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 and co-authored the book The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship with his brother Paul Collins. Both books are available at www.amazon.com. Phillip has also written articles for News With Views, Conspiracy Archive, and the Vexilla Regis Journal.
In 1999, Phillip earned an Associate degree of Arts and Science from Clark State Community College. In 2006, he earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in communication studies and liberal studies along with a minor in philosophy from Wright State University.
Phillip worked as a staff writer for a weekly news publication, the Vandalia Drummer, between late 2007 and 2011. During his tenure with the paper, he earned several accolades.
In 2011, he was inducted into the Media Honor Roll by the Ohio School Board Association for his extensive coverage of the Vandalia-Butler School District. That very same year, the Ohio Newspaper Association bestowed an Osman C. Hooper Newspaper Award upon Phillip for Best Photo. In addition, the City of Vandalia officially proclaimed that November 7, 2011 would be known as “Phillip Collins Day.” This honor was bestowed upon Phillip for his tireless coverage of the City and community.
Shortly after bringing his journalism career to a close, Phillip received another Osman C. Hooper Newspaper Award in the category of In-depth Reporting. This award was given to Phillip for his investigative work over the death of U.S. Marine Maria Lauterbach and the resultant Department of Defense reforms concerning sexual assault and rape. The case drew national attention and received TV coverage by major media organs.
Phillip currently works for the Wyoming Department of Corrections, where he earned the distinction of Employee of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2013. Phillip still works as a freelance journalist and is currently collaborating with his brother on a follow-up to The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship.
Paul David Collins is the author of The Hidden Face of Terrorism and the co-author of The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship. In 1999, he earned his Associate of Arts and Science degree from Clark State Community College. In 2006, he received his bachelor’s degree with a major in Liberal Studies and a minor in Political Science from Wright State University. He worked as a professional journalist for roughly four years.
From 2008 to 2012, Paul covered local news for several Times Community News publications, including the Enon Messenger, the New Carlisle Sun, the Tipp City Herald, the Kettering/Oakwood Times, the Beavercreek News Current, the Vandalia Drummer, the Springboro Sun, the Englewood Independent, the Fairborn Daily Herald, and the Xenia Daily Gazette.
Paul also wrote for other local papers, including the Enon Eagle, the New Carlisle News, and the Lusk Herald. In addition to his work in the realm of mainstream, Paul has published several articles concerning the topics of deep politics and elite deviancy. Those articles have appeared in Terry Melanson’s online Conspiracy Archive, Paranoia magazine, Vexilla Regis Journal, and Nexus magazine. He currently works as a correctional officer with the Wyoming Department of Corrections.