Western Intelligence and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood
by Paul & Phillip D. Collins ©, Aug. 12th, 2007
Like it or not, radical Islam is on the rise. And the group spearheading this rise is Muslim Brotherhood. Wherever political Islam is gaining ground, one is almost guaranteed to find the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Take the Gaza Strip, for instance. Most people know that in June of 2007 Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. What many people do not know is that Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (El Ahl, no pagination). Gaza is the most publicized of the Brotherhood’s successes. However, the group has experienced other victories the media has said little about. In 2005, the Brotherhood made significant political gains in Egypt, increasing its number of independent parliamentarians from 15 to 88 (no pagination). In Jordan, the Brotherhood’s political wing, known as the Islamic Action Front, has become part of Jordan’s political establishment, possessing 17 out of 110 parliamentarians (no pagination). Without a doubt, the Brotherhood’s influence is starting to be felt.
To say the least, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political ascent is impressive. However, without the aid of some powerful forces, the Brotherhood may have never been more than a group of marginalized religious fanatics. The hidden hands of these powerful forces can be seen at work before World War Two with the British travel writer Freya Stark. Stark was not just a writer. She was also an agent of British intelligence. Stark was used by British intelligence to foster an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood (Dorril 622). Brotherhood collaboration with Western intelligence continued with an alliance between the Brotherhood and the CIA that began around 1955. According to former CIA agent Miles Copeland, it was around this time that America began looking for the Muslim equivalent of Billy Graham, hoping to use such a charismatic individual to influence the Arab world. When this failed, the Agency began forging ties with the CIA (Aburish 60-61). What was the motive for this marriage between Western intelligence and the Muslim Brotherhood? This alliance would help the Western power elite neutralize the challenge to their hegemony coming from the secular Arab nationalist movement. Said Aburish elaborates:
In the 1950s and later, the West opposed the secular Arab nationalist movement for two reasons: it challenged its regional hegemony and threatened the survival of its clients’ leaders and countries. Specifically, there was nothing to stop a secular movement from cooperating with the USSR; in fact, most of them were mildly socialist. Furthermore, most secular movements advocated various schemes of Arab unity, a union or a unified policy, which threatened and undermined the pro-West traditional regimes of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other client states. The West saw it as a challenge that had to be met. (60)
Was the alliance between the CIA and the Brotherhood merely a continuation of the alliance between British intelligence and the Brotherhood? According to the authors of Dope, Inc., the OSS, which was the forerunner of the CIA, was merely a subsidiary of British intelligence (540). When the Office of Strategic Services was being organized, William Stephenson, Britain’s Special Operations Executive representative in the United States, was brought in for “technical assistance” (418). Stephenson’s involvement would lead to the creation of “a British SOE fifth column embedded deeply into the American official intelligence community” (454). When it came to religious engineering to promote fanaticism within the Arab world, it could be that the British power elite passed the mantle to the American power elite.
The power elite officially endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood in May of 1979 at the Bilderberg meeting held in Austria (Engdahl 171). At this meeting, British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis suggested that endorsing the Muslim Brotherhood would allow the Western elite “to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines” (171). This balkanization process would result in the rise of various autonomous groups and the spreading of chaos in the Near East (171). In what Lewis termed an “Arc of crisis,” the chaos would eventually spill over into the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union (171). This would help the Western elites counter Soviet moves to become the world’s sole hegemon, thus preserving the Cold War dialectical rivalry that had been so advantageous to the Western oligarchs.
The power elite’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood had begun one year earlier, when Carter appointed Bilderberg attendee George Ball to head a White House Iran task force that fell under the authority of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (171). Ball recommended pulling support for Iran’s leader at the time, the Shah of Iran (171). He also suggested supporting the Shah’s opposition, the infamous Ayatollah Khomeini (171). The Muslim Brotherhood was the movement behind Khomeini (171). Again, Western intelligence groups lent the Brotherhood an assist. CIA case officer Robert Bowie ran covert operations against the Shah that allowed the coup to be successful (171). The CIA-led coup used economic pressures placed on Iran by London to create the pretext for religious discontent against the Shah (172). London refused Iranian Oil production, “taking only 3 million or so barrels a day on an agreed minimum of 5 million barrels per day” (172). This move imposed revenue pressures on Iran, and agitators trained by U.S. intelligence went about blaming the Shah’s regime (172).
According to William Engdahl, the destabilization of the Shah’s regime was also aided by American’s working within Iran’s security establishment:
As Iran’s economic troubles grew, American “security” advisers to the Shah’s Savak secret police implemented a policy of even more brutal repression, in a manner calculated to maximize popular antipathy to the Shah. At the same time, the Carter Administration cynically began protesting abuses of “human rights” under the Shah. (172)
The action taken against the Shah was successful and the deposed Iranian leader fled the country in January of 1979 (172). Writing about his downfall, the Shah later stated:
I did not know it then – perhaps I did not want to know – but it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out. Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted… What was I to make of the Administration’s sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an adviser on Iran?… Ball was among those Americans who wanted to abandon me and ultimately my country. (172)
Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran was a major victory for the Muslim Brotherhood that stood behind him, and Western intelligence had made no small contribution to that victory. Make no mistake, Western intelligence helped make the Muslim Brotherhood what it is today. When looking for someone to blame for the rise of radical Islam, the accusatory finger must be pointed at those in whom Americans have placed their trust.
- Aburish, Said. A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001.
- Dorril, Stephen. MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service. New York: Free Press, 2000.
- Editors of Executive Intelligence Review. Dope Inc. Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992.
- El Ahl, Amira, et. al. “ Dancing With the Devil: Charting the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Spiegel Online 03 July 2007
- Engdahl, F. William. A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. London: Pluto Press, 2004.
About the Authors
Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He co-authored the book The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship, which is available at www.amazon.com. It is also available as an E-book at www.4acloserlook.com. Phillip has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, News With Views, B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent and Conspiracy Archive. He has also been interviewed on several radio programs, including A Closer Look, Peering Into Darkness, From the Grassy Knoll, Frankly Speaking, the ByteShow, and Sphinx Radio.
In 1999, Phillip earned an Associate degree of Arts and Science. In 2006, he earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in communication studies and liberal studies along with a minor in philosophy. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, political science, semiotics, journalism, theatre, and classic literature. He recently completed a collection of short stories, poetry, and prose entitled Expansive Thoughts. Readers can learn more about it at www.expansivethoughts.com.
Paul D. Collins has studied suppressed history and the shadowy undercurrents of world political dynamics for roughly eleven years. In 1999, he earned his Associate of Arts and Science degree. In 2006, he completed his bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal studies and a minor political science. Paul has authored another book entitled The Hidden Face of Terrorism: The Dark Side of Social Engineering, From Antiquity to September 11. Published in November 2002, the book is available online from www.1stbooks.com, barnesandnoble.com, and also amazon.com. It can be purchased as an e-book (ISBN 1-4033-6798-1) or in paperback format (ISBN 1-4033-6799-X). Paul also co-authored The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship.