Thursday, July 11, 2013

A glimpse of Balkan radical Dawa networking, by Ioannis Michaletos

The Kelimetul Haqq group

A radical Wahhabi group based in Vienna. Its head is Nedžad Balkan, aka Ebu Muhammad, who is the imam of the Al-Sahaba mosque in Vienna. Formerly an associate of Vienna-based Bosnian cleric Muhamed Porča (who funded Barčić's activity), he took up his position at the Al-Sahaba mosque after quarreling with Porča and his friends. He is also at odds with Imamović's movement, which he considers insufficiently devout. (MEMRI 2012)

In the early 1990s, he studied at the Islamic University in Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia, but was disappointed by Saudi Arabia's policy and returned to Vienna. He developed extreme views, similar to those of Al-Takfir Wal-Hijra– ( A radical Islamist group founded by Shukri Mustafa which emerged in Egypt in the 1960s as an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood). (MEMRI 2012)

Shukri Mustafa (1942–1978) was an agricultural engineer who led the extremist Islamist group Jama'at al-Muslimin, popularly known as Takfir wal-Hijra. He represents the early stage of the Salafi-Takfiris and neo-Deobandi Takfiri networks, which now  fight in Syria and elsewere in the Middle East and North Africa. 

It is of great interest to note that the Muslim Brotherhood network in Europe before venturing and establishing firm roots in London, it had since the 60's created an elaborate network in Munich and Vienna. Amongst notable figures belonging at that period in the Brotherhood circles, was the Tukish politician and Islamist Premier in the 90's, Erbakan who paved the way for the AKP party and Tayip Erdogan in latter years. 

Nedzad Balkan operates several websites through which he spreads his ideology. In the "", the Bosnian citizen Elvedin Duranovic appears as an administrator using as a communication the "" address. 


Moreover, according to sources in Serbia and Republika Srpska, Toulouse shooter Muhammad Merah spend time at a jihadi training camp in Bosnia some two weeks before starting his series of attacks. The camp is run by the Poziv U Raj ("Call to Paradise") organization. This is the Bosnian branch of a German organization by the same name (Einlaudung zum Paradies), headed by the radical preacher Pierre Vogel (alias Abu Hamza, converted in 2001), whose activity was banned in Bavaria due to its missionary nature and radicalism. (, March 26, 2011). The German group seems to have re-allocated its main activities in Stutgard based on local radical Dawa groups. 

According to the Radio Free Europe in March 2010  "Poziv u Raj" runned billboards and posters and distributed leaflets in Sarajevo, Bihac, Sanski Most, Maglaj, Zenica, Travnik, Tuzla, and Tesanj, calling non-Muslims to convert to Islam through a series of lectures. At one  lecture, Greek convert Efstathios Tsionis, claimed that 60 percent of Bosniaks do not pray, 70 percent of the women do not "cover themselves," and 90 percent of Bosniaks drink alcohol.

The material was being distributed even at churches during the Orthodox and Catholic Easter period, along with considerable street mobilization of both domestic and imported Wahhabis in the region.

Tsionis is also known by his alias "Abu Alia" and he is active involved in the so-called online Dawa mainly through the "GreekMuslimss youtube channel &", while he collaborated with another two Greek converts to Islam "Abu Yassir" and " Abu Hamza", who in their turn where for a while in cooperation with Ahmad Eldin the managing director of the El Rahman NGO in Athens, the only for the moment Dawa organization,online, seminar and street based. 

Abu Yassir is known as Stefanos Kefokeris and/or Stef Keris and/or Stef Keros, with a base of operations for Dawa worldwide activities the city of Birmingham in UK. Moreover he is a specialist in "Islamic heritage studies" having studied in Kologne -Germany and owner of the Study Tours company. He recently organized a conference on the "Islamic heritage in Greece" mostly pointing towards the Ottoman monuments in the country. In the past he managed the  ILM Online company and he maintains German nationality presumably from his long stay in that country or through his marriage with a German national. 

Over the past few years his engangements brought him across the globe where he actively markets the "Ottoman Islamic Empire". In a short form according to a presentation of him as an author he is being described as: " His interest in (Islamic) history of Greece, his country of origin, and other Mediterranean countries got him to work in tourism. After many years of experience he has started organizing Islamic heritage tours to those countries. Stefanos gives presentations about ‘Ottoman and Islamic heritage in Europe’ throughout the English-speaking world as well as the German-speaking countries. He is currently working towards a PhD at the University of Gloucestershire (UK)." His latest book is titled Europe’s Forgotten Ottoman Heritage (A Historical Guide to Ottoman Greece).


Several interesting Youtube videos concerning Dawa and related activities in Greece.