Brotherhood provides spiritual grounding for jihadists

Pete Hoekstra

The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States and its values. Since its inception, the Muslim Brotherhood’s foundational objective has been to reestablish the caliphate.

By the Brotherhood’s own definition, the caliphate is a geographic territory, ruled by a caliph, and governed by Sharia law. More importantly, the Muslim Brotherhood has consistently embraced violent jihad as a core part of their strategy for success.

Designating a group a terrorist organization is a hard and laborious process for the State Department. But it is essential that it do a thorough analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood. This will enable it to reach the conclusion that it is undeniably a terrorist organization. The United States needs to recognize and identify those who seek the demise of our country.

Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood has been the inspiration for many radical jihadist groups. From Hamas, al-Qaida, Islamic State militant group and others, the Muslim Brotherhood provides the spiritual grounding for these groups’ ideology and violence. The most striking aspect is how much they have in common!

The Muslim Brotherhood’s core values pose a dire threat to the United States’ national security. With the recent horrific attacks in London, Manchester and Kabul, the spreading threat to the Philippines and Indonesia, it is imperative to highlight the global threat posed by radical Islamic jihadists. These more recent attacks come on top of the slaughter of Muslims, Christians and others in regions such as the Middle East, Northern and Central Africa, and Europe. The evidence is overwhelming.

From stealth to violent jihad, the Brotherhood has long recognized that it must use various strategies to finally establish a caliphate. They embrace the concept of taqqiya, otherwise known as deception and deceitfulness, which allows them to say something they don’t necessarily believe to further their mission.

More directly, the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) provided funding to al-Qaida. The CIA linked the IIRO to Osama bin Laden and to Ramzi Youssef, the mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. The U.A.E. identifies the IIRO with the Brotherhood.

The Union of Good is another example of a terrorist international network connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The network was designed to support Hamas and was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2008. Its board included a Yemini Muslim Brotherhood cleric named Sheikh Ali Zindani, who was a designated terrorist in 2004 for his work as an al-Qaida recruiter. United Arab Emirates have all designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. These countries and their leadership understand the Brotherhood’s capabilities and intentions.

Those that oppose the designation claim that the Brotherhood renounces violence. But in recent years, the citizens of Egypt and Libya have suffered tremendously under Brotherhood-affiliated regimes. These regimes prove that the Brotherhood has not rejected violence.

The Muslim Brotherhood has done an exceptional job burying its violent ideology through its use of taqqiya, front organizations, and other subterfuge. But after almost 90 years of spreading a lethal and evil ideology, it is time to step up to the plate, to identify the threat, and separate the notion of good versus evil. It is time to finally designate the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Pete Hoekstra is a senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism and a former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.