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The Swastika and the Crescent

In the wake of Sept. 11, new light is thrown on the inter­na­tion­al ties increas­ing­ly link­ing Mus­lim and neo-Nazi extrem­ists

by Mar­tin A. Lee

SPLC Intel­li­gence Report, Spring 2002 [1]

As Ger­many’s defeat loomed dur­ing the final months of World War II, Adolf Hitler increas­ing­ly lapsed into delu­sion­al fits of fan­ta­sy.

Albert Speer, in his prison writ­ings, recounts an episode in which a mani­a­cal Hitler “pic­tured for him­self and for us the destruc­tion of New York in a hur­ri­cane of fire.”

The Nazi fuehrer described sky­scrap­ers turn­ing into “gigan­tic burn­ing torch­es, col­laps­ing upon one anoth­er, the glow of the explod­ing city illu­mi­nat­ing the dark sky.”

An approx­i­ma­tion of Hitler’s hell­ish vision came true on Sept. 11, when ter­ror­ists destroyed the Twin Tow­ers in New York, killing near­ly 3,000 peo­ple. But it was not Nazis or even neo-Nazis who car­ried out the attack — the dead­liest ter­ror strike in his­to­ry alleged­ly came at the hands of for­eign Mus­lim extrem­ists.

Still, in the after­math of the slaugh­ter, white suprema­cists in Amer­i­ca and Europe applaud­ed the sui­cide attacks and praised Osama bin Laden, the mas­ter­mind of the mas­sacre.

An offi­cial of Amer­i­ca’s pre­mier neo-Nazi group, the Nation­al Alliance, said he wished his own mem­bers had “half as much tes­tic­u­lar for­ti­tude.” The awestruck leader of anoth­er U.S. Nazi group called the ter­ror­ists “VERY BRAVE PEOPLE.”

Neo­fas­cist youth in France cel­e­brat­ed the event that evening with cham­pagne at the head­quar­ters of the extreme right Front Nation­al. Ger­man neo-Nazis, some wear­ing check­ered Pales­tin­ian head­scarves, rejoiced at street demon­stra­tions while burn­ing an Amer­i­can flag.

Jan Kopal, head of the Czech Nation­al Social Bloc, declared at a ral­ly in Prague that bin Laden was “an exam­ple for our chil­dren.”

Horst Mahler, a for­mer left-wing ter­ror­ist and promi­nent mem­ber of the neo-Nazi Nation­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (NPD) in Ger­many, pro­claimed his sol­i­dar­i­ty with the ter­ror­ists and said Amer­i­ca had got­ten what it deserved.

What’s going on here?

For decades, Amer­i­can extrem­ists have lumped Arabs in with dark-skinned “mud peo­ple.” In Europe, neo-Nazis have been impli­cat­ed in count­less xeno­pho­bic attacks on Arabs, Turks and oth­er Mus­lims.

Extrem­ist par­ties on both sides of the Atlantic hope to bar entrance to non-white immi­grants.

The pecu­liar bond between white nation­al­ist groups and cer­tain Mus­lim extrem­ists derives in part from a shared set of ene­mies — Jews, the Unit­ed States, race-mix­ing, eth­nic diver­si­ty.

It is also very much a func­tion of the shared belief that they must shield their own peo­ples from the cor­rupt­ing influ­ence of for­eign cul­tures and the homog­e­niz­ing jug­ger­naut of glob­al­iza­tion.

Both sets of groups also have a pen­chant for far-flung con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries that car­i­ca­ture Jew­ish pow­er.

But there is more. Even before World War II, West­ern fas­cists began to forge ide­o­log­i­cal and oper­a­tional ties to Islam­ic extrem­ists.

Over the years, these con­tacts between Nazis and Mus­lim nation­al­ists devel­oped into dan­ger­ous net­works that have been impli­cat­ed in a num­ber of bloody ter­ror­ist attacks in Europe and the Mid­dle East.

Wealthy Arab regimes have financed extrem­ists in Europe and the Unit­ed States, just as West­ern neo-Nazis have helped to build Holo­caust denial machin­ery in the Arab world.

In the 1970s, Sau­di Ara­bia hired an Amer­i­can neo-Nazi as a lob­by­ist in the Unit­ed States. In the 1980s, U.S. neo-Nazi strate­gist Louis Beam open­ly called for a linkup of Amer­i­ca’s far right with the “lib­er­a­tion move­ments” of Libya, Syr­ia, Iran and Pales­tine.

In the 1990s, an Amer­i­can Black Mus­lim was con­vict­ed in a plot to bomb the Unit­ed Nations and oth­er New York land­marks that was mas­ter­mind­ed by a blind Egypt­ian cler­ic.

Just last year, a meet­ing spon­sored by a U.S. Holo­caust denial group brought togeth­er Arab and West­ern extrem­ists in Jor­dan. And after the Sept. 11 attacks, a spate of arti­cles by Amer­i­can neo-Nazis and white suprema­cists appeared in Islam­ic pub­li­ca­tions and Web sites.

Although links like these illus­trate the ties between Mus­lim extrem­ists and Amer­i­cans, such ties are far more devel­oped in Europe.

But since the ter­ror­ist attacks of Sept. 11, there are a num­ber of signs — includ­ing a spate of arti­cles by Amer­i­can neo-Nazis that have appeared in Islam­ic pub­li­ca­tions and web­sites — that an oper­a­tional alliance may be tak­ing shape in the Unit­ed States as well.

Bank­ing for Allah
Per­haps the best con­tem­po­rary snap­shot of this Nazi-Islamist extrem­ist axis comes in the per­son of one Ahmed Huber, a neo-Nazi whose home in a sub­urb of Berne was raid­ed by Swiss police on Nov. 8, after U.S. offi­cials iden­ti­fied him as a linch­pin in the finan­cial machi­na­tions of Osama bin Laden.

The raid was part of a coor­di­nat­ed law enforce­ment drag­net that seized records from the offices of Al Taqwa, an inter­na­tion­al bank­ing group.

Al Taqwa, which lit­er­al­ly means “Fear of God,” had been chan­nel­ing funds to Mus­lim extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tions around the world, includ­ing Hamas, a group active in the Israeli-occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries.

Huber, a for­mer jour­nal­ist who con­vert­ed to Islam and changed his first name from Albert, served on the board of Nada Man­age­ment, a com­po­nent of Al Taqwa.

After Swiss author­i­ties froze the fir­m’s assets and ques­tioned Huber, the 74-year-old denounced Wash­ing­ton for doing the bid­ding of “Jew Zion­ists” who “rule Amer­i­ca.” In Jan­u­ary, Nada Man­age­ment announced that it had gone into liq­ui­da­tion.

A well-known fig­ure in Euro­pean neo­fas­cist cir­cles, Huber “sees him­self as a medi­a­tor between Islam and right-wing groups,” accord­ing to Ger­many’s Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Por­traits of Hitler and SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler adorn the walls of Huber’s office, along­side pho­tos of Islam­ic polit­i­cal lead­ers and a pic­ture of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the present-day boss of the French Front Nation­al.

In accor­dance with his self-pro­claimed mis­sion to unite Mus­lim fun­da­men­tal­ists and extreme right-wing forces in Europe and North Amer­i­ca, Huber has trav­eled wide­ly and pros­e­ly­tized at numer­ous gath­er­ings.

In Ger­many, he speaks often at events host­ed by the neo-Nazi Nation­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, which pub­licly wel­comed the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist attacks. Huber also befriend­ed British author David Irv­ing and oth­er Holo­caust deniers while fre­quent­ing “revi­sion­ist” con­claves.

A Bin Laden Fan in Chica­go
At the same time, Huber made the rounds of the rad­i­cal Islam­ic cir­cuit in West­ern coun­tries. In June 1994, he spoke about the “evils of the Jews” at a mosque in Potomac, Md. (just out­side Wash­ing­ton, D.C.), where video­tapes of Huber’s speech­es are report­ed­ly on sale.

Dur­ing a sub­se­quent vis­it to Chica­go, he attend­ed a pri­vate assem­bly that brought togeth­er, in Huber’s words, “the authen­tic Right and the fight­ers for Islam.” Huber told jour­nal­ist Richard Labeviere that “major deci­sions were tak­en [in Chica­go]. ... [T]he reuni­fi­ca­tion is under way.”

Huber acknowl­edges meet­ing al-Qae­da oper­a­tives on sev­er­al occa­sions at Mus­lim con­fer­ences in Beirut, Brus­sels and Lon­don. He has been quot­ed in the Swiss media as say­ing that bin Laden’s asso­ciates “are very dis­creet, well-edu­cat­ed and high­ly intel­li­gent peo­ple.”

The U.S. gov­ern­ment claims that Huber’s bank­ing firm helped bin Laden shift finan­cial assets around the world. But Huber denies any involve­ment in ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties. He insists Al Taqwa was engaged in char­i­ta­ble work, pro­vid­ing aid for social ser­vices that ben­e­fit­ed needy Mus­lims.

Described as “the finan­cial heart of the Islamist
eco­nom­ic appa­ra­tus,” Al Taqwa is inter­twined with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a long­stand­ing, far-right cult whose emblem is a Koran crossed by a sword.

The influ­ence of the Broth­er­hood extends through­out the Mus­lim world, where it vig­or­ous­ly, and often vio­lent­ly, oppos­es sec­u­lar Arab regimes.

In 1981, par­ti­sans of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood were impli­cat­ed in the assas­si­na­tion of Egypt­ian pres­i­dent Anwar Sadat. Sev­er­al mem­bers of Islam­ic Jihad, an extrem­ist sect close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the Broth­er­hood, were also involved in the Sadat assas­si­na­tion.

By the ear­ly 1990s, Islam­ic Jihad would close­ly ally itself with bin Laden’s al Qae­da net­work.

Back to the Begin­ning
The roots of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood — and, in many ways, the Nazi-Mus­lim axis — go back to the orga­ni­za­tion’s for­ma­tion in Egypt in 1928.

Mark­ing the start of mod­ern polit­i­cal Islam, or what is often referred to as “Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism,” the Broth­er­hood from the out­set envi­sioned a time when an Islam­ic state would pre­vail in Egypt and oth­er Arab coun­tries, where the orga­ni­za­tion quick­ly estab­lished local branch­es.

The growth of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood coin­cid­ed with the rise of fas­cist move­ments in Europe — a par­al­lel not­ed by Muham­mad Sa’id al-‘Ashmawy, for­mer chief jus­tice of Egyp­t’s High Crim­i­nal Court.

Al-‘Ashmawy decried “the per­ver­sion of Islam” and “the fascis­tic ide­ol­o­gy” that infus­es the world view of the Broth­ers, “their total (if not total­i­tar­i­an) way of life ... [and] their fan­tas­ti­cal read­ing of the Koran.”

Youssef Nada, cur­rent board chair­man of Al Taqwa, had joined the armed branch of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a young man in Egypt dur­ing World War II. Nada and sev­er­al of his cohorts in the Sun­ni Mus­lim fra­ter­ni­ty were recruit­ed by Ger­man mil­i­tary intel­li­gence, which sought to under­mine British colo­nial rule in the land of the sphinx.

Has­san al-Ban­na, the Egypt­ian school­teacher who found­ed the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, also col­lab­o­rat­ed with spies of the Third Reich.

Advo­cat­ing a pan-Islam­ic insur­gency in British-con­trolled Pales­tine, the Broth­er­hood pro­claimed their sup­port for the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Hus­sei­ni, in the late 1930s.

The Grand Mufti, the pre­em­i­nent reli­gious fig­ure among Pales­tin­ian Mus­lims, was the most notable Arab leader to seek an alliance with Nazi Ger­many, which was eager to extend its influ­ence in the Mid­dle East.

Although he loathed Arabs (he once described them as “lac­quered half-apes who ought to be whipped”), Hitler under­stood that he and the Mufti shared the same rivals — the British, the Jews and the Com­mu­nists.

Indica­tive of the old Arab adage, “The ene­my of my ene­my is my friend,” they met in Berlin, where the Mufti lived in exile dur­ing the war.

The Mufti agreed to help orga­nize a spe­cial Mus­lim divi­sion of the Waf­fen SS. Pow­er­ful radio trans­mit­ters were put at the Mufti’s dis­pos­al so that his pro-Axis pro­pa­gan­da could be heard through­out the Arab world.

A Mec­ca for Fas­cists
After the defeat of Nazi Ger­many, the Grand Mufti fled to Egypt. His arrival in 1946 was a pre­cur­sor to a steady stream of Third Reich vet­er­ans who chose Cairo as a post­war hide­out.

The Egypt­ian cap­i­tal became a safe haven for sev­er­al thou­sand Nazi fugi­tives, includ­ing for­mer SS Cap­tain Alois Brun­ner, Adolf Eich­man­n’s chief deputy. Con­vict­ed in absen­tia for war crimes, Brun­ner would lat­er reside in Dam­as­cus, where he served as a secu­ri­ty advi­sor for the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment.

Sev­er­al Amer­i­can fas­cists vis­it­ed the Mid­dle East dur­ing this peri­od, includ­ing Fran­cis Park­er Yock­ey, who made his way to Cairo in the sum­mer of 1953, a year after the cor­rupt Egypt­ian monar­chy was over­thrown by a mil­i­tary coup.

The Broth­er­hood had played a major role in insti­gat­ing the pop­u­lar upris­ing that set the stage for the emer­gence of Col. Gamal Abdel Nass­er as Egyp­t’s new leader. But Nass­er, who had lit­tle inter­est in mix­ing pol­i­tics and reli­gion, would sub­se­quent­ly have a falling out with the Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist sect.

When Nass­er want­ed to over­haul Egyp­t’s secret ser­vice, he asked the U.S. Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency for assis­tance. But the U.S. gov­ern­ment “found it high­ly impolitic to help him direct­ly,” CIA agent Miles Copeland recalled in a mem­oir.

So, the CIA instead secret­ly bankrolled more than 100 Ger­man espi­onage and mil­i­tary experts who trained Egypt­ian police and army units in the mid-1950s.

An Amer­i­can Reach­es Out
Dur­ing this peri­od, the Grand Mufti main­tained close rela­tions with the bur­geon­ing Nazi exile com­mu­ni­ty in Cairo, while cul­ti­vat­ing ties to right-wing extrem­ists in the Unit­ed States and oth­er coun­tries.

H. Kei­th Thomp­son, a New York-based busi­ness­man and Nazi activist, was a con­fi­dant of the Mufti. “I did a cou­ple of jobs for him, get­ting some doc­u­ments from files that were oth­er­wise unavail­able,” Thomp­son acknowl­edged in an inter­view.

Thomp­son also car­ried on a live­ly cor­re­spon­dence with Johannes von Leers, one of the Third Reich’s most pro­lif­ic Jew-baiters, who con­vert­ed to Islam and changed his name to Omar Amin after he took up res­i­dence in Cairo in 1955.

“If there is any hope to free the world from Jew­ish tyran­ny,” Amin wrote Thomp­son, “it is with the Moslems, who stand stead­fast­ly against Zion­ism, Colo­nial­ism and Impe­ri­al­ism.”

For­mer­ly Goebbels’ right-hand man, Amin became a top offi­cial in the Egypt­ian Infor­ma­tion Min­istry, which employed sev­er­al Euro­pean fas­cists who churned out hate lit­er­a­ture and anti-Jew­ish broad­casts.

Anoth­er Ger­man expa­tri­ate, Louis Hei­den, alias Louis Al-Hadj, trans­lat­ed Hitler’s Mein Kampf into Ara­bic.

The Egypt­ian gov­ern­ment also pub­lished The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion, the infa­mous anti-Semit­ic forgery that pur­ports to reveal a Jew­ish mas­ter plan for tak­ing over the world.

A sta­ple of Nazi pro­pa­gan­da, the Pro­to­cols also are quot­ed in Arti­cle 32 of the char­ter of Hamas, the hard-line Pales­tin­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist group that is sup­port­ed by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood — even though Mus­lim schol­ars say such views are an anath­e­ma to main­stream Islam.

“There are no his­toric roots for anti-Semi­tism in Islam,” says Hasem Saghiyeh, a colum­nist at Al Hay­at, a Lon­don-based Arab news­pa­per. “The process of trans­lat­ing books like The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion on a pop­u­lar scale start­ed in Nasser’s Egypt, but only the Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist move­ment incor­po­rat­ed them into its lit­er­a­ture.”

Mer­ce­nar­ies for Pales­tine
After Israel’s over­whelm­ing vic­to­ry in the Six Day War in June 1967, a mood of des­per­ate mil­i­tan­cy engulfed the Pales­tin­ian refugee camps.

Deprived of a home­land, the lead­ers of the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion (PLO) appar­ent­ly felt that they could­n’t afford to turn down offers of help, no mat­ter how unsa­vory the donors. Karl von Kyna, a West Ger­man neo-Nazi mer­ce­nary, died dur­ing a Pales­tin­ian com­man­do raid in Sep­tem­ber 1967.

Eager to con­tin­ue their vendet­ta against the Jews, sev­er­al right-wing extrem­ists sub­se­quent­ly joined the Hil­f­sko­rp Ara­bi­en (“Aux­il­iary Corps Ara­bia”), which was adver­tised in the Munich-based Deutsche Nation­al-Zeitung, a pro-Nazi news­pa­per, in 1968.

The fol­low­ing year, the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP) hijacked sev­er­al com­mer­cial air­planes. When three PFLP mem­bers stood tri­al after blow­ing up an Israeli jet in Zurich, the legal costs for their defense were paid by Fran­cois Genoud, an elu­sive Swiss banker described by the Lon­don Observ­er as “one of the world’s lead­ing Nazis.”

Genoud had pre­vi­ous­ly picked up the tab for Adolf Eich­man­n’s legal defense, and a num­ber of oth­er Nazi war crim­i­nals and Arab ter­ror­ists would also ben­e­fit from his largesse.

Where did the mon­ey come from? Accord­ing to Euro­pean press accounts, Genoud was man­ag­ing the hid­den Swiss trea­sure of the Third Reich, most of which had been stolen from Jews.

“Secu­ri­ty ser­vices claim he trans
ferred the defeat­ed Nazis’ gold into Swiss bank accounts,” reports Git­ta Sere­ny, who called Genoud “the most mys­te­ri­ous man in Europe.”

After World War II, Genoud served as the finan­cial advi­sor to the Grand Mufti.

In 1958, the Swiss Nazi set up the Arab Com­mer­cial Bank in Gene­va to man­age the war chest of the Alger­ian Nation­al Lib­er­a­tion Front, whose par­ti­sans were fight­ing to free their coun­try from French colo­nial rule.

Sev­er­al Third Reich vet­er­ans, includ­ing Maj. Gen. Otto Ernst Remer, who had served as Hitler’s body­guard, smug­gled weapons to the Alger­ian rebels, while oth­er Ger­man advi­sors pro­vid­ed mil­i­tary instruc­tion.

Under the guise of sup­port­ing the Arabs’ strug­gle against French colo­nial­ism, Genoud and his Nazi cohorts were fol­low­ing the same geopo­lit­i­cal strat­e­gy that Hitler had pur­sued in the Mid­dle East.

Euro­peans and Pro-Pales­tin­ian Ter­ror
In addi­tion to bro­ker­ing arms sales to Arab mil­i­tants, Genoud helped sub­si­dize ter­ror­ist net­works in Europe and the Arab world.

This financier of fas­cism wait­ed until the stat­ue of lim­i­ta­tions ran out before admit­ting that he had per­son­al­ly writ­ten and sent ran­som notes demand­ing $5 mil­lion to the Ger­man air­line Lufthansa and sev­er­al news ser­vices after PFLP ter­ror­ists hijacked anoth­er jet in 1972.

That same year, the Black Sep­tem­ber orga­ni­za­tion mur­dered nine Israeli ath­letes at the Munich Olympics. When Black Sep­tem­ber leader Has­san Salameh need­ed med­ical atten­tion, Genoud arranged for him to be treat­ed at a pri­vate clin­ic in Lau­sanne.

In 1974, PLO chief Yass­er Arafat pub­licly indi­cat­ed a will­ing­ness to renounce inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism and declared his inter­est in a set­tle­ment that would final­ly estab­lish a Pales­tin­ian home­land in the Israeli-occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries. These steps toward mod­er­a­tion angered Arab hard­lin­ers, who ruled out any com­pro­mise with Israel.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, Genoud and oth­er neo­fas­cists favored the most bel­liger­ent fac­tions that kept call­ing for the anni­hi­la­tion of the Jew­ish state.

After bomb­ing four U.S. Army bases in West Ger­many in 1982, Odfried Hepp, a young neo-Nazi rene­gade, went under­ground and joined the Tunis-based Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Front (PLF).

Hepp, one of West Ger­many’s most want­ed ter­ror­ists, was arrest­ed in June 1985 while enter­ing the apart­ment of a PLF mem­ber in Paris. Four months lat­er, PLF com­man­dos seized the Achille Lau­ro cruise ship and mur­dered Leon Kling­hof­fer, a wheel­chair-bound Jew­ish Amer­i­can.

Includ­ed on the PLF’s list of pris­on­ers to be exchanged for the Achille Lau­ro hostages was the name of Odfried Hepp.

Fun­da­men­tal­ism and the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion
Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ism got a tremen­dous boost when the Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni top­pled the Shah dur­ing the 1979 Iran­ian rev­o­lu­tion.

The Aya­tol­lah’s descrip­tion of the Unit­ed States and the Sovi­et Union as “the twin Satans” dove­tailed neat­ly with the “Third Posi­tion” pol­i­tics of many Euro­pean and Amer­i­can neo­fas­cists, an ide­ol­o­gy that rejects both Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ism and Sovi­et Com­mu­nism.

Some white suprema­cists also shared Khome­ini’s dream of launch­ing a “holy war” against what was seen as deca­dent, West­ern-style democ­ra­cy.

When Iran issued a call for the assas­si­na­tion of author Salman Rushdie for writ­ing The Satan­ic Vers­es, sev­er­al neo-Nazi groups sup­port­ed the Iran­ian fat­wa.

Far-right fanat­ics also hailed the 1983 sui­cide car-bomb­ing by Iran­ian-backed Shi­ite ter­ror­ists that killed 271 U.S. Marines in Beirut.

The British Nation­al Front had noth­ing but praise for Khome­ini’s Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards:

Their belief in their cause is so strong that they will run through mine fields unarmed to attack ene­my posi­tions; their ideals are so all-con­sum­ing that they will dri­ve truck bombs into ene­my camps know­ing full well their [own] death is inevitable. ... This pow­er, this con­tempt for death, is the stuff of which vic­to­ries are made.

In 1987, French police cor­doned off the Iran­ian embassy in Paris and demand­ed that a mag­is­trate be allowed to inter­ro­gate Wahid Gord­ji, an Iran­ian offi­cial sus­pect­ed of orches­trat­ing a series of bomb­ings that rocked the French cap­i­tal dur­ing the pre­vi­ous a year.

French inves­ti­ga­tors got on to Gord­ji’s trail after they dis­cov­ered a check for 120,000 francs (about $20,000) that he had writ­ten to Ogmios, a neo-Nazi pub­lish­er and book­store in Paris. The mon­ey was used to under­write a slick cat­a­logue pro­mot­ing The Myth of the Jew­ish Holo­caust and sim­i­lar titles.

But the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment rebuffed the French author­i­ties who want­ed to ques­tion Gord­ji, caus­ing a rup­ture in diplo­mat­ic rela­tions between Paris and Tehran.

The six-month embassy stand-off was final­ly resolved after French offi­cials met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of a group called “The Friends of Wahid Gord­ji” — a group which includ­ed the redoubtable Nazi banker Fran­cois Genoud.

Nazis in Bagh­dad
Links between white suprema­cists and the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment con­tin­ued after Khome­ini’s death in 1989.

On sev­er­al occa­sions in recent years, Amer­i­can neo-Nazi chief­tain William Pierce has been inter­viewed by Radio Tehran. U.S. white suprema­cists have also snug­gled up to Iran’s arch­en­e­my, Sad­dam Hus­sein.

In 1990, Gene Schroder, an ide­o­logue of the far-right “com­mon-law court” move­ment, joined a del­e­ga­tion of Mid­west farm­ers to Wash­ing­ton for a meet­ing in the Iraqi embassy, where Iraqi offi­cials were try­ing to drum up oppo­si­tion to the impend­ing Per­sian Gulf War.

Dur­ing that 1991 war, Okla­homa Klan leader Den­nis Mahon orga­nized a small ral­ly in Tul­sa in sup­port of Sad­dam. Mahon says he lat­er received a cou­ple of hun­dred dol­lars in an unmarked enve­lope from the Iraqi gov­ern­ment.

In addi­tion, short­ly before the war, Ger­man neo-Nazis solicit­ed sup­port from Iraq for an anti-Zion­ist legion com­posed of far-right mer­ce­nar­ies from sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries. The mem­bers of this so-called inter­na­tion­al “Free­dom Corps” pre­ten­tious­ly strut­ted around Bagh­dad in SS uni­forms.

As soon as bombs start­ed to fall on the Iraqi cap­i­tal, how­ev­er, the neo-Nazi vol­un­teers scur­ried back to Europe.

A num­ber of promi­nent neo­fas­cists have expressed sup­port for Sad­dam, includ­ing Vladimir Zhiri­novsky, the Russ­ian dem­a­gogue, who vis­it­ed Iraq after the Gulf War.

Jean-Marie Le Pen of the French Front Nation­al also got the red-car­pet treat­ment when he met Sad­dam in Bagh­dad.

Although he built his polit­i­cal career by dis­parag­ing Arab immi­grants, Le Pen now claims that he is deeply con­cerned about the plight of Iraqi chil­dren who have suf­fered under sanc­tions imposed by the Unit­ed Nations.

His wife, Jany, who heads a group called SOS Chil­dren of Iraq, has joined Le Pen on sev­er­al trips to Bagh­dad. Thus far, how­ev­er, Arab chil­dren in France have yet to ben­e­fit from the sup­posed good Samar­i­tan act of the Le Pens.

The Libyan Con­nec­tion
On June 28, 2000, the Times of Lon­don report­ed that Libyan leader Muam­mar Ghaddafi had ordered the deposit of $25 mil­lion into a bank in Carinthia, the Aus­tri­an province gov­erned by Jorg Haider, de fac­to leader of the far-right Free­dom Par­ty.

(The Free­dom Par­ty is an immi­grant-bash­ing orga­ni­za­tion that is home to many neo-Nazis and for­mer Nazis and has down­played Ger­man war atroc­i­ties.)

Col. Ghaddafi’s cash gift — which Haider described as “Christ­mas for Aus­tria” — was meant to ease the strain of sanc­tions imposed on Aus­tria by the Euro­pean Union after the Free­dom Par­ty joined Aus­tri­a’s nation­al gov­ern­ing coali­tion.

This was the sec­ond rab­bit Haider pulled from his hat as a result of two pri­vate for­ays to Tripoli, where he met Ghaddafi.

After his first Libyan excur­sion, Haider announced he was tack­ling Aus­tri­a’s high gas prices by arrang­ing for Libyan gaso­line to be sold in Carinthia at a dis­count. News pho­tos showed Haider, the Porsche-dri­ving pop­ulist, beam­ing as he pumped gas for motorists.
Over the years, Ghaddafi has been wooed by sev­er­al neo­fas­cist lead­ers, includ­ing Ital­ian fugi­tive Ste­fano delle Chi­aie, who was accused of mas­ter­mind­ing a series of bomb attacks in Rome and Milan.

Described in a 1982 CIA report as “the most promi­nent right­ist ter­ror­ist ... still at large,” delle Chi­aie wrote a let­ter to Ghadaf­fi, invit­ing him to join in a com­mon strug­gle against “athe­is­tic Sovi­et Marx­ism and Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ist mate­ri­al­ism,” both of which were sup­pos­ed­ly con­trolled by “inter­na­tion­al Zion­ism.”

Delle Chi­aie added: “Libya can, if it wants, be the active focus, the cen­ter of nation­al social­ist ren­o­va­tion [that will] break the chains which enslave peo­ple and nations.”

Ghaddafi, the Green Book and West­ern Extrem­ism
Links between Libya and the Euro­pean far right have been scru­ti­nized in sev­er­al par­lia­men­tary and judi­cial probes in Italy.

One Ital­ian judi­cial inquiry found that the Libyan embassy in Rome had pro­vid­ed mon­ey to aid the escape of Ital­ian ter­ror­ist sus­pect Mario Tuti short­ly after the bomb­ing of an express train near Flo­rence in 1974. Tuti was lat­er cap­tured and sen­tenced to a lengthy prison term for orches­trat­ing the attack, which killed 12 peo­ple and injured 44 oth­ers.

Ghadaf­fi’s finan­cial largesse and his mil­i­tant anti-Zion­ism has gen­er­at­ed sup­port for the Libyan regime among right-wing extrem­ists around the world, includ­ing in Great Britain, where the Green Book, Ghaddafi’s polit­i­cal man­i­festo, was pro­mot­ed by the neo-Nazi Nation­al Front.

In 1984, accord­ing to for­mer British Nazi leader Ray Hill (who lat­er renounced racism and worked with antiracists), the Libyan Peo­ple’s Bureau put up mon­ey for a spe­cial anti-Semit­ic sup­ple­ment to the Nation­al Fron­t’s month­ly mag­a­zine.

In addi­tion, Ghadaf­fi’s gov­ern­ment picked up the tab for sev­er­al jun­kets so that neo­fas­cists from Eng­land, France, Cana­da, the Nether­lands and sev­er­al oth­er coun­tries could vis­it the Libyan cap­i­tal.

Col. Ghaddafi is also wide­ly admired by white suprema­cists in the Unit­ed States.

The Green Book has been fea­tured as the top online book on the Web site of the Amer­i­can Front, whose pro­fessed aim is “to secure Nation­al Free­dom and Social Jus­tice for the White peo­ple of North Amer­i­ca.”

Assert­ing that he is “against race mix­ing,” Amer­i­can Front leader James Poraz­zo prais­es Libya and says that his group has much in com­mon ide­o­log­i­cal­ly with Louis Far­rakhan’s Nation of Islam, which has its own links to Ghaddafi.

Poraz­zo also says he has “great respect for the actions of Hamas and Hezbol­lah,” two rad­i­cal Islamist groups involved in sui­cide bomb­ings, as long as they “see that their home is in the Mideast and that their reli­gion is great for their peo­ple but not intend­ed for all mankind.”

‘Work­ing for Their Races’
The Philadel­phia-based Amer­i­can Front thinks high­ly of Osama bin Laden, too, describ­ing him as “one of ZOG [Zion­ist Occu­pa­tion Gov­ern­ment, the name many extrem­ists give to the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, which they believe is run by Jews] and the New World Order’s biggest ene­mies.”

And it is not alone. Wolf­gang Droege, one of 17 Cana­di­an racists who trav­eled on a “fact-find­ing mis­sion” to Libya in 1989, is sim­i­lar­ly enam­ored of bin Laden, see­ing par­al­lels between bin Laden’s strug­gle and oth­ers sup­port­ing “racial nation­al­ism” in North Amer­i­ca.

“I’ve had deal­ings with Black Mus­lims, I’ve had deal­ings with Arabs, I’ve had deal­ings with peo­ple of var­i­ous races, and I real­ize that some of these peo­ple are as moti­vat­ed as I am in work­ing for the inter­est of their race,” Droege told MacLean’s mag­a­zine.

While they would­n’t want bin Laden, or any­one of non-Euro­pean descent, liv­ing next door, lead­ers of the hard-core racist move­ment in the Unit­ed States have seized upon the Sept. 11 attacks as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to expand their strate­gic alliance with Islam­ic rad­i­cals under the pre­text of sup­port­ing Pales­tin­ian rights.

After hijacked air­planes demol­ished the World Trade Cen­ter and dam­aged the Pen­ta­gon, a num­ber of Mus­lim news­pa­pers pub­lished a flur­ry of arti­cles by Amer­i­can white suprema­cists rant­i­ng against Israel and the Jews.

Anti-Zion­ist com­men­tary by neo-Nazi David Duke appeared on the front page of the Oman Times, for instance, and on an extrem­ist web­site based in Pak­istan.

Anoth­er opin­ion piece by Duke ran in Mus­lims, a New York-based Eng­lish-lan­guage week­ly, which also fea­tured a lengthy cri­tique of U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy by William Pierce, head of the rabid­ly racist Nation­al Alliance.

In the wake of Sept. 11, sev­er­al Amer­i­can neo-Nazi web­sites also start­ed to offer links to Islam­ic web­sites.

The psy­cho­log­i­cal dynam­ics that pro­pel the actions of Islam­ic ter­ror­ists have much in com­mon with the men­tal out­look of neo-Nazis.

Both glo­ri­fy vio­lence as a regen­er­a­tive force and both are will­ing to slaugh­ter inno­cents in the name of cre­at­ing a new social order.

The poten­tial for an alliance between Amer­i­can neo-Nazis and Islam­ic ter­ror­ists — an alliance that could devel­op into strong oper­a­tional ties — can­not be ruled out giv­en the long and sor­did his­to­ry of fas­cist links to the Mus­lim world.