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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Brotherhood in the Netherlands… Failed attempts to gain a foothold

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For many years, the terrorist Brotherhood tried, in vain, to play an influential role in Dutch society, through a series of financial, cultural and youth weapons.

The presence of people and networks associated with the Brotherhood in the Netherlands is relatively recent and limited, mainly for linguistic reasons.

And the country’s universities have not historically attracted as many students associated with the terrorist group as it did in several other European countries such as Germany, Austria and France in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Dutch security services estimate the number of actual terrorist Brotherhood leaders in the country and their actual members at only “a few dozen”.

Overall, the first Brotherhood entity was established in the Netherlands in 1996 under the name of the Islamic League, and was active in The Hague, before disappearing four years later, in favor of another Brotherhood organization in the Netherlands. Netherlands, which is the Federation of Islamic Organizations in the Netherlands.

In the same period, a group of Brotherhood leaders established a branch of the “Europe Trust” Foundation in the Netherlands, an institution specialized in financial affairs, and its original branch is active in Great Britain and works in the field of real estate. roots and remittances. , and is the main financier of the activities of the terrorist group in Europe.

Over time, the Europe Trust branch bought a number of properties in the Netherlands, some of which became Brotherhood-affiliated mosques, such as the Blue Mosque in Amsterdam and the Center in Rotterdam. The organization also received generous funding from foreign countries, according to a recent report by the Documentation Center for Political Islam in Austria.

Entities and individuals in the Dutch Brotherhood environment are associated with the Brotherhood’s umbrella organizations in Europe, although the Dutch organizations play a minor role in the Brotherhood’s network at the European level.

And he held the Islamic League and then the Federation of Islamic Organizations in the Netherlands, the membership of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, which is the umbrella organization of the Brotherhood in the old continent. Other organizations active in Europe, such as the Muslim Youth Association, are members of the FEMISO Youth Organization; It is an umbrella organization for youth associations on the European continent, since 2019:

In June 2021, an association called Al-Mashreq, operating in the Dutch The Hague, joined FEMISSO, accused of hacking European organizations.

In addition, a local branch of the Islamic Aid Organization is active in the Netherlands, run by the same people who run the network of other Brotherhood organizations in the country, according to the Austrian report.

Although the presence of the Brotherhood has limited influence, the Dutch authorities pay great attention to monitoring the group’s movements, and the security services have investigated the group’s network for many years, and in 2011 they issued an assessment of the situation of the group. group.

In their assessment of the Brotherhood, the Dutch security services wrote that the group was “attempting to pave the way for radical ideology to play a larger role in the Western world by exerting religious influence on Muslim immigrant communities and establishing good relations.” with local opinion leaders. : politicians, civil servants, non-Muslim social organizations and clerics.” academics and journalists.

“This policy of compromise has been more evident in recent years,” he said, adding: “The group presents itself as a legitimate representative of the Islamic community.”

“But the Brotherhood’s ultimate goal is to create, and then implant and expand, a hardline Islamist bloc within Western Europe,” he explained.

The security assessment presented to Parliament also indicated that the Brotherhood operates through a clandestine structure, an open cover of organizations and has limited but growing influence in the Netherlands.

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