The Brotherhood’s penetration into Germany dates back to the 1950s when the process was initiated by Said Ramadan, the leader of the group who has assembled Egyptian and Arab Muslim scholars and envoys in Germany, specifically in Munich, since 1959.
Ramadan established several mosques and centers that served as the main base of operations for the Muslim Brotherhood throughout Europe, while Essam al-Attar, a monitor of the Brotherhood organization in Syria, established several mosques and Islamic centers in the German city of Aachen. As a result of coordination between Syrians Issam al-Attar and Ghaleb Hemmat in Aichen, and Egyptians Youssef Nada, Ibrahim Munir, and Ibrahim El-Zayat in Munich, the largest EAC network emerged in Europe.
“Over the years and decades, the Brotherhood’s organization in Germany has become a major dilemma for the security and intelligence services.” Its affiliated associations and organizations began to infiltrate the democratic system to create a parallel society based on the ideology of the Brotherhood. In addition, the Muslim Brotherhood still relies on mosques and affiliated associations to recruit and recruit youth from Muslim communities. to expand its influence, achieve political gains, and spy. This has been confirmed by the intelligence services in Germany, where DİTİB is considered a main means for the Turkish Justice and Development Party with a Brotherhood background to spy on Turks in Germany.
Expelling Brotherhood-Related Interfaces
To exclude the Muslim Brotherhood’s legitimate fronts that are being used as a tool for political gain and for expanding influence, the German Muslim Supreme Council has expelled all Muslim Brotherhood-linked factions from its membership. Foremost among them is the Muslim Brotherhood’s student union and the Islamic Center in Munich. Ibrahim El-Zayat, known as the Brotherhood’s finance minister, has been stripped of all positions within the union.
German Islamic Group Organization (DMG)
Formerly called the Islamic Gathering in Germany, it is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s global network and its “central organization in Germany,” based on its close links in structures and positions with the Muslim Brotherhood organization there. According to official estimates from the German security services, the DGM has around 1,450 members.
In 2017, German domestic intelligence, based on court rulings in Hessen, confirmed that the group’s ideology was fully aligned with that of the Brotherhood. That ideology includes the establishment of Islamic sovereign regimes and a parallel society that is incompatible with the principles of democracy and German values.
DMG is part of the so-called “legal spectrum”, meaning groups that attempt to make long-term change based on local laws in German society without resorting to violence or terrorist attacks.
Islamic Relief’s relationship with the Brotherhood
Founded in 1996 in the German city of Cologne, Islamic Relief is one of the largest and most connected Muslim associations in the country. It operates as part of a global network in more than 40 countries around the world. The donations received by the organization’s Germany branch come from Muslim communities in German society. The European Commission has granted Islamic Relief Germany (IRW) €712,000 and continues to consider it a humanitarian partner for the period 2021-2027.
The organization has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and has institutional and personal ties with the organization’s leaders. It has strong ties to foreign organizations, especially Hamas. It also has personal connections with the German Islamic Assembly (DMG), and there are also overlaps between the Islamic Relief Branch in Germany and the British Mother Organization and International Islamic Relief (IRW) in terms of organizational history and ideology.
“On 21 October 2021, Sigrid Hermann Marshall, a German researcher and expert on political Islamist groups, warned of the danger of continued financial support for all branches of International Islamic Relief (IIRO) as it was proven to be linked to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and accusations of terrorism and extremism were increasingly being leveled against it.”
“Europe Trust” and money laundering in Germany
Europe Trust is ostensibly a company and a charity by creating a portfolio of assets and investments to exploit its resources to finance the social and economic projects of European communities. “Behind the scenes, it is a financial tool for money laundering, and also one of the main financial instruments for financing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, especially Germany.” The directors and trustees of the organization’s fund are mostly European Muslims of Middle Eastern descent.
The Foundation acquired 5,665 square meters of property with a five-story administrative suite at a former AEG-Telefunken plant site and several associations and groups moved there. The property seized by the organization was worth €4 million in the Weding neighborhood of Berlin, an area already home to several associations monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV) and in 2019 the Europe Trust was the owner of one property in both Berlin and Lodtenshire.
Christian Union MP Christophe de Vries, speaking on 5 June 2022, said: “It has become known that a Muslim Brotherhood organization active in Britain (the Europe Trust) has taken possession of a property in the Viding neighborhood of Berlin. It is currently used by representatives of political Islam, in fact the German headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. By the way, the Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organization in many Islamic countries, and it is also worrying that the Brotherhood is spending millions to spread its ideas here in Germany.
Sources of funding for the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany
Since arriving in Germany in 1950, German policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood has undergone several stages of development. Initially, this policy was marred by a lack of understanding of the threat that Islamism in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, posed to German society.
This lack of understanding and apathy on the part of German policymakers caused the Muslim Brotherhood to expand its presence throughout the country. A German diplomat said: “There was a prevailing view that the conflicts between the Muslim Brotherhood and its governments did not concern Germany, and that these were internal quarrels. “Our policymakers did not understand the importance of the Islamist movement because religion was widely considered an important factor of underdevelopment, and Islamists looked backward while dictatorships in the Middle East were seen as modernizing.”
Brotherhood Risk Awareness
In recent years, the BND has begun to understand the threat of the Brotherhood to the country, always warning in its annual reports of the dangers of political Islam in all its forms – especially the Muslim Brotherhood. The German government and internal intelligence have taken new measures to limit the influence and activities of the Brotherhood in Egypt. especially when talking about finance, external sources of finance, and the Community’s business fronts, which I have often described as a threat to Germany’s security. Here are some of these:
The finance minister of the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the Brotherhood’s leaders responsible for the group’s finances in Europe and Germany. German domestic intelligence has confirmed several reports. El-Zayat has strong ties to Islamic Relief, which explains the huge amount of funding the group receives from the organization that is more questionable. However, the appearance of the name El-Zayat makes it seem logical and understandable. On 18 September 2022, the High Council of Muslims in Germany stripped him of all his posts.
The German government has stated that there are close links between Islamic Relief Germany and the Muslim Brotherhood and has stopped funding them. Nicolas Beer, the European Parliament’s Vice-President, wrote to the European Commission that it was unacceptable for Islamic Relief to receive funding if it had links to the Muslim Brotherhood. European funds must not fall into the hands of organizations responsible for anti-Semitism or any other hatred. The United States and the Netherlands stopped funding the charity and Islamic Relief denied links to the Muslim Brotherhood on 3 August 2022.
On April 11, 2022, several German parties within the German Parliament demanded that German funding for Insan, which is under the control of the Constitution Protection Authority and is included in associations close to the Brotherhood, be drained. The Society received Government funding of half a million euros between 2010 and 2020 and 116 thousand euros from Government funds in 2021. The Berlin Mandate funded a project of the Society of 165 thousand euros between 2020 and 2021.
Ikez, BFmF, ZMD
Members of Insan have personal connections with the Center for Islamic Culture and Education in Berlin (IKEZ), which according to the 2017 Constitutional Protection Report in Berlin is a meeting place for Hamas supporters in Berlin on April 9, 2021. The Cologne-based Muslim Women’s Meeting and Training Center (BFmF) receives public funds from various sources and is widely supported politically, and the founder of BFmF said while receiving an award in 2011, that his organization is close to the Central Council of Muslims or “Zentrat der Muslime ZMD”.
“Europe Trust” the financial tool of the Muslim Brotherhood
The main financial instrument of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe is Germany’s Europe Trust members are classified as followers of the so-called Islamic spectrum – groups of political Islam that are ostensibly law-abiding but aim to establish a parallel society by penetrating society’s institutions rather than striving to achieve their goals.
“Europe Trust” has a mafia-like structure amid difficulties in monitoring its financial dealings. A charity and development organization in Europe uses a cover to collect donations and provide resources for the Union of Islamic Organizations in Europe. It owns property assets worth over £8.5 million and sends rental income from its properties to an informal network of Brotherhood-related organizations across the European continent, particularly Germany.
Qatari-Turkey external financing
Some regional powers are funding the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany by funding mosques linked to the organization. On 25 September 2022, external funding for the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Dar Es Salaam Mosque and Center was revealed.
Clandestine cells affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood receive Turkish and Qatari funding through the Qatar Charity Association and others. The BND considers the group’s financial activities to be the most dangerous of all extremist organizations, and it is expected that the German parliament will work with the Constitutional Protection Authority to deal more strictly with the sources of funding for the Muslim Brotherhood.