Catalonia the next target of the Muslim Brotherhood
Monday, October 09, 2017
BCF : The Muslim Brotherhood is slowly building up its presence in Catalonia, Spain, part of a long-term strategy to plant roots in an Islamic community with Salafi traditions.
Police said they have paid attention to an increase in activities by Islamic groups in the area following an influx of money from mostly foreign sources. The added scrutiny comes in the wake of terrorist attacks in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils in August that left 16 people dead, with eight attackers also being killed.
A high-ranking police official in Catalonia’s anti-terrorism unit said: “The Muslim community (in Catalonia was) long under the influence of Salafists but lately the Muslim Brothers have started getting the upper hand.”The official, who insisted on anonymity, said: “We have noted that many international associations and organisations were sending funds to entities belonging to the Brotherhood network. One of these is the Islamic Relief Organisation, which has recently increased its fund-raising activities.”
He also said other parties were providing financial support to the Muslim Brothers in Barcelona but refused to name the parties.
The heightened concern about Muslim Brotherhood came as residents of Catalonia on October 1 overwhelmingly voted “yes” on the question of independence from Spain. Spanish National Police, in support of federal government claims the referendum violated the constitution, tried to stop the vote but 2.2 million people — 42% of those eligible — turned out.
A diplomatic source in Madrid said: “The International Muslim Brotherhood is quietly transferring many of its assets, especially those in France, to Catalonia following the enormous pressure placed by the French government on the Brotherhood leadership and the Qatari government to reduce its financial support of the Brotherhood’s activities in the marginalised quarters of Paris.”