Friday, January 25, 2013

World Assembly of Muslim Youth in the Balkans, by Ioannis Michaletos

World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) is one of the world's largest Muslim youth organizations. It was founded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1972. It was previously run by the cousin (Omar bin Laden) and nephew (Abdullah bin Laden) of Osama bin Laden. The latter was involved in forming WAMY's U.S. branch in Northern Virginia, which was raided by FBI in 2004.

According to WAMY's US website , WAMY has 66 regional, local offices and representatives in the five continents. WAMY's goal, according to its pamphlet "Islam at a glance" is to "arm the Muslim youth with full confidence in the supremacy of the Islamic system over other systems." While claiming to Western audiences that it seeks coexistence with the West, WAMY has a comprehensive program for supporting the Jihad. WAMY literature and lectures teach young people that non-Muslims are abhorrent to God, WAMY pays for promising students to continue their Islamic education at radical madrassahs in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and the affiliates of WAMY have been used provide cover or logistical support to Islamic terrorists. 

According to the official court record, the terrorists that plotted the 1993 WTC bombing kept literature handed out by WAMY. Moreover, in 2011 Canadian authorities revealed that "charity had developed ties to a number of organizations that allegedly helped fund al-Qaeda operations around the world and failed to comply with a number of standards required for charities to maintain their status". 

Further, one of WAMY's affiliates is the European Council for Fatwa and Research (EDFR) which aims to spread fundamentalist Islam and implement shari'a worldwide. Their leading cleric, Yusuf Qaradawi, is known for his fatwa sanctioning women suicide bombers. Abdullah bin Laden, was involved in forming WAMY's U.S. branch in Alexandria-Northern Virginia.

Spreading its message, WAMY supports radicalism in Israel, Kashmir, Bosnia, and the Philippines, among others. WAMY operated an impressive network of Arab proselytizers virtually everywhere in Eastern Europe. Its Vienna logistical centre served as the main source of funds, inspiration and propaganda material in various local languages.

The WAMY in Bosnia operated through the channels of Taibach and TWRA.  The Bosnian government stated in September 2002 that a charity with Abdullah Awad bin Laden on its board had channeled money to Chechen guerrillas, which indicates a presence of WAMY in BiH. A 2005 Wall Street Journal article reported on transfers of money from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) to the Albania branch of Taibah International, an Islamic charity whose Bosnian branch was designated as a terrorist entity by both the U.S and the U.N in 2004. U.S. government agencies and officials have argued that WAMY, in turn, has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. According to the Journal report, the money (around 2 million USD) was transfered by two officials of the Federation of Islamic Organization in Europe (FIOE), an umbrella group comprised of Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Europe.

"A key figure in this effort is Ibrahim el-Zayat, who as head of the Islamic Community of Germany, a founding group in the federation, is one of Europe’s most prominent Muslims. In 2002, German federal police launched an investigation of Mr. Zayat. According to copies of a report reviewed by the Journal, he allegedly transferred more than $2 million on behalf of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, a Saudi-run organization that propagates Wahhabist fundamentalism, which isn’t part of the federation. Some of that money, according to the report, was sent by Mr. Zayat and another federation official, Ayman Sayed Ahmed Aly, to an Albanian charity, Taibah. Taibah’s Bosnia branch last year was designated a terrorist organization by the US. government".

WAMY had also presence in Albanian since the mid-90's, where they cooperated with the Committee of Eastern Europe of the Muslim Youth. Amongst other they sent Albanian religious activists to Saudi Arabia where they were assimilated into Wahhabi radicalism and returned back, eventually venturing to neighboring Kosovo.

Connections: Taibach International, TWRA. Al Haraiman, and Probably NEDWE.