x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Revealed: links between media attacks on UAE and Muslim Brotherhood in UK

Individuals and organisations in London with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood are behind a series of media attacks on the UAE, an investigation by The National can reveal.

Individuals and organisations in London with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood are behind a series of media attacks on the UAE, an investigation by The National can reveal.

They include the Emirates Centre for Human Rights, which has used the BBC and The Wall Street Journal to condemn the UAE’s human rights record and support for the new Egyptian government.

While claiming to represent the interests of those “seeking only democracy”, the centre was in fact created by known sympathisers of the Muslim Brotherhood cause. They include Anas Altikriti, a British citizen of Iraqi descent who accuses the UAE of putting pressure on the UK to ban the Muslim Brotherhood there.

Mr Altikriti is the son of Osama Altikriti, the former secretary-general of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq.

Other connections include a news website, Middle East Eye, which says “all sides of arguments are heard on an impartial platform”. Its editor denies links with the Brotherhood but refuses to disclose who funds the website, which employs full-time journalists.

Jamal Bassasso, sole director of the company that owns Middle East Eye, is a former director of Al Jazeera, and of the company that operates the website of the Hamas-controlled Al Quds TV.

He also worked in Dubai with Anas Mekdad, who runs the Islamist web forum AlMakeem Network and once worked for an Ajman company closed down for its links with Al Islah, the UAE wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr Mekdad is now director of the Emirates Centre for Human Rights and continues to use social media to support Al Islah members convicted of sedition.

The British prime minister, David Cameron, ordered an inquiry two months ago into the activities of the Brotherhood in the UK. The results of that inquiry will be submitted to parliament before the end of July.

newsdesk@thenational.ae