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For The Record  

FTR #381 Al-Taqwa the Muslim Brotherhood & Chechnya

Examining the operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in Chechnya and the United States, this broadcast highlights the relationship between that Islamofascist organization, the Al Taqwa milieu and elements of the Saudi elite. (See more about the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Chechnya, and Al Taqwa.)

1. The program begins with an article which touches on Russian charges that the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-related elements are involved with the Chechen rebels. The article is patronizing and dismissive in tone, despite the fact that the presence in Chechnya of Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabi and Al Qaeda related elements is well documented. “Three years after Russian forces poured into Chechnya for the second time, the war grinds on, but Russia’s characterization of the fight without end has changed. No longer are 85,000 Russian troops and police officers simply engaged in crushing a battle for independence; instead, Chechnya has become Russia’s war on terror.” (“Russia Recasts Bog in Caucasus as War on Terror” by Steven Lee Myers; The New York Times; 10/5/2002; p. A1.)

“Using the rationale and sometimes the rhetoric of the Bush administration’s antiterrorism campaign, commanders here said this week that the Chechen war is financed, armed and increasingly fought by Islamic militants from abroad. The shift explains Russia’s roiling tensions with Georgia the former Soviet republic bordering Chechnya that president Vladimir Putin has accused of sheltering what he calls Chechen and international terrorists. . .” (Idem.)

“The accusations against Georgia–like the accusations against the Chechens are sponsored by Muslim Brotherhood and other foreign fighters—appear rooted in Russia’s frustration and a desire to external blame for the continued fighting.” (Ibid.; p. A6.)

2. FTR#’s 330, 334, and 337 describe [Saudi intelligence chief] Prince Turki’s resignation shortly before the 9/11 attacks. In addition, FTR#343, among other programs, discusses the allegation that Turki “ran” Osama Bin Laden. An intriguing (and detailed) piece of scholarship recently linked Turki, the Saudi Royal family, the Muslim Brotherhood and Youssef Nada (Al Taqwa’s founder.) In turn, the broadcast delineates these elements’ activities vis a vis the Chechen rebels. “The president of the Al Taqwa Bank Group is Youssef Mustapha Nada, naturalized Italian, and a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaa-al-Islamiya, which is directly allied with Al Qaeda through Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, said by some intelligence sources to be the brains behind bin Laden. When the Bahamas closed Al Taqwa Bank Ltd. early this year, Swiss authorities required a name change in Al Taqwa Bank, which then became registered in Switzerland as Nada Management Organization SA. It is the same Al Taqwa Bank.” (“The Politics of Three—Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel” by Paul W. Rasche; Studien von Zeitfragen; 35. Jahrgang InternetAusgabe 2001; p. 6; accessed at www.studien-von-zeit…bal/Coalition_Risks/coalition_risks.html .)

3. Nada’s relationship with the Brotherhood, the Saudis and Islamist finance is highlighted in the following passage. “In 1970, Youssef Nada moved to Saudi Arabia and, with help from the Muslim Brotherhood, established contact with members of the Saudi Royal family, and founded a construction company in Riyadh, much the same as the Bin Laden family. He remained active in Riyadh, and soon founded the first Islamic bank in Egypt, the Faisal Bank.” (Idem.)

4. Reviewing information first presented in FTR#343, the broadcast underscores the relationship between former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki, Bin Laden, Nada and the Faisal Islamic Bank. “The Faisal Islamic Bank of Saudi Arabia is the head bank of a number of affiliated Islamic Banks under that name across the Islamic world from Egypt to Pakistan to the Emirates and Malaysia. The head of Faisal Islamic Bank of Saudi Arabia is former Saudi Intelligence Chief, Turki al-Faisal. Faisal Islamic Bank is directly involved in running accounts for bin Laden and his associates, and has been named by Luxembourg banking authorities in this regard.” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

5. The nexus outlined above is intimately involved with the Al Haramain religious charity, allegedly used to channel funds to the Chechen rebels. “In Sudan, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaida have been named as principals in the Shamal bank in the 1990’s. The bank transferred the funds for the US Embassy bombings in East Africa in 1998, according to trial testimony in New York. A 15% share in al Shamal is held by wealthy Saudi financier, Saleh Abdullah Kamel of the Dallah al Baraka Group, which owns the Jeddah al Baraka bank. The other non-Sudanese shareholder of the Khartoum al Shamal bank is Faisal Islamic Bank. Russian FSB intelligence has charged that al Baraka Bank was used by a Saudi religious charity, Al Haramain, to funnel funds to Islamic terrorists tied to al Qaida in Chechnya.” (Idem.)

6. Supplementing information presented in FTR#’s 330, 338 and 353, the program reviews the alleged role of the Muwafaq foundation in funding Al Qaeda and other Islamist elements. “The director of the Bosnian Muwafaq operation was the Tunisian-born businessman Shafiq Ayadi who carries a Bosnian passport. Shafiq Ayadi was placed on the U.S. terrorism list after 9/11. Islamic NGO’s in the war years were frequently searched and, again and again, weapons and other materials were discovered meant for the Mujahadin in Bosnia. It is certain that both the Croat buro of both the Muwafaq Foundation and the Saudi High Commission for Relief served as a step on the way to the Bosnian front for many Mujahadin. Many of them were from the non-Bosnian Islamist El Mudzahid Brigade, who treated Serbian POW’s horribly. It also turned out that a Saudi citizen named Abdul Hadi al-Gahtani, who in the city of Zenica in 1994 killed the British aid worker Paul Goodall because he had shown too much interest in the activities of the Islamists, had identity papers (ein Ausweis) from the Saudi High Relief Commission. A Bosnian court that had sentenced al-Gathani in absentia to a long jail term described him as ‘director of the Saudi High Commission in Zenica.’ Al-Gathani, however, never served his sentence, because he escaped from detention.” (“Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” by Kevin Coogan; privately published and distributed by the author; p. 3.) (For more about the Dohnanyis’ work on the Al Taqwa/Saudi labyrinth, see FTR#342. For more about Al Taqwa, see FTR#’s 335, 336, 338, 341, 343, 351-361, 368, 371, 376, 377, 378.)

“The Saudi High Commission was directed by King Fahd’s brother, Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz. In a bit of spin control, a deputy representative of the High Commission, Fahd al-Zakari, in October 2001 told the press in Sarajevo that the Commission only employed men with a ‘morally clean background’ but it can’t judge what is concealed from it. Muwafaq Foundation founder Yassim al-Qadi advances similar arguments. In the Wall Street Journal, al-Qadi cited a report on the foundation from the Dutch secret service that described it as an ‘important instrument of radical Muslims’ but also said that it was unclear to what extent the Saudis were themselves aware of the danger.” (Idem.)

7. Next, the discussion further illuminates the al-Haramayne foundation, mentioned above. Note that al-Haramayne was allegedly involved with bin Laden. “In the beginning of the 1990’s originating from Sudan, there was registered in Vienna the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA) with Saudi money and support from the Iranian secret police, the Vevak, which supplied money and weapons to the Muslim factions in the Bosnia war. There was also established al-Haramayne that supplied weapons to Mujahadin in Afghanistan.” (Idem.)

“The ‘humanitarian’ organization al-Haramayne was founded in 1992 by the Saudi Religion Minister Saleh bin Abdulaziz al Sheikh as the spearhead for the aggressive expansion of Wahhabi beliefs. In the views of Russian and American investigators, the al-Haramayne Foundation was linked with the Saudi financial concern Dallah al-Baraka whose founder and majority holder, Saleh Abdullah Kamel, earlier served among other things as the General Inspector of Finance for the Saudi monarchy. Kamel’s name surfaced after 9/11 in connection with the role the Sudanese financial world played in connection with the activities of Osama bin-Laden.” (Idem.)

Note that some of the Saudi “charities” allegedly sponsored trips to the USA by Chechen rebel leaders. The possibility of collusion between petroleum-related elements of the U.S. intelligence community should not be too readily dismissed. Such possible connections may account for the tone adopted by the Times writer. “In 1999, al Haramayne opened in Azerbaijan an office of the—until then unknown—‘Foundation for Chechnya.’ A year before the Russian secret service FIS discovered that the leading management of the Al-Baraka Group including Hafez Abu Bakr Mohammed of ‘Al Baraka Investment and Development’ had financed trips by Chechnya rebel leaders to the USA. In December 1999, a member of a European secret service based in Karachi overheard Sheik Abu Omar, who represented al-Haramayne in Chechnya, being greeted by the Taliban’s counsel, who represented al-Haramayne in Chechnya, being greeted by the Taliban’s counsel, who praised Sheik Abu Omar for his aid in helping out in the war against the Russians in Chechnya. An elite Russian unit monitoring communications in the war heard a conversation from Georgia saying that al-Haramayne must avoid being identified as the ‘inciter of Jihad.’ The Russian FIS estimates that al-Haramayne contributed $50 million to the cause and also helped send fighters with operational experience in Bosnia and Kosovo to Chechnya.” (Ibid.; pp. 3-4.)

“Nor did al-Haramayne neglect Afghanistan. The Afghan office, headed by Nasser bin Mohammed al Gilale, was actually based in the Saudi Embassy. When the Northern Alliance took Kabul, he was detained by the Northern Alliance. Examinations of records show that the group had instructions from Riyadh to aid Saudi citizens. But all Saudi diplomats and civilians had left Afghanistan when the war broke out and the only remaining groups of Saudi citizens were al Qaida members. According to one of the detained Taliban prisoners, the Saudi al Qaida members always got interventions on their behalf from al-Haramayne.” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

8.Supplementing previous discussion on another of George W. Bush’s Al Qaeda-linked business associates—the Bin Mahfouz family—the program further develops the Saudi charitable foundations and their links to Islamo-fascist terror. This powerful Saudi family (in addition to their links to the BCCI and George W. Bush) has strong links to the milieu of Al Taqwa and bin Laden. “Another key group suspected of aiding Al Qaida by passing on ‘Zakat’ funds is the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) which until September 1999 shared the same Oxford address as the International Development Foundation (IDF) of the Saudi millionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz. Also at the same address is the Oxford Trust for Islamic Studies to which the bin Laden family yearly contributes a great deal of money. The IDF, like its sister company Sedco Services Ltd. (part of Khalid bin Mahfouz’s Saudi Economic and Development Corporation—Sedco), is now in London, and is directed by Khalid’s brother Mohammed Salim bin Mahfouz and the British weapons dealer Mohammed Saleh Affara, who is of Yemeni origin. Affara helped broker a series of weapons contracts (codenamed ‘Sawari-2’) between Saudi Arabia and France. Contact to Osama bin Laden, it is said, also comes via the Sudan-based part of the organization ‘Blessed Relief’ that is directed by Khalid’s son Abdul Rahman bin Mahfouz. The organization was suspected by the American and Egyptian secret services of being involved in planning an assassination attempt on Hosni Mubarak when he was making a state visit to Ethiopia. In the coffers of the International Islamic relief Organization one finds Zakat money from the Geneva-based DMI and relief aid from the Lugano-based Al Taqwa group.” (Idem.)

The program presents more information about the links between the Saudi charities, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Chechen rebels. “Of course these groups vigorously protest against charges that they are a 5th column of terrorism. So where is there an answer for the charge that $7 million was sent from the Committee for Charity and the Sheik Eid-ben-Mohammed al-Thani Foundation (both based in Qatar) that sent this money in December 1999 to the Mujahadin in Chechnya. Only the merciless examination of their books and the books of other such groups can answer the following accusations regarding. . . the charge that the blessed Relief group in Birminghamn, England—a key part of the Muslim brotherhood and also registered as a UN NGO—was used by bin Laden and has operations in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Kashmir where it runs weapons under the cover of humanitarian assistance.” (Idem.)

9. The concluding portion of the program discusses links between the milieu of the Third Reich (in its above-ground and underground phases), Youssef Nada, Al Taqwa, the Muslim Brotherhood, its operative Said Ramadan and (among other elements) some radicalized African-American muslims. (Note that the Labeviere book is accessed in many of the broadcasts dealing with the Brotherhood annotated at the beginning of this program description.) “Anyone who examines the al-Taqwa affair rapidly comes across the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), as al-Taqwa served as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s key banking institutions in the West. In order to understand the MB’s presence in the West in general—and Switzerland in particular—it is absolutely necessary to grasp the vital role played by the late Said Ramadan, an extremely famous figure inside the Arab world but virtually unknown in the West.” (Ibid.; p. 12.)

“In his book Dollars for Terror, Richard Labeviere gives us a critical profile of Said Ramadan. Ramadan married Wafa Hassan al-Bana and thus became the son-in-law of Hassan al-Bana, the founder of the MB. Ramadan next led a famous brigade of Arab volunteers to fight against Israel in the 1948 war. When Nasser cracked down on the MB in Egypt in 1954, Ramadan relocated first to Saudi Arabia and then to Pakistan. He then moved to Europe, after getting Saudi backing for the propagation of Islam in Europe in particular. At first, Ramadan opened a MB-backed Islamic center in Munich, in part in a reflection of the MB’s collaboration with the Nazis dating back to the late 1930’s. (Labeviere in this regard also cites Egyptian reports that Youssef Nada worked for the Abwehr (German military intelligence) in the 1940’s. It should also be recalled that Francois Genoud, the Swiss Nazi banker, began developing contacts in the Arab world on behalf of German intelligence beginning in the 1930’s.]” (Ibid.; p. 13.)

“While in Germany, Ramadan defended his doctoral thesis on Islamic law at the University of Cologne. However the Saudis advised Ramadan to make Switzerland his main base of operations and at the height of the Algerian war, Ramadan opened up what is now a famous Islamic Center in Eaux-Vives, near Geneva, in 1961. [It was at this center that Achmed Huber first converted to Islam. –KC] Said Ramadan remained a top European leader of the MB until his death in August 1995. This, in effect, means that Nada, Himmat, Nasreddin, and all the other MB leaders associated with al-Taqwa, were essentially in Ramadan’s orbit. As Labeviere writes, after being condemned in absentia to forced labor for life by the Egyptian government, Ramadan first ‘settled in Munich, then in Switzerland, where he manages the movement’s fund.’” (Idem.)

10. Kevin Coogan presents the working hypothesis that the founding of Al Taqwa may have been at the instigation of Ramadan. One should not fail to note that, in addition to the Wahhabi connections of the Muslim Brotherhood milieu presented here, a Huber-Nada-Iran link may well be important. “In a May 6, 2002 article in Le Monde, author Piotr Smolar quotes Achmed Huber as saying that he first met Youssef Nada only during the course of a conference organized in Iran in 1988. It was here that Nada approached Huber about participation in the founding of al-Taqwa. The relatively brief time between Huber’s meeting Nada and his participation with al-Taqwa suggests that both men may have been operating for the same larger concern, namely Ramadan’s MB operation in Switzerland.” (Idem.)

“Equally interesting is that Huber and Nada met in Iran. In the late 1970’s, it has been reported that the Saudis were said to have decided to stop backing Ramadan’s Swiss center and in 1978, they opened their own group (l’Association Culturelle Islamique de Geneve) because the Saudi monarchy disagreed with Ramadan’s embrace of the Iranian Revolution. [It should be recalled that Huber also became one of the Iranian revolution’s leading Western supporters in the late 1970’s]” (Idem.)

11.Recapitulating a connection between Ramadan and an African-American who operated on behalf of Ramadan and the Iranians, the program underscores a relationship touched on in FTR#373. “Incredibly, in the middle 1970s Said Ramadan actually recruited an American named David Theodore Belfield, who later changed his name to Dawud Salahuddin. Salahuddin was a black American who became radicalized and adopted a mixture of Third Worldist radicalism and Muslim beliefs. He later served as an assassin for the Iranian government and on July 21, 1980, Salahuddin murdered Ali Akbar Tabatabai, a former press attaché at the Iranian Embassy under the Shah who was living in Bethesda, Maryland, where he helped direct a pro-Shah exile group, the Iran Freedom Foundation. After the assassination, Salahuddin first fled to Geneva and then to Iran. Salahuddin first encountered anti-Shah and pro-Khomeini Iranian exiles in Washington. However his life really began to change in May 1975, when he met Said Ramadan, who was the guest speaker at the Islamic Center, a large mosque on Massachusetts Avenue. [On Ramadan and Salahuddin, see David Ottaway, ‘The Lone Assassin’ published in the Washington Post magazine on August 25, 1996 as well as Ira Silverman, ‘An American Terrorist’ published in The New Yorker, August 5, 2002. Both are available on the web.] Salahuddin and Ramadan then lived together through the summer of 1975 in a house in Washington near Howard University. Salahuddin to this day describes Ramadan as his advisor and spiritual guide. There is also strong evidence that Ramadan was involved with hooking Salahuddin up to the Iranians for the assassination of Tabatabai. Once in Iran, Salahuddin told The New Yorker that he had extensively traveled through the Muslim world as a kind of diplomat for Ramadan and that in 1986 he made ‘certain representations on behalf of Ramadan to Muamar Qaddafi’ through one of Qaddafi’s cousins and in 1995, he ‘delivered a message from Ramadan to President Burhanuddin Rabbain, in Afghanistan, warning him that the Taliban had ties to the CIA.’” (Ibid.; pp. 13-14.)

12. The program concludes by noting that Al Taqwa’s Achmed Huber continues to maintain good relations with African-American Muslims. As Mr. Emory notes, this is of particular interest at this time—the day before this program was recorded, the media were dominated by the story of some African-Americans arrested in the Pacific Northwest as alleged Al Qaeda operatives. In addition to the fact that recruitment of black Americans by Islamofascists represents a threat to U.S. internal security, the phenomenon plays into the hands of the Republican Party and the Bush administration. Portraying African-Americans as terrorists, they can justify excessive surveillance of black communities and discredit the Democrats, for whom African-Americans have traditionally voted in overwhelming numbers. One should also note that, with a Senate seat being hotly contested in New Jersey (potentially determining party control of the Senate), Amiri Baraka (nee Leroi Jones), the Poet Laureate of New Jersey, published a poem blaming the World Trade Center attack on Jews and repeating the thoroughly discredited charge that 4,000 Jews were warned not to report for work at the Center on 9/11. The timing of the publication of this poem by The Artist Formerly Known As Leroi was fortuitous for the Bush administration, in that Jews and blacks are two of the Democratic Party’s dominant constituencies. The poem cannot but work to divide the two groups at this important time. “The story of Ramadan and Salahuddin is also remarkable given that (as I document in my article on Huber now on the web), Huber to this day maintains close ties to radical black Islamist fanatics based in Washington, D.C., such as Imam Abdul Alim Musa and Sheikh Mohammed al-Asi, both of whom are associated with the pro-Khomeini Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT). Both man also maintain good ties to the New Black Panther Party, an organization founded by the late Khallid Mohammad after he split from the Nation of Islam.” (Idem.)

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #381 Al-Taqwa the Muslim Brotherhood & Chechnya”

  1. Al-Taqwa were essen­tially in Ramadan’s orbit. As Labeviere writes, after being con­demned in absen­tia to forced labor for life by the Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment, Ramadan first ‘set­tled in Munich, then in Switzer­land, where he man­ages the movement’s fund.’

    Posted by SXDEE YUNUS SADEEQUE | September 9, 2010, 5:26 am

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