This Strategic Paper seeks to identify the various aspects of the globalization of the Egyptian radical Islamic movement, starting with the first intimations thereof produced by the emigration of movement members from Egypt, ending with the moment of climax constituted by the events of September 11, and passing in review the numerous way stations and positions through which this movement accumulated the experience and developed the tactics and mechanisms that allowed it to impose itself as an international actor when once it had been purely local and Egyptian. This same development also permitted the movement to make use of the prodigal gifts of modernity and globalization in their most sophisticated forms to impose itself by force on the international political map, and to go beyond the borders of the nation states to melt into a fantasy world whose boundaries are defined by the Islamic world's hot-spots. Into this fantasy world they reintroduced more comprehensive concepts, such as that of an Islamic caliphate, in a violent and dynamic fashion that would have nothing to do with the slow penetration currently pursued by such politicized internationalist Islamic movements as Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun (the Muslim Brotherhood) or by such non-politicized movements as Jama'at Al-Tabligh wal-Da'wa (the Proclamation and Call Group) or by those, such as the Egyptian Sufi orders, that are an integral part of the popular heritage and eschew politics.
The Strategic Paper takes as its point of departure a hypothesis that strenuously challenges the credibility of writings that take for granted that the internationalist stamp of the Egyptian Islamic radical groups is the product of the last five years alone and seeks to establish that this characteristic has formed a part of the discourse of these groups for many years in view of allocation by these groups of a central position to three issues, namely the caliphate, jihad (religious struggle), and relations with the West. Furthermore, even if it was the main priority of these groups to force a change in the internal situation, this goal represented at the same time a basic point of departure for the building of models of cooperation with the Islamic movement in other Islamic countries in order to bring about the downfall of ruling regimes and to extend the hand of assistance to Muslim minorities suffering from persecution and discrimination in various parts of the world. Finally, there was the view that these groups held of the non-Islamized world as an Abode of War (dar harb), a view requiring the revival of the neglected duty*-namely, religious struggle-as a counterforce.
An examination of this transnational perspective in the discourse of the Egyptian radical Islamic groups requires us to touch on a number of critical points, given the characterization of them as forming part of a broad movement that makes use of globalization's most important achievements in economics, communications, and information technology. The first of these points relates to the emigration of radical Islamic elements to countries outside of Egypt starting in the mid-seventies with the Jama'at al-Muslimin (Muslims' Group), ending up with the escape of prominent leaders of the movement from Al-Jihad (The Struggle) and Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) in the late eighties and early nineties, and passing through the stage of the intensive emigration that occurred in the context of the so-called jihad in Afghanistan. The second of these critical points is linked to the spread of Egyptian Islamic radical elements to numerous countries, on five continents, following the ending of the Afghan jihad stage. The third relates to the enlistment of Al-Jihad organization under the banner of what is known as the World Islamic Front for Combating Jews and Crusaders, and the serious consequences that followed, chief among which were the events of September 11.Introduction
This Strategic Paper aims to study the globalization of the radical Islamic movement, taking the Egyptian experience as a case study. In pursuit of this goal, the authors follow a defined methodology, namely that of data driven models, as this helps to build an overall conceptual framework that provides safeguards against leaping to conclusions and reduces epistemological bias. Thus the study starts with a review of the material, followed by a derivation of the model based on the review of the material. The study has three parts: the first identifies the factors involved in and trajectories of the exit from Egypt; the second reviews the form taken by the global spread of Egyptians operating under the wing of the radical Islamic movement; the third clarifies the strategic logic this movement followed in response to the impacts of globalization.
This requires that the reasons that drove members and leaders of this movement to leave Egypt-whether these were legal and took place under the eye of the authorities, as was the case at the onset of the Afghan jihad experience, or took the form of escape using forged passports as well as other methods, such as travel to visit the Holy Cities for the Lesser or Greater pilgrimages, or for work or tourism, most of which were mere excuses to allow the travelers to leave Egypt safely-be dealt with. It is not enough, however, to stop at these reasons if we wish to outline the features of the globalization of the Egyptian radical Islamists. Leaving Egypt, by whatever route and for whatever motives, was only a preparatory stage or, to be more precise, was the path on which the Islamic radicals in Egypt set their feet only to reach the form in which they appeared in recent years. These itineraries led to the formation of covert organizations and leadership groups overseas, some of which joined the Islamic organizations with an international outlook while others continued to play the role of directors and financiers of local leaders and rank and file in the context of the conflict that went on throughout the nineties between the state and the extremist Islamists; these latter showed their hand in a number of operations targeting Egyptian institutions, such as the Egyptian embassy in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, and officials, foremost among them President Mubarak. From another perspective, the globalized picture of these radicals may be fleshed out by dealing with the methods followed by the Egyptian state in confronting, and, in the end, overcoming them. Many of these methods were practiced beyond the borders of the country and touched on the heart of Egyptian foreign policy, which was intent on catching the extremists overseas through the use of extradition treaties with some states, diplomatic interventions with others to prevent Islamic radicals from obtaining political asylum, and the pursuit, in yet others, of security activities to discover their impact on those radicals. In reality, the Egyptian state confronted for more than ten years-and the confrontation continues-a network of secret organizations whose threads are distributed across all sorts of countries. This led it to exhibit a greater level of interest than before in the legal and security situations in a number of countries that had granted political asylum to extremist Islamic leaders, or provided them with refuge, or that some members of these organizations had entered illegally.
Before going further, there are observations to be made concerning the contents of this Strategic Paper, as follows:
1. Despite the volume of what has been published and broadcast about the radical Islamic movement in Egypt, verification of the information provided is by no means an easy matter. The information is largely biased because it comes from two opposing sides each of whom would like to hurt the other as much as possible and, at the same time, justify-in so far as they can-all their own conduct and deeds, since most of the information available concerning the Islamic movement is attributable either to the security agencies or to the movement itself. The version of each of the events and happenings carries a great deal of subjectivity and, at the same time, is not without the distortion or misdirection required by considerations of interest or the requirements of a mission, as each side sees it. Scientific research, however, is not helpless before such a dilemma; rather, it creates its own methods by which it attempts to verify information or, at the least, to give preference to what is closest to the truth, using precisely defined methods. Here recourse may be had to independent sources that have greater rectitude and probity, and which avoid bias as far as they can. Likewise, the information available may be referred back, in the first place, to the general framework that governs the radical Islamic movement, and, in the second, to the repeated and normative conduct of the state in its dealings with the movement in all the media, legal, and security spheres linked to the issues of political violence and terrorism.
It is imperative that statements be linked to actual deeds, given that it is the second that distinguishes the degree of veracity of the first. In any case, many of the studies that have dealt with the activities of the Islamic movement depend on conjecture and are not definitive. Many secrets remain concealed and some have died with their bearers. Many even of those who are still alive are difficult to reach, and this applies not only to ordinary individuals but also to high-level intelligence-gathering and security agencies.
It follows that the information available in this regard is either derived from criminal investigations that led to the confession of those seized by the security forces and security information presented by specialized agencies to the judiciary in order to obtain judgments in the context of the conflict between the state and the extremist groups, or from confessions made under torture in prison. However, even in these cases the only information that reaches us is that which the media has been permitted to publish or treat, plus what certain lawyers who have reviewed the case documents have volunteered to publish or to reveal to the media. The information may also be the result of individual initiatives by journalists who have been able to penetrate the Islamic groups or to obtain documents belonging to them or to conduct interviews with their leaders. The last method, however, remains within the realm of conjecture so long as there is no other means of checking the truth of whatever information emerges.
Despite this, the collection of fugitive scraps of information extracted from various sources, however scattered over the years, however distributed among a variety of incidents and events, and however various the organizations, groups, and individuals to whom they are attributed, helps to a great extent to sketch the general features of the performance of the Egyptian Islamic radicals abroad, or of those some have called the Islamists on the outside. From these features, it is possible to trace back to its roots one limited aspect, with which we are concerned here, namely, the globalization of these radicals.
2. In the light of the preceding discussion of the problems related to the information available on the radical Islamic movement, it may be asserted that there is more than one point of entry to the analysis of the phenomenon of the Egyptian Islamic movement outside the country. The first of these points of entry traces the history of the leaders of this movement, their actions, the statements and announcements they have made, and the decisions and orders they have issued to their followers. The second is linked to the nature of the organizations formed by these radicals or in whose founding they participated, in terms of the specifics of their membership, their internal ranking, and their primary and secondary goals and objectives. The third point of entry comprises the operations undertaken by these organizations, both those that succeeded and those that met with outright failure and remained no more than attempts. A fourth point of entry is the cases tried by Egyptian or foreign courts related to the Islamist returnees from abroad in which those charged were Egyptian radical Islamists. This Strategic Paper attempts to combine these four approaches in its analysis of the globalization of the Islamic movement, in view of their interconnected and complementary character in practice and because this combined approach provides a greater capacity for sound scientific analysis of a complex and interlinked phenomenon such as the Islamic movement.
3. Given that the research community, and also the security agencies involved, have only recently learned how to distinguish among the radical groups in Egypt after years of putting them all in the same basket, it is extremely difficult to make a clear-cut typology of some of those that are outside the country by relating them back to their organizational roots, i.e., to the groups and organizations to which they belonged before their emigration. The available information indicates that the path of emigration was not the offspring of the issue of the jihad in Afghanistan, as many believe, but preceded the latter by many years, since the difficult security conditions had driven out of Egypt some elements of the Islamic groups that clashed with the state-such as Jama'at Al-Muslimin (The Group of Muslims) (known to the media as Jama'at Al-Takfir wal-Hijra (The Anathematization and Migration Group)) and Jama'at Shabab Muhammad (The Youth of Muhammad Group) (also known as Tanzim Al-Fanniyya Al-'Askariyya (The Military Technical [College] Organization))-before Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group) and Al-Jihad organization did so. Nevertheless, the doors to departure from Egypt only opened fully with the announcement of the jihad in Afghanistan against the former Soviet Union. In the name of this cause, thousands of Egyptian youths from many different groups, both radical and proselytizing salafite* in orientation, enlisted and then, as a consequence of the conditions they met with inside the training camps and on the field of combat, the allegiances of some of these weakened and the door was opened before non-affiliated mujahidun (those who practice jihad) to make contact with and interact with elements of the Islamic groups. These in turn put pressure on these young men to join them and rally to the banners of their leaders. At the same time, there were, among those who went to Afghanistan, those who preserved their original affiliations, especially among those belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, who were among the first to arrive in Afghanistan, where they worked, to a large degree, in the field of relief. Thus we cannot say that all the Egyptians who joined Al-Qa'ida organization or, more precisely, who agreed to the aims announced by the World Islamic Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders came from the membership of Al-Jihad, led by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, inside Egypt. Likewise, we cannot say that all those who belonged to Al-Jihad outside of Egypt were willing to salute the flag of the Front, for there were those who opposed Al-Zawahiri's joining it, and some of these did in fact split away from him, accusing him of departing from the general course the organization had charted for itself and of deviating from its main objective, namely to take over the government of Egypt. Further, even though Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, a member of the Advisory Council of Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya, abandoned his position and withdrew his signature on the statement establishing the previously mentioned Front after the historic leadership of the Jama'a expressed its anger with him, there is no clear evidence to suppose that the ordinary members of Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya who were on the ground in Afghanistan and who approved of the establishment of the Front abandoned their position in the same fashion, for Taha's change of heart appears to have been less a matter of conviction than of submission to the strong position of the leaders of Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya. The information leaked from the judicial investigations of the returnees from Albania, or from those handed over to Egypt by Arab and other countries indicates, that these individuals had belonged, historically, to a range of Islamic groups in Egypt. This situation makes it difficult to categorize the ordinary Egyptian individuals who joined Al-Qa'ida organization.
4. The concentration of this Strategic Paper on the transnational conduct of the Egyptian radical Islamic movement in recent years does not mean that this movement was without connection to the outside world before that period. The Islamic Awakening in general had its positions with regard to external issues starting with the colonial era and ending with the consequences of the second Gulf War. The Islamists had lines of outreach that intersected with those of non-Islamists, or areas of agreement and disagreement that sometimes were created by political tactics and sometimes appeared to be captive to ideology. In the Egyptian case, the reader may recall the Islamic groups' rejection of Al-Sadat's openness to reconciliation with Israel and their later rejection of the Oslo agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, as well as of the Wadi Araba agreement concluded by the latter with Jordan. Preceding this, and more comprehensively, Islamic radicals have held positions on Arab nationalism, which in the eyes of many of them seems a hateful alternative to the idea of the Islamic Caliphate, while in contrast there are those who see it as a stage in the construction of the Greater Islamic State on the pattern of early Islam and believe that a United Arab State would require the organization of a solid network of relations with other Islamic peoples around their common interests. The second Gulf War, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on 2 August, 1990, stimulated the overseas orientation of the Egyptian radicals because, as a major catastrophe, it sent violent shockwaves through all political tendencies in the Arab World. The war divided the Islamists into two camps. The first concentrated on religious-legal arguments, among them the absolute proscription against any Muslim declaring violable the blood of any other Muslim, and the obligation to combat the party of the unjust cause. The second camp was a creation of the conditions in which the foreign intervention took place, since the Egyptian Islamists rejected the latter vehemently, no matter what its justifications, exploiting the debate over the religious dimension of the conflict to mobilize the Egyptian street in support of their vision, which they promoted at that time as the only one capable of restoring national pride to the Arabs. However, these positions were simply reactive and followed blindly in the footsteps of other Arab political tendencies, which naturally joined the larger tide of debate over the implications of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and took strong positions appropriate to the nature of the situation and its strategic effects. Events since 1997, however, constitute a different case, in that the radical Islamic movements did not satisfy themselves at this point with mere debate but decided to confront head-on the greatest military and economic power in the world, namely the United States, starting with attacks on US interests overseas and reaching their limit with the attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon.
5. This Strategic Paper restricts itself to the radical Islamic groups in Egypt and does not deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that the latter is the oldest, the most widely spread, and the most capable of survival and mobilization among such groups and, even more importantly, despite the fact that it is the only Islamic force that has transcended the boundaries of the state in which it arose, via the international Muslim Brotherhood organization, and which has held positions on a variety of foreign political issues, not just through its seminars and publications but also inside the Egyptian parliament itself, since it entered the legislative elections in 1984 in alliance with the Wafd Party and again in 1987 in alliance with the Labor and Liberal parties and was able to occupy a significant number of seats in the Egyptian People's Assembly. There is one other wide-spread religious current that transcends the nation state in addition to the Muslim Brotherhood, namely that of the Sufi orders, for we find some Egyptian orders with followers in numerous other countries, including in Europe and even the United States. However, the quietism of this current and its lack of involvement with politics, or its loyalty, through history, to the regime in Egypt and its deep integration within Egyptian folklore more than its involvement in the political situation exclude it from the equation with which we are dealing here. Insofar as the Egyptian Sufi orders hold positions regarding foreign issues, these do not depart in the vast majority of cases from those adopted by the government.
6. It is not possible to be certain that the strong and resolute US response to the explosions in New York and Washington has swept aside altogether the danger represented by the Islamists on the outside to Egyptian national security. Despite the military operations undertaken by the US and her allies in Afghanistan, which naturally caught up with the Egyptian elements belonging to Al-Qa'ida, the existence of sleepers-people who work under its command in complete secrecy-inside the organization makes talk of the end of the danger somewhat inaccurate. Actual events support the truth of this view. Thus, in May 2002, at a time when the public prosecutor's office in Egypt was pursuing its investigations into two cases, one to do with Al-Jihad (involving 26 defendants including two fugitives overseas) and one to do with Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya (involving 24 persons), it was widely reported that Egyptian security forces had uncovered another case involving Al-Jihad in Cairo's Al-Marj area.
- I -THE WAVES OF EMIGRATION AMONG EGYPTIAN RADICAL ISLAMISTS
The motives leading to the departure of the Islamic radicals from Egypt were numerous. They included those related to the acute security pressures and those linked to economic need, whether individual or related to the need to securing reliable sources of funding to spend on the clandestine organizations and groups. Others had intellectual dimensions, or were linked to the performance of jihad, or were undertaken in search of an arena in which to make the preparations and reach the state of readiness that would allow these groups to take on the state with all its resources. There were also motives related to certain arrangements internal to these groups and organizations, of which the most important was the occurrence of a split in the ranks of Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya Al-Jihadiyya (The Islamic Group for Struggle), when the latter formed two groups following the pronouncement of sentence in the Al-Jihad case of 1981; this split caused a large number of the members of the organization to abandon in frustration the idea of the establishment of the awaited Islamic state because the division in the ranks meant, in their view, the postponement of the realization of that goal. As a result, many of them left the country.
In a context reminiscent of the course taken by the Muslim Brotherhood when they emigrated in large numbers during the fifties and sixties of the last century to escape the implacable hostility of the Abd Al-Nasir regime, we find that emigration from Egypt was not welcomed at first by even the most hard-line members of these groups. Thus Al-Jihad itself, which had recourse to emigration more than any other group during the eighties and nineties of the last century, initially rejected the idea. Abd Al-Salam Faraj, whose book The Neglected Duty constituted the main intellectual reference for his organization, refers to this when he says, There are those who say that the path to the establishment of the Islamic state is via emigration to another country and the establishment of the Islamic state there, followed by a victorious return. These people should spare themselves the effort by establishing an Islamic state among themselves, then emerging from it victorious! Nevertheless, a change in circumstances drove the members of this organization, and of other Islamic organizations and groups, to flee Egypt, by both legal and illegal means.
The first steps in the movement towards departure from the country consisted of migration within Egypt, i.e., leaving the Nile Valley and fleeing to the desert or some specific place known only to members of the group in order to found a new, or alternative, community on the model of the Yathrib community.* Such was the delusion of some followers of Jama'at Al-Muslimin, who named their organization the Attribution of Unbelief and Disassociation Group because it followed its attribution of unbelief to the larger society by its secession from the latter, claiming that it constituted an improper environment for members of the organization. This issue was embodied in the movements of Yahya Hashim, the public prosecutor who, after joining the Shabab Muhammad group, abandoned his job, claiming that it was banned under religious law and took refuge in the Red Sea Hills opposite Al-Minya, seeking a refuge for himself there and to prepare for an armed confrontation with, or to mount a guerilla war against, the authorities; the security forces, however, were able to identify his location and his followers and destroyed the place, killing him. In any case, migration within Egypt failed for numerous security, geographical, and institutional reasons, leading the extremist groups to consider leaving Egypt altogether.
Thus we find Wahid Uthman, a leader of the Jama'at Al-Muslimin who pioneered the idea of internal migration, speaking in the nineties about external migration as an unavoidable phase for the group and saying, We demand jihad only after migration has occurred…migration, that is, to a land governed by a just ruler, even though he be an unbeliever….We are confident that this condition is not met in any Arab country.…Thus migration to European countries such as Sweden and Norway is permissible….Currently, the brothers are permitted to migrate anywhere on God's earth….But the place of collective migration identified by the late Imam Shukri Mustafa is engraved in the hearts of the brethren…It is the land of Yemen, for it is the land of wisdom, and there are many of our followers and our brothers there, worshipping God and working and spreading the message in complete freedom. For this reason, its ruler, despite his unbelief, is to be considered just. Before Wahid Uthman took charge of this group, its previous leader, Muhammad Al-Amin Abd Al-Fattah, known as Abu Al-Ghawth, following the execution of its founder Shukri Mustafa, brought together its scattered remnants in an Arab country, settled there himself, and then started helping members of the group to migrate to numerous Arab and European countries. Abu Al-Ghawth was not the first inside Jama'at Al-Muslimin to call for emigration, having been preceded in this by Dr. Salah Al-Sawi, who split from Shukri Mustafa after opposing the latter's decision to kill the former minister of religious endowments, Al-Shaykh Al-Dhahabi, because this had led to the uncovering of the organization by the security agencies. Al-Sawi was wanted in connection with the events of September 1981 but managed to escape to Yemen, where he met a tribal leader. The latter belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood but was convinced by Al-Sawi's ideas and started to provide such support to the group as he was able. Al-Sawi moved between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, where he worked as a professor at the Islamic University. Hasan El-Halawi, Al-Sawi's companion in the split with Shukri Mustafa, followed the same course and migrated to Saudi Arabia after succeeding in escaping a seven-year sentence passed against him in 1977; Egypt, however, was able to have him handed over by Saudi Arabia in 1993 and he returned to serve his prison sentence for his implication in the Military Technical College operation and the killing of Lieutenant Colonel Isam Shams during the events at the Adam Mosque in Ain Shams, Cairo in 1989.
Such cases constituted the first wave of radical Islamist emigration from Egypt. They occurred in the great majority of cases under the pressure of the harsh security conditions experienced by Jama'at Al-Muslimin and Jama'at Salih Sirriyya (The Salah Sirriyya Group) once the security agencies uncovered their activities and started punishing members. Such emigration was not restricted to followers of those two groups. On the contrary, we find that many of those belonging to the attribution of unbelief tendency in general, plus Salafites and some elements of Al-Jihad, emigrated to Iraq, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia in search both of safety and a livelihood. However, these emigrants never lost sight of the fact that their main enemy was the ruling regime in Egypt and their hopes never went beyond removing that regime and vaulting into the seat of power themselves.
The second wave of migration was produced by the Afghan jihad experience with all that that implied regionally and internationally. The United States, which found in Moscow's involvement in Afghanistan a marvelous opportunity to sap the powers of its then traditional rival, the Soviet Union, played a major role in its creation. At that time, Washington decided to knit a relationship between US intelligence and the Islamic groups-not just those operating in the Afghan arena but also those in other areas-with the aim of directing all efforts towards resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghan territory….The first reception center for volunteers wishing to go to Afghanistan was opened in New York state by Mustafa Shalabi, who later invited Shaykh Umar Abd Al-Rahman to the US. The information indicates that this center and its branches, numbering 17 in the US, played a major role in sending Arab citizens fleeing their own countries to Afghanistan. It was widely accepted among the press, researchers, security men, and politicians, that President Al-Sadat had cooperated with the United Stated in this regard, after the US had convinced him that by giving his blessing to the experiment of the Afghan jihad, he would gain kudos in the Islamic world, both in the media and diplomatically, and that this would compensate it for the Arab boycott that resulted from Egypt's signing the Camp David Accord with Israel. At the same time, Egypt would gain the opportunity to rid itself of its old arsenal of weapons by selling these to the Afghan fighters, who were receiving generous support from the Arab oil states in addition to monies from the fund for the support of the Afghan jihad established by the US, plus proceeds from drug trafficking.
On this basis, the authorities gave the Islamic groups free rein to mobilize Egyptian youth for the jihad in Afghanistan-a situation clearly reflected in the pages of Al-Da'wa magazine, the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood in the seventies and early eighties, where the conferences and seminars held by the Islamic groups inside the universities calling for support for the Afghan fighters were followed closely. Among these, purely by way of example, was the conference held at the University of Al-Minya on February 9, 1979 calling for support for the Afghan fighters and for the Islamic revolution in Iran. Another example is the conference held by students at Al-Azhar University in January 1980, at which they demanded that the way be opened for volunteers to go to Afghanistan to fight and that weapons training for youth should be facilitated so that they might go to the field of jihad in Afghanistan. At the same time, the students called on the governments of the Islamic states to support the mujahidun and sever diplomatic relations with Moscow. The latter conference was one of many organized by Al-Azhar at which Egyptian officials spoke of the need to support the Afghan people, in keeping with the regime's general political line at the time of encouraging the religious tendency, in order to isolate the leftist forces that opposed President Al-Sadat. As a consequence, official circles in Egypt, which was one of the first countries to condemn the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, had no worries about assisting the Afghan fighters, as witnessed by the announcement by Kamal Hasan Ali, then minister of defense, that the Afghan insurgents would be trained in Egyptian army camps, while, at the same time, the General Secretariat of the ruling National Party called more than once on the Egyptian people to make contributions to the fighters, and the People's Assembly itself called for volunteers to be sent to Afghanistan. It was rumored that Egypt was using the airport at Qina to load weapons and volunteers going to Afghanistan.
In response to these official and unofficial calls, the professional syndicates became active in collecting donations and assembling volunteers, whose numbers multiplied when Al-Da'wa magazine started to publish the telephone numbers and addresses of volunteer hospitality offices in Pakistan. These were offices equipped with everything necessary to receive such people, thanks to an abundance of money made available by significant support from the Gulf and especially from Saudi Arabia. The latter played a prominent role in this regard, impelled, on the one hand, by the need to maintain its national security, since it feared the arrival of the Soviet army in the waters of the Indian Ocean and thence the Arabian Gulf, and, on the other, by a frank US request to the Gulf states to offer financial assistance to the Afghans. For Saudi Arabia, standing by the jihad maintains the kingdom's traditional role vis-à-vis the Islamic World. In this connection, a prominent role was played by the General Authority for the Reception of Donations to the Afghan Fighters. Additionally, the Saudi Red Crescent Society provided medical help to the fighters and their families, alongside the medical caravans that left Egypt.
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