The notion of radical Islamic militancy (Wahhabi Islam) is not a “revelation” unknown to the Intelligence Community here or abroad. Take for example, Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian author and “godfather” of Wahhabi Political Islam. His works regarding what the “Religious Sector” needed to focus on was within the Arab Nationalist states, to infiltrate governments from within…then outward to the public. His works can be found in two books, “Milestones” and “In the Shade of the Qur’an”. His views regarding secularism in the Western World and in the Arab countries which were led by secular governments changed when he visited the United States in 1948–1950. Qutb before he visited the U.S was considered “Westernized” himself, but that changed after he returned to Cairo in 1951. He immediately published “The America that i have seen”, where in one quote:
“This great America: What is its worth in the scale of human values? And what does it add to the moral account of humanity? And, by the journey’s end, what will its contribution be? I fear that a balance may not exist between America’s material greatness and the quality of its people. And I fear that the wheel of life will have turned and the book of time will have closed and America will have added nothing, or next to
nothing, to the account of morals that distinguishes man from object, and indeed,
mankind from animals.”
Thus the understanding of secular values was considered a threat to the religious sector within Islam since this notion of “Westernization” was becoming a looming threat within countries like Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Iraq and Egypt. At around this time Great Britain understood that Arab Nationalism also became a threat to the U.S-Great Britain coalition as they could not regulate the oil reserves of certain countries due to these independent Arab states which were in the peak stages of “Pan Arabism”, this was readily seen under Egypt’s President Gamel Nasser in the late periods of the 1940’s. Nasser along with Shukri al-Quwatli (Syria) saw the rise of the Arab Republics and began implementing the works of, Darwish-Al Maqdidi, Miqdadi, as well as other Arab scholars, believed that a free and unified Arab nation could only exist if western influence was removed from the Arab Middle East. Generally, the core of Miqdadi’s beliefs, and others like his, became the philosophy of Pan Arabism. Thus the Muslim Brotherhood, which was the first Islamic organization and co founded by Qutb began to implement the ideologies of Haddith scholars such as Ibn Hambali and Ibn Tammiyah to co-exist within Islamic governments, but it needed the influence of someone within an area of government, they thought that person was Nasser, they were wrong.
While Nasser told Qutb and founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Banna, that he would work together, Nasser began implementing a secret security service. But Nasser was aware of a plot to assassinate him once Qutb found out of Nasser’s plans to oust the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1954 Qutb was arrested. The Egyptian government and its security service the Mabahith Amn El Dawla or in English, the State Security Investigations Service (SSI), began arresting many within the Muslim Brotherhood and those who were overtly religious. The SSI were notorious for their methods of torture, and Qutb in his first 3 years of prison was under harsh conditions, which were “relented”. Qutb was released in 1964 under pressure from the Iraqi government, but was shortly re-arrested for of plotting to overthrow the state in 1965. He was sentenced to death, which was carried out in 1`966 by hanging. His death would be considered an act of “martyrdom” and this instance was considered the beginning of the rise of the Islamic religious sector. That act is still being felt today. It helped to create many Islamic radical cells in Egypt, such as Al-Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Gamma Islammiyah. Radical Islamist’s wouldn’t stop growing, by 1980….the Islamic ascension rose to enormous heights with three major events…
1. The Seizure of the Saudi Arabia Grand Mosque and Kabaa.
2. Iranian Revolution
3. Afghan-Soviet War
During the war where the Soviets invaded Kabul in 1979, the United States used the CIA to funnel money, and later on weapons (stinger missiles) , to the Afghan Mujaheddin. This was under the Carter administration who tried to also at the same time try to have a more “profitable” relationship with the Arab states which was now beginning to see “Pan Arabism” being incrementally eliminated from within, as the religious sectors of Algeria, Afghanistan and Iran expand its militancy to the governments. It was also here within the Carter administration which saw his National Security Adviser , Zbigniew Brzezinski, author his book “The Grand Chessboard” which published in 1997. Brzezinski suggests that it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger should emerge capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America’s global super power. Brezinski also was part of the “Safari Club” alliance under the Reagan administration which saw the Intelligence Community work within the Arab states to implement favorable dictators and finally oust the remaining influences of “Pan Arabism” which was the final threat to the U.S and the overthrow of Arab Independence.
Algeria saw a civil war which lasted over 10 years from the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, Iran saw the rise of the Shia Islamic sect that overthrew the U.S backed dictator, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was helped to power by a CIA led coup in 1953 over Mohammed Motassdegh.
Pan Arabism was being replaced by the Islamic religious ideologies of Sayyid Qutb and the founder of Wahhabi ideology which helped create the first Saudi state, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Wahabbi Islam is considered a deviation from the Quran, yet this deviation, saw its ideology internally change governments over the last 100 years with assistance from Saudi scholars, imams and Hafiz who helped spread this ideology, none more so than with the Afghan-Soviet war which saw the rise of new militants. Abdullah Azzam, Osama Bin Laden, and Ayman a-Zawahiri. After the assassination of Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat by members of Al Jihad and Gamma Islamiyyah, mass weeps of arrests by the SSI into the religious sector and of course the rampant abuses of torture, which were quite unorthodox, saw many people falsely arrested. Two men, Omar Abdel Rahman and Ayman al-Zawahiri were examples of two men who were tortured under extreme conditions. While both men were released, it was under these conditions they saw themselves much like of their mentor, Sayyid Qutb. It reinforced and even made them more “extremist” in their views. This was even admitted by Ayman al-Zawahiri years later when he wrote in his own personal memoirs.
In 1976, The Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (FIBE) was created, it would be the first bank which carted to the Islamic Republic and was co founded by Saudi Prince Mohammed al-Faisal, members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which included the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdul-Rahman. It was during this time Rahman, who was known to many around the world as being a radical imam for a dangerous sect (Gamma Islamiyyah). His visas were issued by CIA agents despite his appearance on a State Department terrorism watch list. No matter if the CIA, State Department, they were fully aware of Rahman’s ideology and his group. Not to mention he was also an “asset” to the CIA, as he was funneling large sums of money from within the United States (Detroit, New York, Arizona) where Islamic centers named after the Mahktab al-Khidamat located on those cities. The CIA was funneling funds to the Mahktab al-Khidamat centers in New York and in Peshawar to help the Afghan Mujaheddin. It is the single largest CIA operation in its history to date, Operation Cyclone. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken when funding began with just over $500,000 in 1979, was increased dramatically to $20–$30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.
There were numerous warlords who were given large sums of money not just from the CIA but from the Pakistan ISI, Saudi GID, British MI6. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (Hizib-i-Islami) and Rasol Abdul Sayyaf (Northern Alliance) were two examples. There is no evidence Osama Bin Laden, who openly refused, to be helped by the CIA, of taking money from any agency. Meanwhile Abdullah Azzam, a Pakistan Imam and founder of “defensive Jihad” where he promoted the idea of Jihad not just as an inward struggle but an actual physical struggle against secular invaders…..this new ideology began to manipulate the youth from Pakistan Madrassas in Islamabad and Peshawar. These young soldiers would replace the Arab Nationalists who were getting killed in the war. The ideology along with Wahhabi Islam which was spreading under the Saudi donations in the Gulf states and within the United States was rapidly ascending. After the war ended, the United States left Afghanistan, it saw two brutal civil wars, which killed more people than ten years of the war. Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia, and those who survived the war began to go back to their countries of origin….with their radical mindset still wanting to wage this new “jihad”.