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Al-Takfir W’al Hijra, (aka Jama’at Al-Muslimin)(ATWAH)
Takfir wal-Hijra, Takfir Wal Hijira, Al Takfir Wal Hijra,تكفير والهجرة
Connected to "Martyrs for Morocco"
Takfir wal-Hijra(Arabicتكفير والهجرة -Excommunication and Exodus) is aMuslimextremist group which emerged inEgyptin the 1960s as an offshoot ofMuslim Brotherhood. Today Takfir wal-Hijra has members or supporters in several other countries, allied toAl-Qaeda[citation needed]. InSpainthe group is also known asMartyrs for Morocco.Members of the group areradicalIslamists who are not bound by the usual religious constraints. They adopt non-Islamic appearances such as shaving their beard and wearing a tie in order to blend into crowds and make themselves hard to detect even to other Muslims. They can drink alcohol and even eat pork to deceive their enemies. They believe that the ends justify any means and, that killing other Muslims can be justified in their cause and that Western society isheathenand it is their duty to destroy it.[1]Little is known about the current organization or hierarchy of the group. Several groups which adhere to the same ideology have possibly used the name independently of each other.
In 1977 the group decided to battle mainstream society by kidnapping a Muslim cleric. After Mustafa was captured and executed in 1978 former members were linked to the assassination ofAnwar Sadat. The ideology Mustafa helped formulate became an influence on later Takfiri groups.


The group began in the 1960s as a splinter group ofMuslim Brotherhood, but did not gain international prominence until 1977. The group was at first seen as a marginalizedmillenariansect of little consequence.In 1977 agricultural engineerShukri Mustafabecame the group's leader. He had begun to build the group after release from prison in 1971. He emphasized a complete break from all of Muslim society which he deemedkafir. Members were therefore to live in an alternative community, or even in caves in upper Egypt. Muslims who felt alienated or marginalized in modern Egypt joined this group for a sense of community. A surprising number of women joined, as he offered them a break from their responsibilities as daughters by deeming their families to be kafir. Although within the group, he had tremendous authority by setting himself up as a kind ofMahdiclaimant who could arrange marriages and forbid all outside contact. These activities caused lawsuits from the families of women who joined the group.'
Takfir wal-Hijra's ideology is so extreme that in 1996 the group plotted to assassinateOsama bin Laden, supposedly for being insufficiently radical. Many also considered theTalibanmovement inAfghanistanto be unbelievers

In Paris, a 10-men Takfir cell specialized in raising funds through counterfeit clothing was uncovered in 2003 (Proche-Orient.info, November 25, 2003). In North America, the head of the Lebanese Takfir, Bassam Ahmad Kanj, and one of his lieutenants, Kassem Daher, would go on to head a cross-border logistical support network in Canada and the United States, funded from drug trafficking and charity fronts (http://medintelligence.free.fr/arliban.htm, November 27, 2001). Kassem Daher also had links to a number of jihadi groups and individuals, including Jose Padilla (Sun Media, November 25, 2005).

Beyond fundraising and logistics, Takfir has been part of a number of foiled plots, including significant operations such as the targeting of Algerian interests in Marseille, the U.S. Embassy in Paris, NATO headquarters in Brussels and a foiled 2002 attack on the St. Denis football stadium in France (Le Nouvel Observateur, October 3, 2002). The European ATWAH appears more structured than its Middle Eastern manifestations; a 2002 confidential report titled La Menace Islamiste Sunnite, produced by France's intelligence service, cites the Takfir group (along with the GSPC) as one of two groups most likely to attempt terrorist strikes in Europe (Fides Journal, November 13, 2002). In Spain, home to a large and structured Takfir network, the group's role in the Madrid attacks has been confirmed by law enforcement, while in Barcelona Takfiris have been cited in a plot to buy materials for a dirty bomb (El Pais, December 19, 2005; Maghreb Arabe Presse, October 28, 2005). The doctrine itself, now "globalized," seems to have influenced a number of attacks, including the murder of Theo Van Gogh in the Netherlands.

The neo-Takfiris follow a loose or rather dynamic interpretation of Shukri Mustafa's doctrine. Mustafa was anti-modernity and anti-intellectual, whereas the neo-Takfiris use technology and modernity to their advantage. Where Shukri Mustafa preached a physical withdrawal from infidel society, neo-Takfiris are fully immersed in it, using secrecy and dissimulation as a core tactic. Whereas the original Takfir (and some remaining branches) excommunicates even other jihadi groups, the emphasis on excommunicating fellow Muslims is no longer central; instead, cooperation is now favored. Al-Qaeda's growing legitimacy as the harbingers of jihad worldwide may have had an influence on the movement's new direction. For al-Qaeda, an alliance with Takfir would be in keeping with al-Qaeda's drive to put doctrinal differences aside, federating and uniting all jihadist tendencies to fight the West. While some commentators have claimed that al-Qaeda is a Takfiri organization, there is no evidence that al-Qaeda or its leadership have excommunicated Muslim societies other than their governments and its supporters, even if, for al-Qaeda, Muslims who fail to support them are on the wrong path.

Unlike al-Qaeda in Iraq or the GSPC, Takfiris—in part because they are not an organized, structured entity—have not officially joined al-Qaeda or sworn an oath of allegiance to bin Laden. Takfiris can now, therefore, be viewed as semi-aligned "free agents" who may collaborate with other jihadi groups on an ad hoc basis, working toward the same overreaching goal. Most cells consist of 10-15 people and are usually formed from individual initiatives.Paradise NowAdditionally, unlike Salafi-Jihadists, the Takfiris lack any legitimate scholar and the ideology is not very elaborate since Mustafa himself did not have any religious diploma. As a result of its theological weakness, the doctrine has been interpreted to allow the worst imaginable deviancies. Without any central leadership, the group's ideology, already extreme, now evolves through self-appointed ideologues who double as cell leaders. As stated above, Takfir is able to legitimize criminal activities, justifying these activities through the theory of the fay'e (the licit) by appropriating the goods and property of infidels and apostates. Criminal activities like theft and drug trafficking are thus encouraged if one-fifth of the proceeds are used to fund the jihad. In many Muslim countries, Takfiris have been involved in theft from both private homes and mosques; indeed, before it was uncovered by security services, the Jordanian cell led by Mohammed Chalabi was heavily engaged in robbery and drug trafficking from its headquarters in Maan (AFP, March 27, 2000). In Europe, a Takfir logistical support network based in France and Italy was involved in theft, trafficking and forging documents (AFP, October 26, 2001).
The quintessential sleeper, Takfiris have "theologically" authorized themselves to break any and every Islamic rule to blend into Western society; they do not frequent mosques and often consume drugs and alcohol. The Takfir in Algeria were known to be using Artane, Hashish and other drugs while many of the Takfiris involved in the Madrid attacks were themselves drug users. Thus, where one expects an austere bearded militant, one may find a boozing womanizer. The Takfiris effectively stand outside the boundaries of Islam itself to better defend it, with the jihad imperative as the only "rule" to keep. Because of this idea of "sinless sin," the disenfranchised, delinquents or criminals are often found within its ranks and are a known target for recruitment because of their ability to raise funds. In truth, nothing is illicit or off-limits for the Takfiris; it is essentially a jihad without rules that allows for any and all transgressions—including bizarre and macabre rituals involving the victim's dismemberment. The aforementioned incursion into Lebanon in 2000 involved a series of mutilations; in Morocco, mutilated corpses became a regular occurrence in cities like Casablanca where the number of civilians ritually murdered by Takfiris reached 166 in 2002 alone (Maroc Hebdo International, December 3-9, 2004). In Madrid, Takfiris are reported to have exhumed and dismembered the body of the GEO sub-inspector who died in the anti-terrorist operation in Leganes following the March 11, 2004 rail bombings.
ConclusionTakfir is first an ideology and then a group or groups who adhere more or less loosely to its founding principles, with the result that ATWAH has now become a brand name. It has, over time, acquired an aura of mysticism and is now transnational, its members having been found in most Muslim countries as well as in Europe and North America. Apart from al-Qaeda and to a lesser extent Hezbollah, no other Islamist group has achieved the same internationalization across cultures and continents. The secrecy and dissimulation of Takfiris makes them particularly difficult to infiltrate, but also highly unpredictable as attacks may be sporadic and improvised, forcing law enforcement to cast an ever-wider net. The spread of the Takfir doctrine through the internet, its reliance on criminal activities and the atomization of small, secretive autonomous cells present a further challenge for counter-terrorism efforts. These efforts need to place a greater focus on recruitment, especially in prisons and high-crime areas, while increasing understanding of the emerging links between criminality and terror.
Shukri Mustafathe group's founder
Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisithe group's ideologist
Mohammed Attaaccused leader of theSeptember 11, 2001 attacks
Ayman al-Zawahirisecond-in-command ofAl-Qaeda. However he has spoken to the contrary. "And these Kharijite renegades have been concurred with by the Takfir and Hijrah Group who deem the Muslims – in whole and in part – to be unbelievers. These have gone astray from the path.” -http://www.lauramansfield.com/OpenMeetingZawahiri_Part%201.pdf- page 7, 2/3rds down
Karim KoubritiDetroit Five[3]
Ahmed HannanDetroit Five[3]
Youssef HmimssaDetroit Five[3]
Abdella LnuDetroit Five[3]
Farouk Ali-HaimoudDetroit Five[3]
Kamel Essamerleader inAlgeria
Mohammed Bouyeritheassassinof theDutchfilm directorTheo van Gogh, was influenced by Takfir wal-Hijra's ideology[4]
TheHofstad Networkthe fundamentalist cell of whichMohammed Bouyeriwas a supporter, was influenced by Takfir wal-Hijra ideology
Kassem DaherLebanese-Canadian theatre owner arrested in theBekaa Valley[5]

Alledged members and supporters


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