Was the Manchester bomber radicalized by his Islamist mosque?
The Islamic institution long attended by Manchester terrorist Salman Abedi appears to have deep connections to the global Muslim Brotherhood, which has been designated as a terrorist organization in several countries, but not the United States. Abedi killed 22 people and wounded over 100 more when he committed a suicide attack against a group of mostly teenage girls outside a concert at Manchester Arena.
The Didsbury Mosque, which is also known as the Manchester Islamic Center, employs top leadership that is directly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reports that the imam of the mosque, Mustafa Abdullah Graf, is linked to a group headed by Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi has infamously endorsed suicide bombings and argues that homosexuals, apostates from Islam, and those who defy Islamic culture should be immediately put to death.
Moreover, the supervisor of the mosque’s Sharia department, Salem Sheikhi, is a member of another Muslim Brotherhood institution run by Qaradawi.
Adding more evidence to the possibility that the mosque is on the fringes of British society, a mosque and Islamic center directory run by an independent group called Muslims In Britain describes the mosque as “Salafi-Ikhwan,” or fundamentalist-Muslim Brotherhood.
As news reports are emerging that the Manchester bomber may have had links to Al Qaeda, it’s important to recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood has long acted as a gateway to violent jihad. Its past membership includes a roster of the world’s most infamous and barbaric terrorists, from Osama bin Laden to ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group’s motto runs: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
Started by Hassan al-Banna, the group has always valued jihad terror and hatred of Jews and Christians. Yet many in the West believe that since the group does not always act upon its ideology (sometimes choosing first to infiltrate the political system of its host country before acting upon its mandate for Islamic supremacism), the Muslim Brotherhood should be seen as a counter-radicalization partner in efforts to “counter violent extremism.”
The Trump administration is said to be weighing whether to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Russia all list the Brotherhood as a terror group.