- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
Muslim Brotherhood: Open for business in Syria after three decade absence
The international Islamist political movement called the Muslim Brotherhood is set to open offices in the rebel-held areas of Syria for the first time since the nation’s Baathist rulers crushed it there decades ago.
The movement’s exiled leader in Syria, Riad al-Shaqfa, told the Financial Times Thursday that the leadership recently decided to revive its organizational structures in Syria and asked supporters there to start opening offices in rebel-held areas.
The move follows the launch of a twice-monthly newspaper that 10,000 copies of are distributed in liberated areas of the country, the group says.
“In the beginning, we said this [Syrian revolt] is a time for revolution, not ideology,” Mr. al-Shaqfa told the FT. “Now there are many groups inside, so we feel we should reorganize.”
He said the aim would be to promote what the FT described as “a more moderate brand of Islamist thinking at a time of growing radicalization” in the Syrian rebel movement, whose military wing is dominated by al Qaeda linked extremists in the al Nusra front.
The brotherhood is the Syrian offshoot of an international movement that encompasses national branches ranging from the governing party in Egypt to the U.S.-listed terror group Hamas in the Palestinian territories.
The decision comes amid growing suspicion from the brotherhood’s liberal and secular critics that it is trying, behind the scenes, to dominate the revolt against the Baathist regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
At the same time, some members of the rebel alliance are concerned the brotherhood’s efficiency, strong organization and superior fundraising networks “could enable them to dominate a fractured Syrian opposition,” according to the FT.
The brotherhood hold seats in the opposition’s exile political umbrella movement, the Syrian National Council, but is not thought to have much organization on the ground in Syria.
Membership of the group has been a capital offense under the Assad regime, since the current president’s father, Hafez al Assad, bloodily suppressed an uprising in the town of Hama in 1982.
The army and militias killed up to 40,000 people, and reduced the town to rubble, according to the Syrian Human Rights Committee.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Donald Rumsfeld has 'no idea' if he paid taxes correctly
- Wal-Mart forced to apologize for 'mistake' favoring English-speaking shoppers
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes