US embassy cable - 93DUSHANBE1266

THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: THE AFGHANISTAN CONNECTION

Identifier: 93DUSHANBE1266
Wikileaks: View 93DUSHANBE1266 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Dushanbe
Created: 1993-10-05 09:15:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL MASS PINR PTER AF
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O R 050915Z OCT 93
FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1146
INFO AMEMBASSY TASHKENT
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
CIA WASHDC
DIA WASHDC
USIA WASHDC 0086
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMCONSUL PESHAWAR
C O N F I D E N T I A L  DUSHANBE 1266 
 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, MASS, PINR, PTER, AF 
SUBJECT:  THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD:  THE AFGHANISTAN CONNECTION 
 
REF:  A) STATE 291823, B) DUSHANBE 1176 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  INTRODUCTION/SUMMARY: WE KNOW LITTLE OF INDIGENOUS 
MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ORGANIZATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN.  ON THE 
OTHER HAND THERE IS A LONG HISTORY OF NON-AFGHAN MUSLIM 
BROTHERHOOD ORGANIZATIONS ("IKHWAN") OPERATING 
IN AFGHANISTAN USUALLY IN CONJUNCTION WITH ONE OR MORE OF THE 
FUNDAMENTALIST AFGHAN TANZIMS.  WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING WITH THE 
CAVEAT THAT IT LACKS THE DETAIL WHICH SHOULD BE AVAILABLE 
ELSEWHERE.  END INTRODUCTION/SUMMARY. 
 
TRENDS IN IKHWANI ACTIVITY IN AFGHANISTAN 
----------------------------------------- 
 
3.  THE FOLLOWING REFLECTS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF RECENT 
TRENDS IN IKHWAN ACTIVITY IN AFGHANISTAN.  WE BELIEVE 
THAT THERE IS AN ETHNIC DIVISION OF IKHWANIS IN 
AFGHANISTAN WITH PASHTUNS COALESCING 
AROUND GULBUDDIN AND TAJIKS UNITING BEHIND AHMED SHAH MASOUD. 
EVER SINCE THE MURDER OF OVER 30 SHURA NAZAR COMMANDERS BY 
GULBUDDIN'S COMMANDERS IN 1989, THERE HAS BEEN A MOVEMENT OF 
HEZBI ISLAMI - GULBUDDIN COMMANDERS WHO ARE ETHNIC TAJIKS 
TOWARD AHMED SHAH MASOUD.  THIS TREND ACCELERATED IN 1992-93 WITH 
THE GROWING CONFRONTATION BETWEEN GULBUDDIN AND MASOUD.  THE 
RESULT HAS BEEN GROWING INFLUENCE OF THE IKHWANI WING WITHIN 
MASOUD'S FOLLOWERS IN SHURA NAZAR AND MORE GENERALLY WITHIN 
JAMIAT-I ISLAMI. 
 
4.  AS REF B SOUGHT TO ELABORATE, THERE APPEARS TO BE 
SIGNIFICANT DIVISION WITHIN THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND 
WITHIN THE INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST NETWORK 
GENERALLY OVER THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO SUPPORT GULBUDDIN 
OR AHMED SHAH MASOUD. 
 
IKHWANI AND OTHER FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAMIC ACTIVITY 
IN AFGHANISTAN 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
(GAMA AL ISLAMIA) 
 
5.  GAMA AL ISLAMIA AND GAMA AL JIHAD HAVE HAD SENIOR PARTY 
FIGURES IN AFGHANISTAN SINCE THE EARLY-MID 1980'S.  GAMA 
AL JIHAD HAS IN THE PAST HAD TIES TO (AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT 
FROM) THE ARAB FUNDAMENTALIST FINANCIER ASMANA BIN LADIN. 
GAMA AL ISLAMIA WAS LONG UNDER THE DIRECTION/INFLUENCE OF 
TWO INDIVIDUALS WHO FUNCTIONED AS COMMANDERS AS WELL AS 
PARTY CADRE:  THESE WERE MOHAMMED SHAUQI ISLAMBULLI (WHOSE 
BROTHER ORCHESTRATED THE SADAT ASSASSINATION) AND TALUT 
FUAD KASSEM. ACCORDING TO ARAB JOURNALISTS BASED IN 
PESHAWAR, THE TWO GAMA AL ISLAMIA LEADERS HAD GOOD 
REPUTATIONS AS COMMANDERS AND LED FORCES OF APPROXIMATELY 
300. 
 
6.  GAMA AL ISLAMIA WAS INVOLVED IN THE FAILED 1989 
OFFENSIVE AT JALALABAD, PLANNED AND ORGANIZED BY 
THE ISID.  GAMA AL ISLAMIA WAS ALSO INVOLVED IN THE 
ULTIMATELY SUCCESSFUL 1992 DRIVE ON KHOST.  GAMA AL ISLAMIA 
WAS TIGHTLY ORGANIZED ON A CELL-LIKE BASIS AND SHUNNED 
PUBLICITY.  MUCH OF THE LITTLE WE KNOW OF THIS ORGANIZATION'S 
OPERATIONS SUGGESTS IT TENDED TO CONFINE ITSELF TO 
NANGARHAR AND PAKTIA PROVINCES (THOUGH THIS MAY REFLECT 
THE LIMITED RANGE OF KNOWLEDGE OF OUR SOURCES). 
 
7.  OUR INFORMATION SUGGESTS THAT TALUT WENT TO SUDAN 
IN 1992, AS RECENTLY AS FEBRUARY 1993, ISLAMABULI WAS 
IN JALALABAD WHERE (IN FEBRUARY) HE GAVE AN INTERVIEW 
TO A LONDON-BASED ARAB NEWSPAPER. 
 
8.  ANOTHER KEY FIGURE IN THE GAMA AL ISLAMIA IS 
SHEIK OMAR ABDUL RAHMAN, WHOSE ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN THE 
WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING BROUGHT GAMA AL ISLAMIA 
INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION.  SHEIK OMAR OPERATED OUT OF 
PESHAWAR IN 1988 AND IN 1990 -- AND POSSIBLY IN INTERVENING 
PERIODS. 
 
(HADIMAT ISLAMI) 
 
 9.  HADIMAT ISLAMI, ALSO KNOWN AS THE "SERVICE OFFICE," 
 WAS THE FIRST INTERNATIONALIST ISLAMIC OFFICE ESTABLISHED 
 TO ASSIST THE AFGHAN JIHAD.  ITS PRINCIPAL LEADER 
 WAS ABDULLAH AZAM, WHO WAS KILLED IN A CAR BOMB 
 ASSASSINATION IN PESHAWAR IN 1991.  THE SERVICE BUREAU, 
 WHICH WORKED WITH BUT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN UNDER THE 
 CONTROL OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, OPERATED REST HOUSES 
 IN THE PESHAWAR AREA FOR COURIERS AND FIGHTERS 
 TRAVELLING TO AND FROM AFGHANISTAN. 
 
COMMENT: 
 
10.  THE PUTATIVE CONCORDAT BETWEEN GENERAL DOSTUM'S NORTHERN 
ALLIANCE AND JAMIAT-I ISLAMI (AND SHURA NAZAR) AGAINST GULBUDDIN 
POSES A DILEMMA FOR TAJIK IKHWANI'S WHO MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN THEIR 
ETHNIC KIN AND THEIR IDEOLOGICAL BROTHERS -- THE IKHWANI'S WITH 
GULBUDDIN.  MAKING THE CHOICE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT IS THE 
BACKGROUND OF EX-NAJIBULLAH LEADER DOSTUM, WHOSE DEVOTION TO ISLAM 
IS UNDERSTANDABLY SUSPECT AND WHO IS SURROUNDED BY MANY WATTAN 
PARTY CADRE WHO SOUGHT HIS PROTECTION AFTER NAJIBULLAH'S FALL. 
 
 
ESCUDERO 

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