Top al Taqwa officers and Ibrahim El Zayat on trial in Egypt?
by Lorenzo Vidino
February 9, 2007
Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood's official English language website, reports some very interesting details about the recent crackdown of the Egyptian government against the group. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that some of the 40 Muslim Brotherhood leaders that have been indicted and whose cases have been referred to a military tribunal are well known for their activities in the West (all of them, given the fact that they do not live in Egypt, are being tried in absentia).
Two of them are Yussouf Nada and Ghaleb Himmat, the two masterminds of the al Taqwa Bank. The two, while having their assets frozen by various designations and having undergone investigations in at least three countries, have never been formally charged for their activities in al Taqwa. The Egyptian government is now charging them for their membership in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Equally interesting is the fact that Egyptian authorities have charged Ibrahaim El Zayat. El Zayat is the president of the Islamischen Gemeinschaft in Deutschland (IGD), Germany's most important Muslim organization and closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded by Said Ramadan (Hassan al Banna's right hand man, Muslim World League founder and Tariq Ramadan's father), the IGD was then run by al Taqwa's Ghaleb Himmat and, since 2002, by El Zayat. A few years ago I wrote this about El Zayat and IGD:
The IGD, of which the Islamic Center of Munich is one of the most important members, represents the main offshoot of the Egyptian Brotherhood in Germany. But the IGD is also the quintessential example of how the Muslim Brotherhood has gained power in Europe. The IGD has grown significantly over the years, and it now incorporates dozens of Islamic organizations throughout the country. Islamic centers from more than thirty German cities have joined its umbrella. Today, the IGD's real strength lies in its cooperation with and sponsorship of many Islamic youth and student organizations across Germany.
This focus on youth organizations came after Zayat's succession. He understood the importance of focusing on the next generation of German Muslims and launched recruitment drives to get young Muslims involved in Islamic organizations. But a Meckenheim police report on the sharply dressed Zayat also reveals alarming connections. German authorities openly say he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. They also link him to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi nongovernmental organization that seeks to spread Wahhabism, the radical and intolerant Saudi interpretation of Islam, throughout the world with its literature and schools…..
.....Meckenheim police also link Zayat to Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines, a French school that prepares European imams. Several radical clerics lecture at the school and several European intelligence agencies accuse the school of spreading religious hatred. German authorities also highlight the fact that he is involved in several money laundering investigations. Zayat has never been indicted for terrorist activity, but he has dubious financial dealings and maintains associations with many organizations that spread religious hatred. The IGD may have changed leadership after the U.S. Treasury's designation of Himmat, but it did not change direction.
The news reported by Ikhwanweb needs to be confirmed. If actually taking place, the Egyptian proceedings, while probably lacking transparency, might provide additional proof of the penetration of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West.