Tuesday, May 29, 2018

hotos Show IRUSA Chairman's Muslim Brotherhood Support

Steven Emerson, Executive Director
May 29, 2018

Photos Show IRUSA Chairman's Muslim Brotherhood Support

by John Rossomando
IPT News
May 29, 2018
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Lamada, second from the left, displays the pro-Muslim Brotherhood salute with Waleed Sharaby (wearing the yellow scarf), a leader of the Brotherhood-linked Egyptian Revolutionary Council, in January 2015.
Photos shared on Facebook by Islamic Relief USA's (IRUSA) board chairman and others give credibility to Egyptian press reports tying him to the Muslim Brotherhood. They show Khaled Lamada with people who have known Brotherhood loyalties, all displaying Brotherhood salutes and symbols. In 2013, Egypt's El-Watan newspaper identified Lamada as an American member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Lamada denies affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood "in any way."
This matters because IRUSA's parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), also has faced accusations of Muslim Brotherhood ties. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) included IRW on a 2014 list of terror groups.
The UAE list describes IRW "as 'Islamic Relief Worldwide of the Global Muslim Brotherhood,' alleging that the organization is a Muslim Brotherhood member or affiliate," IRW wrote last fall in a report to the U.S. Congress. "This is an untrue and unfounded allegation that is categorically denied. Again no evidence has been provided to substantiate the allegation."
Israel and Bangladesh also accuse IRW of supporting terrorism. Bangladesh barred IRW from working with Rohingya refugees from next-door Myanmar due to concerns it would radicalize them. In 2014, Israel banned IRW from working in Gaza due to evidence it employed Hamas members as aid workers, a claim currently being fought in Israeli courts. European banks Credit Suisse, HSBC and UBS refuse to do business with IRW due to terror finance concerns.
Islamic Relief USA does not give money to anyone suspected of involvement in terror, Lamada told the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. He claimed that IRUSA works through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) in Gaza, which has employed Hamas workers in the past.
IRUSA is the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. and provides nearly 25 percent of IRW's budget. It also partners with the State Department's USAID program.
American politicians have opened their doors to Lamada, who displayed photos of himself at the Obama White House's Ramadan iftar dinner in 2016.
Social media activity makes Lamada's Muslim Brotherhood support hard to hide.
He posed in a 2015 photo with Brotherhood Shura Council member Gamal Heshmat and exiled Pro-Brotherhood Egyptian Judge Waleed Sharaby. Heshmat and Sharaby belong to an Istanbul-based group of exiled Morsi-era parliamentarians and Brotherhood-linked politicians called the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC).
Each man in the picture held up four fingers, a gesture representing the Muslim Brotherhood's resistance to its 2013 ouster from power by Egypt's military. Lamada and Sharaby posed for other pictures, too.
Heshmat and Sharaby have openly supported terrorism.
Egyptians should give Palestinians weapons to go fight against Israel, Heshmat told NPR's Deborah Amos in 2002. Heshmat met in Qatar in 2014 with Khaled Meshaal, then a top Hamas official. He ridiculed the U.S. classification of Hamas as a terrorist group in a February 2015 Facebook post.
"What happened when America sanctioned Hamas as a terrorist organization? We saw heroism," Heshmat wrote.
Sharaby similarly supports Hamas. In a 2014, post on a pro-Brotherhood website, Sharaby praised Hamas terrorist attacks against Israelis as a "blessed movement."
"From throwing stones at the enemy, to stabbing him with a knife, to the sniper shot, to the IED, to martyrdom operations in the heart of the Zionist Entity, to the short-range missiles, to the long-range missiles to attack Israeli military units which made the people of Israel go into bunkers!!!" Sharaby wrote.
Khaled Lamada, circled, poses with exiled Egyptian Judge Waleed Sharaby to his left and Brotherhood Shura Council member Gamal Hesmat to his right, along with EAFJ members in 2015.
Leaders of the pro-Brotherhood group Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ), who have endorsed Brotherhood-linked terrorists in Egypt, also appeared in the photo with Lamada. They included EAFJ President Hani Elkadi; EAFJ spokesman Mahmoud ElSharkawy; EAFJ co-founder Aber Mostafa; and EAFJ members Said Abbasy and Yahya Almontaser. This group photo originally appeared on Almontaser's Facebook page.
Egypt's Youm 7 news site alleges EAFJ is tied to the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. Elkadi made an official trip on EAFJ business to Istanbul in May 2017 where many of the Brotherhood's international leaders are based, and met with Brotherhood-linked figures like Sharaby.
Other pictures on Lamada's Facebook timeline indicate he has a close relationship with EAFJ leaders. He spoke at its July 2016 Ramadan iftar dinner. A group photo from that night shows Lamada with Elkadi, Abbasy and EAFJ co-founder Sheikh Mohamed Elbar, imam of Brooklyn's Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, where Lamada formerly served as a board member. Elbar, who belongs to Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi's International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), called for Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's head in 2016.
"[O]nce people pledge allegiance to a Muslim ruler, it is forbidden to struggle against him and remove him, and if anyone removes him, he should be beheaded," Elbar said at an EAFJ gathering in Arabic. "Do you know who ought to be beheaded? Who should be stricken with the sword or hanged or detained? He who came to fight, and not the legitimate president [Morsi]."
Earlier this year, Elbar called for violence against Israel even if Palestinians are outgunned.
Before EAFJ was created, Lamada described himself as the founder of a group called Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR). Its New York-New Jersey chapter described EADHR as part of an umbrella group created by the London-based International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt's El-Balad newspaper in January 2017 accused Lamada, ElSharkawy and Abbasy of helping finance Brotherhood-linked terrorism in Egypt after their names appeared in several cases in Egyptian courts.
All of the EAFJ leaders who appeared in the January 2015 photo with Lamada mourned the 2016 death of Mohamed Kamal, who died in a shootout with Egyptian security forces. Kamal had established a Brotherhood-linked terrorist infrastructure in Egypt following the Brotherhood's 2013 ouster.
Kamal received support from the Muslim Brotherhood's Shariah Committee, which wrote an ebook blessing his terror effort against the Egyptian government, former George Washington University Muslim Brotherhood researcher Mokhtar Awad found. Kamal's faction created terrorist entities called the Revolutionary Punishment Movement (RPM) and Popular Revolutionary Movement (PRM). Elements of Kamal's terror network evolved into Hassm and Liwa al-Thawra, which were added to the State Department's terrorist list in January. PRM claimed joint responsibility with ISIS's Sinai Province for a May 2016 attack near Cairo that killed eight police officers.
Facebook posts also suggest IRUSA board members Mohamed Amr Attawia and Hamdy Radwan have Brotherhood loyalties.
Attawia's Facebook page includes photos from an EADHR rally held in New York in December 2013. Lamada appears in one of Attawia's photos from the rally. Also, like Lamada El-Watan reported that Attawia was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Attawia's name appears in a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood phone book together with then-Hamas Political Bureau chief Moussa abu Marzook.
Marzook created the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee to support Hamas in America.
Radwan, an open Hamas supporter, is Facebook friends with many of the EAFJ members and includes Heshmat's personal blog among his likes.
These photos and Facebook likes make it harder to dismiss the connections between IRUSA's board members and the Muslim Brotherhood. Lamada's EAFJ connection should raise questions due to that group's support for terrorism.
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