In the second episode of his new book entitled ‘Fake Wars and Big Lies’ the French journalist Thierry Meyssan digs into more details related to the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its international relations with the western intelligence apparatus, especially in the United States.
The book states that the CIA organised a conference at Princeton University on ‘The Situation of Muslims in the Soviet Union’, which provided the occasion for the United States to receive a delegation of the Muslim Brotherhood led by Sa’id Ramadan, one of the heads of its armed branch, who was a fascist rather than a religious extremist.
The conference ended with a reception at the White House, hosted by President Eisenhower, on September 23rd 1953, where according to the author, the alliance between Washington and jihadism was formed.
Forbidden in Egypt, the Brotherhood fell and regrouped in Europe (Germany, France and the United Kingdom, plus neutral Switzerland). Each time, they were received as Western agents fighting the growing alliance between the Arab nationalists and the Soviet Union.
Sa’id Ramadan was issued a Jordanian diplomatic passport and settled in Geneva in 1958. It was from there that he directed the destabilisation of the Caucasus and Central Asia (both Pakistan-Afghanistan and the Soviet Fergana Valley).
With the assistance of the American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (AmComLib), which is to say the CIA, he had at his command Radio Liberty /Radio Free Europe, a radio station financed directly by the US Congress to spread the philosophy of the Brotherhood as well as anti-communist information.
After the Suez Canal crisis and the spectacular about-face of Nasser to join the Soviets, Washington decided to provide unlimited help to the Muslim Brotherhood in the fight against the Arab nationalists. A senior officer of the CIA, Miles Copeland, was charged – in vain – with selecting a personality within the Brotherhood who could play, in the Arab world, a role equivalent to that of Pastor Billy Graham in the United States. It was not until the 1980’s that a preacher of that calibre was found – the Egyptian Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.
In 1961, the Brotherhood established a connection with another secret society, the Order of the Naqshbandis. This was a sort of Muslim Freemasonry which mixed Sufi initiation with politics. In Turkey, the Order would play a more complex role. It would include as its directors both Fethullah Gülen (founder of the Hizmet movement) and President Turgut Özal (1989-1993), as well as Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan (1996-1997), founder of the Justice Party (1961) and the Millî Görüş movement (1969).
From 1962 to 1970, the Muslim Brotherhood took part in the civil war in North Yemen and attempted to re-enlist the monarchy on the side of the United Kingdom against the Arab nationalists, Egypt and the USSR – a conflict which foreshadowed what was to happen over the next half-century.
Meyssan says that in 1981, Washington ordered Islamic Jihad to eliminate Sadat, who had outlived his usefulness. He was assassinated during a military parade. In the presidential box, seven people were killed and 28 wounded, yet sitting next to the Sadat, his vice-President General Hosni Mubarak survived, despite being injured. He was the only person in the box wearing body armour. He succeeded the “faithful president".
At the beginning of the 1990’s, the Pentagon decided to work with the Islamists, who had hitherto depended only on the CIA. This was operation Gladio B, a reference to the secret services of Nato in Europe. For a decade, all the Islamist chiefs – including Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri – travelled on aircraft of the US Air Force. The United Kingdom, Turkey, and Azerbaijan participated in the operation. As a direct result, Meyssan says that the Islamists – who had so far been secret combatants – were publicly integrated into the Nato forces.