The armed wing (Hasm movement) within the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) cannot be considered a turning point in the history of the MB group, whether at the ideological, methodological, or organizational and movement levels. Actually, it was a true and effective embodiment of the ideas and principles of Hassan Al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb, and an extension of the armed secret organization that Al-Banna had established in the 1940s to be involved in many terrorist operations.
However, there are several factors that helped crystallize the armed wing (Hasm movement), intellectually and organizationally, especially as it was founded on the remnants of some armed brotherhood movements that were formed after the June 30, 2013 revolution, such as “Revolutionary Punishment”, “Walaa” and “Helwan Brigades “in addition to other movements of the brotherhood.
The first factor is as follows,
The armed movement’s reliance on several intellectual studies presented by the group after the fall of its rule, and clearly expressed the ideological line of the brotherhood, such as:
(1) The study of “The Jurisprudence of Test and Tribulation” by the MB Mufti, Dr. Abd al-Rahman al-Barr.
(2) “The Jurisprudence of Popular Resistance”, which is considered a jurisprudential and legal study to employ armed violence to serve the group in confronting the ruling political regimes.
(3) “The Guide for the Walker and the bewildered”.
(4 “Uncovering Suspicions”, a book about the differences that people have fallen into.
(5) The document “Responding to the Assault on the Islamic Movement”, written by Sayed Qutb, and it was leaked from inside the prison before his execution. He called in these leaks for demolishing the civil state to replace it with the Islamic one, an idea that is completely consistent with the theory of “spite and exhaustion” proposed by the book “Management of savagery”, which is considered the most important intellectual reference for Al Qaeda and ISIS.
All of these studies have been rooted in the ideology and legitimacy of armed work and legitimatize the permissibility of army and police forces’ blood, the attacks on state institutions and all possible actions to overthrow the political regimes.
The MB has adopted violence and then its slogan “Our peace is stronger than bullets” has changed to become “Our peace is stronger with bullets.”
In one of his interviews on the Brotherhood’s “Makmalin” channel, the Brotherhood leader Magdi Shalash confirmed that the Sharia committee within the Brotherhood worked after June 30, and for several months, and presented a set of studies, foremost of which is the book “The Jurisprudence of Popular Resistance”, for the intellectual and legal documentation for that critical stage of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. The committee was headed by Dr. Muhammad Kamal, who was directly responsible for the armed wing.
Shalash stressed during his meeting that “Peacefulness is not a parameter for the Brotherhoodand that “the slogan of our peace is stronger than bullets” has now changed, and our peace has become stronger with bullets.”
He also revealed that these studies were distributed to the group’s organizational bases, and that more than 85% of the Brotherhood members support armed work to confront the Egyptian political system.
The second factor: rehabilitation and training
And that is through the “Al-Talaa ‘camps”, which were dismantled by the Egyptian security services, in several desert areas, and could dry up the sources of their funding and reach their external network that provides them with money and weapons.
The establishment of the Tale’i Al-Fateh camps came within the framework of the development of the organizational and operational structure of the armed wing within the Brotherhood. It consists of armed wings settled in remote and desert areas, with the aim of training the largest possible number of the group’s youth to practice martial arts and assassinations, under the name of “jihadist education” or the “Holy Jihad Project.”
The “Talae (Vanguards) Camps” are considered the real nucleus for the formation of the so-called “armed organization”, the qualitative transfer and the shift in the strategy of armed work within the Brotherhood. It is the real transition from the category of randomness and amateurs, to the category of professionalism and complete training on methods of using weapons, dismantling, installing and manufacturing explosives and the use of modern technologies and modern means of communication in the processes of monitoring, tracking and controlling the targets.
Thanks to the efforts of the Egyptian security services who eliminated this project on the dot and thwarted the idea of forming these armed cells and wings, through the process of dismantling these camps, taking down a large number of their members and arresting some of them, in addition to finding some organizational papers of plans for these camps and its financing sources and armory stores located under the so-called “death farms” such as the Alexandria farm and the Behira farm.
The “Talae (Vanguard) Camps” sought for forming a number of armed movements with the aim of dispersing and confusing the Egyptian security services. Among the training courses they received was the “Resisting Interrogation” course, which targeted psychologically preparation for the personnel to deal with security investigations in case they are apprehended by the intelligence security services.
These camps formed an integrated organizational structure in terms of specialization and the roles entrusted with training and qualifying the personnel, and it included:
Firstly: Central Support, which is a committee concerned with providing all logistical support to the armed movement, according to their interim needs.
Secondly: The Sharia Committee, which is a committee concerned with preparing the legitimate programs and courses necessary to root the specific armed operations and to consolidate jihadist ideas and concepts and suicide operations among the elements of the organization.
Thirdly: The Administrative Units Committee, whose mission is to prepare the various databases for the organization and to ensure that the elements of the Hsam movement follow security and safety procedures.
Fourthly: The Monitoring and Information Committee, which is concerned with all information related to the elements and entities to be targeted and monitored, whether they are political, military, police, judicial, or media, or even important vital premises.
Fifthly: The Operations and Implementation Committee, which undertakes the implementation of armed operations against the monitored targets, and includes several sub-cells as follows: the “training” cell, the “manufacturing” cell, the “housing” cell concerned with equipping organizational headquarters and operating rooms, holding organizational meetings, hiding weapons and tools used in terrorist operations, the “forgery” cell tasked with issuing false identity papers for the elements of the organization, and the “storage” cell in charge of managing and preparing training camps.
According to the security services ‘investigations, Al-Talae camps divided the Egyptian state into a group of geographical sectors, on top of which is the northern sector, whose elements carry out terrorist operations in the governorates of Alexandria, Beheira, Damietta, Sharkia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbia and Menoufia, the southern sector that includes the governorates of Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, Aswan, Qena, Luxor, and Sohag and the central sector that involves governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia.
Qatar supported Al Qaeda and the latter was the safe incubator for the armed Brotherhood movements and their strong cover that was the reason behind their continuation.
Third factor: Alliance with Al Qaeda
One of the factors that helped in the crystallization of the (Hasm) armed movement and its continued existence was the permanent support from “Al Qaeda” organization, especially in light of the historical relationship between the Brotherhood and Bin Dallan base, since the phase of the leader (murshed) Muhammad Hamid Abu Al-Nasr and Mustafa Mashhour.
Besides, Qatar is one of the reasons behind the success of this alliance as it is a strong supporter for Al Qaeda and its various armed operations. Qatar embraced a large number of Al Qaeda leaders, sponsored Bin Laden’s men in a certain period of time, such as Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the events of September 11, 2001, and supported the “Hasm” Brotherhood movement, whose structure is managed from outside the Egyptian territories and supervised by Qatari and Turkish elements.
This was manifested in many aspects, the most important of which are:
The jihadi platforms affiliated with Al-Qaeda, in cooperation with the Brotherhood, broadcasted a systematic campaign against “conscription” in the Egyptian army, documenting it with stray legal evidence and fatwas, deviating from the correct approach of the leaders of Al-Qaeda and the Jihadist Salafist organization.
The Brotherhood’s armed wing greatly supported Al-Qaeda in the case of Hisham Ashmawy, as it broadcasted a documentary film under the title (Al-Wahat .. The Fatal Ambush), which contained important details and information about the battle of “Al-Wahat Al-Bahariya” that took place at the 135th kilometer on the Al-Wahat Road in Gharbia desert on October 20, 2017. It was carried out by Al-Mourabitoun Organization while it was led by Ashmawy who was affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
The film adopted the theses of the book “The Jurisprudence of Popular Resistance”, whose pages were written by the leaders of the armed wing. In the film, they narrated the steps and methods of forming specific cells, which do not have to work directly with the organization but actually revolve in its orbit and carry out its orders similar to the idea of “lone wolves.” ».
In the film, the Brotherhood leaders celebrated Hisham Ashmawi, whom they described as “the leader of the resistance”, and his partner, Imad Abdel Hamid, as “the martyr leader”, considering them symbols who confronted the Egyptian state. They also praised the takfirist Omar Rifai Sorour, Mufti of Al Qaeda in Libya, dubbing him as “the martyr fighter.”
The film also contained several direct messages, confirming the joint cooperation between the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, such as showing pictures and live clips of the Rab’a sit-in dispersal in August 2018.
In the same context, the Office of the fugitive Brotherhood members in Turkey issued a joint statement with al-Qaeda, denouncing the disappearance of Maryam Radwan, wife of the terrorist Omar Rifai Sorour, Mufti of al-Qaeda in Libya, and the son of Rifai Sorour, one of the actual founders of Salafi jihadism in Egypt, accusing the Egyptian security services of hiding them.
The fourth factor: deterrence committees
In the light of the control of “Qutb leaders” over the scene within the Brotherhood, they aimed at establishing a state that is not only local but a global entity whose borders and geography were set by Hassan Al-Banna in his messages, “the world professor”, so that the pillars of their entities can’t fall apart.
The group devised a strategy aimed at securing its organization, under the so-called “strike force”, which included 30% of the group’s members, a percentage that was agreed upon and the group sought at applying it, with an approach similar to that of the “secret organization”, which was established by Hassan Al-Banna and for which they chose the best elements but in a more sophisticated way.
Akef denied the brotherhood claim that the group abandoned its armed approach and was proud of their ability to mobilize thousands of fighters to support Hezbollah.
Actually, the above means that the file of armed training was not disregarded during the reign of President Mubarak, as it claimed, and what was revealed by the seventh leader, Muhammad Akef, that the Brotherhood could send 10,000 fighters to support Hezbollah in Lebanon, in August 2006.
The responsibility of the military training file was on the shoulders of one of the leader’s vices, as the leadership office used to send brotherhood members to armed training camps outside Egypt, using secret methods of various forms to mislead the Egyptian security services and to prevent suspicion.
The leaders of the MB Guidance Office have set conditions for joining the armed training camps, including that the trainee should have passed 5 years at the level of “Brother Working”, a level the brotherhood member reaches in accordance with the promotion and escalation policy pursued by the group with its members.
The Brotherhood component at this stage should not be less than 30 years old, and these elements are psychologically trained, with courses that reinforce the brotherhood’s intellectual principles.