28 June 2019 — Internationalist 360
3- The Brotherhood at the service of the Carter/Brzezinki strategy
In 1972-73, a Foreign Office official – and presumably MI6 – James Craig, and the British Ambassador to Egypt, Sir Richard Beaumont, began intense lobbying for their country and the United States to rely on the Muslim Brotherhood not only in Egypt, but throughout the Muslim world against Marxists and nationalists. Sir Craig would soon be appointed His Majesty’s Ambassador to Syria and then to Arabia, and would find an attentive ear in the CIA. Much later, he would be the architect of the “Arab Spring”.
In 1977 in the United States, Jimmy Carter was elected president. He appointed Zbigniew Brzezinski as National Security Advisor. The latter decided to use Islamism against the Soviets. It gave the Saudis the green light to increase their payments to the World Islamic League, organized regime changes in Pakistan, Iran and Syria, destabilized Afghanistan, and made American access to Middle East oil a national security objective. Finally, he entrusted military resources to the Brotherhood.
This strategy was clearly explained by Bernard Lewis at the Bilderberg Group meeting organized by NATO in April 1979 in Austria. The Anglo-Israeli-American Islamologist asserted that the Muslim Brotherhood could not only play a major role against the Soviets and cause internal unrest in Central Asia, but also balkanize the Middle East in Israel’s interest.
Contrary to a preconceived idea, the Brothers were not content to follow the Brzezinski plan, they saw further ahead and obtained the assistance of Riyadh and Washington to set up other branches of the Brotherhood in other countries; branches which would later take off. At that time, the King of Arabia granted an average of $5 billion annually to the World Islamic League, which expanded its activities in 120 countries and financed wars. For example, $5 billion was the equivalent of North Korea’s military budget. The League obtains consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with UNICEF.
In Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Chief of Army Staff trained at Fort Bragg in the United States, overthrew President Zulfikar Alî Bhutto and had him hanged. As a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the local version of the Muslim Brotherhood, he Islamized the society. Sharia law was gradually being established – including the death penalty for blasphemy – and a vast network of Islamist schools had been set up. This is the first time the Brotherhood had been in power outside Egypt.
In Iran, Brzezinski convinced the Shah to leave and organized the return of Imam Ruhullah Khomeini, who defined himself as a “Shiite Islamist”. In his youth, Khomeini met Hasan el-Banna in Cairo in 1945 to persuade him not to fuel Sunni/Shiite conflicts. He then translated two books by Sayyid Qutb. The Brothers and the Iranian Revolutionary agreed on societal issues, but not at all on political issues. Brzezinski realized his mistake on the day of the Ayatollah’s arrival in Tehran, because he was to pray on the graves of the Shah regime’s martyrs and called upon the army to rise up against imperialism. Brzezinski made a second mistake by sending the Delta Force to rescue American spies who were being held in their embassy in Tehran. Even if he managed to conceal from the West that his diplomats were not hostages but spies, he ridiculed his soldiers in the failed operation “Eagle Claw”, and installed in the Pentagon the idea that it would be necessary to acquire the necessary means to defeat Muslims.
In Afghanistan, Brzezinski set up “Operation Cyclone”. Between 17 and 35,000 Muslim Brotherhood troops, from some 40 countries, were to fight against the USSR, which, at its request, defended the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from the Brothers’ terrorism – there had never been a “Soviet invasion” as claimed in the US propaganda. There would never be more than 15,000 at a time. These men are reinforced by a coalition of conservative fighters and local Muslim Brotherhoods, including the Pashtun Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Tajik Ahmed Shah Massoud. They received their weapons mainly from Israel – officially their sworn enemy, but now their partner. All these forces were commandeered from Pakistan by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and funded by the United States and Saudi Arabia. This was the first time that the Brotherhood was used by the Anglo-Saxons to wage war. Among the combatants present were the future leaders of the Caucasus wars, the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah, the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines, and of course Al Qaeda and Daesh. In the United States, the anti-Soviet operation was supported by the Republican Party and an extreme left-wing group, the Trotskyists of Social Democrats USA.
The Carter/Brzezinski strategy represented a change of scale. Saudi Arabia, which until now had been the financier of Islamist groups, was now responsible for managing the funds of the war against the Soviets. The Director General of Saudi Intelligence, Prince Turki (son of the then King Faisal), became a key figure at all Western intelligence summits.
As problems between Arabs and Afghans were recurrent, Prince Turki first sent the Palestinian Abdallah Azzam, the “imam of jihad”, to restore order between the Brothers and administer the local office of the World Islamic League, and then the billionaire Osama bin Laden. Azzam and Bin Laden were trained together in Saudi Arabia by Sayyid Qutb’s brother.
Also during the Carter mandate, the Muslim Brotherhood undertook a long campaign of terror in Syria, including the murder of non-Sunni cadets at the Aleppo Military Academy by the “Avant-garde combatant”. They have training camps in Jordan where the British provide them with military training. During these years of lead, the CIA managed to seal an alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the former Communist group in Riyadh Al-Turk. The latter and his friends, Georges Sabra and Michel Kilo, had broken with Moscow during the Lebanese civil war to support the Western camp. They joined the US Trotskyist group, Social Democrats USA. The three men wrote a manifesto in which they affirmed that the Muslim Brotherhood formed the new proletariat and that Syria could only be saved by American military intervention. In the end, the Brothers attempted a coup d’état in 1982, with the support of the Iraqi Baath (who at that time had been collaborating with Washington against Iran) and Saudi Arabia. The fighting that followed in Hamah left 2,000 people dead according to the Pentagon, 40,000 according to the Brotherhood and the CIA. Subsequently, hundreds of prisoners were murdered in Palmyra by President Hafez el-Assad’s brother, Rifaat, who was dismissed and forced into exile in Paris when he in turn attempted a coup against his own brother. Trotskyists were imprisoned and most of the Brothers fled either to Germany (where the former Syrian Guide Issam Al-Attar already resided) or to France (such as Abu Moussab “The Syrian”), where Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President François Mitterrand gave them asylum. Two years later, a scandal broke out within the opposition, now in exile at the time of the sharing: three million dollars had disappeared out of a 10 million envelope donated by the World Islamic League.
4- Towards the constitution of a Jihad International
In the 1980s, the World Islamic League was instructed by Washington to transform Algerian society. For a decade, Riyadh offered to build mosques in the villages. Each time, a dispensary and a school are attached. The Algerian authorities were particularly pleased with this aid because they were no longer able to guarantee access to health and education for all. Gradually, the Algerian working classes were moving away from a state that was no longer of much help to them and were moving closer to the mosques that were so generous.
When Prince Fahd became King of Saudi Arabia in 1982, he placed Prince Bandar (son of the Minister of Defense) as ambassador to Washington, a position he held throughout his reign. His function was twofold: on the one hand, he managed Saudi-American relations, and on the other hand, he served as an interface between the Director of Intelligence Turki and the CIA. He befriended the Vice-President and former Director of the CIA, George H.W. Bush, who considered him his “adopted son”; then with the Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, and the future Director of the CIA, George Tenet. It was part of the social life of the elites and included both the Christian sect of the Pentagon’s chiefs of staff, the family, and the ultra conservative Bohemian Club in San Francisco.
Bandar commanded the jihadists from the World Islamic League. He negotiated with London to purchase arms for his Kingdom from British Aerospace in exchange for oil. The “pigeon” contracts, (in Arabic Al-Yamamah), would cost between 40 and 83 billion pounds sterling in Riyadh, a significant part of which would be paid by the British to the Prince.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan entrusted Carl Gershman, the former leader of Social Democrats USA, with the management of the newly created National Endowment for Democracy. It was an agency dependent on the “Five Eyes” agreement, camouflaged as an NGO. It was the legal showcase of the Australian, British, Canadian, American and New Zealand secret services. Gershman had already worked with his Trotskyist comrades and Muslim Brotherhood friends in Lebanon, Syria and Afghanistan. He set up a vast network of associations and foundations that the CIA and MI6 used to support the Brotherhood wherever possible. He claimed the “Kirkpatrick doctrine”: all alliances are fair when they serve the interests of the United States.
In this context, the CIA and MI6, which had created the World Anti-Communist League (WACL) at the height of the Cold War, would use it to bring the funds needed for jihad to Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden joined this organization, which included several heads of state.
In 1985, the United Kingdom, in keeping with its tradition of academic expertise, set up an institute to study Muslim societies and how the Brothers could influence them, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
In 1989, the Brothers carried out a second coup d’état, this time in Sudan for the benefit of Colonel Omar al-Bashir. He soon placed the local Guide, Hassan el-Turabi, in the position of Speaker of the National Assembly. The latter, in a conference delivered in London, announced that his country would become the backbone of Islamist groups in the world.
Also in 1989, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) emerged in Algeria, around Abassi Madani, while the ruling party collapsed amid various scandals. The FIS was supported by the mosques “offered ” by the Saudis, and consequently by the Algerians who had been visiting them for a decade. By rejecting the leaders and not by adhering to their ideology, they won local elections. Considering the failure of policies and the ontological impossibility of negotiating with the Islamists, the army carried out a coup d’état and cancelled the elections. The country was plunged into a long and murderous civil war, of which little was known. The rebels would kill more than 150,000 people. Islamists do not hesitate to practice both individual and collective punishment, such as when they massacred the inhabitants of Ben Talha – guilty of voting despite the fatwa prohibiting it – and razed the village to the ground. Evidently, Algeria served as a laboratory for new operations. Rumours spread that it was the army, and not the Islamists, who massacred the villagers. In reality, only a few senior officials of the secret services trained in the United States joined the Islamists and spread confusion.
In 1991, Osama Bin Laden, who returned to Saudi Arabia as a hero of the anti-communist struggle at the end of the Afghan war, officially quarrelled with the king as the “sourourists” rose up against the monarchy. This insurrection, the “Islamic Revival”, lasted four years and ended with the imprisonment of the main leaders. It showed the monarchy – which had imagined itself to have all the authority – that by maintaining the mixture between religion and politics, the Brothers had created the conditions for a revolt through the mosques.
In this context, Osama bin Laden claimed to have offered the help of a few thousand Afghan veterans against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, but, surprisingly, the king would have preferred the one million soldiers of the United States and its allies. He “therefore” went into exile in Sudan, with the mission of regaining control of the Islamists who had escaped the authority of the Brothers and rose up against the monarchy. With Hassan al-Turabi, he organized pan-Arab and pan-Islamic popular conferences to which he invited representatives of Islamist and nationalist movements from some 50 countries. The aim was to create at the party level the equivalent of what Saudi Arabia had already done with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which brought together States. The participants are unaware that the meetings were paid for by the Saudis and that the hotels where they were held were monitored by the CIA. Everyone from Yasser Arafat to Lebanese Hezbollah participated.
The FBI succeeded in convicting the BCCI, a gigantic Muslim bank that over time became the one used by the CIA for its secret operations, notably the financing of the war in Afghanistan – but also drug trafficking in Latin America. When the bank went bankrupt, its small customers were not reimbursed, but Osama bin Laden managed to recover $1.4 billion to continue the Muslim Brotherhood’s commitment to Washington. The CIA then moved its activities to Faysal Islamic Bank and its subsidiary Al-Baraka.
(To be continued…)
 « Brzezinski : “Oui, la CIA est entrée en Afghanistan avant les Russes …” », par Zbigniew Brzeziński, Nouvel Observateur (France) , Réseau Voltaire, 15 janvier 1998.
 Charlie Wilson’s War : The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times, George Crile, Grove Press (2003).
 Les dollars de la terreur, Les États-Unis et les islamistes, Richard Labévière, Éditions Bernard Grasset (1999).
 Inside the League : The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League, Scott & Jon Lee Anderson, Dodd Mead & Company éd. (1986). « La Ligue anti-communiste mondiale, une internationale du crime », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 12 mai 2004.
 The BCCI Affair, John Kerry & Hank Brown, US Senate (1992) ; Crimes of a President : New Revelations on the Conspiracy and Cover Up in the Bush and Reagan Administration, Joel Bainerman, SP Books (1992) ; From BCCI to ISI : The Saga of Entrapment Continues, Abid Ullah Jan, Pragmatic Publishing (2006).