Friday, January 24, 2014

Al Waqf-Al Islami in the Balkans

Al Waqf-Al Islami is a foundation funded mainly by radical Salafi Muslims from Saudi Arabia. This Arab organization has supported Salafi mosques across the world. 

According to the cable of the US Embassy in The Hague, reference number 05THEHAGUE2705, which was sent to the Department of State by Ambassador Blakeman, there are six Salafi mosques that are under monitoring by the Dutch security services. According to the cable, these mosques are monitored because of their role in the radicalization and recruitment of Muslims, whereas three of these mosques, al Fourqan, al Mouhadine, and the Foundation for Islamic Youth, are linked to the Saudi organization, Al Waqf Al Islami. 

This organization's branch in Kosovo receives regular requests from the BIK President to build new mosques and to refurbish the damaged ones. One of them is the mosque in the village of Bajcine near Podujeve, for which purpose Al Waqf Al Islami has transferred 20,000 euros into the BIK accounts in Prishtina. A director of the Islamic foundation Al Waqf al Islami in Eindhoven, Ahmad Al Hussaini, is included in a list of 20 Saudi Arabian business leaders alleged to have provided financial support to the Al Qaeda terror network (1). 

A prominent Al Qaeda member drew up the list, according to US firm JCB Consulting, which is investigating the financing of Osama bin Laden's network on behalf of 600 families of the September 11 terrorist attack victims. JCB spokesman Damien Martinez told Dutch current affairs television programme Nova, that the list was found during a raid on the Saudi Arabian charity, Benevolence International Foundation (BIF), in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Bosnian police conducted the raid in the autumn of 2002 in co-operation with the American FBI. 

According to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, Al Hussaini has been a member of the board of directors of Al Waqf al Islami since June 1991. The foundation's headquarters is located at the Al Furkaan mosque in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. The Dutch intelligence service, AIVD, included the Al Waqf al Islami foundation in a report that identified the foundation as one of several extremist groups with close ties with Islamic primary schools in the Netherlands. The foundation was also described as a radical Islamic group. Al Waqf-Al Islami is spread in the Balkans in Bulgaria, FYROM, Kosovo, Bosnia and it is assumed that it also operates in Albania and Montengro.

What Mosques Al Waqf Al Islami Is Funding, by Artan M. Haraqija and Visar Duriqi

The imam who will be heading the mosque in Bajcine is considered by some other BIK imams as a person who does not promote the Hanefi school of Islam or the traditional Islam in Kosova. His name is Fadil Sogojeva and he is currently the imam of the mosque in Bregu i Diellit [Prishtina neighbourhood].

The head of the BIK in Podujeve, Idriz Bilalli, has suspended the work on the construction of the mosque in Bajcine primarily because of suspicions that the mosque will be used to promote a radical religious agenda.

"In my view, he (Fadil Sogojeva) practices and preaches Islam, but not in accordance with the Hanafi school of Islam. This causes confusion and divisions. He also holds regular meetings in Podujeve with believers who are known for their views different from the ordinary believers. These people often promote destructive view in mosques," Bilalli said.

But, the BIK head has eliminated the obstacle to receiving money from Al Waqf Al Islami by suspending the person who has stopped the work on the mosque in Bajcine without any authority to take such a decision. The reason for his suspension was that Imam Idriz Bilalli was one of the initiators of the creation of the BIK workers union.

Our efforts to interview anyone from Al Waqf Al Islami have failed. After the first visit to its offices, a member of staff took the telephone number of the QKGH and promised to phone back to arrange a meeting. Our efforts over the phone to arrange an interview were without success. When we phoned the number given to us to arrange an interview, we were told several times that "this is not the telephone number of Al Waqf Al Islami."

Al Waqf Al Islami's suspicious links around the world could be the reason that it is not registered as an organization in Kosova. The QKGH has obtained from the Public Administration Ministry the list of all nongovernmental organizations that operate legally in Kosova and it does not include this Arab organization. In fact, the name Al Waqf Al Islami is hidden as "physical person" in the registration certificate of the Meka policlinic in Prishtina, which has been licensed by the Public Administration Ministry to conduct medical and construction business activity.

(1) R.I.M.S.E. Note: The 20 names mentioned are linked to the "Jedah-Ankara line", please see the Greek language report on the issue (