for Increased Sanctions on Hamas Allies

Khaled Meshaal , head of Hamas Politburo in Damascus / AP

Khaled Meshaal , head of Hamas Politburo in Damascus / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Dec. 9, 2014:

A bipartisan delegation of foreign policy leaders in Congress are calling on the Obama administration to increase U.S. sanctions on Hamas and its allies, including the terror group’s top financier, Qatar, and its close ally, Turkey, according to a letter sent Tuesday by lawmakers to the Treasury Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration can and should be doing more to crackdown on Hamas’ top allies, including Iran, Qatar, and Turkey, according to the letter, jointly endorsed by 24 of the 29 members on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and its Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

The letter—which is signed by the chairmen and ranking members of both committees—follows months of appeals by lawmakers and foreign policy experts to the Obama administration urging it to crackdown on Hamas’ main funders, particularly Qatar, which has kept the terror group financially afloat via major cash infusions.

“We believe that more can be done, and we urge Treasury to take all necessary measures to sanction individuals or entities that are directly or indirectly financing or materially supporting Hamas,” the lawmakers wrote to Treasury Department Under Secretary David Cohen, who handles terrorism and finance intelligence.

While the United States has navigated a diplomatic tightrope with Turkey and Qatar, who are considered close U.S. allies on many fronts, the lawmakers argue that all of Hamas’ backers should be hit with U.S. sanctions.

“Any entity or nation that continues to back this U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and provide it material and financial support should be sanctioned,” they wrote.

“We are requesting that Treasury use every tool available to designate all individuals, institutions, entities, charities, front companies, banks, and government officials who clearly violate U.S. laws by assisting Hamas and its proxies,” according to the letter.

Lawmakers also are requesting that the administration provide them with “specific public updates” about conversations taking place with the “Qatari government on previously designated, Qatar-based terrorist financiers that the Qataris have yet to act upon.”

Qatar’s relationship with Hamas has been particularly problematic for the United States.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called for greater pressure on the nation, the Obama administration has maintained that Qatar should play a key role in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Hamas traditionally relied on Iran for much of its financial and political support,” the lawmakers state, noting that Qatar donated $400 million to Hamas in 2012 .

“Qatar’s $400 million donation for Gaza reconstruction in 2012 bolstered Hamas’ credibility in Gaza and may have directly supported Hamas-backed entities,” they write. “Qatar also allows Hamas’ top leader, politburo chief Khalid Mishaal, to operate out of its territory knowingly and with impunity. It was even widely reported in the press that Qatar threatened to deport Mishaal if Hamas had accepted an Egypt-backed ceasefire agreement to end this summer’s conflict in Gaza.”

Turkey also remains one of Hamas’ top enablers.

“Turkey serves as the headquarters for Saleh al-Arouri, who is believed to head Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank,” the lawmakers state. “In August, the media reported that he was behind an allegedly thwarted plot to topple, undermine, or replace the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank. Also in August, al-Arouri stated that Hamas was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens this June.”

In addition, Turkish charities, front companies, and even some banks are suspected of providing support to Hamas, according to the lawmakers.

“It’s no secret that Turkey and Qatar provide refuge to many Hamas operatives, and that both of these supposed American allies have become major terror financial hubs,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chair of the subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

“While the Treasury Department has taken significant action against Hamas and its supporters, more can be done to halt support for this terrorist group,” she said. “Both Turkey and Qatar have thus far been extremely lax in enforcing their terror financing laws and taking action against U.S. designated individuals or entities.”

Meanwhile, it also has come to light that one of Hamas’ top Iranian allies, Imad al-Alami, has been identified as residing in Turkey, according to a recent report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Al-Alami, who has traveled to Iran on many occasions, is designated as a terrorist by the U.S. government, though it is unclear what action the Obama administration will take in light of the recent revelations.

“I would argue now that Turkey is liable like Qatar as the top external headquarters for Hamas,” said FDD vice president for research Jonathan Schanzer. “It may have even surpassed it.”

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