Terrorist Shooting at Muslim Brotherhood Mosque: Shining the Light on Intelligence, Government and the Muslim Brotherhood

The investigation into the Quebec City shooting at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec  will be complex and far reaching for Canada.  The fallout will be significant as it hits intelligence, law enforcement, the Government of Canada and the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

Background on the Mosque

The mosque in  the Quebec City shooting was originally formed by Muslim Student Association according to its own history.   The Muslim Student Association was founded by adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The mosque donated money on a yearly basis (2001 to 2010) to the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN).  IRFAN, according to the Canada Revenue Agency, was set up to skirt Canadian law and send millions of dollars to HAMAS.  The parent organization of HAMAS is the Muslim Brotherhood according to Article Two of the HAMAS charter.  IRFAN is now listed as a terrorism entity.

A regular attendee of the mosque is Abdallah Asafiri, according to his own statement to the press.  He was listed as the directeur de la formation et de l’animation religieuse au Centre culturel islamique de Québec. Mr Asafiri is also major leadership figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Muslim Brotherhood itself.  He was listed as the “Masul” or the leader for Eastern Canada. He told the press he normally would have been there on Sunday night, but his son borrowed his car and he did not attend when the shooting occurred.

Various Implications

INTELLIGENCE:  In the near term, this will come to be seen as an intelligence failure on the part of the Government of Canada. The various agencies have done little significant work on the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada (and their various front groups.)  As such, little is understood about this international group that has a structured presence in 81 countries.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Local, provincial and federal law enforcement agencies depend on intelligence agencies for understanding larger and more complex problems like extremism, terrorism and organized crime.  If the federal level law enforcement agencies are not doing their jobs, this make investigations and prevention more difficult for police.  This problem was seen earlier in a kidnapping case when Chiheb Battikh of the Muslim Association of Canada attempted to kidnap a child for ransom.

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA:  Much of the Federal Government’s policies on Islamist extremism and immigration seemed based on platitudes or fluffy thinking.  This case may force the Government of Canada to examine how a two extremist (terrorist) shooters came to shoot up a mosque founded by an extremist group which was attended by  a high profile extremist figure.

THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

The actual motive of the two (one?) alleged shooters is yet to be determined.  But such an attack on a mosque attended by a high profile figure such as Abdallah Asafir may be seen as a challenge to them.  The Muslim Brotherhood has, on a global basis, a systemic problem as younger members want greater action (read violence) while the group’s elders are seeking retrenchment after their disastrous handling of their time in power in Egypt.

This attack is also poorly timed for the Muslim Brotherhood, as a variety of American officials, including President Trump, Senator Cruz and Secretary of State Tillerson are all advocating for the Muslim Brotherhood to be listed as a terrorist group in the USA. Such a listing will have a major impact on the persons and money crossing the US/Canadian border by the Muslim Brotherhood front groups.