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Austrian Police Raid Targets Linked To Muslim Brotherhood

November 10th, 2020 18:30

Ger­man media is report­ing Aus­tri­an police have con­duct­ed raids tar­get­ing a large num­ber of Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als sus­pect­ed of ties to ter­ror­ist and crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions. Accord­ing to the Deutsche Welle report:

Aus­tri­an police car­ried out sweep­ing raids on Mon­day tar­get­ing dozens of peo­ple with sus­pect­ed ties to ter­ror­ist and crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions. Pros­e­cu­tors in the Styr­ia region said they were inves­ti­gat­ing over 70 peo­ple and sev­er­al asso­ci­a­tions that are sus­pect­ed of “belong­ing to and sup­port­ing the ter­ror­ist Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Hamas orga­ni­za­tions.” The oth­er alleged offens­es include form­ing a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion, financ­ing ter­ror­ism and mon­ey laun­der­ing, accord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tor’s state­ment. Offi­cials said the oper­a­tion “has no con­nec­tion” to the Novem­ber 2 ter­ror attack in Vien­na, but was rather the result of a year-long ter­ror­ism probe.

Read the rest here.

The oper­a­tion, which began in the ear­ly hours of 9 Novem­ber 2020, saw a total of 60 search­es in the fed­er­al states of Styr­ia, Carinthia, Vien­na, and Low­er Aus­tria. Accord­ing to the Aus­tri­an inte­ri­or min­is­ter, more than 930 offi­cers were involved in the sting aimed at com­bat­ing “the breed­ing ground of extremism.”

Fur­ther Aus­tri­an media report­ing indi­cates that one of the main orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed was the Islamis­che Liga der Kul­tur (ILK), a co-founder of the Fed­er­a­tion of Islam­ic Orga­ni­za­tions in Europe (FIOE) and rep­re­sent­ing the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Aus­tria, a transna­tion­al Islamist net­work cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR). Oth­er premis­es searched includ­ed those of the Islamis­ches Kul­turzen­trum in Graz. The Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Dai­ly Watch report­ed in 2014 that, accord­ing to Egypt­ian media, the head­quar­ters of the Inter­na­tion­al Orga­ni­za­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was plan­ning to move to Graz. In Lon­don, a senior Broth­er­hood leader lat­er denied the sto­ry, and the Aus­tri­an nation­al police direc­torate respon­si­ble for Graz said, “there is a rumor” but that they had “no con­fir­ma­tion or infor­ma­tion that some­thing is up.”

Aus­tri­an media also reports that among those tar­get­ed was  Farid Hafez, an Aus­tri­an polit­i­cal sci­en­tist with per­son­al and fam­i­ly ties to the GMB net­work in Aus­tria. Hafez is a senior researcher at George­town University’s Bridge Ini­tia­tive, whose staff includes mul­ti­ple indi­vid­u­als tied to US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood groups such as the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions and the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca. Hafez is also a co-edi­tor of the annu­al ‘Euro­pean Islam­o­pho­bia Report’ pub­lished by the SETA Foun­da­tion for Polit­i­cal, Eco­nom­ic, and Social Research, a Turk­ish think-tank part of the Turk­ish influ­ence net­work with head­quar­ters in Ankara and offices in Istan­bul, Wash­ing­ton DC, Cairo, and Berlin. SETA is close­ly linked to Pres­i­dent Erdoğan.