A pariah that should be shunned by all
The UAE was quick to support the Kingdom announcing it will cooperate with Saudi Arabia’s efforts to deal with “those terrorist groups through liquidating all forms of material and moral support.” Dubai’s Deputy Chairman of Dubai Police Dahi Khalfan Tamim has their measure. Last year, he accused the Muslim Brotherhood of plotting to overthrow the UAE government. They will start with Kuwait and move on to the other Gulf countries in 2016, he predicted. He complained bitterly on Twitter that the West “sympathizes, adopts and supports” the Brotherhood, adding that the reason remained a mystery.
A mystery indeed! Following Egypt’s labeling of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, MB head honchos on the run set-up shop in a north London suburb from where they direct their operations. Britain’s Foreign Office was quick to affirm that their activities were legitimate.
Whereas the UK tolerates a Muslim Brotherhood presence, the US administration appears to relish it. The White House has persistently petitioned for the release of ousted President Muhammad Mursi. He is the man who petitioned the US to release Omar Abdel Rahman (known as the Blind Sheikh) jailed for participating in a plot to blow-up the World Trade Center in 1993 — and who invited terrorist groups into the Sinai.
Recorded conversations, transcribed by the Egyptian paper Al-Watan, between Mursi and Mohammed Zawahiri — a brother of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahiri — speak volumes. Mursi congratulates Zawahiri on his release from prison, requests support from the militants and assures this sibling of the world’s “most wanted” that he would do his best to bring Ayman back to Egypt “with his head held high.”
For his part, Zawahiri hails Mursi’s presidential success. “All secular infidels would now be removed from Egypt,” he says. In other exchange, he asks Mursi to pardon jailed militants and requests permission to set-up militant training camps in Sinai to support the MB. Mursi agrees, adding that he would also provide them with facilities along Egypt’s border with Libya
One of Mursi’s influential sidekicks Khairat Al-Shater, known to have helped fund the terrorist Ansar Beit El-Maqdis in Sinai, was visited by Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham in his jail cell. The duo subsequently pressed the Egyptian authorities to release him. Clearly, they’ve not read the MB’s memorandum on “The General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” issued in May 1991.
The White House has announced it is not considering placing the MB on its terrorist blacklist and insists that Egypt should let bygones be bygones by bringing the MB back into the political fold, which feeds the suspicions of those who believe the US and the MB are somehow hand-in-glove.
Former Rep. Allen West has suggested that individuals with links to the MB have “infiltrated” the Obama administration. In 2012, five Republican lawmakers, including Michele Bachmann, requested the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, defense and State to investigate government “policies and activities that appear to be the result of influence operations conducted by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
US’ seeming solidarity with the MB, whose founders’ ideology spawned Al-Qaeda, is mystifying. But testimony made before the House Select Committee on Intelligence by Dr. Nathan Brown, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace may provide a clue.
“My view of the Brotherhood is that its rise would confront the US with some political challenges, but those challenges would be most successfully met if the Brotherhood is integrated as a normal political actor in the various countries in which it operates. Seen that way, the Brotherhood is far more a political than a security concern for the US.” There’s an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” concept here. More importantly he seems to suggest that let’s keep them busy messing up their home countries so they’ll leave us alone.
There’s been much discussion surrounding Qatar’s attitude toward the MB. Despite Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain having withdrawn their ambassadors from Doha to protest the Gulf State’s “interference in their internal affairs” and its failure to implement an agreement on the security and stability of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Qatar remains defiant. The main points of stress are:
• Qatar’s staunch support of the MB and its provision of safe haven to Brotherhood leaders.
• Unending insults toward GCC countries and vilification of Egypt’s interim government from the lips of the Muslim Brotherhood’s de facto spiritual leader who lives in Doha.
• Al-Jazeera’s relentless MB propaganda.
Qatar insists it will not bow to pressure to change its foreign policy or abandon the MB but is otherwise being placatory. It does not intend withdrawing its own envoys in retaliation.
Again why one of the wealthiest countries on the planet hurtling along a beyond 21st century futuristic trajectory should risk alienating its closest regional allies with which it has close tribal, economic and social relationships — and in the worst case scenario being ejected from the GCC — is beyond belief. It doesn’t make sense…unless, perhaps, this tiny country is being leant on from an outside entity or entities. It’s almost impossible to see into the minds of the Qatari powers-that-be, but in the absence of explanations from Doha as to why the MB is its newish best friend, the possibility that its strings are being pulled remains food for thought.
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