|Native name||أنس التكريتي|
9 September 1968 |
|Relatives||Osama Tawfiq al-Tikriti (father)|
Anas Altikriti (Arabic: أنس التكريتي; born 9 September 1968 in Iraq) is the President and founder of the Cordoba Foundation, a UK-based group for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Cordoba Foundation was listed as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates, along with the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
Anas Altikriti was born into a Sunni Muslim family; his father Dr Osama Tawfiq al-Tikriti was an Iraqi physician who eventually came to head the Muslim Brotherhood Party in Iraq. As a result of his opposition to the Ba'ath regime the family moved to the UK when Anas was aged four, where they remained exiled until the fall of Saddam Hussain's regime.
Anas Altikriti became involved with the UK's Stop the War Coalition protests against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, becoming the movement's vice-president. He headed the Respect Yorkshire and Humberside slate for the European elections in 2004. Altikriti also served as president of the Muslim Association of Britain between 2004 and 2005.
After the 7 July 2005 London bombings, Altikriti found himself increasingly at odds with the Muslim Association of Britain, many of whose members wanted a retreat from activism including involvement in the Stop the War Coalition in favor of educational/community development programmes. By December that year, Altikriti together with Azzam Tamimi had effectively lost control of Muslim Association of Britain policy; in response, Altikriti helped form the British Muslim Initiative to maintain high-level political activism.
As a commentator in the International and Arab media (including BBC, CNN, ABC, SKY and Al-Jazeera) on Muslim and current affairs, he has appeared on HARDtalk and the Doha Debates (both with Tim Sebastian), Lateline on Australian ABC and BBC’s Newsnight as well as a number of prominent programs on a variety of international channels. Altikriti has contributed a number of articles to The Guardian, Al-Ahram Weekly and Islam Online. He currently fronts a weekly debate show Sharqun Wa Gharb (East and West) on the Arab TV satellite station 'Al-Hiwar' (The Dialogue). In late 2005 and 2006 he made a number of trips to Iraq in efforts to release British hostage Norman Kember, who was eventually released in March 2006 by UK special forces.
Support for Syrian opposition
Despite his opposition to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq Altikriti has been a consistent supporter of the Free Syrian Army rebels fighting in the Syrian civil war and he has endorsed the idea of foreign intervention by NATO troops to overthrow President Assad's Ba'ath Regime.
Support for the Muslim Brotherhood
Altikriti has been a vocal supporter of the policies of Muslim Brotherhood parties across the Middle East and has been described as one of the shrewdest UK-based Brotherhood activists. Despite this reputation, Altikriti claims not to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of note, Anas Altikriti's father Osama Tawfiq al-Tikriti currently heads the Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest Sunni Islamist political party in Iraq which evolved from the Muslim Brotherhood. He has descrıbed himself how he has tried to encourage Western support for Islamists in the wake of the Arab uprisings.
"'I was asked at a recent meeting with some of Washington’s wheelers and dealers about what the American government should do with the Islamic movements gaining prominence and claiming the limelight across the Arab world, I answered simply: support them … unless we encourage them and offer them an incentive, their own crop of hard-liners will have been proven right".
This has been interpreted as a new iteration of Altikriti’s previous lobbying strategy, which has sought to persuade Western governments that they should fund Brotherhood groups as moderate alternatives to al-Qaeda. Altikriti has been accused of using the Arab Spring as a new opportunity to leverage the Muslim Brotherhood into positions of power and influence, and perhaps even to acquire new funds from Western sources, through arguing that Western support for the Muslim Brotherhood parties can undermine and moderate more extremist Islamist elements.
Support for Hamas
Altikriti has openly stated his and the Muslim Brotherhood’s support for Hamas. Hamas is listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States government. He has close ties to Hamas leadership and co-founded a group called the British Muslim Initiative with a senior commander in Hamas, Mohammed Sawalha, and a Hamas “special envoy,” Azzam Tamimi.
Altikriti called the Muslim Council of Britain to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day was a "principled stand."
Allegation of terrorist financing
Altikriti’s UK bank accounts were closed by HSBC in August 2014 along with those of a number of Islamist organizations, including the Cordoba Foundation. While the official rationale for closing the accounts was that servicing Altikriti’s accounts was outside the “risk appetite” of the bank, the move follows a number of allegations that Altikriti and the Cordoba Foundation funnel money to terrorist organizations.
Despite allegations that he is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and that he finances terrorist organizations abroad through a network of Islamic charities, Altikriti has significant political influence.
Altikriti met President Obama at the White House on 22 January 2014. According to the White House, his role was to serve as a translator for Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi.
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