Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hamas, Hezbollah-And the Muslim Brotherhood?

Via CT Blog -

A senior Hezbollah official has now stated publicly for the first time that his organization has been providing Hamas with "every type of support" for a long period of time.

"We have always said that we supported the resistance in Palestine, but we have not mentioned how or given details of such support," Naim Qassem, the deputy leader of the Lebanese organization, said in an interview published by the Financial Times on Wednesday.

"But Egypt has now revealed that we have given military support to Palestine. We have done so for a while, but we have not talked about it," he continued.

It is one of the secrets of the resistance that we don't talk about the details of our support, but suffice to say that we are giving them every type of support that could help the Palestinian resistance. Every type that is possible," he said.

The statements are the clearest yet of the ability and desirability of Shiite Muslim armed groups (Hezbollah) to tactically ally themselves with armed Sunni groups (Hamas). This means the transfer of technology, lessons learned, tactics, intelligence etc. is well advanced among groups that have long and valuable experience in terrorism and irregular warfare.

While the intelligence community for years denied such alliances were possible, they have long been operative. One of the key bridges between the Sunni and Shiite world has been the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood has mediated or attempted to mediate a host of disputes between Shiite and Sunnis, including the unsuccessful efforts by the International Muslim Brotherhood's Yousef Nada to negotiate an end to the Iran-Iraq war.

One of the biggest bones on contention between the MB in Iraq and the al Qaeda groups of Zarqawi was the latter's insistence on targeting Shiite groups, while the MB units viewed that as a far lower priority than targeting the Americans.

The understanding of the structure of the Muslim Brotherhood has often been misunderstood in the United States, where it is often viewed as Egyptian organization. The international structure is largely ignored. It is also worth remembering (although it seldom is) that Hamas is, according to its own statutes-article 2-an organic part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

That means that Hamas cannot be acting in this regard without the knowledge of its "mother ship," the MB. My full blog is here.

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