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FTR #790 Now, About that Malaysian Airliner . . . .

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1 [2]  Side 2 [3]

[4]Intro­duc­tion: The pro­gram presents analy­sis of the “mys­tery” [5] sur­round­ing the dis­ap­pear­ance of Malaysian Air­lines Flight 370.

Nev­er have we seen the news media–The Min­istry of Truth in the most lit­er­al, Orwellian sense–behave more shame­ful­ly. (We admit that their white­wash­ing of the out­right fas­cists and Nazi/OUN/B heirs in the Ukraine might equal the cov­er-up of the appar­ent­ly will­ful destruc­tion of Malaysian Air­lines Flight 370.)

The same Islamist/Muslim Broth­er­hood [6] ele­ments fig­ure into this inves­ti­ga­tion as into 9/11 [7] and–most recently–the Boston Marathon bomb­ing [8].

The pro­gram also takes a high­ly spec­u­la­tive look at the recent stow­away by a young Soma­li Mus­lim in the wheel well of a jet air­lin­er at San Jose Air­port. A strange sto­ry, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fig­ures promi­nent­ly in the back­ground of the event. (We empha­size that we are NOT cast­ing asper­sions on the young fel­low, but ask­ing if he may have been cyn­i­cal­ly manip­u­lat­ed by jihadist/Muslim Broth­er­hood ele­ments test­ing a “dry run” for a pos­si­ble attack.)

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. The plane was pilot­ed [9] by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a com­mit­ted fol­low­er and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of Anwar Ibrahim, a key Malaysian Mus­lim Broth­er.

“Malaysian Oppo­si­tion Leader Calls Spec­u­la­tion About Pilot of Miss­ing Jet ‘Absurd’ ” by Robert Mack­ey [The Lede]; The New York Times; 3/21/2014. [15]

Malaysia’s oppo­si­tion leader, Anwar Ibrahim, dis­missed spec­u­la­tion that the pilot of the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines jet, a sup­port­er of his move­ment for demo­c­ra­t­ic change, might have hijacked the plane for polit­i­cal rea­sons, in an inter­view with Britain’s Chan­nel 4 News on Fri­day.

As The Lede explained on Wednes­day, the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, was report­ed­ly described by an unnamed gov­ern­ment offi­cial as a “fanat­i­cal” sup­port­er of Mr. Ibrahim, a remark that was wide­ly mis­in­ter­pret­ed by jour­nal­ists and blog­gers.

Speak­ing to the Chan­nel 4 cor­re­spon­dent Jonathan Rug­man, Mr. Ibrahim crit­i­cized the Malaysian government’s han­dling of the inves­ti­ga­tion into the miss­ing Flight 370 as “clear incom­pe­tence” and said that any attempt “to cast asper­sions on the pilot pure­ly on the basis of polit­i­cal lean­ings is absurd.” Cap­tain Zaharie was, accord­ing to Mr. Ibrahim, “very pas­sion­ate about free­dom and democ­ra­cy,” and “a good pro­fes­sion­al pilot,” who sim­ply did not fit the pro­file of an Islamist rad­i­cal. . . .

2a. The plane was almost cer­tainly divert­ed from with­in [10], by some­one with con­sid­er­able exper­tise.

“Malaysia Asks F.B.I. For Help in Plane Case” by Chris Buck­ley and Michael Schmidt; The New York Times; 3/20/2014. [10]

. . . . As the pos­si­ble break in what had been a fruit­less search was being pur­sued, the Malaysian author­i­ties were seek­ing help from the F.B.I. to help retrieve delet­ed com­put­er data from a home­made flight sim­u­la­tor belong­ing to the cap­tain of the Malaysia Air­lines jet that van­ished 11 days ago, their first request for high-lev­el Amer­i­can assis­tance in solv­ing the mys­tery of the miss­ing plane. . . .

. . . . Inves­ti­ga­tors have said the plane’s extra­or­di­nary diver­sion from its intend­ed course was prob­a­bly car­ried out by some­one who had avi­a­tion expe­ri­ence. The Malaysian police, who found that Mr. Zaharie had built a flight sim­u­la­tor at his home, said Wednes­day that some data had been erased from the sim­u­la­tor on Feb. 3, more than a month before the ill-fat­ed flight.

Evi­dence sug­gests that who­ev­er divert­ed the plane knew how to dis­able its com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems and pro­gram course changes, and the data record­ed in the pilot’s flight sim­u­la­tor may shed light on whether he was involved.[This can only be done from with­in the plane’s cockpit.–D.E.] . . .

2b. More about the delib­er­ate diver­sion of the plane from with­in the cock­pit:

“Chi­na Rules Out Ter­ror Ties Among Cit­i­zens on Jet” by Chris Buck­ley and Kei­th Brad­sh­er; The New York Times; 3/19/2014. [22]

. . . . Amer­i­can offi­cials said on Mon­day that the sharp turn to the west that took the plane from its planned north­east­ward flight path was achieved using a com­put­er sys­tem on the plane, and that the turn was most like­ly pro­grammed into it by some­one in the cock­pit who was knowl­edge­able about air­plane sys­tems. . . .

3. Anwar Ibrahim–Shah’s polit­i­cal idol–was a founder [11] of the Inter­na­tional Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front that was inves­ti­gated in con­nec­tion with the Oper­a­tion Green Quest [12] raids of 3/20/2002.

Slate White­wash­es Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Ties of Malaysian Pol ‘Fanat­i­cal­ly’ Sup­port­ed by Pilot of Miss­ing Plane” by Robert Spencer; Jihad Watch; 3/17/2014. [23]

Here is real­i­ty: “Anwar Ibrahim’s ties to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood run deep. Ibrahim helped estab­lish the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Islam­ic Thought, or IIIT, a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood front group in the Unit­ed States. IIIT has come under fire for their con­nec­tions with ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.

In 2002, Anwar Ibrahim’s IIIT was includ­ed in a law­suit by vic­tims of 9/11 seek­ing dam­ages from orga­ni­za­tions linked to ‘ren­der­ing mate­r­i­al sup­port to rad­i­cal Islamism.’ In 2003, US gov­ern­ment pros­e­cu­tors ‘sub­mit­ted court doc­u­ments detail­ing finan­cial sup­port (PDF) from the IIIT for con­vict­ed Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad fundrais­er Sami al-Ari­an.’ They also found that Taha Jaber al-Alwani, the pres­i­dent of IIIT had once stat­ed via a fat­wa that ‘jihad is the only way to lib­er­ate Pales­tine.’ A US Cus­toms offi­cial said that the gov­ern­ment is also look­ing into the pos­si­bil­i­ty that IIIT was involved in ‘ter­ror­ism-relat­ed mon­ey laun­der­ing activ­i­ties.’” . . . .

4. The IIT employed Tarik Ham­di, an oper­a­tional asso­ciate of Osama bin Laden.

“Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought”; Wikipedia.com. [14]

. . . . Tarik Ham­di came to the Unit­ed States and applied for cit­i­zen­ship pro­vid­ing false information.[30][31] Ham­di worked for Sami Al-Ari­an, who con­fessed to pro­vid­ing assis­tance to the PIJ (Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad) and lat­er worked for IIIT.

In May 1998 ABC News in pur­suit of an inter­view with Bin Laden had com­mu­ni­cat­ed with Moham­mad Atef and were direct­ed to Tarik Ham­di as a per­son who could con­nect them to Osama Bin Laden. ABC con­nect­ed with Tarik Ham­di at his place of employ­ment at IIIT. ABC was able to get the inter­view. Ham­di was able to deliv­er a Satel­lite phone bat­tery pack that accord­ing to fed­er­al agents was used three months lat­er in the bomb­ing of Amer­i­can embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.[32]

It took until 2005 for Tarik A. Ham­di, who was employed as a pub­lish­er at IIIT, to be charged in a fed­er­al affi­davit of hav­ing been the “Amer­i­can con­tact” for one of Osama bin-Laden’s front organisations.[33][34] . . .

5. Ibrahim was jailed just hours before the plane “dis­ap­peared.”

” ‘Democ­ra­cy is Dead’: ‘Fanat­i­cal’ Miss­ing Air­lin­er Pilot Pic­tured Wear­ing Polit­i­cal Slo­gan T‑shirt” by Simon Par­ry, Aman­da Par­ry and Wills Robin­son; Dai­ly Mail; 3/16/2014. [9]

. . . . Cap­tain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a father-of-three, was said to be a ‘fanat­i­cal’ sup­port­er of the coun­try’s oppo­si­tion leader Anwar Ibrahim — jailed for homo­sex­u­al­i­ty just hours before the jet dis­ap­peared.

It has also been revealed that the pilot’s wife and three chil­dren moved out of the fam­i­ly home the day before the plane went miss­ing.

...Capt­ian Shah was an ‘obses­sive’ sup­port­er of Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is under­stood 53-year-old Shah attend­ed a con­tro­ver­sial tri­al in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.

Cam­paign­ers say the politi­cian, the key chal­lenger to Malaysia’s rul­ing par­ty, was the vic­tim of a long-run­ning smear cam­paign and had faced trumped-up charges.

Police sources have con­firmed that Shah was a vocal polit­i­cal activist – and fear that the court deci­sion left him pro­found­ly upset. It was against this back­ground that, sev­en hours lat­er, he took con­trol of a Boe­ing 777–200 bound for Bei­jing and car­ry­ing 238 pas­sen­gers and crew.

...

Zaharie’s co-work­ers have told inves­ti­ga­tors the vet­er­an pilot was a social activist who was vocal and fer­vent in his sup­port of Ibrahim.
‘Col­leagues made it clear to us that he was some­one who held strong polit­i­cal beliefs and was stri­dent in his sup­port for Anwar Ibrahim,’ anoth­er inves­ti­ga­tion source said. ‘We were told by one col­league he was obsessed with pol­i­tics.’

In their inter­views, col­leagues said Zaharie told them he planned to attend the court case involv­ing Anwar on March 7, just hours before the Bei­jing flight, but inves­ti­ga­tors had not yet been able to con­firm if he was among the crowd of Anwar sup­port­ers at court.

...Malaysian offi­cials ini­tial­ly appeared keen not to direct any sus­pi­cion towards Zaharie or his co-pilot, 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid, who was last week revealed to have invit­ed two women pas­sen­gers into the cock­pit and smoked on an ear­li­er flight to Phuket.

But evi­dence of the way the plane’s transpon­der and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems were dis­abled and the way the plane was expert­ly flown over the Indi­an Ocean appar­ent­ly using nav­i­ga­tion­al way­points meant only a skilled avi­a­tor could have been at the con­trols. Inves­ti­ga­tors were also baf­fled by why, if hijack­ers took over the plane, there was no May­day call or sig­nal from the two pilots to say the cock­pit had been breached. . . . .

6. Ibrahim was net­worked with Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies, found­ed by Grover Norquist [12], who found­ed the Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute [24]. Norquist’s milieu [25] is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the insti­tu­tions [26] tar­get­ed by the Oper­a­tion Green Quest [27] raids of 3/20/2002.

“Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies”; Wikipedia.com [13]

. . . . Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies was a lob­by­ing firm found­ed in 1997 by con­ser­v­a­tive activist Grover Norquist and then-lawyer David Safa­vian, who lat­er became bet­ter known as the chief of staff in the Gen­er­al Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion and for his con­vic­tion in the Abramoff-Reed Indi­an lob­by­ing scan­dal. . . .

. . . . On Decem­ber 17, 2001, eleven months after Safa­vian’s depar­ture, Janus resub­mit­ted its dis­clo­sure forms. This time the name of [con­vict­ed ter­ror­ist Abdu­rah­man] Alam­ou­di had been replaced by the name of Dr. Jamal al Barz­in­ji, who is also notable as a vice pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought (IIIT).[citation need­ed] Norquist has refused to release tax records of the firm for the peri­od dur­ing which he and Safa­vian owned the company.[citation need­ed]

Safa­vian told the Sen­ate that al Barz­in­ji, not Alam­ou­di, was his client. “Al Barz­in­ji,” he said, “should have been list­ed as the client retain­ing the firm for work relat­ed to Malaysian polit­i­cal pris­on­er Anwar Ibrahim,” refer­ring to the deposed prime min­is­ter of Malaysia, who also was a co-founder of the IIIT. . . .

7. We’ve heard sus­pi­cions about pos­si­ble Uighur involv­ment [28] in the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance. With a recent knife attack on Han Chi­nese and the num­ber of Chi­nese onboard, a detail stands out. A Uighur who was a pro­fes­sor in Turkey AND took flight sim­u­la­tion cours­es is an inter­est­ing sus­pect, to say the least... Won­der if he was unin­ter­est­ed in the “how to take off and land” por­tions of the course? For more about the use of Uighurs as jihadist proxy-war­riors in the oil and min­er­al rich Xin­jiang province, see–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR #‘s 348 [29], 550 [30], 635 [31], 636 [31].

“Miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines Jet: Inves­ti­ga­tion Pay­ing ‘Spe­cial Atten­tion’ to Chi­nese Uighur Pas­sen­ger” by Lind­say Mur­doch; Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald; 3/13/2014. [16]

Police inves­ti­gat­ing the back­grounds of all 239 peo­ple aboard the miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines flight are pay­ing “spe­cial atten­tion” to a 35 year-old Chi­nese Uighur man who under­took flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing, accord­ing to a report in a lead­ing Malay lan­guage news­pa­per in Kuala Lumpur.

The Uighurs Mus­lim eth­nic minor­i­ty group from the north-west­ern Chi­nese province of Xin­jiang have been bat­tling for inde­pen­dence since they were brought under Chi­nese con­trol in 1949, claim­ing they are oppressed by China’s author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ment and face reli­gious restric­tions and wide­spread dis­crim­i­na­tion.

Ear­li­er this month the Uighurs, who make up 45 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Xin­jiang, were blamed for a vio­lent attack at a Chi­nese train sta­tion.
At least 100 peo­ple have been killed in the past year in vio­lent clash­es between Uighurs and Chi­nese secu­ri­ty forces.
The Har­i­an Metro news­pa­per quot­ed an unnamed source as say­ing the man is not a sus­pect over the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance but that inves­ti­ga­tors were delv­ing into his back­ground.

Accord­ing to the source the man has a PHD from a uni­ver­si­ty in Britain was recent­ly worked as a lec­tur­er at a uni­ver­si­ty in Turkey.
The source said he under­took flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing in Swe­den in around 2006. . . .

8. A spec­u­la­tive ele­ment con­cerns a young Soma­li refugee who snuck into the wheel­well of a jet at San Jose Air­port. Pin­ing to return to his moth­er in a camp in Ethiopia, the young man is a Mus­lim who attends a Broth­er­hood-con­nect­ed mosque in San­ta Clara. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions on behalf of the fam­i­ly have been con­duct­ed by the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions [32], revealed in court doc­u­ments as a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood [33] front orga­ni­za­tion. Note: we are not nec­es­sar­i­ly impugn­ing the integri­ty of the boy–we are won­der­ing if this appar­ent­ly vul­ner­a­ble and impres­sion­able young fel­low was being manip­u­lat­ed by Islamists, per­haps doing “test­ing” for a future inci­dent. We won­der if the dis­ap­pear­ance of the Malaysian plane may also have been a “test” or a “dry run.”

“Stoway: San­ta Clara Teen’s Dad Arrives in Hon­olu­lu” by Oskar Gar­cia; San­ta Cruz Sen­tinel; 4/29/2014. [20]

. . . . A spokes­woman for the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions in San Fran­cis­co who had been speak­ing for the fam­i­ly declined com­ment beyond reit­er­at­ing a state­ment ear­li­er this week that Yusuf want­ed to see his son soon.

Abdi sur­vived a 5½-hour flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui after hop­ping an air­port fence and climb­ing into the wheel well of a Boe­ing 767. He has not spo­ken pub­licly about the ordeal that raised ques­tions about air­port secu­ri­ty and revealed the per­son­al fam­i­ly dra­ma of a Soma­li immi­grant strug­gling to adjust to life in the Unit­ed States.

Abdi, who lives in San­ta Clara, Calif., with his father, step­moth­er and sib­lings, had been unhap­py in Cal­i­for­nia and des­per­ate­ly missed his moth­er, accord­ing to those who know his fam­i­ly. . . . .

9. Abdi wor­shipped at  Mus­lim Com­mu­ni­ty Asso­ci­a­tion Islam­ic Cen­ter in San­ta Clara, the Imam of which [17] was asso­ci­at­ed with the Islam­ic com­mu­ni­ty in Boston to which the Tsar­naev broth­ers belonged. Suhaib Webb was also an asso­ciate of Anwar al-Awla­ki, an al-Qae­da asso­ciate.

“Stow­away: Father of 15-Year-Old San­ta Clara Boy ‘Thanked God’ He Is Safe” by Julia Prodis Sulek, Robert Salon­ga, Mark Gomez and Josh Rich­man; San Jose Mer­cury News; 4/23/2014. [18]

. . . . He said he saw his son Fri­day after­noon while the fam­i­ly prayed togeth­er. They wor­ship at the Mus­lim Com­mu­ni­ty Asso­ci­a­tion Islam­ic Cen­ter in San­ta Clara, which has been buzzing with the news of the stow­away. . . .

10. More about the Suhaib Webb/Anwar al-Awlak­i/T­sar­naev milieu:

“Boston Imam Shared Ties with Senior Al-Qai­da Oper­a­tive” by Patrick How­ley; The Dai­ly Caller; 6/27/2013. [19]

. . . . Pri­or to the Boston Marathon attack, Dzhokhar Tsar­naev, who attend­ed the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston mosque in Cam­bridge, down­loaded rad­i­cal Islam­ic pro­pa­gan­da from the Inter­net, includ­ing mate­ri­als authored by Anwar al-Awla­ki, the senior al Qae­da oper­a­tive who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011. Tsar­naev also down­loaded a sum­mer 2010 edi­tion of the al Qae­da mag­a­zine “Inspire,” which includ­ed bomb-mak­ing instruc­tions and which is thought to have been the work of al-Awla­ki.

Al-Awla­ki lived in the Unit­ed States between 1990 and 2002, when he moved to the Unit­ed King­dom before even­tu­al­ly relo­cat­ing to Yemen, where he where worked for al-Qae­da and pro­duced pro­pa­gan­da tapes and oth­er mate­ri­als urg­ing Mus­lims to com­mit ter­ror­ist attacks against the Unit­ed States.

Suhaib Webb, imam of the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston Cul­tur­al Cen­ter in Rox­bury, spoke along­side al-Awla­ki at a Sep­tem­ber 9, 2001 fundrais­er at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Irvine, accord­ing to FBI sur­veil­lance doc­u­ments. The fundrais­er was intend­ed to raise mon­ey for the legal defense of H. Rap Brown, an Atlanta-based Islam­ic rad­i­cal who shot and killed two Geor­gia police offi­cers. Webb and al-Awla­ki helped raise $100,000 to defend Brown, who was even­tu­al­ly con­vict­ed for his crimes.

“Webb and Aula­ki may be asso­ci­at­ed with the Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety,” accord­ing to the sur­veil­lance doc­u­ments, which were pre­pared to inves­ti­gate the uncon­firmed pos­si­bil­i­ty that al-Awla­ki pur­chased plane tick­ets for some of the 9/11 hijack­ers. . . .

. . . . The Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston (ISB) in Cam­bridge, which Tsar­naev attend­ed, and its 2009 expan­sion the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston Cul­tur­al Cen­ter (ISBCC) in Rox­bury, where Webb is imam, are both part of the same enti­ty under the same own­er­ship and deci­sion-mak­ing author­i­ties, accord­ing to close observers of the Boston Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty and deeds obtained by TheDC.

“The deeds to both mosques are owned and held by the same exact group, the Islam­ic Soci­ety of Boston Trust, which is the offi­cial own­er of those mosques and has final say in the deci­sions of both. They try to put dif­fer­ence between the two, because when one gets in trou­ble they try to shield the oth­er one, but in real­i­ty they are both the same enti­ty,” said Ilya Feok­tis­tov, research direc­tor of Amer­i­cans for Peace and Tol­er­ance, which flagged the con­nec­tion between Webb and al-Awla­ki.

The ISBCC is run by the Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety, which counts ISB imam Sheikh Basy­ouny Nehela as a mem­ber of the board of direc­tors of its Boston chap­ter.

The Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety was found­ed in 1993 after secret region­al meet­ings of under­ground Mus­lim Broth­er­hood mem­bers across the Unit­ed States. The U.S. Mus­lim Broth­er­hood report­ed­ly “oper­at­ed under the name Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety.”

Mus­lim Amer­i­can Soci­ety lead­ers were instruct­ed to state, if asked about the group’s views on ter­ror­ism, that the Soci­ety was anti-ter­ror­ism but that jihad was one of a Muslim’s “divine legal rights” for both self-defense and for the spread­ing of Islam. . . .

11. In FTR #773 [8], we looked at the rela­tion­ship between “ex” CIA offi­cer Gra­ham E. Fuller and the Tsar­naev fam­i­ly, as well as “ex” CIA offi­cer Bri­an Glyn Williams and Dzokhar Tsar­naev. It appears that the Tsar­naevs may well have been involved with a West­ern intel­li­gence oper­a­tion [34] in the Cau­ca­sus.

12. In addi­tion to the appar­ent use of Mus­lim Brotherhood/Islamist ele­ments as proxy war­riors against Rus­sia and Chi­na, the Broth­er­hood’s cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ics [35] are beloved to Gra­ham Fuller, as well as cor­po­rate ele­ments cdham­pi­oned by Grover Norquist.

“Chech­nyan Pow­er” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 6/5/2013. [36]

. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jiha­di form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-eco­nom­ic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon ene­my to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller.

Accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Robert Drey­fuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attrac­tion to rad­i­cal Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

“There is no main­stream Islam­ic organization...with rad­i­cal social views,” he wrote. “Clas­si­cal Islam­ic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully object­ed to social­ism and communism....Islam has nev­er had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is uneven­ly dis­trib­uted.” . . . .

13. Fuller has long been an advo­cate of a “turn to the Broth­er­hood.”

“In Search of Friends Among the Foes: U.S. Hopes to Work with Diverse Group” by John Mintz and Dou­glas Farah; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 9/11/2004; p. A01. [37]

. . . Some fed­er­al agents wor­ry that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has dan­ger­ous links to ter­ror­ism. But some U.S. diplo­mats and intel­li­gence offi­cials believe its influ­ence offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty for polit­i­cal engage­ment that could help iso­late vio­lent jihadists. ‘It is the pre­em­i­nent move­ment in the Mus­lim world,’ said Gra­ham E. Fuller, a for­mer CIA offi­cial spe­cial­iz­ing in the Mid­dle East. ‘It’s some­thing we can work with.’ Demo­niz­ing the Broth­er­hood ‘would be fool­hardy in the extreme’ he warned.” . . .

14. More about the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fol­lows. Note that Khairat el-Shater was alleged by Egypt­ian intel­li­gence to have been run­ning Mohamed Mor­si. (We cov­ered this in FTR #787 [38].) In turn, he was report­ed [39] to be serv­ing as a liai­son between Mor­si and Mohamed Zawahiri, the broth­er of Al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri. Shater was also net­worked with: Anne Pat­ter­son, U.S. ambas­sador to Egypt, GOP Sen­a­tor John McCain and GOP Sen­a­tor Lid­say Gra­ham. In turn, Shater was alleged to have trans­ferred $50 mil­lion from the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to Al-Qae­da at the time that he was net­work­ing with the Amer­i­cans and Mor­si. Hey, what’s $50 mil­lion between friends.

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Ash­er-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012. [40]

While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tial­ly sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing near­ly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seat­ed this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of pow­er.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat Al-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da.

At Al-Shater’s lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­ren­cy. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is large­ly lim­it­ed to Egypt’s upper class­es.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firm­ly upper-mid­dle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Sha­di Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nom­ic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and pover­ty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s econ­o­my.

The FJP’s eco­nom­ic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promis­es to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sion­al allu­sions to an unspe­cif­ic com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form prais­es the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promis­es that the par­ty will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty could get behind. . . .