UK govt set to crack down on Muslim Brotherhood

British Prime Minister David Cameron (2nd L) arrives for a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. (Reuters)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron will soon order a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the UK, London-based newspaper The Telegraph reported on Sunday.

The UK government launched an inquiry earlier this year into the Muslim Brotherhood, due to concerns that its Islamist ideology was fanning the flames of extremism that has led to hundreds of British citizens joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

The report, which has been written but not yet published, has found an “incredibly complex web” of around 60 organizations in the UK, including charities, think tanks, and TV channels with Muslim Brotherhood ties, a source close to the probe told The Telegraph.

Former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove, who is reportedly an adviser to the review, is said to have described the Muslim Brotherhood “at heart a terrorist organization,” while the group - which has condemned extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda - insists it only wishes to instate Islamic rule through peaceful, democratic methods.

With assistance from British security agencies, the report has also examined the Muslim Brotherhood’s global network.

Expected pressure

Despite the upcoming crackdown, the government will not ban the Muslim Brotherhood outright, as “that was never the intention of the review,” the source told The Telegraph.

Instead, investigations into Muslim Brotherhood-linked charities, the organization’s funding and financial activities, as well as a banning into clerics linked to the group being allowed into the country can be expected, according to the source.

“We can go after single individuals, not for terrorist-related activity… We cannot get them for terrorism but I bet you they don’t pay their taxes,” the source said, adding that it has been “very hard” to monitor all Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups operating in the UK.

According to an expert quoted by The Telegraph, the Muslim Brotherhood operates from its three main headquarters in London, Istanbul and Qatar.

“It is clear that the Brotherhood has many dark spots, ranging from its ambiguous relationship with violence to its questionable impact on social cohesion in Britain,” said Lorenzo Vidino, who is believed to have worked on the report, according to The Telegraph.

During the summer, the report into the Muslim Brotherhood was delayed due to officials disagreeing on its findings, and due to a fear of a backlash from Middle East allies, the UK-based Financial Times reported.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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