Muslim Brotherhood Front Group Seeking Removal of Listing as a “Terrorism Entity”

Gatestone Institute, by Thomas Quiggin, March 27, 2017:

  • The application for judicial review made by IRFAN and Majid also attempts to distance themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood. This seems a bit difficult. Hamas itself was founded as the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Article Two of the Hamas Charter.
  • This support for Hamas goes back to at least 1992.

The International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) has been listed as a terrorism entity in Canada since 2014. It was also identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group during testimony to the Canadian Senate along with the Muslim Association of Canada, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and Islamic Relief Canada.

The listing as a terrorism entity followed the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) 2011 revocation of their charitable status after a multi-year investigation showed that IRFAN had been funding Hamas, otherwise known as the Muslim Brotherhood in the Palestinian territories. The CRA also made it clear that IRFAN was the successor organization to the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS) which had also been funding Hamas. The CRA also observed that IRFAN was deliberately constructed to circumvent the Government of Canada so that it could fund Hamas after the Government of Canada refused to grant the JFHS charitable status.

In December 2016, IRFAN found out that its appeal the Minister of Public Safety to have the terrorism listing lifted was rejected.

On February 24, 2017, IRFAN and its former manager, Rasem Abdel Majid applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the Minister’s decision to maintain the terrorist entity listing. IRFAN listed 27 different grounds for why its supporters believe the terrorist designation should be lifted. Extracts from the motion state that:

(16) IRFAN-Canada did not directly or indirectly assist HAMAS. (…)

(17) There is no evidence that IRFAN-Canada attempted to advance the goals of HAMAS or any other organization affiliated with HAMAS.

(19) The listing briefing makes various irrelevant references to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Union of Good. (…) There is no evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood controlled any of IRFAN’s partner organizations or beneficiaries.

Unindicted Co-conspirators in a US Based Terrorism Funding Trial

Both IRFAN-Canada and the Canadian based Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS) were listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Relief Fund terrorism funding trials in the USA, which resulted in multiple convictions.[1] They were listed as the “Jerusalem Fund, aka IRFAN” and were specifically noted as “individuals/entities that are and/or were part of the Global HAMAS financing mechanism.”

Funding Hamas since 1992

In February 2001, IRFAN-Canada assumed the activities and pursuits of the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS) according to the Canada Revenue Agency. This included keeping the same General Manager, Rasem Abdel Majid (AKA Abou Basem).[2] The terrorism funding money in question was sent to Hamas.

This support for Hamas goes back to at least 1992. On October 2-3, 1993, five leading members of the U.S. Palestine Committee met at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Philadelphia USA for a conference. As it turns out, the meeting was monitored by the FBI, which was already deeply suspicious of the intent of the individuals involved in the meeting. Wiretaps of this meeting were entered into evidence at the 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which resulted in convictions and heavy sentences for funding terrorism. The recipient of the funding was Hamas. At the meeting, the role of the Canadian-based Jerusalem Fund for Human Services was discussed.

A Canadian present at this meeting, Rasem Abdel Majid/Abou Basem discussed the fund-raising for Hamas in Canada, which had already been successful. It should be noted that Rasem Abdel Majid was the manager of the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services as well as being the manager for IRFAN throughout the life span of both organizations. The following conversation which concerned funding for Hamas was wiretapped and placed into evidence[3] at the HLF trial:

Abdel Halim Al Ashqar: We heard about Jerusalem for Human Services but we didn’t hear from our brothers at the (Islamic) Association (for Palestine) about what they do. So, I hope that media and public activism in Canada is mentioned if there is something prepared. It might be first opportunity for some of the brothers to meet people from Canada.

Abdel Halim Al Ashqar …Now, the second question, brother Abou Basem, is for Canada: how much do you raise annually?

Abou Basem: … m. The first half of this year [we raised] 214,000.

Abdel Halim Al Ashqar: [How about] last year?

Abou Basem: This is for ’93. From now until June ’93, we raised 214,000. In 1992 [we raised] 167 for the entire year.

The Muslim Brotherhood Connection

The application for judicial review made by IRFAN and Majid also attempts to distance themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood. This seems a bit difficult. Hamas itself was founded as the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Article Two of the Hamas Charter. Additionally, the Holy Land Relief trials also produced a series of judgements which clearly identified Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood has being financially linked to a number of other actors in the funding conspiracy, including the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust. IRFAN/JFHS were listed as unindicted co-conspirators in this trial and were listed as part of the “Global HAMAS financing mechanism.” To round this off, Senate Testimony in Canada noted IRFAN has been a Muslim Brotherhood front group as stated at the outset of this article.

Public Safety Canada

According to a March 9, 2017 article titled “Canadian Charity Fights to Remove ‘Terrorist’ Label,” Public Safety Canada spokeswoman Karine Martel declined to comment on the situation, citing pending litigation. She did state, however, that “The Crown will be participating in that proceeding and addressing the issues raised in court,”

The lawyers representing IRFAN and Rasem Abdel Majid are Yavar Hameed, of Hameed Law of Ottawa and Faisal Mirza of Faisal Mirza Professional Corporation of Mississauga.

Tom Quiggin, a court qualified expert on terrorism and practical intelligence, is based in Canada.

The Media’s Incoherent Reporting on the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 26, 2017:

Last week’s unprofessional and nonsensical article in the Atlantic demonstrates the media will avoid evidence and facts at all costs to defend terrorists and apologize for the Global Islamic Movement.

The bright side of the American media’s collusion with our enemies is that they are so overwhelmingly stupid, they expose themselves, making it easy on the rest of us.

An excellent exemplar is NPR’s recent radio program “All Things Considered” which attempts to minimize the Muslim Brotherhood’s presence in America while revealing they are present here in their title:  “Push To Name Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Group Worries U.S. Offshoots.”

At the 46 second mark of the radio program, NPR “reporter” Tom Gjelten reports from the Dar al Hijra Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia and admits it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).  He goes on to say the Muslim Brothers fled Egypt because they were being “persecuted.”

From shortly after the MB’s founding, Muslim Brothers were being arrested and executed by the Egyptian government – and still are today – because they were bombing judicial offices, assassinating the leaders of Egypt (including the 1948 assassination of the Prime Minister by a Muslim Brother followed by Egyptian security services killing Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna on the streets of Cairo in 1949), attacking British soldiers and their families in Egypt, and plotting to overthrow the Egyptian government for not fully implementing sharia (Islamic Law).

There is a significant difference between “persecution” and “revolution.”

Gjelten then interviews Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood’s Dar al Hijra Islamic Center (mosque) in Falls Church, Virginia who is actually more honest than NPR when he says: “When (Muslim Brothers) realized that they weren’t going (back to Egypt) they built new entities in America that would incorporate those values that they had and, at the same time, lobby to make sure that America continued to be the ally of muslims in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.”

NPR’s Gjelten added, “(The MB) wanted to organize those early Muslim immigrants politically.”

What are the MB’s “values?”

The MB’s founder, Hassan al Banna said:  ““It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official By-Laws can be found here at the UTT website, and they state:

“The Muslim Brotherhood is an international Muslim body which seeks to establish Allah’s law in the land…The Islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and the enemies of Allah as a prelude to establishing an Islamic state.”

The MB By-Laws also state the way the MB achieves the above-mentioned objectives is to “Make every effort for the establishment of educational, social, economic and scientific institutions and the establishment of mosques, schools, clinics, shelters, clubs as well as the formation of committees to regulate zakat affairs and alms.”

The MB built all of these organizations in the United States as they said they would, including the Islamic Teaching Center (ITC), Islamic Medical Association (IMA), Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Islamic Housing Cooperative (IHC), Muslim Businessmen Association (MBA), and many others before 1980.

They continue to build them today to fulfill their objective – to create an Islamic State under sharia (Islamic Law).  This is the same objective, by the way, of ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The NPR interview continues and Imam Abdul-Malik tells NPR he has asked Muslim Brotherhood leaders in America “Are most of the organizations that were established by you guys rooted in the ideologies of your student movement from back home?  Most of them (say):  ‘I don’t want to answer the question.’”

That says it all.

What else are core Muslim Brotherhood beliefs as revealed in their doctrine?

The Muslim Brotherhood logo is below.

The Arabic writing under the two swords (clue) is translated into English as “make ready” which is a direct reference to Chapter 8, verse 60 from the Koran:  “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.”

The Muslim Brotherhood Creed is:  “Allah is our goal; the Messenger is our guide: the Koran is our law; Jihad is our way; and martyrdom in the way of Allah our inspiration.”

In 2005, the Supreme Guide (Global Leader) of the International Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Akef said, “The Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate with each other throughout the world, based on the same religious worldview – the spread of Islam, until it rules the world.” (Asharq al-Aswat interview, 12/11/2005)

The Supreme Guide of the MB from 2010 until his arrest in 2013, Mohammed Badie, was sentenced to death in Egypt for inciting the revolution there among numerous other charges for which he has also been sentence to life in prison.

This NPR report admits that evidence from federal investigations reveals a “humongous” network in the United States “clearly linked to the Brotherhood…”  Then, illogically, Gjelten states that by not answering the questions about the MB’s involvement in the U.S. Islamic community, U.S. Islamic leaders “leave the story largely to those who portray the Brotherhood in exaggerated conspiratorial terms.  That makes it harder to separate suspicious financial links to benign ones.”

If the self-evident information about the Muslim Brotherhood’s objectives and their guiding principles as stated by their leaders is not enough to ignite the brain cells in NPR’s reporters, UTT is not sure what will.

Oddly enough, in the online article of this radio report (which can be found here), the second paragraph reads:  “The movement has so far pushed that agenda only in Muslim-majority countries, but some critics now claim — without evidence — that it is doing the same in the United States.”

Without evidence???

Since NPR itself identifies the Muslim Brotherhood as founders of many of the Islamic organizations in the United States, the only question to be answered is:  “Are they doing the same thing in America they are doing in the rest of the world?”

The evidence in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), Dallas 2008) was collected by the FBI during their 15 year investigation into Hamas in the United States and its front organizations.

UTT readers are reminded that Hamas is an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood – it is the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.

The evidence in the HLF trial revealed, as NPR reported, there exists in America a massive Islamic network controlled primarily by the Muslim Brotherhood whose stated purpose is to wage “civilization jihad” to destroy America, overthrow it’s government and replace it with an Islamic state under sharia.  This conspiracy includes all of the prominent Islamic organizations in America.

As a matter of act, at the time it was indicted HLF was the largest Islamic charity in America and it was a terrorist organizations – specifically, Hamas.  [Note: this is called an “Investigative Clue” there is a problem here in America]

The case was adjudicated in 2008 and HLF and its leaders were convicted for being terrorists (Hamas leaders).  The last hearings on this matter were approximately one year ago so those who say HLF is “old news” are simply wrong or lying.

The HLF evidence, as confirmed by the Department of Justice filings, also reveal the largest Islamic organization in North America – the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) – as well as the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), are not only Muslim Brotherhood entities but directly fund Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, in violation of U.S. Federal Law.

The HLF evidence also reveals, and the Department of Justice filings confirm, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee which is Hamas in the United States.  Did we mention Hamas is a designated TERRORIST organization?

The leader/founder/board member of nearly two dozen of the largest Islamic organizations in North America was Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was a financier for Al Qaeda and now sits in federal prison.

All of these are called “Investigative Clues” that the Muslim Brotherhood is “bad” and is doing “bad things” here in America – right now.

PHOTO: (center) Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of the Dar al Hijra Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia (owned by NAIT); (to his right) U.S. Hamas Leader and MB General Masul (Leader) Nihad Awad

The Muslim Brotherhood presents a clear and present danger to the United States and its citizens.  The MB network in America should be disintegrated by the U.S. government and its leaders killed or captured.

We can only hope the new administration will lay the hammer down on these suit-wearing jihadis.

UTT continues to strongly encourage local and state law enforcement to ready themselves for dealing with this enemy at the local level.  This requires a deep understanding of this problem for the law enforcement officer on the street who bumps into these jihadis on a daily basis.

As always, UTT stands ready to assist.

Muslim Brotherhood (NAIT) Directly Confronts President of the United States

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March  20, 2017:

In response to President Trump’s second Executive Order designed to keep individuals from hostile nations from entering the United States, the Attorney General of Hawaii announced he will file suit against the Trump administration.  The plaintiff listed in Hawaii’s lawsuit is Dr. Ismail Elshikh, the Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii.

The Muslim Association of Hawaii is a Muslim Brotherhood organization, which means the Muslim Brotherhood is directly confronting the President of the United States and challenging his authority.

The address of the Muslim Association of Hawaii is 1935 Aleo Place, Honolulu, Hawaii.  The property records for Honolulu reveal this property is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) – the bank for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.  You can search the address HERE for yourself.

NAIT was created in 1973 by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim Students Association per their own website.

A declassified document from the FBI’s Indianapolis office dated December 15, 1987 states:

“The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was organized by the leaders of the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA) in 1973 as the parent organization of various Muslim groups in the U.S. and Canada.  The leadership of NAIT, MSA and other Muslim groups are inter-related with many leaders and members of NAIT having been identified as supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Government of Iran (GOI).  Their support of JIHAD (a holy war) in the U.S. has been evidenced by the financial and organizational support provided through NAIT from Middle East countries to Muslims residing in the U.S. and Canada.”

A declassified FBI confidential informant (CI) report dated 8/17/1988, details the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the United States at the time and states: “(CI) advised that in addition to the internal political structure and organization of NAIT as controlled by the IIIT leadership that as members of the IKHWAN they are involved in organizing external political support which involves influencing both public opinion in the United States as well as the United States Government.  (CI) has advised that the Ikhwan is a secret Muslim organization that has unlimited funds and is extremely well organized in the United States to the point where it has set up political action front groups with no traceable ties to the IIIT or its various Muslim groups. They also have claimed success in infiltrating the United States government…the IIIT leadership has indicated that in this phase their organization needs to peacefully get inside the United States Government and also American universities. (CI) noted that the ultimate goal of the Islamic Revolution is the overthrow of all non-Islamic governments and that violence is a tool…”

Evidence entered in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Dallas, 2008) – 15 year FBI investigation – identified the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which directly funded Hamas (TERRORISTS) leaders and organizations.

On the last page of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic document (An Explanatory Memorandum), the MB identifies NAIT as one of their organizations.

The stated objective of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States is to wage civilization jihad “by OUR hands” to overthrow our government and replace it with an Islamic government ruled by sharia – Islamic law.  See “An Explanatory Memorandum” page 7 of 18.

The US v HLF evidence revealed that all of the prominent Islamic organizations in America are a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement here, including NAIT.

NAIT’s financial records – entered into evidence at the HLF trial – reveal NAIT directly funds Hamas leaders and Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.  See the records here and here.

Children trained by Hamas. NAIT directly funded Hamas and Hamas leaders.

Because of the massive evidence revealing NAIT is a Muslim Brotherhood organization which directly funds terrorism, the U.S. Department of Justice lists NAIT as an Unindicted Co-Conspirator in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v HLF).  See the Unindicted Co-Conspirator list here.  NAIT is listed on Page 8, paragraph VII.

Being named an “Unindicted Co-Conspirator” means the government has enough evidence to indict but decides not to at that time.  In fact, after the HLF trial ended in November of 2008, the Department of Justice moved forward to prosecute the founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and CAIR itself, but after approximately six months, that effort was shut down by Attorney General Eric Holder and since that time none of the hundreds of unindicted co-conspirators have been prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

In response to NAIT’s request to the court to have its name removed from the unindicted co-conspirator list, the Department of Justice filed a memorandum in which it states (page 13):

“ISNA and NAIT, in fact, shared more with the HLF than just a parent organization.  They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas.”

The “parent organization” to which the U.S. government is referring is the Muslim Brotherhood.

In ruling on the matter, Federal Judge Jorge Solis listed key evidence, and ruled:

“The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with the HLF, the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), and with Hamas.”

HLF and IAP were Hamas (TERRORIST) organizations.  This ruling declares NAIT is directly associated with the terrorist organization Hamas headquarters overseas and its front organizations in the United States.

It should be noted, Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Association of Hawaii is a NAIT property.  The leader of this organization, Dr. Ismail Elshikh, has led several other Muslim Brotherhood organizations and would not hold those positions if he himself were not a Muslim Brother.

The Department of Justice should indict NAIT and the affiliated Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Centers, mosques and other organizations, arrest all Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the United States, legally seize all NAIT and Muslim Brotherhood property, and utterly dismantle their jihadi network.

If this offensive assault by the Muslim Brotherhood against the President of the United States and his effort to secure our nation and keep our enemies out is not met with significant force by the U.S. government, the Muslim Brotherhood will view this as more weakness and push harder and more violently in the coming months.

The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, March 15, 2017:

  • What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.
  • Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.
  • Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

What does Hamas mean when it says that it “accepts” an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem without recognizing Israel’s right to exist?

Is this a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of the extremist Islamic terror movement? Or is it just another ploy intended to deceive everyone, especially gullible Westerners, into believing that Hamas has abandoned its strategy of destroying Israel in favor of a two-state solution?

Recent reports have suggested that Hamas is moving towards “declaring a Palestinian state over the 1967 borders.”

According to the reports, Hamas is also contemplating changing its charter so that it would no longer include anti-Semitic references. The charter, which was drafted in August 1988, contains anti-Semitic passages and characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty. The same reports also claimed that Hamas’s revised charter will also state that the terror movement is not part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some analysts in Israel and the West have interpreted these reports as a sign that Hamas is finally endorsing a policy of pragmatism toward Israel and Jews. They are particularly excited about Hamas’s purported intention to declare (in its revised charter) that its conflict is “only with Zionism and the occupation, and not with Jews around the world.”

Judging from the analyses published by some commentators and Palestinian affairs “experts” in the past few days, one might conclude that Hamas is on its way to making a dramatic change in its vicious ideology. Unfortunately, however, the facts suggest otherwise.

Changes or no changes, the movement has no intention whatsoever of abandoning its jihad to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

The purported shift in Hamas’s policy is illusory. What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.

When Hamas talks about “accepting” a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines without recognizing Israel’s right to exist, it is actually saying, “Give us a state so that we can use it as a launching pad to destroy Israel.”

Indeed, senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan leaves no room for ambiguity when he explains this point. Hamas, he says, does not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 “borders,” but this does not mean that “we will recognize the Zionist occupation and that the entire Palestinian land belongs to Palestinian and Islamic generations.” He also repeated Hamas’s opposition to any form of negotiations with Israel.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was also quick to refute claims that his movement was headed toward accepting the two-state solution. Calling for stepping up the “intifada” against Israel, Zahar said that Hamas’s goal was to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.

Hamas’s recent internal and secret election saw the rise of Yahya Sinwar as the top leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip. His election is seen as an indication of the growing influence of Hamas’s military wing. Sinwar, a convicted murderer, was released from Israeli prison a few years ago. The rise of Sinwar to power is also a sign that Hamas is headed toward more extremism and terrorism and preparing for the next war with Israel.

The Hamas military wing has a rather spotty history of following the directives of the movement’s political leaders. For example, recurring attempts by Mashaal and Haniyeh to end the dispute with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) have been repeatedly thwarted by the Hamas military wing and other leaders of the movement, first and foremost Zahar.

Let’s remember, for a moment, the annual rallies held by Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip. At these rallies, masked Hamas terrorists remind the world that their true goal is to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Armed Hamas militiamen on parade with a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher in Gaza, in August 2016. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

At one such rally, Zahar announced that Hamas already has an army whose mission is to “liberate all of Palestine.” He continued: “By God’s will, this army will reach Jerusalem.”

Hamas continues to remain committed to all forms of terrorism against Israelis. There are no signs whatsoever that the movement is on its way to endorsing a peaceful and popular resistance against Israel. Quite the opposite is true: Hamas never misses an opportunity to clarify that it continues to encourage terrorism against Israel. The latest assertion from Hamas came this week when one of its spokesmen, Abdel Latif Al-Kanou, issued a statement praising a stabbing attack against two Israeli policemen in Jerusalem. Hailing the attack as a “heroic operation,” the spokesman stressed that the “intifada” against Israel would continue.

This is not the first time that Hamas has talked about “accepting” a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

In the past, some Hamas officials were quoted as saying that they do not rule out the possibility that their movement would one day accept such an idea. But these statements always came in the context of Hamas’s effort to rid itself of its growing isolation in the Gaza Strip.

The latest reports concerning floated changes in Hamas’s charter, too, ought to be seen in the context of the movement’s ongoing effort to end its isolation. But it is nothing but a smokescreen to mislead the international community into believing that it is on its way to toning down its murderous intentions.

So, what is prompting this disingenuous “change of heart”?

Reports that the Trump Administration is considering the possibility of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. In all likelihood, Hamas is simply seeking to appear as if it is moving toward moderation. In other words, Hamas is prepared to lie — at least in English — about its independence from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Disturbingly, some Westerners are already marketing Hamas’s deception tactics as a “major shift” in the movement’s ideology and plans. Facts, however, are that Hamas remains a terrorist organization that has not and will not abandon its plans to eliminate Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Here is a dose of deadly reality: Hamas seeks to extend its control to the West Bank as part of its plan to destroy Israel. It wants Israel to give the Palestinians more land so that it would be used as a launching pad to drive the Jews into the sea. This is Hamas, like it or not.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

How Hamas is winning hearts and minds in Europe

Via conferences and through hierarchies linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaza-based terror group is building global infrastructure to challenge PLO’s standing as Palestinians’ sole legitimate representative

The Times of Israel, by March 14, 2017:

At the end of February, in Istanbul, the Palestinians Abroad Conference convened with the purported goal of promoting global support for the Palestinians. Its actual purpose was to bolster the status of Hamas in the international arena.

Many of the organizers of the conference, which was attended by thousands of Arabs and Palestinians from all over the world, are of Palestinian origin. But to those who closely followed what happened in Istanbul, it became clear that many of the organizers and attendees had something else in common: they are known to have been members — for decades — of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated networks all over Europe.

This was not the first conference of its kind. Many like it have taken place in recent years. Many of the same faces are present — including current and past members of the Muslim Brotherhood, at a more or less official level, and current and past members of Hamas.

Their shared goal is to promote international legitimacy for Hamas — in Europe, Africa, the Middle East (of course) and even in Latin America — in a bid to challenge the PLO’s international standing as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Hamas, in this way, is slowly but surely establishing a global infrastructure of supporters who are providing not only encouragement and legitimacy, but also quite a bit of financial assistance.

Tracing the outlines of this infrastructure lends some surprising insights. For example, Britain turns out to be hosting more of this semi-official activity by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood than any other country in Europe.

Then-Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and freed Palestinian prisoner Yahya Sinwar, a founder of the terror group’s military wing, wave as supporters celebrate the release of hundreds of inmates in a swap for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza on October 21, 2011. (AFP/Said Khatib)

One almost quintessential example of such activity under innocent-seeming cover is the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign.

“This group was established in 2003 in Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Ehud Rosen, an expert on political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood who assisted Steven Merley, another expert, in writing a comprehensive study on the topic. Merley started a website, Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, which reports on Muslim Brotherhood activity all over the world.

“It was initiated by two former members of al-Qaeda, both from Saudi Arabia, who tried to brand the new organization as ‘non-violent,’” Rosen said. “The organization was rebooted in Qatar in 2005 [following the Saudi government’s objections to hosting it on Saudi soil]. Its founding group from 2005 includes high-ranking Hamas officials, including political leader Khaled Mashaal, alongside representatives of other groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s global organization, Salafists and Salafi jihadists.

“The group has held many conferences and issued fatwas against the West, such as against France after it began military action in Mali.”

The Campaign began focusing on Gaza in 2009, during and after Operation Cast Lead, an Israeli military campaign aimed at stopping rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. At a conference held in February 2009, the group decided to turn Gaza into a new front for jihad under the auspices of the “Istanbul Declaration.” The declaration, signed by 90 Muslim clerics from all over the world, including members of Hamas, stated that the Palestinian Authority was not the representative of the Palestinian people, while the “elected government of Hamas,” was in fact the legitimate representative.

The statement attacked the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative — a proposal that offers normalization of ties between Arab countries and Israel in exchange for Israel pulling out of territories claimed by Palestinians — calling it nothing less than “a proven betrayal of the Islamic Nation and the Palestinian cause, and a blatant betrayal of the Palestinian people.”

“This [Global Anti-Aggression Campaign] group, like some other Muslim groups throughout Europe, does not call itself the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ or a supporter of Hamas. These are networks of groups scattered over nearly the entire world. For their part, Muslim Brotherhood leaders claim their movement is active in 80 countries, but since September 11, 2001, and even before, the groups that are identified with [the Brotherhood] have denied any connection,” Rosen said.

“Take another example: FIOE, the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe,” he said. “Thirty-seven different groups in different countries on the continent operate under that organization, and over the years have created an image for themselves as ‘the legitimate representatives’ — the Islamic mainstream. The group is known as IGD in Germany and UOIF in France. The same thing is going on in Scandinavia and almost everywhere.”

These networks operate according to the long-established model of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In each country there is a network of civil society organizations — in other words, dawa, a word in Arabic meaning proselytizing or preaching of Islam. These organizations are run by well-known figures who head madrasas, or Muslim schools; mosques; charitable organizations that raise money not only for Muslims in Europe but also for Hamas; and even student associations in every well-known university in Europe. Recently, Muslim “human rights” groups have been established that work to strengthen support for the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Essam Mustafa (Youtube screenshot)

Many prominent figures in these groups, again, operate on British soil. Here are some examples.

Anas Altikriti, a native of Iraq, is the son of a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood official. His father fled Saddam Hussein’s regime to Britain. He himself was born in Iraq, but has lived in London since he was two years old. He visited the White House two years ago and met with president Barack Obama. Though he supports its policies, he says he is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muhammad Sawalha, of Palestinian origin, is very well known to the Israeli security establishment as one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing in the West Bank. He also lives in London.

Zaher Birawi, a former Hamas operative in the Gaza Strip, was one of the spokesmen of the Mavi Marmara flotilla and has been involved in other flotillas.

Essam Yusuf Mustafa is a former member of Hamas’s political wing, at least according to the US Treasury Department. Mustafa, one of the organizers of the latest conference in Istanbul, is on the board of trustees of another organization, Interpal, which was declared a terrorism-supporting organization by the United States as far back as 2003. Both Birawi and Mustafa live in Britain.

Members of the Palestinian Hamas security forces stage mock raid on IDF post during a graduation ceremony in Gaza City on January 22, 2017. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Mustafa was a leader of a group called the Charity Coalition (also known as the Union of Good), which raised money for Hamas in the early 2000s and gained the spiritual support of Yusuf al-Qardawi, the leading Sunni cleric and Muslim Brotherhood member. The Turkish IHH group, which was one of the organizers of the Marmara flotilla, was also part of the Charity Coalition.

There are others, in and out of Britain: Ismail Patel, head of the Friends of Al-Aqsa group; Daud Abdullah, originally from Grenada, a former member of the Muslim Council of Britain, who helps operate a news site which takes a pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance; Azzam Tamimi, a Palestinian who is the CEO of the Alhiwar television station, which operates from London and is considered explicitly pro-Hamas (Zaher Birawi hosts a show on the station); Egyptian-born Ibrahim el-Zayat, currently living in Germany, who is considered a key figure in the financial dealings of these networks; and Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, also Egyptian by birth, who chairs the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and lives in London.

Rosen, who has been tracking these names for quite some time, said there is a distinction between members of the official Muslim Brotherhood, such as those who operate in Egypt, and the networks that are thought to be identified with them.

“These are in effect groups that sprang up from former members of the Muslim Brotherhood who fled Egypt in the 1960s and settled in Europe. These groups were founded without any direct orders [from the Brotherhood], without a centralized command structure or a prominent commander,” he explained.

“But there are definite networks here, with major nexuses, such as London or Germany. They cooperate with the official Muslim Brotherhood and with Hamas.

“Hamas’s place in the enormous organization known as the global Muslim Brotherhood is growing right now,” he said. “Hamas is the movement’s own flesh and blood, and it wants to take control of the PLO. This is why its global activity has taken on a new importance. The Palestinian organization is trying to re-invent itself, with a new platform and a supposedly more moderate direction, but they are still the same organization.

“The whole BDS issue benefits from this Islamist infrastructure and receives assistance from organizations that are identified with Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Rosen. “And there is persistent talk of Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas’s political wing, replacing Ibrahim Munir as the chair of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.”

***

UTT Throwback Thursday: Mainstream Media’s Support for Terrorists

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 16, 2017:

Following Monday’s UTT article “Is CNN Guilty of Material Support of Terrorism?” there was an overwhelming positive response from UTT followers who noted the many other incidents of mainstream media defending terrorists, specifically Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

So, for today’s UTT Throwback Thursday we will look at Hamas’ primary U.S. front organization – CAIR – and how the U.S. media continues to defend them despite the undeniable evidence they are a terrorist organization, and how the media lifts up other Muslim leaders who turn out to be terrorists.

In the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development – HLF – Dallas, 2008) the U.S. Department of Justice identified the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Founder/Chairman Emeritus Omar Ahmad as being a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas.

The other two founders are Rafeeq Jaber and Nihad Awad.  Awad is the current leader of CAIR and, in the professional opinion of UTT, the General Masul (leader) of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization in the United States.  Please review UTT’s CAIR is Hamas document detailing a portion of the evidence demonstrating CAIR is a terrorist organization (Hamas).

So how does the media describe CAIR?

NBC and CBS call CAIR an “advocacy group.”  ABC News calls CAIR an “Islamic civil rights group.”  CNN calls them a “Muslim advocacy group.”

ABC actually dropped a new show, “Alice in Arabia” before they ever began shooting because Hamas (dba CAIR) complained.

In an article on February 14, 2017, PR Newswire describes CAIR as “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization” and notes the news was provided by CAIR.

On a regular basis NPR identifies CAIR as “a leading Muslim civil rights organization.”

Local media across the nation identifies CAIR as “a Muslim advocacy group,” “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization” or something similar here, here, here, here and here.

Remember that media outlets like the Washington Post, NPR, and others called Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi the “pillar of the Muslim community” in Washington, D.C. and Al Qaeda leader Anwar Awlaki the “new face” of moderate Islam before the United States killed him in a drone strike.

The media is batting 0/1000 when it comes to identifying friendly Muslim leaders and groups.

The facts are already in evidence detailing the ties to the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas to groups like CAIR, ISNA, MAS, MSA, IIIT, ICNA, MPAC, MLFA, Muslim Advocates, and all the others yet the mainstream media never asks the tough questions or does their homework on these issues.

Apparently “investigative journalism” is a forgotten trade and truth, facts and evidence are no longer sought after by today’s “journalists.”

Is CNN Guilty of Material Support of Terrorism?

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 12, 2017:

Could a reporter and/or media organization which intentionally provides a terrorist or terrorist organization air time to promote the terrorist’s agenda be charged as in violation of Title 18 of U.S. Code, Section 2339A, Material Support to Terrorists?

Mainstream media attacking those who speak truth about the threat of Islam in the United States is not new, nor is the media’s support for the terrorist group Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  However, when the media runs lengthy propaganda pieces for Hamas, regurgitating their talking points, while at the same time attacking officials who are sworn to defend U.S. citizens, do these actions constitute providing our enemies with material support in their war against the United States?

Last week CNN ran stories about Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett related to the “Muslim Day” at the Oklahoma State House.  Why, you might ask, was there a “Muslim Day” at the Oklahoma State House?  Because Hamas (dba CAIR) hosted one and no one stopped them.

Hamas leader in Oklahoma Adam Soltani

In the CNN story, CNN correspondent Sara Ganim supports and defends Oklahoma’s Hamas leader Adam Soltani who slanders and defames state legislator John Bennett, and Ganim also defended Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  See the 3 minute video HERE.

 

At no point did Ms. Ganim identify CAIR as a “member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee” which is Hamas in the United States, as the U.S. Department of Justice has per the evidence in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), Dallas 2008).  Nor did Ms. Ganim or CNN reveal that numerous CAIR leaders have been convicted of terrorism charges and incarcerated or deported.

Neither Ms. Ganim nor CNN revealed Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood whose stated objective is to wage “civilization jihad” to overthrow our government through all means necessary including violence until sharia becomes the law of the land.

When CNN quoted Representative John Bennett’s questions he posed to Muslims at his office, it is evident neither Ms. Ganim nor CNN did any research – the point of Mr. Bennett’s exercise – to determine the truth of the matters regarding Islamic doctrine – sharia.  Ms. Ganim and CNN dutifully gave Hamas, a designated terrorist organization and its leader in Oklahoma, Adam Soltani, air time on national television, thus providing propaganda for terrorists while slandering an American hero and elected member of the Oklahoma state house.

United States Marine and Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett

It should be noted CNN also did not mention Representative John Bennett is a Marine and combat veteran who serves his nation honorably.

Mr. Bennett speaks about this incident in a radio interview which can be heard HERE.

The Oklahoma media, for the most part, jumps on the bandwagon on these matters.

Last week, when UTT traveled to Louisiana to train law enforcement officers and first responders, numerous media outlets, including the Associated Press, defended Hamas (dba CAIR) and tried to diminish the work of UTT with ad hominem attacks without ever discussing the facts of the matter.

Several of the media outlets were forced to retract their articles and amend them because they were slanderous and defamatory towards UTT and it’s founder John Guandolo.  However, the media continues to identify Hamas (dba CAIR) as a “Muslim advocacy group” or a “Muslim civil rights organization.”

In fact, CAIR is neither.  CAIR is a terrorist organization because it is a Hamas organization.  Are we to believe that 15 years after 9/11 all the reporters, producers, editors, and others with CNN, the Associated Press, and many other mainstream media organizations are simple so stupid they cannot review evidence and facts that clearly identifies CAIR as a Hamas entity?

Are these media organizations providing material support to Hamas (CAIR) because they ideologically agree with them?

In either case, there appears to be direct support for terrorists by these media organizations and their reporters, and UTT is hopeful the Department of Justice will respond accordingly.

UTT Throwback Thursday: Attacks on UTT Intensify, But Have Less Effect

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 9, 2017:

In the summer of 2014, UTT scheduled a one-day training program for law enforcement in the Phoenix, Arizona area hosted by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO).  The program was designed to teach police officers and investigators about the Islamic Movement in the United States and Arizona, and provide them with tools to help them identify and investigate the threat.

The attacks against UTT and the MCAO were immediate.

On August 14th the Muslim Advocates along with 75 other organizations sent a letter to President Obama’s Counterterrorism Advisor Lisa Monaco which called UTT’s training “bigoted” and asked the administration to re-train all law enforcement officers who have been through such training.

By September 10th, the ACLU and several Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations called for the training to be cancelled, saying the speakers (UTT President John Guandolo, Former CIA Case Officer Clare Lopez, and Former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz) were “known for inaccurate, dangerous statements about the Muslim community.”

The letter, signed by the ACLU’s legal director in Arizona, was also signed by the current and previous leaders of Hamas (dba CAIR) in Arizona (Imraan Siddiqi and Mohamed El-Sharkawy), the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim American Society (AZ), and the leaders of the MB’s Islamic Community Center of Tempe (ICCT) and Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (ICCP).  The properties of the ICCT (1131 East 6th Street, Tempe) and ICCP (7516 North Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix) are owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) which is the bank for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.  In the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in U.S. history (US v Holy Land Foundation, Dallas 2008), NAIT was identified by the Department of Justice as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which directly funds Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

In fact, the two jihadis who attacked the Draw Mohammad competition in Garland, Texas came from the ICCP.  Fortunately, they were killed before they could harm anyone.

On September 19, 2014, 300 police officers from all over Arizona sat through approximately 8 hours of training from UTT which detailed the jihadi threat with facts and evidence.  At the end of the program, when asked, all of the officers admitted they did not previously know the information presented, and all agreed the information is critical to protecting their community.

A victory for the good guys.

So why did the ACLU, the Arizona media, and religious leaders join with the terrorist group Hamas (doing business as CAIR) to condemn fact/evidence-based training which law enforcement calls “critical” to doing their jobs and has led to investigations into terrorism matters being opened in Arizona?  That is a fair question.

This week, UTT finds itself in Louisiana training over 150 law enforcement officers from all over the state. Six days ago, attacks and threats targeting UTT and the host – the Rapides Parish District Attorney – came from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Hamas (dba CAIR), the Associated Press and local media, and local Islamic organizations, including the Islamic Society of Central Louisiana.

What a shock.

Yet, over 150 law enforcement officers now know, from reviewing facts and evidence, the Muslim Brotherhood has a massive jihadi network here in America.

Police also now know CAIR was created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas in the U.S., and got to hear from UTT’s Vice President Chris Gaubatz as he shared about his experience undercover inside Hamas’ (CAIR) headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Chris shared about retrieving over 12,000 documents from CAIR’s headquarters which revealed CAIR is involve in fraud, sedition, and terrorism.  The police now know CAIR is Hamas.

Chris also shared other experiences he had visiting mosques across America and what is being taught there.

Another victory for the truth and for freedom.

Now these officers will be able to take what they have learned back to the streets to identify real threats so they can use the full force of the law to protect their communities.

What are the common denominators for the successes then and now?

First is the power of UTT’s message, built on facts and evidence – real truth about real threats.

Secondly, the courage and tenacity of leaders like Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Rapides Parish District Attorney Phillip Terrell are an important key to these successes.

These warriors are ensuring their citizens are well-served by the men and women in blue.  Citizens of Maricopa County (AZ) and Rapides Parish (LA) should thank and support these men of courage.

Muslim Brotherhood: We’re Spending $5 Million on PR in U.S.

Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in the U.S. include the Council of American Islamic Relations. Shown here are CAIR's Founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad (R) and National Communications Director and Spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper (L). Awad was present at the 1993 secret meeting of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee in Philadelphia that was wiretapped by the FBI. Participants of the meeting discussed how to support Hamas and, in the words of U.S. District Court Judge Solis “goals, strategies and American perceptions of the Muslim Brotherhood.” (Photo: © Reuters)

Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in the U.S. include the Council of American Islamic Relations. Shown here are CAIR’s Founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad (R) and National Communications Director and Spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper (L). Awad was present at the 1993 secret meeting of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee in Philadelphia that was wiretapped by the FBI. Participants of the meeting discussed how to support Hamas and, in the words of U.S. District Court Judge Solis “goals, strategies and American perceptions of the Muslim Brotherhood.” (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 28, 2017:

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official in Sudan told an Arab newspaper* that the group’s international leadership has launched a major PR campaign to influence the U.S. media and members of Congress to oppose the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The Brotherhood official predicted that the group would not be designated by the Trump Administration and that the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act introduced into Congress would fail.

He claimed that his organization had made contact with governmental officials and members of Congress and convinced them that the Brotherhood is opposed to terrorism, even though the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing—Hamas—is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department.

The author of the article reports that, according to sources within the Brotherhood, the group has spent $5 million on the PR campaign, with contracts being signed last month. Individuals close to Hillary Clinton put Brotherhood officials in touch with PR firms.

The effort to influence American media included having articles and essays published to argue against designation of the Brotherhood.

Indeed, a slew of articles defending the Brotherhood were published as it was reported that the Trump Administration was planning to designate the Brotherhood. Most of these argue that the Brotherhood is opposed to terrorism and violence. As I wrote in December 2014, this notion is patently false.

The Brotherhood also thanked the leaders of Turkey and Qatar for defending the organization. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

The Egyptian government warned that the Brotherhood has a lobby in the U.S. disguised as civil society organizations. An Egyptian government website cited a study done by a think-tank in Cairo that concluded that the Brotherhood is trying to influence U.S. policy using affiliates in America that “aim to spread the Muslim Brotherhood’s extremist ideologies in the U.S.,” in the words of the website.

A senior UAE official likewise said that the Brotherhood’s American lobby was responsible for political blowback over his country’s previous designation of the Brotherhood and two of its U.S.-based entities, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).

The allotment of money for this campaign is an indirect acknowledgement by the Brotherhood that it exists in the U.S., and its activity in the country is important enough to fight for. The claim that the Brotherhood has an American wing will earn you a branding as a bigoted “Islamophobe,” but it isn’t so controversial in the Arab press (even though the Brotherhood insinuates the same thing there).

Foreign influence operations are at the top of the news right now in the U.S., but they center about Russia. Why is it acceptable to say that Russia would try to influence our policy, but it is bigoted to suggest that the Brotherhood—the largest Islamist movement in the world—would do the same?

*This article was first noticed by Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It was then reviewed by Clarion Project’s Arabic translator.

Hamas Terror Double Game Backfires as Fighters Defect to Islamic State in Sinai

hamas-isisPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 27, 2017:

The Hamas terrorists in control of the Gaza Strip adjacent to the Sinai Peninsula find themselves between a rock and a hard place these days as the double game that they’ve played with the Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai has backfired as reportedly hundreds of their trained Qassam Brigade fighters have defected.

Meanwhile, an attempted rapprochement with Egypt in recent weeks also appears to be breaking down as the Islamic State is reportedly setting Hamas up for a war with Israel that it is most likely not prepared for.

As I reported here at PJ Media back in June, Hamas, fashioned by some in the Washington D.C. ‘smart set’ as supposed ‘moderates,’ had been actively cooperating with the Islamic State.

Read more

KLEIN – New York Times in Full Panic Mode Over Reports Trump May Designate Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Feb. 23, 2017:

TEL AVIV – The New York Times this week continued its month-long campaign against designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization amid reports the Trump administration is debating the possibility of issuing an executive order making such a designation.

Declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organization would add the U.S. to the growing list of nations to do so, including Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Times’ crusade culminated in the newspaper’s publication on Wednesday of an oped written from Egyptian prison by Gehad el-Haddad, the official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.  The oped was splashed on the cover of Thursday’s international edition of the newspaper.

In the piece, Haddad whitewashed the Brotherhood as inspired by an “understanding of Islam that emphasizes the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law.”

“We remain committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence,” wrote Haddad.

While many Brotherhood wings indeed reject the use of violence as a strategic tactic, preferring instead a sophisticated gradualist strategy to achieve their aims, Haddad failed to mention that the Brotherhood has spawned terrorist organizations – most notably Hamas – that adhere to its philosophy of a world order based on Islam.

Al-Qaeda was founded in part on Brotherhood ideology. The Brotherhood was also a central player in the so-called Arab Spring, revolutions punctuated by violence across the Arab world.

Haddad’s claim that the Brotherhood espouses an understanding of Islam that pushes for “equality and the rule of law” is contradicted by the very nature of the Brotherhood itself, which is openly committed to the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law.

Sharia does not propagate “equality and the rule of law.” Sharia is explicitly anti-democratic and advocates Islamic supremacy over non-Muslims. For example, under Sharia non-Muslims cannot rule over Muslims; a woman inherits half that of a man; non-Muslims cannot inherit from Muslims or marry Muslim women; and churches and synagogues cannot be built taller than mosques.

These Islamic dictates were scrubbed from Haddad’s airy descriptions of the Brotherhood in the Times oped:

We are a morally conservative, socially aware grassroots movement that has dedicated its resources to public service for the past nine decades. Our idea is very simple: We believe that faith must translate into action. That the test of faith is the good you want to do in the lives of others, and that people working together is the only way to develop a nation, meet the aspirations of its youth and engage the world constructively. We believe that our faith is inherently pluralistic and comprehensive and that no one has a divine mandate or the right to impose a single vision on society. …

We remain committed to our ideals of community development, social justice and nonviolence.

Haddad’s propaganda piece was preceded on Monday by a Times article reporting on the alleged dangers of the Trump administration labeling the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

That article, titled, “Trump Talk of Terror Listing for Muslim Brotherhood Alarms Some Arab Allies,” warned that “of all the initiatives of the Trump administration that have set the Arab world on edge, none has as much potential to disrupt the internal politics of American partners in the region as the proposal to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood, the preeminent Islamist movement with millions of followers.”

The piece continued:

In Morocco, it would tip a delicate political balance. In Jordan, it could prevent American diplomats from meeting with opposition leaders. In Tunisia, it could make criminals of a political party seen as a model of democracy after the Arab Spring.

The Times article quoted Issandr El Amrani, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, warning that designating the Brotherhood a terrorist organization “could destabilize countries where anti-Islamist forces would be encouraged to double down. It would increase polarization.”

The International Crisis Group is funded by billionaire George Soros and his son, Alexander Soros. Both George and Alexander Soros sit on the group’s board of trustees.

Toward the end of the piece, Times reporter Delcan Walsh briefly mentions the Brotherhood’s ties to violence.

He writes:

By nature secretive, the Brotherhood takes different forms around the world. In some places, its members have condoned or committed violent acts. Its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, carries out suicide bombings; in Egypt, angry young supporters have been accused of attacking Mr. Sisi’s security forces.

However, that paragraph was followed by the following disclaimer: “But that does not make terrorists of the many millions of people who support the Brotherhood’s political ideology across many countries.”

The Times advocacy this week on behalf of the Brotherhood is part of a larger lobbying effort that has in recent weeks included numerous pro-Brotherhood articles and an editorial board piece published earlier this month, “All of Islam Isn’t the Enemy.”

In the editorial, the newspaper warned designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization “would be seen by many Muslims as another attempt to vilify adherents of Islam.”  The paper claimed that the possible designation “appears to be part of a mission by the president and his closest advisers to heighten fears by promoting a dangerously exaggerated vision of an America under siege by what they call radical Islam.”

A February 7 article warned, “Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.”

“Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States,” added the Times. “A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.”

A Times article on February 1 was titled, “Trump Pushes Dark View of Islam to Center of U.S. Policy-Making.”

The article lamented a worldview that “conflates terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State with largely nonviolent groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots and, at times, with the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world.”

A January 26 editorial titled “‘I Think Islam Hates Us’” informed readers the Trump administration “reportedly is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood, which is involved in Muslim politics in a number of countries, as a terrorist organization. Some experts see the move as a chance for the Trump administration to limit Muslim political activity in the United States.”

The Times’ advocacy for the Brotherhood is particularly noteworthy since it separately posted a full Arabic document from 1991 in which an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member set forth a strategy for “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within,” with emphasis on operations inside the U.S.

Addressing the Brotherhood’s support for the electoral process and purportedly becoming a political organization, an extensive report on the Brotherhood by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies explained the group’s use of some tools of democracy to advance the aim of achieving a world ruled by Sharia law, which is by definition anti-democratic.

Drawing from founding Brotherhood documents and original literature by Brotherhood leaders, the Center explained:

Unlike the militant factions of other Islamist movements, which completely rule out democracy on the basis of it being a Western, pagan, and ignorant idea, the Muslim Brotherhood does use the term “democracy.” In its view, however, it has two main connotations: a tactical, instrumental means of taking over countries through the use of the democratic process, and an “Islamic democracy” based on Sharia law (i.e., Islamic religious law) and a model of internal consultation within the leadership.

[Brotherhood Founder Sheikh Hassan] Al-Banna listed seven stages to achieve these objectives, each to be carried out in a gradual fashion. The stages are divided into social and political: the first three are based on educating the individual, the family, and the entire society of the Muslim world to implement Sharia laws in every aspect of daily life. The next four stages are political in nature, and include assuming power through elections, shaping a Sharia state, liberating Islamic countries from the burden of (physical and ideological) foreign occupation, uniting them into one Islamic entity (“new caliphate”), and spreading Islamic values throughout the world.

The defining works of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, ideologue and theorist Sayyid Qutb, considered the Brotherhood’s intellectual godfather, greatly influenced Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda doctrine.

An extensive March 23, 2003, article in the New York Times magazine by Paul Berman dissected Qutb’s writings as they relate to terrorist ideology.

In the article titled “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” Berman documented the centrality of Qutb’s influence on al-Qaeda:

The organization (al-Qaeda) was created in the late 1980’s by an affiliation of three armed factions – bin Laden’s circle of ”Afghan” Arabs, together with two factions from Egypt, the Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the latter led by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s top theoretician. The Egyptian factions emerged from an older current, a school of thought from within Egypt’s fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1950’s and 60’s. And at the heart of that single school of thought stood, until his execution in 1966, a philosopher named Sayyid Qutb – the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide.

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With additional research by Joshua Klein.

The Muslim Brotherhood: Wellspring of Terrorism

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, February 15, 2017:

  • The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for “jihad”, in January 2015.
  • “The Muslim Brotherhood at all levels have repeatedly defended Hamas attacks… including the use of suicide bombers and the killing of civilians.” — UK government expert review of the Muslim Brotherhood, December 2015.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood not only funds one of the most virulent terrorist groups, Hamas, but there is barely any daylight between the various leaderships of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and Hamas.
  • Most of the terrorists who later founded al Qaeda were rooted in the MB. Osama bin Laden was apparently recruited as a young man to the MB, whereas Ayman al Zawahiri joined the MB at the age of 14 and went on to found the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ),”an organization that…. holds many of the same beliefs as the MB but simply refuses to renounce violence inside Egypt” — Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood believes today what it has always believed: that a caliphate, where sharia law will rule, must be established through jihad. Refusing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization would be a grave mistake, playing straight into the strategy of the Brotherhood and, once more, revealing to the world the extreme gullibility of the West.

The Trump administration is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a foreign terrorist organization, and Human Rights Watch is outraged.

“Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a ‘foreign terrorist organization’ would wrongly equate it with violent extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and make their otherwise lawful activities illegal,” said Human Rights Watch. The press release went on to repeat the old claim that “…the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt officially renounced violence in the 1970s and sought to promote its ideas through social and political activities”.

Adding its voice to the Muslim Brotherhood’s apologists, the New York Times wrote:

“A political and social organization with millions of followers, the Brotherhood officially renounced violence decades ago and won elections in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Affiliated groups have joined the political systems in places like Tunisia and Turkey, and President Barack Obama long resisted pressure to declare it a terrorist organization.”

For decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has pushed a specific public narrative, intended exclusively for Western consumption. Just how extremely effective the MB has been was demonstrated in 2011, when then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, unbelievably, claimed that the MB was “… largely secular… has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam…They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt…there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence”.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al-Banna made jihadist violence a focal point of his movement. He wrote, “Death is art” and “Fighting the unbelievers involves all possible efforts that are necessary to dismantle the power of the enemies of Islam.” The MB inducts members into its deliberatively secretive and opaque network with the pledge that “Jihad is our way” and “Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

It is, in fact, difficult to overstate the importance of the MB in promoting and spreading jihad in the 20th century and onwards[1]. As the UK government’s expert review of the MB, published in December 2015, concluded:

“[The Muslim Brotherhood’s] public narrative — notably in the West — emphasized engagement not violence. But there have been significant differences between Muslim Brotherhood communications in English and Arabic; there is little evidence that the experience of power in Egypt has caused a rethinking in the Muslim Brotherhood of its ideology or conduct. UK official engagement with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood produced no discernible change in their thinking. Indeed even by mid-2014 statements from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-linked media platforms seem to have deliberately incited violence”.

The UK review goes on to say:

“The Muslim Brotherhood at all levels have repeatedly defended Hamas attacks against Israel, including the use of suicide bombers and the killing of civilians. The Muslim Brotherhood facilitate funding for Hamas. The leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, its Jordanian counterpart and Hamas are closely connected. There are wider links with Muslim Brotherhood affiliates throughout the region and senior Muslim Brotherhood figures and associates have justified attacks against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood not only funds one of the most virulent terrorist groups, Hamas, but there is barely any daylight between the various leaderships of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and Hamas. (According to article two of the Hamas Charter, “The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times”).

The indictment could not be more damning.

Another terrorist group rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood is Egyptian terrorist group Jamaat al-Islamiyya. This group came into existence, conveniently, when it broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood, after the latter denounced the use of violence in the 1970s. Creating a new terrorist organization was a brilliant strategy, which allowed for the Muslim Brotherhood to polish its image as a peaceful organization, leaving the dirty terrorist work to so-called “offshoots” or proxies. Indeed, Jamaat al-Islamiyya used the writings of the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, as an ideological basis. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted and jailed in the United States as the perpetrator of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, was the spiritual leader of Jamaat al-Islamiyya.

The New York Times itself featured a lengthy article called “The Philosopher of Islamic Terror” about Sayyid Qutb in its magazine in March 2003, stating that he was “…the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx… their guide”. Most of the terrorists who later founded al Qaeda were rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood. Osama bin Laden was apparently recruited as a young man to the MB, whereas Ayman al-Zawahiri joined the MB at the age of 14 and went on to found the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, “an organization that holds many of the same beliefs as the MB but simply refuses to renounce violence inside Egypt”, according to The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). It subsequently merged with bin Laden’s organization. The lead hijacker of 9/11, Mohammed Atta, was also a member of the MB. The list goes on.

“The objective, then, is to strike terror into the hearts of God’s enemies, who are also the enemies of the advocates of Islam…” — Sayyid Qutb, chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.

In January 2015, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for jihad:

“It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom.”

The statement also quotes at length the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, disproving the claim that the Muslim Brotherhood has broken with its violent past:

“Imam al-Bana prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers.”

After the official statement was released, Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), stated:

“Muslim Brothers have been committing violent acts for a very long time. Under [Egypt’s former president, Mohamed] Morsi, Muslim Brothers tortured protesters outside the presidential palace. After Morsi’s ouster, they have frequently attacked security forces and state property… But until now, the official line from the Brotherhood was to support this implicitly by justifying its causes, without justifying the acts themselves. So the Brotherhood’s open call to jihad doesn’t necessarily mean a tactical shift, but a rhetorical one.”

Terrorism expert and national security reporter Patrick Poole added:

“It [the call for jihad] invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948. It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom… What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,”

There is nothing peaceful, lawful or democratic about the Muslim Brotherhood. It believes today what it has always believed and openly stated: that a caliphate, where sharia law will rule, must be established through jihad. Refusing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization would be a grave mistake, playing straight into the strategy of the Brotherhood and, once more, revealing to the world the extreme gullibility of the West and its boundless willingness to believe anything the Muslim Brotherhood throws its way.

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

[1] As Fereydoun Hoveyda writes in his book, The Broken Crescent: The “Threat” of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism:

“…aspiring terrorists from all over the world poured into Egypt… to learn from al-Banna’s men the art of eliminating the enemies of Islam. While training terrorists and directing murders, Sheikh Hassan denied involvement in the assassinations and attacks, using what Shiite clerics called ketman (holy dissimulation). Indeed, deceiving infidels was admitted by all Muslims, and Shiites even extended the dissimulation to other Muslims when the security of their ’cause’ was at stake”.

Schanzer: The careful way to go after Muslim Brotherhood radicals

Getty Images

Getty Images

New York Post, By Jonathan Schanzer, February 12, 2017:

The Trump Administration is mulling an order designed to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. The best approach would be a piecemeal one: Some Brotherhood branches belong on that list, some don’t — and making the distinction will help President Trump more effectively fight the war on terror.

It’s no secret why the Muslim Brotherhood is in the crosshairs. Its hateful and anti-Western worldview has long served as an ideological gateway to jihadi terrorist groups. Famously, Osama bin Laden’s partner in founding al Qaeda was a Muslim Brother named Abdullah Azzam. And while al Qaeda has broken with the Muslim Brotherhood on a range of political issues, Brotherhood thinkers have undeniably shaped al Qaeda’s ideology over the years — and the ideology of other jihadist groups, too.

The Brotherhood has evolved quite a bit since its founding in Egypt in 1928. For one, the group now operates worldwide. Over time, the political and military pressure from host governments in the Middle East also forced the Brotherhood to dial back on its overt extremist positions. Under the threat of annihilation, these groups had little choice to but to lay down their weapons and embrace politics.

By the time officials in the George W. Bush administration considered making a case against designating the Brotherhood, the picture had become blurry. It appeared that many of the disparate groups comprising the global Muslim Brotherhood had soured on the strategic value of prioritizing violence. Of course, this didn’t mean the movement no longer held extremist views. It had simply become difficult to definitively prove that its component parts formed a global terrorist organization.

If anything, there were some branches of the Brotherhood that seemed to meet criteria, while others were a heavier analytical lift. More than a decade later, this is likely still the case. The Brotherhood in Libya, Syria and Yemen (the Islah Party) have apparent ties to jihadis. The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan (Islamic Action Front), which has marketed itself as a political entity, may be more difficult to designate.

In the end, the intelligence will either meet the legal criteria, or it won’t. There’s no fudging it. Of course, we can augment our own intelligence with help from allied countries. We can ask for help from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which designated the Brotherhood as a terror group.

Jordan and Egypt may also be willing to share intelligence about their local chapters, which have long sought to challenge the regimes. But Washington must vet that intelligence very carefully. These states have a longstanding desire to weaken their Islamist opposition at all costs.

Once some Brotherhood branches are designated, it may become easier to target others. When certain branches or even leaders of the Brotherhood are caught providing financial, technical or material support to listed entities, they immediately become candidates for designation.

Meanwhile, there will be opportunities to take further action at home. According to an official Treasury report submitted in December, “The US has not designated a domestic US-based charity since . . . 2009.” In other words, it appears that the Obama administration placed an unknown number of terrorist financing cases on hold at the Department of Justice over the last eight years.

Trump should instruct the DOJ to reopen them. When these cases meet criteria, they should be prosecuted. And if they involve Muslim Brotherhood activists, that nexus should be made clear.

Finally, the Trump administration has one last crucial point of leverage to undermine the financing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar and Turkey, two countries typically viewed as US allies, are the top financial and logistical supporters of the Brotherhood worldwide. They also serve as financiers and headquarters to the Brotherhood’s most violent branch: Hamas.

The administration should call upon Qatar and Turkey to end support for Hamas. They should also be warned about their support for Brotherhood branches that appear to be engaged in violent activity or even simply spreading extremist rhetoric.

The administration has a number of options at its disposal shy of a blanket terrorist designation. Because going after the “mother ship” may not ultimately hold up under legal scrutiny, an incremental approach may have a higher likelihood of success. That may also ultimately lead to a broader campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood that enjoys the backing of foreign partners and American skeptics alike.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the US Department of the Treasury, is senior vice president at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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CJR: This notion that different “branches” of the Muslim Brotherhood are somehow operating at arms length from each other is wrong headed. That is what the MB wants you to think and that is why we are subverted by them. Evidence abounds of their support for violence. There is no “careful ” way to do  this. Cut them out root and branch!

Yes, It’s Legal To Designate The Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Organization

shutterstock_211423306Designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a serious impediment to continuing the bipartisan, but failed, policy of cooperating with Islamists in the Middle East.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, February 10, 2016:

As President Trump moves towards designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, we’re hearing all the reasons he can’t or shouldn’t.

The latest tactic has been to assert that designating the Muslim Brotherhood is not possible, or simply illegal, because it does not conform with the letter of the law regarding Foreign Terrorist Designations. This is a specious claim, but made with such confidence that it requires a serious examination to debunk.

Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood Exists

One of the chief arguments that designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would be illegal is there is no such thing as the Muslim Brotherhood. A textbook example of this claim comes from Benjamin Wittes in the Lawfare Blog:

The short answer is that the Brotherhood is not in a meaningful sense a single organization at all; elements of it can be designated and have been designated, and other elements certainly cannot be. As a whole, it is simply too diffuse and diverse to characterize. And it certainly cannot be said as a whole to engage in terrorism that threatens the United States.

While Wittes admits that there does exist a single body known as the International Muslim Brotherhood, he claims “it is difficult to assess the strength of the ties between the international organization and the various Brotherhood chapters, because of the organization’s penchant for secrecy.”

Indeed, the International Muslim Brotherhood is so secretive that it published its bylaws on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website in 2010. These bylaws make clear that the leadership of national branches answer to the overall Muslim Brotherhood leadership. The bylaws state that branch “secretary generals must abide by the higher leadership’s decisions,” are obliged to “get approval of the general guidance office prior to making any important political decision,” must file “annual reports” with the higher leadership, and must “pay an annual subscription” to the higher leadership.

The claimed ability to approve policy, enforce common decisions, and closely scrutinize activity, and the transfer of funds from lower members to higher leadership would all seemingly meet the requirement of a single organization. No doubt plenty of district attorneys would long for such an overt statement of hierarchy and cooperation when attempting a racketeering prosecution.

But the argument about the level of the Brotherhood’s cohesiveness is ultimately a distraction. The law governing Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation defines a terrorist organization by citing a separate section of law , 8 U.S. Code § 1182, which reads in part:

(vi) “Terrorist organization” defined As used in this section, the term “terrorist organization” means an organization—

(I) designated under section 1189 of this title;

(II) otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv); or

(III) that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).

The key section here is (III), “a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).” So while Wittes cites pro-Islamist experts to argue that the International Muslim Brotherhood lacks demonstrable cohesion or the ability to enforce common policy, ultimately the total level of organization is irrelevant. The only question is whether the organization has engaged, or possesses a subgroup that engaged, in terrorist activities. Here the answer is an obvious yes, given that Hamas is a self-acknowledged subgroup of the International Muslim Brotherhood, and is already a legally designated FTO.

Yes, Muslim Brotherhood Affiliates Engage in Terrorism

Even aside from the role of Hamas as a subgroup of the International Muslim Brotherhood, there is strong evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood engages in “the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).” Those read as follows:

(iv) “Engage in terrorist activity” defined As used in this chapter, the term “engage in terrorist activity” means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization—

(I) to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;

(II) to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;

(III) to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;

(IV) to solicit funds or other things of value for—

(aa) a terrorist activity;

(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization…

The key factor here is (IV), “to solicit funds or other things of value” for “a terrorist organization.” The U.S. government has already successfully argued in court that the Muslim Brotherhood founded Hamas, and that the Muslim Brotherhood created and maintained an international infrastructure to finance and support the Hamas subgroup. Specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood established a “Palestine Section,” which in turn oversaw “Palestine Committees” in each of the Muslim Brotherhood’s branches, in order to raise funds and engage in propaganda (obviously a thing of value) on behalf of Hamas.

Muslim Brotherhood apologists know that designating the Muslim Brotherhood would be a serious impediment to continuing the bipartisan, but failed, policy of cooperating with Islamists in the Middle East.

Whether U.S. engagement with Islamists is useful is a policy question that can be debated, but it should be done openly. The recent invocation of claims it is “illegal” to designate the Muslim Brotherhood is an attempt to hide behind dubious legal claims, in order to avoid a policy argument on the merits. Such tactics perhaps suggest how weak the apologists’ policy position is.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.

Defections Challenge Hamas’ Cooperation With the Islamic State

Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, attend a memorial for Mohamed Zouari in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2017, (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, attend a memorial for Mohamed Zouari in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2017, (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

by IPT News  •  Feb 8, 2017

Hamas continues to play a double game when it comes to the Islamic State. The Palestinian terrorist organization is trying to supress ISIS-inspired jihadists in Gaza, while simultaneously cooperating with the terrorist group’s Sinai Peninsula affiliate – Wilayat Sinai.

Despite some tactical benefits, Hamas’ seemingly counterintuitive, yet calculated, engagement with Islamic State elements has resulted in tangible setbacks for the Palestinian group. Palestinian sources speaking with the Times of Israel revealed that dozens of Hamas operatives have defected to Wilayat Sinai, including highly trained terrorists from elite units.

Roughly two months ago, Hamas forces arrested Abed al-Wahad Abu Aadara, a Hamas naval commando who defected to ISIS after he re-entered Gaza. His brother also joined ISIS and died in clashes with the Egyptian military. Facing pressure from ISIS, Hamas recently released Abu Aadara from prison.

Other defectors include highly trained Hamas operatives who enhance the Islamic State’s ability to build bombs and use anti-tank missiles. Senior military wing members, including Abu Malek Abu Shwiesh, a key assistant to Hamas’ Rafah commander, reportedly joined Wilayat Sinai.

The ISIS affiliate has created significant Egyptian casualties in recent years, particularly after acquiring and deploying sophisticated weaponry in the Sinai.

Israeli officials have outlined detailed aspects of Hamas-Islamic State cooperation in the past. Both organizations engage in smuggling terrorists and arms, including advanced weapons systems. For example, Hamas provided Wilayat Sinai with Kornet anti-tank missiles that have destroyed Egyptian military vehicles. Hamas also provides military training and medical services for injured Wilayat Sinai fighters in Gaza, in addition to reportedly transferring money directly to the terrorist organization.

In return, Hamas cultivates a safe haven for its leaders and fighters in case of a future confrontation with Israel, understanding that Israel’s military engagement on Egyptian territory is limited.

Since the end of the 2014 summer war in Gaza, Hamas has invested significant resources into reconstructing its terrorist infrastructure. It also continues to rebuild its elite forces – including its naval commando unit – dedicated to infiltrating into Israel to carry out terrorist attacks. Reports of Hamas defections are a clear setback for the Palestinian organization, but are not likely lead to a wider rift with the Islamic State.

Despite broader ideological differences, both groups remain committed to challenging the Egyptian military in Sinai and destroying the Jewish state.

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