A “red alert” has been issued by Interpol, the international police agency, for the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The alert was sent out at the request of the Egyptian judiciary who has brought charges against the 88-year old imam for “agreement, incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder, helping the prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft.”
Interpol said it is planning to issue red alerts to its 190 member states for 41 other Muslim Brotherhood associates.
Chief of the Egyptian Police Interpol Gamal Abdel Bary said that issuing arrest warrants for Brotherhood fugitives is an “important change in the international community’s view of the banned group members.”
In mid-November, the United Arab Emirates joined Egypt and Saudi Arabia in banning the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. The UAE banned 81 other organizations as terror groups as well, including many Brotherhood affiliates, including the American-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
Senior UAE officials stated that CAIR, MAS and other Muslim groups in the West that are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood promote extremism and incite and finance terrorism.
The charges against Qaradawi, who is currently chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, stem from his alleged involvement in a mass jail break that occurred during the 2011 Egyptian uprising against then President Hosni Mubarak. An Egyptian court held the Muslim Brotherhood — as well as Hamas and Hezbollah, two foreign terrorist organizations — responsible for the escape of thousands of prisoners who an Egyptian judge called “a danger to society.”
A total of 11,000 inmates escaped during a well-planned operation that saw prison walls demolished with enormous earth-moving vehicles, followed by trucks and SUVs moving in with mounted machine guns.
Former Islamist president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi was freed in the attack as well as many other Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Egypt accused Hamas fighters of participating in the attack, saying that the militants crossed into Egyptian territory from Gaza a number of days before the attack to join forces with local militias which were also involved. Hezbollah fighters were said to have crossed into Egypt the day before the attack.
One month after Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian people and the military, Qaradawi posted a video where he called on all the Muslims of the world to come to Egypt and wage jihad with their lives in order to return the Muslim Brotherhood to power.
Qaradawi called on anyone and everyone — businessmen, journalists from all around the world, specifically mentioning Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan – to become shuhada, “martyrs” who sacrifice their lives for the cause of jihad.
Qaradawi, who was born in Egypt, was stripped of his citizenship by former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He was arrested four times in Egypt, once in 1949, under the rule of King Farouk, and three times during Nasser’s presidency. In the early 1960s, he fled to Qatar, where he eventually became a citizen. From Qatar, he broadcasts a popular TV program on the Al Jazeera network, “Shariah and Life,” which garners 60 million viewers worldwide.
He is banned from entering both the U.S. and the U.K due to his extremism, including issuing fatwas supporting suicide bombings against Israeli civilians and supporting the killing of Jewish fetuses, calling on Muslims to perpetrate a second holocaust against Jews and expressing of his desire to kill Jews personally.
Qaradawi returned to Egypt after the ouster of Mubarak, making a triumphant appearance in Egypt in Tahrir Square , where he led Friday prayers on February 18, 2011 during the assent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qaradawi founded the website IslamOnline and currently serves as its leading religious scholar.
The following video is a compilation of Qaradawi's extremist rhetoric: