FEMYSO: How the Muslim Brotherhood gets invited into EU institutions

They sympathize with radical Islamists, anti-Semites and homophobes, and yet they can walk into the European Commission without a problem – thanks to the kids. Our reporter traces the steps of the Muslim Brotherhood’s youth organization: FEMYSO.

The ploy was easy enough: set up a youth organisation full of bright-eyed kids. They have ideals, bright slogan T-shirts and so much energy. It worked a treat. The Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO) made it into the heart of Brussels with its stated aim to be “working for a diverse, cohesive & vibrant Europe”, getting invited to events and policy sessions at the European Commission and the Council of Europe. 

Never mind that FEMYSO is the kids’ club of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), basically the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Founded in 1996, FEMYSO brings together different youth organisations from across the continent.

Don’t believe it? Look at the list of key staff at FEMYSO: president Youssef Himmat is the son of controversial Muslim Brotherhood founding member Ali Ghaleb Himmat. A former president (elected in 2013) was Intissar Kherigi, the daughter of Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi. A report by the Hudson Institute says of Ghannouchi’s daughters that they “became personally involved in the Brotherhood movement”. Other key figures include Hajar al-Kaddo, son of Muslim-Brotherhood-linked Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland leader Noah al-Kaddo; Ibrahim El-Zayat, another German Muslim Brotherhood leader, and Belgian convert Michael Privot, although the latter later publicly severed his ties to the Brotherhood. 

So, just like FEMYSO is the child of FIOE, the people running the show are the children of Brotherhood members. They are the future leaders of the shadowy radical brotherhood.

In true family style, Youssef Himmat has also taken over the financial side from his father. Ali Ghaleb was one of the founders of notorious Swiss financial firm Al-Taqwa, which acted as the bank for a host of terrorists, including several members of the Bin Laden clan and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and family. Ali Ghaleb founded Al-Taqwa together with Youssef Nada, a Brotherhood leader and his long-standing business partner, and Eritrean financier Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, who was reportedly implicated in the 9/11 attacks as a major donor through his company, Nasco.

While Al-Taqwa is no longer trading from its bases in Lugano, Switzerland, or off-shore haven the Bahamas, the sons have stepped up. Youssef Himmat together with Omar Nasreddin and Hazim Nada set up a trading company called Lord Energy SA. Also based in Lugano, the firm claims to export “cement” across the Mediterranean Sea to countries such as Libya, but it neglects to mention its substantial dealings in crude oil. What exactly happens to the profits of Lord Energy’s oil business is not clear. 

What is clear is that FEMYSO has several times received operating grants from the European Union: €35,000 in 2010, €49,881 in 2014 and €35,000 in 2015. Whether that money stayed at FEMYSO and what it was used for has not been publicised. Either way, the Muslim Brotherhood has made it into the heart of Europe, thanks to FEMYSO. 

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