CSP, By Kyle Shideler:
Jordanian security forces have reportedly arrested 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood on allegations that they participated in smuggling weapons to Hamas terrorists in the West Bank, according to the Times of Israel, citing Qatar-based Al-Jazeera:
The satellite channel reported Sunday that the men attempted to train others in military operations to be carried out against Israelis in the West Bank. They also collected money for the purchase of weapons to be smuggled into the West Bank, or bought in the Palestinian territory. It was not clear from the report when the 20 were arrested. The arrests come as tensions between the Jordanian regime and the Islamist organization peaked last month, when the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy secretary-general Zaki Bani Irsheid was arrested on November 21 over derogatory comments he posted on Facebook against the United Arab Emirates.
Hamas’ West Bank operations are reportedly run out of Turkey by Saleh Al-Arouri, who has personally admitted orchestrating the murder of three Jewish students that precipitated the attacks resulting in Operation Protective Edge. Al-Arouri reportedly did so at a meeting between Hamas officials, and the International Union of Muslim Scholars(IUMS), led by Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusef Al-Qaradawi. As the Center has previously reported, Al-Qaradawi’s IUMS played a key role in agitating for- at times violent- protests around the globe in support of Hamas during Protective Edge. Al Qaradawi is the leader of the U.S. designated terrorism funding network the Union of the Good, responsible for raising money internationally for Hamas.
Al-Arouri is a name long known to counterterrorism experts, and he was listed as a co-conspirator in the U.S. Department of Justice case against U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee Chairman, and now deputy political chairman for Hamas Mousa Abu Marzook and Palestine Committee member and Hamas fundraiser Abdel Halem Al-Ashqar.
While Hamas vehemently denies doing so, this is not the first time that Jordanian security officials have targeted Jordanian Muslim Brothers with allegations of weapons smuggling. In 2006, Jordan accused 30 Brotherhood members of smuggling Iranian manufactured rockets to Hamas. This time however, the charges are joined with allegations that the Brothers intended to establish a Jordanian “military wing” for purposes of operating in Jordan itself, and that they had received training from Hamas operatives for that purpose. This mirrors similar charges made by the United Arab Emirates against members of the local UAE Muslim Brotherhood front the Al-Islah party, leading to an aggressive crackdown against the Brotherhood in the Gulf state that began around January of 2013. The result of that effort was the listing by the U.A.E of numerous global Muslim Brotherhood operations, including the International Union of Muslims Scholars, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) as terrorist groups.
The United States continues to reject the evidence which demonstrates the role played by the Muslim Brotherhood in funding and fomenting terrorism, even while the Arab world, including countries like Jordan and the U.A.E., which have in the past been considered partners in the War on Terror, are doing the opposite.