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FTR #414 Islam Under the Swastika & its Implications for Today

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Providing historical background to the operations of Islamofascism in contemporary times, this broadcast fleshes out some of the history of the collaboration between Nazi Germany (and—to a lesser extent—Fascist Italy) and key elements of the Islamic world.

(One should note in this context that the term Islamofascism applies to a considerable portion of the Islamist milieu, but that many Islamists are not fascists but religious extremists.)

The focal point of the program is Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the first leader of the Palestinian national movement. The subject of much discussion in past programs, “Der Grossmufti” was a pivotal Axis operative. In addition to mentoring Yasser Arafat, the Grand Mufti worked for the SS and collaborated closely with members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Much of this program focuses on his formation of Muslim fighting formations for the Waffen SS and Wehrmacht and the legacy that those units have perpetuated into contemporary times. After detailed, substantive discussion of the units and the ethnic and religious history that contributed to (and resulted from) their formation, the broadcast highlights contemporary manifestations of those conflicts. In particular, the program highlights the legacy of the Third Reich as it manifests itself in Islamofascist and Wahhabi activism in the Balkans and regions of the former Soviet Union such as Chechnya. A major element of the program concerns the pivotal role of Bush aide Karl Rove in forming the Al Taqwa/Muslim Brotherhood links with the Republican Party. In addition to Rove’s collaboration with Grover Norquist in bringing the Islamists into the GOP, the broadcast underscores the significant efforts of Bush associate Talat Othman in realizing the Islamist connection to the GOP. A director of Harken Energy (one of George W.’s failed oil companies) and an intimate of the BCCI milieu, Othman intereceded with former Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill on behalf of the targets of the 3/20/2002 Operation Green Quest raids. [4])

Program Highlights Include: the formation of the Bosnian Muslim 23rd Waffen SS (“Kama”) Division; review of the facts concerning the formation of the Bosnian Muslim 13th Waffen SS (“Handjar”) Division; review of the formation of the Albanian 21st Waffen SS (“Skanderbeg”) Division; comparison of the formation of the Skanderbeg Division to the contemporary creation of related elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army; review of the New “Handjar” Division in contemporary Bosnia-Herzogovina; discussion of the collaboration of Balkan Muslims with the Croatian Ustachi; the composition and combat operations of joint Croatian/Muslim Wehrmacht units; an overview of the many Muslim units that fought with the Axis powers; discussion the Waffengruppe-Der SS “Krim” (composed of Chechen Muslims and the forebearers of the Chechen rebels currently active in Russia); the combat role of the German Al Qaeda operative Christian Ganczarski in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Muslim Brotherhood’s parental relationship with Hamas; Chechen fighters seeking refuge in Georgia.

1. The broadcast begins with a thumbnail synopsis of the career of the Grand Mufti.

“Haj Amin el Husseini arrived in Europe in 1941 following the unsuccessful pro-Nazi coup which he organized in Iraq. He met German foreign minister Joachcim von Ribbentrop and was officially received by Adolf Hitler on November 28, 1941 in Berlin. Nazi Germany established for der Grossmufti von Jerusalem a Bureau from which he organized the following: 1) radio propaganda on behalf of Nazi Germany; 2) espionage and fifth column activities in Muslim regions of Europe and the Middle East; 3) the formation of Muslim Waffen SS and Wehrmacht units in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo-Metohija, Western Macedonia, North Africa, and Nazi-occupied areas of the Soviet Union; and, 4) the formation of schools and training centers for Muslim imams and mullahs who would accompany the Muslim SS and Wehrmacht units. As soon as he arrived in Europe, the Mufti established close contacts with Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Muslim leaders. He would spend the remainder of the war organizing and rallying Muslims in support of Nazi Germany . . .”

(“Islam Under the Swastika: The Grand Mufti and the Nazi Protectorate of Bosnia-Hercegovina, 1941-1945”; by Carl K. Savich.) [5]

2. Next, the broadcast gives a brief summary of the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, this part of the program reviews the Islamic Declaration of Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic.

” . . . Hassan el Banna formed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928. The Muslim Brotherhood had links to the Grand Mufti and worked with him in Palestine, sending volunteers in support of the Palestinian uprisings in 1936, 1939, and during the 1948 war. The Muslim Brotherhood sought to establish Muslim states based on the Sharia, Islamic law, and the Caliphate system of political rule, wherein each Islamic state would be ruled by a Caliph. Islam is ‘creed and state, book and sword, and a way of life.’ In Pakistan, Syed Abdul ala Maududi founded the Jamaat Islami movement with the goal of establishing Muslim theocratic states based on Koranic law. Egyptian Sayed Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood continued the movement after World War II. The Muslim Brotherhood had offshoots: the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Haj Amin el Husseini, the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamat Islami, Islamic Jihad, all form the roots and historical background for the emergence of the Al Qaeda network, the mujahedeen of Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden. Ayatollah Khomeini and Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic would be influenced by the anti-secular, anti-Western, radical Muslim nationalist movements. In his book The Islamic Declaration, (Islamska Deklaracija, 1970; republished, 1990), Izetbegovic rejected the secular conception of an Islamic state espoused by Kemal Ataturk. Izetbegovic sought to create an Islamic state based in the Sharia, a state where religion would not be separate from the state, i.e., an Islamic theocratic state. Izetbegovic established close links to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and invited mujahedeen forces to join the Bosnian Muslim Army. Izetbegovic later would give Osama Bin Laden a special Bosnian passport and the mujahedeen ‘freedom fighters’ would receive Bosnian citizenship and passports. One of the hijackers of the second attack on the World Trade Center on Septermber 11, 2001, possessed a Bosnian passport.”

(Ibid.; pp. 3-4.)

3. Detailing Nasser’s connections to the Grand mufti and the Muslim Brotherhood, the following passage reviews Yasser Arafat’s connections to the Mufti, as well.

“Yasser Arafat was introduced to the Mufti and the Mufti would subsequently become the role model and mentor for Arafat. In biographies of Arafat, whose real name is Mohammed el Husseini, the Mufti is stated to be a ‘distant relative’ of Arafat, although this claim has been denied as well. For two years, beginning at the age of 16, Arafat worked for the Mufti and his covert terrorist network and organization, helping to smuggle and buy weapons in the war against Jewish settlers of Palestine. Sheik Hassan Abu Saud, the mufti al-Shafaria, worked with the Mufti. The Grand Mufti was a precursor of both the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and of the Palestinian national struggle and movement to maintain a Palestinian state. The terrorism, fanaticism, and ruthlessness of that movement reflect the enduring legacy and influence of the Grand Mufti . . .”

(Ibid.; p. 4.)

4. The Grand Mufti and the Brotherhood pursued a central agenda, while working with the Third Reich. The broadcast reviews the Grand Mufti’s role in helping to instigate a pro-Axis coup in Iraq. (Note that Saddam’s maternal uncle and political mentor was a participant in this coup.)

” . . . In 1939, the Mufti established his headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, where he set up a ‘political department’ that maintained ties to Germany and Italy. Germany sought to create a Berlin-Baghdad Axis and instigated a pro-Nazi coup. Iraqi General Rashid Ali el Gailani, a militant Muslim nationalist, and the Golden Square, a group of pro-Nazi Iraqi officers, took over the Iraqi government. The Mufti sent representatives to Berlin and a letter to Adolf Hitler. In a reply by German State Secretary Freiherr von Weiszacker, the Mufti was told that ‘the Fuehrer received your letter dated January 20th . . . He took great interest in what you wrote him about the national struggle of the Arabs . . . Germany . . . is ready to cooperate with you and to give you all possible military and financial help . . . Germany is prepared to deliver to you immediately military material.’ Abwehr, German intelligence, established contacts with the Mufti at this time.”

(Ibid.; pp. 4-5.)

5.

“Nazi Germany sent arms and aircraft to the Mufti’s forces in Iraq but the British were able to reoccupy Iraq, forcing the Mufti and el Gailani to flee to Tehran. The Mufti then flew to either Afghanistan or Turkey ‘where he is known to have many friends’. From there he arrived in Albania and on October 24 he reached southern Italy. On October 27, 1941, the Mufti arrived in Rome. The Mufti would subsequently play a major role in organizing Muslim support for Nazism in Europe.”

(Ibid.; p. 5.)

6. Exemplifying the manner in which the anti-colonial sentiment of indigenous peoples was utilized by the Third Reich for its own geopolitical agenda, the Grand Mufti issued a fatwa against the British.

“On May 9, 1941, the Mufti broadcast a fatwa announcing a jihad, an Islamic holy war, against Britain and he urged every Muslim to join in the struggle against the ‘greatest foe of Islam’: ‘I invite all my Muslim brothers throughout the whole world to join in the holy war for Allah . . . to preserve Islam, your independence and your lands from English aggression.’ The Mufti envisioned a vast Arab-Muslim union which would unite Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and Egypt with Germany and Italy creating a Pan-Muslim/Arab Bloc of countries . . .”

(Idem.)

7. Eventually, the Grand Mufti was incorporated into the SS. It is important to note that many of the areas that the Grand Mufti was able to exploit in recruiting Muslim fighting formations on behalf of the Third Reich were areas in which Islamist activism is a major factor to this day. Note that Chechen Muslims were recruited into the Waffengruppe der SS Krim.

“. . . After meeting Hitler and Ribbentrop in Berlin in 1941, the Mufti was approached by Gottlob Berger, head of the SS main Office in control of recruiting, and by Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, who made him a part of the SS apparatus. In May, 1943, the Mufti was moved to the SS main office where he participated in the recruiting of Muslims in the Balkans, the USSR, the Middle East, and North Africa. The Grand Mufti was instrumental in the organization and formation of many Muslim units and formations in the Waffen SS and Wehrmacht. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims fought for Nazi Germany in the following formations and units: Two Bosnian Muslim Waffen SS Divisions, an Albanian Waffen SS Division in Kosovo-Metohija and Western Macedonia, the 21st Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS ‘Skanderbeg’, a Muslim SS self-defense regiment in the Rashka (Sandzak) region of Serbia, the Arab Legion (Arabisches Freiheitskorps), the Arab Brigade, the Ostmusselmanische SS-Regiment, the Ostturkischen Waffen Verband der SS made up of Turkistanis, the Waffengruppe der-SS Krim, formations consisting of consisting of Chechen Muslims from Chechnya, and a Tatar Regiment der-SS made up of Crimean Tatars, and other Muslim formations in the Waffen SS and Wehrmacht, in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the Balkans, North Africa, Nazi-occupied areas of the Soviet Union, and the Middle East . . .”

(Ibid.; p. 6.)

8. For his tactical inspiration for the Muslim Waffen SS divisions recruited from the Balkans, Himmler relied on the successful recruitment of Muslims by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I. (In this context, one should note that the former Yugoslavia had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, before that, the Ottoman Empire. The smoldering ethnic resentments stemming from that period contributed to the conflagration that exploded in that region in the 1990’s.)

” . . . Unlike most SS officials, Himmler was convinced of the fighting ability of the Bosnian Muslims, partly from his understanding of the role of the Bosnian Muslims as soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army before and during World War I and his belief that Islam was an ideal religion for a soldier. Himmler stated to Joseph Goebbels that he had ‘nothing against Islam because it educates the men in this Division for me and promises them heaven if they fight and are killed in action; a very practical and attractive religion for soldiers!'”

(Ibid.; p. 20.)

9. Before the synthesis of the Muslim SS formations, Muslim recruits fought with the Ustachi formations in Croatia.

“In 1941, over 100,000 Bosnian Muslim conscripts were available to fight in the military formations of the Third Reich. Roman Catholic Croatian and Bosnian Muslim soldiers were in the Ustasha death squads, the Domobranci (Home Guards), and the Croatian Army. Bosnian Muslim soldiers were in the Nazi-Ustasha German Croatian ‘Legion’ units, the 369th, 373rd, and 392nd Infantry Divisions. The 369th German-Croatian Infantry Division, formed in 1942, was known as the Vrazja Divizija or Devil Division commanded by Generalleutenant Fritz Neidholt. The 373rd German-Croatian Infantry Division was known as the Tigar Divizija or Tiger Division. The 392nd German-Croatian Infantry Division was known as the Plava Divizija, or Blue Division. The 369th Reinforced Croat Infantry Regiment, made up of Croats and Bosnian Muslims, fought at Stalingrad where it was destroyed. The NDH also sent the Italian-Croat Legion, attached to the Italian 3rd Mobile Division, to the Russian front where it was destroyed during the Don retreat. The 369th Reinforced Infantry Regiment, formed at Varazdin, consisted of three battalions, two from Croatia, one from Sarajevo. The Regiment left Zagreb on July 15, 1941 for the Doellersheim Training Camp near Vienna, Austria. From here, the troops were transferred by railroad to the USSR. The Regiment was deployed on various points on the Russian Front: Krementchug, Jasy, Kirovograd, Permomaysk, Poltava, the Dnieper River, Kharkov, Stalino. On May 15, 1942, the Regiment was deployed on the Voronezh Front. On September 27, the Bosnian Muslim/Croat troops deployed to Stalingrad where they fought to take the city. By February, 1943, the Regiment was totally annihilated and obliterated by the Russian Red Army. The German/Axis forces were encircled and surrendered en masse in Stalingrad.”

Ibid.; p. 8.)

10. Note that Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic [6] was a member of the Young Muslims, one of the pro-Axis formations in the Balkans. He helped to recruit for the 13th Waffen SS (Hanjar) Division.

“The Bosnian Muslims formed purely Muslim formations as well, the most important of which was the Muslim Volunteer Legion, led by Mohammed Hadzieffendic. Other Muslim formations were the Zeleni Kadar/Kader (Green Cadres), Nazi formations created by deserters from the Home Guards (Domobranci), led by Neshad Topcic, the Muslim nationalist group, the Young Muslims (Mladl Muslimani), Huska Miljkovic’s Muslim Army, and the Gorazde-Foca Milicijas (policing units). Alija Izetbegovic was a key member of the Young Muslims (Mladi Muslimani) group.”

(Idem.)

11.

“Himmler wanted to re-establish the continuity with the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire, which had formed Bosnian Muslim military formations. Himmler sent the Mufti to Zagreb and to Sarajevo to prepare for the formation of the Bosnian Muslim units. Himmler’s SS representative in the NDH, Konstantin Kammerhofer, was told to begin recruiting a Bosnian Muslim Waffen SS Division of 26,000 men, which if realized, would make it the largest of all the SS Divisions . . .”

(Ibid.; pp. 9-10.)

12. Recapitulating the history of the genesis of the 13th and 23rd Waffen SS Divisions, it is important to note the historical influence of the Ottoman occupation of the Balkans in the selection of the names of the Divisions.

” . . . In April, 1943, the Grand Mufti came to Sarajevo, where he was greeted by cheering crowds and where he was photographed on the balcony of the presidency building with Bosnian Muslim leaders, to organize the formation of the Muslim SS Division . . . The Bosnian Muslims formed two Nazi SS Divisions during World War II, the 13th Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS ‘Handzar’ (or Handschar’ in German) from the Turkish hancher, ‘dagger’, from the Arabic khangar, ‘dagger’, and 23rd Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS ‘Kama’, from Turkish kama, ‘dagger, dirk’. During the war, Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the ‘architect of the Holocaust’, reviewed the Handzar Division in a German newsreel in 1943 while the division was being formed and trained in Silesia, at the Neuhammer Waffen SS Training camp in Germany. The Bosnian Muslims had approximately 20,000-25,000 men in the Waffen SS and police, roughly 4% of their total population, one of the highest ratios of membership in the Nazi ranks as a percentage of total population during the war . . .”

(Ibid.; pp. 12-13.)

13. In addition to the 13th Waffen SS Division, the 23rd (Kama) Division was recruited from Bosnia as well.

” . . . The Muslim Handzar and Kama Divisions were organized on the model of the Bosnian Muslim regiments of the Austro-Hungarian Army. The divisional names are derived from the Turkish words ‘hancher’ and ‘kama’, which in Turkish mean ‘dagger’, were symbolic of Islam and Islamic military/political power and the Islamic state. The Turkish word ‘hancher’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘khangar’, ‘dagger’. The handzar and kama were usually curved Turkish daggers which the Muslim Ottoman Turkish Zaptiehs or police customarily carried as weapons when Bosnia was under Turkish Ottoman rule. Thus, the names of the divisions were meant to revive the Islamic historical traditions of the Bosnia Muslims as the rulers and masters (begs or aghas) of Bosnia-Hercegovina over the non-Muslim rayah or untermenschen or mistmenschen, the subhumans, Orthodox Serb Christians, Jews, and Roma. This was the meaning and symbolic significance of the names ‘handzar’ and ‘kama’. Usually, the Waffen SS Divisions were named after heroic local political or military leaders. The Bosnian Muslims lacked any historical figures in their history.”

(Ibid.; p. 14.)

14. The 21st Waffen SS Division (“Skanderbeg”) was something of a forerunner of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Many of the members of the latter were veterans of various Axis fighting formations, including the Skanderbeg division. Noting that the recreated Hanjar Division (see the programs noted above) was engaged in force projection in to the Kosovo/Macedonia area in the early 1990’s, Mr. Emory observed that the KLA might be viewed as “Skanderbeg II” or “Hanjar III.” The projection of elements of the original Hanjar Division into what became the Skanderbeg Division was evident during the Second World War, as well. (Recall, also, that the recreated Hanjar Division was led by Arab and Pakistani veterans of the Afghan war.

“The Division had at least nine Bosnian Muslim officers, the highest ranking of whom was SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Hussein Biscevic-Beg, who had been a Muslim officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army when Bosnia was under occupation. Initially, the Handzar Division was formed around the core of the Muslim Volunteer Legion, led by Mohammed Hadzieffendic, which was close to divisional strength itself. There were approximately 300 Albanian Muslim troops in the Handzar division primarily from Kosovo-Metohija in Regiment 28, I/28. These Albanian Muslims would in 1944 be transferred to the 21st Waffen Gebirgs Division ‘Skanderbeg’ to occupy Kosovo and Western Macedonia. Albanian Muslim squad leader Nazir Hodic was a prominent member of Handzar. Albanian Muslim Ajdin Mahmutovic was seventeen when he joined the Handzar SS Division: ‘I was only seventeen years old when I joined the SS. I found the physical training to be quite easy.'”

(Ibid.; pp. 14-15.)

15.

“In January, 1944, the Mufti made a second visit to and spent three days with the Handzar Division, which was departing from Germany for Bosnia by rail. In a speech to the Division, he made the following declaration of principles which was to guide not only Bosnian Muslims, but all Muslims throughout the world: ‘This division of Bosnian Muslims, established with the help of Greater Germany, is an example to Muslims in all countries. There is no other deliverance for them from imperialistic oppression than hard fighting to preserve their homes and faith. Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course. The Reich is fighting against the same enemies who robbed the Muslims of their countries and suppressed their faith in Asia, Africa, and Europe.'”

(Ibid.; p. 16.)

16.

” ‘Germany is the only Great Power which has never attacked any Islamic country. Further, National-Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry. The Koran says: ‘You will find that the Jews are the worst enemies of the Muslims.'” There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National-Socialism, namely in the affirmation of struggle and fellowship, in stressing leadership, in the idea of order, in the high valuation of work. All this brings our ideologies close together and facilitates cooperation. I am happy to see in this division a visible and practical expression of both ideologies.’ “

(Idem.)

17.

“Husseini referred to the Bosnian Muslims as the ‘cream of Islam’ and in a speech to the imams in the Handzar Division, explained why the Muslim/Arab world should support the Axis/Nazi Germany: ‘Friendship and collaboration between peoples must be built on a firm foundation. The necessary ingredients here are common spiritual and material interests as well as the same ideals. The relationship between the Muslims and the Germans is built on this foundation. Never in its history has Germany attacked a Muslim nation. Germany battles world Jewry, Islam’s principal enemy. Germany also battles England and its allies, who have persecuted millions of Muslims, as well as Bolshevism, which subjugates forty million Muslims and threatens the Islamic faith in other lands. Any one of these arguments would be enough of a foundation for a friendly relationship between two peoples . . . My enemy’s enemy is my friend.'”

(Ibid.; pp. 16-17.)

18. In addition to anti-British and anti-Semitic ideology, the Grand Mufti articulated (and anticipated) the anti-American rhetoric of today’s Islamists and Islamofascists.

“On March 1, 1944, the Mufti attacked American policy in the Middle East in a radio broadcast from Berlin: ‘No one ever that that 140,000 Americans would become tools in Jewish hands . . . How would the Americans dare to Judaize Palestine? . . . The wicked American intentions towards the Arabs are now clear, and there remain no doubts that they are endeavoring to establish a Jewish empire in the Arab world.'”

(Ibid.; p. 19.)

19. A major source of funding for Al Qaeda has been Islamic charities. Interestingly (and perhaps significantly), Islamic charities were also utilized by the SS to shore up the Muslim divisions.

“The Donauzeitung (The Danube Times) newspaper of December 31, 1942 reported that the Mufti had donated over 240,000 Kuna, the currency of the NDH regime, to the Muslim charity organization in Sarajevo from German government sources. Himmler donated 100,000 Reichsmarks. The SS bought clothing which was donated to the Merhamed Welfage organization, a Muslim charity.'”

(Idem.)

20. The concluding part of the broadcast examines some of the present manifestations of Islamism and Islamofascism. In many cases (such as the recreated Handjar Division of 1990’s in Bosnia-Herzegovina) the Islamist and Islamofascist activists are the ontogenetic successors of many of the formations that fought for the Axis.

” . . .These are the men of the Handzar division. ‘We do everything with the knife, and we always fight on the frontline.’ A Handzar told one U.N. officer. Up to 6,000 strong, the Handzar division glories in a fascist culture. They see themselves as their heirs of the SS Handzar division, formed by Bosnian Muslims in 1943 to fight for the Nazis. Their spiritual model was Mohammed Amin al-Husein, the grand Mufti of Jerusalem who sided with Hitler. According to U.N. officers, surprisingly few of those in charge of the Handzars in Fojnica seem to speak good Serbo Croation ‘Many of them are Albanian, whether from Kosovo (the Serb province where Albanians are the majority) or from Albania itself.”

(“Albanians and Afghans fight for the heirs to Bosnia’s SS Past” by Robert Fox; Daily Telegraph; 12/29/1993.)

21. As we reflect on the Balkans war and the events of 9/11, one of the scenarios to be seriously considered is the possibility that elements of US intelligence utilized the “Arab Afghans” (including Al Qaeda) in the Balkans, as they had against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Indeed the geopolitics first practiced by the Third Reich in the “Earth Island” appears to have served as something of a model for what took place in the latter part of the Cold War. America’s erstwhile Islamist and Islamofascist allies later turned against the United States with a vengeance.

“They are trained and led by veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan, say U.N. sources strong presence of native Albanians is an ominous sign. It could mean the seeds of war are spreading south via Kosovo and into Albania. Thence to the Albanians of Macedonia. Pakistani fundamentalists are known to have had a strong hand in providing arms and a small weapons industry for the Bosnian Muslims.”

(Idem.)

22. Christian Ganczarski (suspected by the French of being a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative and released from both Germany and Saudi Arabia) had a combat background in Bosnia/Herzegovonia.

“The two suspects knew each other from Duisburg, Germany where both lived until recently. A computer expert who grew up in Poland, Ganczarski is a veteran of Al Qaeda’s Afghan training camps and saw combat Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to [French Justice Minister] Sarkozy. Ganczarski’s alleged contact with Bin Laden is not in itself extraordinary because European converts are prized by Al Qaeda for their ability to carry out covert operations and as symbols of the evangelical power of the so-called holy wars.”

(“Terror Suspect Called Key Al Qaeda Figure” by Sebastian Rotella; Los Angeles Times; 6/12/2003; p. A3.)

23. The broadcast reviews the Thyssen-Bornemisza operation, which helped spawn the Bush family’s economic largesse. (As discussed in FTR#370, the Thyssen-Bornemisza business is based in Lugano, Switzerland, as is Al Taqwa and the closely-related Banco del Gottardo.) “Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza runs his private Dutch-based investment group from Lugano, Switzerland, and his cousin Count Federico Zichy-Thyssen, grandson of old Fritz Thyssen, exercises control over Thyssen A.G. from his base in Buenos Aires.”

(Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; P. 237.) [7]

24. Interestingly (and perhaps significantly), the Hapsburg/Thyssen-Bornemisza wedding took place in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia. (Information available at www.mzt.hr/projekti9095/6/99/128/rad_e.htm.) The significance of the Hapsburg/Thyssen union is not one to be underestimated, given the significance of the Hapsburg interests and that of the Thyssen-Bornemisza operation.

25. The Wahhabi fighters currently engaged in Chechnya are reminiscent of the Waffen Grupp-der Krim during World War II.

“For months, local residents say, the group of 15 Arab and Central Asian fighters lived quietly in a two-story house here, among the hundreds of guerillas who had turned this wooded vale near the Russian border into a burgeoning center of Islamic militancy. Like many of those who gathered here, the fighters had come over the snowy passes from Chechnya, where they had been helping their fellow Muslims in their struggle to break with the Russian republic. They exercised to stay in shape and went into the woods to practice shooting. Some of the militants departed, presumably for Russia, while new ones came to prepare for the fight.”

(“U.S. Entangled in Mystery of Georgia’s Islamic Fighters” by Dexter Filkins; The New York Times; 6/15/2003.) [8]

26. Among the Islamist organizations active in Russia is the Hizb ut-Tahrir. “Russian security forces have detained at least 55 members of a banned Islamic group, a spokesman for the FSB security service said. Security officers also seized 500 grams of plastic explosive, several hand grenades and leaflets for the organization, Hizb-e Tahrir.” (“Russia Arrests Islamist Suspects” [BBC]; BBC News; 6/9/2003.)

27. Next, the broadcast reviews information from FTR#395. Among the organizations “fellow travelling” with the Hizb ut-Tahrir is the NPD, the top German “neo”-Nazi group. Al Taqwa director Ahmed Huber and Horst Mahler are among the associates of the NPD.

“Hizb ut-Tahrir became well known in Germany after staging a rally at Berlin’s Technical University in October at which the main speaker made anti-American comments, Schily said. Members of Germany’s extreme right-win NPD, a party the government is trying to ban, also attended the rally, he said.”

(“Germany Bans Islamic Group it Says is Anti-Semitic” [Reuters]; South Florida Sun-Sentinel; 1/15/2003.)

28. A major player in the Israeli Palestinian struggles of recent years is Hamas—the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

. . . Hamas, an acronym for Harakat Muqawama Islamiya, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, was born in 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since then, the group has grown in stature to become one of the leading militant groups in the region and a key player that now jeopardizes the success of the U.S.-backed road map for Mideast peace.”

(“Hamas committed to Armed Struggle Against Israel” by Danielle Haas; San Francisco Chronicle; 6/14/2003; p. A14.) [9]

29. It should be noted that the Islamist, Al Qaeda and Al Taqwa elements that were raided on 3/20/2002 were linked directly to the Republican party’s ethnic outreach organization.

” . . . That brief conversation [between Norquist and Karl Rove] in Austin, Texas, helped start a new chapter in Mr. Norquist’s career—and in the political lives of Muslims in this country. The following year, Mr. Norquist started the nonprofit Islamic Free Market Institute. In collaboration with Mr. Rove, now Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, he and other institute leaders courted Muslim voters for the Bush 2000 presidential campaign. Mr. Norquist even credits gains among Muslims with putting Mr. Bush in a position to win the critical Florida contest . . . To run the nonprofit’s day-to-day operations, Mr. Norquist turned to Khalid Saffuri, a Palestinian-American raised in Kuwait who had been an official of the American Muslim Council, a political group in Washington. The institute’s founding chairman was a Palestinian American, Talat Othman, who had served with Mr. Bush on the board of Harken Energy Corp. and later visited the president in the White House, according to records obtained by the National Security News Service.”

(“In Difficult Times, Muslims Count On Unlikely Advocate” by Tom Hamburger and Glenn R. Simpson; The Wall Street Journal; pp. A1-A8.)