Muslim Brotherhood in Western Europe
The Muslim Brotherhood has established itself in Europe since the 1950s, driven in part by the crackdown in Egypt by its secular government. Ever since it spread a wide network of organizations across the continent.
Among the Muslim Brotherhood members to arrive in Europe was a group led by Sa’id Ramadan, the son-in-law of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of Muslim Brotherhood who had been killed by the Egyptian government.
Financed by Saudi Arabia, Sa’id Ramadan’s group based itself in Geneva and Munich, where a network of Muslim Brotherhood organizations and mosques soon sprang up.
The Muslim Brotherhood spread across Europe in the 1960s, spearheaded, like in America, by Muslim student groups that spawned other groups. Prominent examples include Germany’s Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland – ZMD) Islamic Society of Germany (Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland – IGD) and Milli Görüş (Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Görüş).
The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe works mostly via local and communal third sector organizations – mosques, charitable organizations, community centers, schools and cultural centers, which are often organized under wider umbrella organizations. These organizations work among various immigrant communities, most notably Egyptian, Syrian and Turkish, but also North African, Pakistani and Bosnian.
The finances of these organizations are very hard to expose, as they usually do not provide their annual reports or name the sources of their funding online. It seems that countries such as Saudi Arabia contribute to the funding of these organizations. This lack of transparency makes it difficult to establish their sources of influence.
Whereas the public activity of these organizations is usually legitimate and seemingly harmless (focusing on care for the religious and cultural affairs of Muslim communities in Europe), both extremist indoctrination and possible fund raising for Islamist organizations take place in some of them covertly. In some cases, known members of terrorist entities such as Hamas held positions in MB European organizations.
-The Muslim Brotherhood in Germany, established since the 1950’s, includes prominent examples such as the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland – ZMD), Islamic Society of Germany (Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland – IGD) and Milli Görüş (Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Görüş).
-Sa’id Ramadan had a leading role in the establishment of Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the country.
– According to al-Ittihad newspaper, MB officials head 13 societies and associations in London alone.
– 3 MB leaders: Essam el-Haddad, Ibrahim el-Zayat and Ibrahim Munir control these associations.
– These societies transfer money in and out, and invest money in various projects in the retail, finance, clothing and commercial sectors .
– The report identified 9 societies and associations established by and connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in Switzerland.
– The report further identified several commercial companies which belong to Muslim Brotherhood leaders and activists.
– Stahel Hardmeyer AG in Nachlassliquidation, established by Hassan Abu Yusuf in 1967, along with several others. It was launched with around CHF2 million in capital, which was increased three times. The last of which was on 23 September 1993, when it reached CHF18.3 million ($20 million). The company works in wholesale and cotton textiles and owns many subsidiaries in several countries, including the UK and the UK Virgin Islands. It is headed by a Swiss citizen called Oliver Stahl.
– BS Altena AG, formed in 2010 and working in long-term real estate. Hassan Abu Yusuf sits on its administrative board.
– The MB’s financial economic empire around the globe depends on investments by individual members. These include Ibrahim Kamel, founder of Dar al-Maal al-Islami Trust (DMI) and owner of several companies in Nassau, the Bahamas.
-Another company owned by Kamel is called Sirocco Aerospace International UK Limited. The records indicate that it was established in the UK Virgin Islands and has its headquarters in London under the serial number 3239579. According to the 2008 budget, the company had assets and liquid funds of around 5.6 million Euros ($7.4 million).
– http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/156384?page=2, http://en.arij.net/report/the-muslim-brotherhoods-sources-of-funding