Malmö: Libyan organization linked to Libyan intelligence agency

Malmö: Libyan organization linked to Libyan intelligence agency

The World Islamic Call Society is a Libyan missionary organization with branches all over the world.


The Libyan organization World Islamic Call Society, which owns the grand mosque in Malmö, has, according to reports from the Netherlands, links to the Libyan security service. One of the people in the Islamic Center's board had been identified as an intelligence officer by the Dutch authorities.

Since the summer of 2008, the great mosque at Ögårdsparken in Malmö has been owned by the Libyan organization World Islamic Call Society. This was the solution for the Islamic Center after the fire in 2003 and economic problems during reconstruction.

"The evening when I took care of the banks, I could breath properly," saysBejzat Becirov, chairman of the Islamic Center.

Bejzat Becirov has a long relationship with the World Islamic Call Society, which gave the 1.4 million to purchase the land for the mosque from the Malmö municipality in 1983. In July 2008 the organization purchased the entire property for 5.2 million US dollars. For many years, three Libyans have served as deputies on the Islamic Center's board, but according to Becirov they don't participate in any meetings. The only one with whom he's had contact is Nowesri Ahmed Ali Hadi, and then just on religious issues.

"Since I wasn't so good on religious questions, it could be good to ask how people should do funerals etc," says Bejzat Becirov.

In the late 1990s Nowesri Ahmed Ali Hadi worked as an imam at the Omar al-Farouk mosque in Utrecht in the Netherlands, where the World Islamic Call Society also has an office. The Dutch security service AIVD was interested in the organisation and felt it was thwarting the integration of Muslims in the Netherlands.

In 2002, the AIVD wrote in a report that the World Islamic Call Society was a tool of the Libyan security service. In the fall of 2000, imam Hadi was deported from the Netherlands, following a report by the security service. Sveriges Radio got confirmation of this from Miranda Havinga of the AIVD. The deportation attracted a lot of attention in Utrecht, where Hadi was known as a liberal imam with good contacts in the municipality.

What Hadi did to be deported was never made public. According to Becirov the World Islamic Call Society never made any demands from the Islamic Center in Malmö. He doesn't think the reports from the Dutch security service are reliable.

"I am not obligated to check if this person is an intelligence person," says Bejzat Becirov.

Q: Did you know about this?

"What are you talking about? Do you think I have anything to do with such people?" I don't speculate."

According to Becirov, the World Islamic Call Society is an apolitical organization which is open for dialog with other religions. The organization is represented in UNESCO. It was established in the 1970s by Libyan leader Muammar Kadaffi and operates with state funds. It also has close ties to one of Kaddafi's sons: Saif al-Islam, who is identified as a possible successor to his father. The World Islamic Call Society is the biggest contributor to Saif al-Islam's charity fund, The Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, according to the charity's latest annual report from 2007.

Saif al-Islam is considered to be the reason why Libya distanced itself from terrorism in recent years and paid compensation to the relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims. According to Libya expert Isabelle Werenfels, researcher at the German institute for Foreign and Secirty Policy in Berlin, the charity is an important tool for Saif al-Islam Kadaffi, who right now has not formal position in the country. She is not surprised by the reports that the World Islamic Call Society supports the charity.

"It shows how state resources are channeled. Libya is a small country where business interests and various organizations are linked through the same people," says Isabelle Werenfels.

But for Bejzat Becirov, the support from the World Islamic Call Society in Libya means security. For him it's an honest and stable organization that showed up when the Islamic Center needed help. He doesn't trust the reports that imam Hadi worked as an intelligence officer.

Becirov says he's not connected to Hadi and that Hadi could speak for himself.

Q: And is Säpo (the Swedish security service) came and confirmed this?

A: They I would like to have concrete evidence, says Bejzat Becirov.

Source: SR (Swedish)

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