How a Mosque for Ex-Nazis Became Center of Radical Islam

How a Mosque for Ex-Nazis Became Center of Radical Islam, by Ian Johnson. Ever wondered how radical Islam got started in the West? The Nazi and CIA links are mostly forgotten now, but radical Islam established one of its first and most important beachheads in the West when a group of ex-Nazi soldiers decided to build a mosque in Munich:

The soldiers’ presence in Munich was part of a nearly forgotten subplot to World War II: the decision by tens of thousands of Muslims in the Soviet Red Army to switch sides and fight for Hitler. After the war, thousands sought refuge in West Germany, building one of the largest Muslim communities in 1950s Europe.

When the Cold War heated up, they were a coveted prize for their language skills and contacts back in the Soviet Union. For more than a decade, U.S., West German, Soviet and British intelligence agencies vied for control of them in the new battle of democracy versus communism.

Yet the victor wasn’t any of these Cold War combatants. Instead, it was a movement with an equally powerful ideology: the Muslim Brotherhood.

For decades, countries have tried to cut deals with political Islam — backing it in order to defeat another enemy, especially communism.

Munich was a momentous early example of this dubious strategy. Documents and interviews show how the Muslim Brotherhood formed a working arrangement with U.S. intelligence organizations, outmaneuvering German agencies for control of the former Nazi soldiers and their mosque. But the U.S. lost its hold on the movement, and in short order conservative, arch-Catholic Bavaria had become host to a center of radical Islam.

“If you want to understand the structure of political Islam, you have to look at what happened in Munich,” says Stefan Meining, a Munich-based historian who is studying the Islamic center. “Munich is the origin of a network that now reaches around the world.”

A long article (Google it), detailing the CIA versus the Nazi Imam, and the arrival of the Brotherhood.

For decades, German authorities paid little attention to the activities in Munich, viewing them as unconnected to German society. They were slow to grasp the warning signs. In 1993, after a car-bomb attack on the World Trade Center in New York killed six and injured 1,000, … German domestic intelligence began to observe the mosque, intelligence officials say, but dropped their efforts after a short while when no links to terrorism appeared.

The Sept. 11 attacks changed that. Three of the four lead hijackers had studied in Germany, as did another key organizer. As German and U.S. law enforcement searched for clues, some, it is only now becoming apparent, led back to the Munich mosque.