Consortium Against Terrorist Finance Dec. 29, 2016, 12:56pm

According to recent accounts, a report by Germany’s domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, the BfV (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution) and BND (Bundesnachrichtensdienst, Federal Intelligence Service), which claims Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar support extremist Islamic organizations operating in Germany, has been leaked. The report names the Saudi branch of the Muslim World League, the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association (widely known as Eid Charity), and the Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) as the institutions used to fund mosques, religious centers, missionary campaigns, and fundamentalists preachers as part of a “long-running strategy to exert influence” in Germany. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Germany, Dr. Awwas Alawwad, rejected the reported leaked excerpts by claiming that the Muslim World League is not only not associated with the Saudi government, but that the organization abandoned its activities in Germany in 2013. Eid Charity and RIHS have repeatedly denied accusations of connections to terrorism in the past.

There has been widespread speculation regarding the motivations behind the leak. While some have claimed that the report may have been internally leaked to pressure German authorities into suspending arms sales to Riyadh, the leak may also have intended to publically expose Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait’s covert spread of influence through government-affiliated NGOs. CATF has extensively covered the role of Qatari charities, including Eid Charity, in their effort to export Wahhabism through donations to Muslim communities around the world that come with ideological preconditions. Similarly, Kuwait’s RIHS has been widely designated as a supporter and financier of al-Qaeda, including by the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Saudi Muslim World League has come under fire for hosting controversial theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi and maintaining ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Reports of the leak have emerged only weeks after the German government shut down an Islamist missionary group with connections to more than 140 ISIS fighters. The raid on Die Wahre Religion, meaning “The True Religion”, sent shockwaves through Germany. While Die Wahre Religion has ceased to exist, the leaked report by Germany’s most powerful intelligence agencies claims that the fundamentalist Salafism ideology in Germany already has upwards of 10,000 followers. With this in mind, it appears that German authorities are feeling the pressure to counter a spread of extremist groups in Germany through NGOs connected to the governments in Riyadh, Doha, and Kuwait City.

From The Independent:

“Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are supporting extremist Islamic groups in Germany, according to a leaked intelligence report.

A brief seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcasters NDR and WDR raised concern over a reported increase in support for fundamentalist Salafism in Germany, warning that the ideology already has 10,000 followers and is growing.

The report, by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency and Federal Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly accused Gulf groups of funding mosques, religious schools, hardline preachers and conversion or “dawah” groups to spread the ideology.” 

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