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A European Criminal Investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (free subscription required) brings the otherwise unreported here news of a major criminal investigation into several Muslim Brotherhood leaders and groups in Germany and Belgium. The raids were publicly announced in Germany, but have not been widely reported. The site also provides links to other reports, particularly by the NEFA Foundations on some of those under investigation.

What is striking is the stature of the institutions that were raided on suspicion of money laundering, criminal activities, acquisition of property under false pretenses, and aiding "Islamists" and violent Islamic jihadists.

One thing this shows is that, despite the constant protests to the contrary, at least the German prosecutors and those of several other nations, believe there is, in fact, a transnational Ikhwan organization. There is, but the Brotherhood usually denies its existence.

It also shows the wealth and power the group has acquired over time. It set up in Germany in the early 1960s, and has rolled on, virtually unchallenged and unexamined, since. This is not unlike the MB groups in the United States, as outlined by prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation case, who have spread influence as a "mainstream" Islamic organization.

This case is particularly important because it goes to the intricate financial, real estate and mosque structure the MB has build over several decades in Europe, where it has often served as a gateway for those who join violent jihad.

According to the GMBDR:

Also, according to sources in Germany, the Belgian aspect of the investigation involves Al-Aqsa Belgium, the Belgian member organization of the Union of Good, a coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi that is designated by the U.S. as raising funds for Hamas., a group directly linked to Yousef al-Qaradawi.

Another individual in the investigation is likely to be Ayman Aly who, along with Mr. El-Zayat is an officer of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella organization for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. A 2005 Wall Street Journal article reported on transfers of money from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) to the Albania branch of Taibah International, an Islamic charity whose Bosnian branch was designated as a terrorist entity by both the U.S and the U.N in 2004. According to the Journal report, the money was transfered by two Mr. El-Zayat and Mr. Aly :

Federation officials also have helped channel money to Islamic groups in the Balkans. A key figure in this effort is Ibrahim el-Zayat, who as head of the Islamic Community of Germany, a founding group in the federation, is one of Europe’s most prominent Muslims. In 2002, German federal police launched an investigation of Mr. Zayat. According to copies of a report reviewed by the Journal, he allegedly transferred more than $2 million on behalf of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a Saudi-run organization that propagates Wahhabist fundamentalism, which isn’t part of the federation. Some of that money, according to the report, was sent by Mr. Zayat and another federation official, Ayman Sayed Ahmed Aly, to an Albanian charity, Taibah. Taibah’s Bosnia branch last year was designated a terrorist organization by the US. government. Its Albanian branch was raided last year by the government there.”The constellation of accounts, money flows and persons indicate that the accounts in Germany of Ibrahim El-Zayat and Ayman Sayed Ahmed Aly were used for carrying out fundamentalist Islamic activities in Europe,” the report said. Mr. Rawi [head of FIOE} said his federation has nothing to do with the activities of Mr. Zayat or Mr. Aly. “It is hard to prevent our members from working for charitable organizations,” Mr. Rawi said.

Here is a translation of a German newspaper account from the GMBDR:

Ahmad al-Khalifa, eloquent preacher and head of the mosque in the Munich neighborhood of Freimann appeared rather monosyllabic Tuesday. Police and prosecutors arrived at his house and mosque and three other places in Munich and Garching at 6AM. The investigation is focused on Ahmad al-Khalifa and six other defendants, including the chairman of the Islamic Congregations in Germany (IGD), Ibrahim el Zayat. [ed.: the organization is related to the Muslim Brotherhood]. They are suspected of having contacts with Islamic terrorism. Special units of the police stormed in total 14 targets yesterday in Munich, Garching, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Belgium, including prayer rooms, mosques and numerous offices and homes. A police spokesperson says that extensive evidence was seized. The police did not give out names and addresses in the ongoing investigation. Ahmad al-Khalifa confirmed to Abendzeitung that the investigators were also by him and searched both his mosque and home. Ahmad von Dennffer, a Munich resident who was born in Aachen and converted to Islam, is also among the suspects. A third Munich resident is active in the Islamic youth organizations. None of the suspects were arrested yesterday. The men are suspected also of diverting funds from failed mosque building projects to their organization and misusing it for Islamic purposes. They are also suspected of obtaining school subsidies by fraud, forging bankruptcies and purchasing land through fraud.

A case worth following, and one that may give real insights into the Ikhwan structure in Europe and elsewhere.
POSTED BY DOUGLAS FARAH
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