How Long Has the CIA Had Dealings With the Muslim Brotherhood?

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Johnson has written an article for the New York Review of Books arguing for a release of historical information concerning the relationship between the CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood. The article begins:
The tenth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington will be accompanied by the usual solemn political pronouncements and predictable media retrospectives. Pundits will point out that the West’s own economic mismanagement of the past decade has done more to weaken Europe and North America than the Islamists’ attacks. Some others will note how radical Islamists are still strong in Afghanistan and point to the recent downing of a military helicopter with dozens of US troops dead. Still others will use the anniversary to pontificate on how our concerns about Islamism have given racists an excuse to tarnish an entire religion.
We will also hear about how the democratic uprisings in the Arab world—Libya being the latest—have undermined Islamists (by providing the region’s disgruntled masses with examples of positive, instead of destructive change). All of these points are well and good and worth hearing again. But they shouldn’t distract us from a very precise and practical problem that hasn’t been addressed: the refusal of the CIA to disclose the details of its involvement with Islamist groups. In recent weeks, the agency has tried to block sections of a new book that deals with its handling of al-Qaeda before and after September 11. But this is only one part of a large-scale cover-up that Western governments have been perpetrating about decades of ties to Islamist organizations.
Until we clarify our murky history with radical Islam, we won’t be able to understand the background of the September 11 attacks and whether our strategies today to engage the Muslim world are likely to succeed. Of course some of this history is well known. The blowback story—how the US armed the mujahedeen, some of whom morphed into al-Qaeda—has been told in book and film. We are also getting a sense now of how parts of the US-backed Pakistani military-intelligence complex have actively supported radical Islamists. Collusion between Britain and Islamist movements over the past century has also been explored. And of course, Israel’s support for Hamas as a counterweight to the Palestinian Liberation Organization has gone down as one of the great diplomatic miscalculations of recent history.
Read the rest here.
Previous posts have discussed two other works by Mr. Johnson- his book titled “Mosque in Munich” referred to in the above piece and his paper for the Hudson Institute titled “The Brotherhood’s Westward Expansion” which traces the connections between the Muslim Brotherhood as it developed in Europe and the United States.
Related posts:
  1. RECOMMENDED READING: “Mosque In Munich”
  2. RECOMMENDED READING: “Dalia Mogahed: A Muslim George Gallup or Islamist Ideologue?”
  3. RECOMMENDED READING: “Dawa and the Islamist Revival in the West”
  4. RECOMMENDED READING: “Washington’s Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood”
  5. RECOMMENDED READING: “Dawa and the Islamist Revival in the West” (Part 2)
Egyptian media is reporting on a statement issued by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for the first time strongly criticizing the ruling military Council. Acccording to a report in Al-Masry Al-Youm:
The Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday issued its first strongly-worded statement against the ruling military council since the 25 January Revolution, requesting that it “meet the many promises it had given,” a declaration that some observers see as further evidence that the “honeymoon” between Islamist group and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is over. The statement was not the first by the Brotherhood to criticize the council in recent weeks.
In mid-August, the military council demanded that the council refrain from interfering in how the constitution is drawn up. The statement had come in response to the council’s announced pledge to draw up a list of supra-constitutional principles for framing the constitution. The Brotherhood’s statement on Wednesday, which was titled “The Critical Stage the Revolution is Going Through,” reminded the council of Abdel Rahman Swar al-Dahab, a Sudanese army officer who led a coup against Sudanese President Nimeiri and left after the six-month transition period, as promised.  It drew attention to attempts to postpone parliamentary and presidential elections, and the subsequent writing of a new constitution.
The group said it feared the military might remain in power indefinitely, and said that prolonged military rule would be a violation of the revolution and a continuation of the former regime’s policies.The statement also reiterated the Brotherhood’s criticism of the council pledge to present supra-constitutional principles, a move it said violated the people’s will, as manifested in the referendum on constitutional amendments held in March.
Translated from the Arabic Edition
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Jordanian media is reporting that the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has acknowledged a recently released U.S. State Department cable discussing a 2002 meeting it held with a representative from the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Imam Yahya Hindi but says that all contacts were stopped in 2003. According to a report in the Jordan Times:
AMMAN – The leading Islamist political group in Jordan on Monday acknowledged it maintained a level of communication with the US early last decade, but they stopped the contacts “once and for all” in 2003. Commenting on documents leaked by WikiLeaks, Islamic Action Front (IAF) Secretary General Hamzah Mansour acknowledged that the 2002 meeting referred to in the document did take place, “but we banned all kinds of contacts with the Americans a year later”. “As far as we are concerned, the US falls in the same category as Israel,” Mansour told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday. However, spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamil Abu Baker, explained that the ban applies to US authorities and officials and not to individuals and civil society institutions.  “The Islamist movement welcomes all the contact initiatives by US citizens and civil society organisations including journalists,” Abu Baker said.Posted online this week, the classified documents cover US embassy in Amman cables to Washington over issues of concern. Mansour said: “Yes we used to meet and talk to officials from the US at that time, but after the US war on Iraq in 2003, we suspended all contacts.” WikiLeaks posted a text of a cable that included full details of a meeting held between Imam Yahya Hindi, an American Islamic leader of Jordanian origin, with four of the Islamic movement’s leaders, including Mansour, IAF Shura Council President Abdul Latif Arabiyat, Abu Baker and Sa’ud Abu Mahfuz, a top executive at the group’s newspaper, Assabeel. Hindi’s visit to Jordan in 2002 had two purposes, according to the cable text, which was released six days before the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the subsequent “war on terrorism” launched by the US. “The primary purpose of Hindi’s visit to Jordan was to communicate his view of Muslim experience in the US post-9/11, to counter rumours and anecdotes now circulating in the region about treatment of Muslims in the US. The narrower purpose of the June 13 meeting was to step closer towards the resumption of routine contacts between the embassy and the IAF, disrupted two years ago by a series of visa issues involving prominent Muslim leaders,” the cable said. Although they said “yes” to dialogue with the US, the Islamists said “no” to agreement, according to the cable text. The US embassy declined to comment on the issue, or on the leaks.
The full cable is here.
According to his online biography, Yahya Hindi is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, the Imam of the Islamic Society of Frederick, Frederick, MD, and is the Muslim Chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The biography also says that he is a member of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America also known as the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). FCNA is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (FCNA) and composed of Islamic scholars associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. FCNA grew out of the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and later became affiliated with ISNA, itself an outgrowth of the MSA. FCNA maintains a relationship with other similar bodies in the global Muslim Brotherhood including the European Council for Fatwa and Research headed by Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi as well as the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia.
The Islamic Action Front (IAF) is generally considered to be the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. Tone of the important leaders of the IAF is Ishaq Farhan, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin and one of the three founders of the IAF. He is also a former education minister and senator. Mr. Farhan is listed as a director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in March 2002 in connection with the financing of terrorism. In 2000, Mr. Farhan was denied entry to the U.S. after having had his visa revoked in the prior year without informing him. The New York Times reported at that time that unidentified American diplomats called Mr. Farhan a “moderating force” and that he “has kept a distance from the vociferous opposition to peaceful relations with Israel.” However, in 2003 a media report said that the IAF had “declared a jihad in favor of Iraq and Palestine if the US attacks Iraq.”
The Islamic Action Front (IAF) claim that all contacts with the U.S. government had been stopped since 2003 is demonstrably false since as the GMBDR reported in March of 2010, a representative of the IAF was scheduled to attend a conference of the Center for Islam and Democracy (CSID) along with State Department and White House officials.
Related posts:
  1. Jordan Muslim Brotherhood Accuses Government Of Apostasy
  2. French Ambassador Says France Engaged With Jordan Muslim Brotherhood
  3. U.S. Resumes Contact With The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
  4. Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Demands Jordan Scrap Peace Treaty With Israel
  5. MIDEAST CRISIS: Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Turns Down Offer To Join New Government
Reproduced With Permission from The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report.

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