Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, is a Syrian journalist, Al Jazeera Columnist, and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although he denied his associations, this report will help you understand how he stands aloof from his denials.
This report will unfold the following points about his Allegations and Denials:
- Event to Fame
- NIA hit list Candidate
- Affiliations with Muslim Brotherhood
- Social activity in coordination with MB
- Ikhwansyriya’s Writer and Promotional Specialist
- Hate Endorsement for India
But before moving to these points, let’s get a background check on him.
Who is Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan?
Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan, identifying as a Syrian journalist supportive of the rebel cause, previously held the position of the Pakistani Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera. He has mainly reported on the Taliban and Al Qaeda throughout his career.
Which event made him rise to International fame?
Zaidan rose to prominence in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks due to his unique access to al-Qaeda leadership. Notably, he covered the wedding of Osama bin Laden’s son, showcasing his proximity to the inner circles of the extremist group.
Additionally, Zaidan played a significant role during the Tora Bora bombing aftermath in October 2001. As the recipient of the first tape released by Bin Laden in response to the U.S. bombings, Zaidan’s coverage was broadcasted on Al Jazeera, contributing to his recognition as a journalist with unparalleled access to critical events. His encounter with Bin Laden in Kabul in November 2000, during which Bin Laden indirectly claimed responsibility for the USS Cole attack in Yemen, further solidified Zaidan’s unique position in reporting on key developments involving AL-Qaeda.
Allegations and Denials- USA’S NIA Hit List Candidate
In 2015, Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan came under suspicion by the United States for alleged connections with both Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This led to his inclusion in a government-compiled ‘Kill List’. It is noteworthy that this designation occurred before the administration of Donald Trump, based on available information and belief. Despite the change in administration, President Trump maintained Zaidan’s inclusion on the Kill List, reflecting a sustained concern regarding his perceived affiliations with the mentioned extremist groups.
Is he really affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood?
Despite denying any connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, his associations with the Support Prophet M organization have raised concerns and prompted further questioning about his affiliations.
But before moving forward let us give you a brief about the Support M organization and its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The International Organization to Support the Prophet of Islam has significant connections to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), as evidenced by the backgrounds of its founders and key members. The organization was established by 50 Islamic scholars (Mostly Following the Hardcore Salafi & Wahhabi Ideology) from various Muslim countries in response to the “Support Prophet Mohammed” campaign initiated by Egyptian scholar Sheikh Muhammed Saghir. Many of the founders have affiliations with the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB)
The International Organization to Support the Prophet of Islam exhibits a clear nexus with the Muslim Brotherhood. Through the backgrounds and affiliations of its founders and key members, as well as through connections to related organizations like the International Union of Muslim Scholars (the official Scholars Wing of the Muslim Brotherhood). We have already done a detailed report on their interconnectedness which you can read here.
But the question arises, where is Zaidan in all these connections?
He holds a dual role within the organization, serving as a member of the General Secretariat and simultaneously holding a position as a trustee member. In these capacities, he is actively involved in both the administrative and decision-making aspects of the organization, contributing to its overall governance and strategic direction.
Zaidan’s Noteworthy Influence Across Support Prophet’s Social Media
He exerts a notable influence during events hosted by the organization. Notably, he participated in an event discussing about Muslims in India, where the event was focused on portraying it as genocide and persecution of Indian Muslims.
On the anniversary of the organization, he also invited all Muslims to join the Support Prophet M Organisation.
The Board of Trustees of the organization convened a meeting to address the evolving situation in India. The meeting was centered on Nupur Sharma’s comments concerning the Prophet. Ahmad Zaidan was also present at the meeting.
Upon analyzing the Twitter data of SupportProphetM, it became evident that, in addition to other members of the organization, the account consistently tagged @ahmadmuaffaq numerous times.
The Hashtag Coordination
Support Prophet M has actively employed hashtags to express their boycott stance toward India and its products. Following a similar approach, Ahmad has incorporated these hashtags into his tweets, aiming to sustain the hashtag’s reach and visibility.
Analysis of Zaidan’s Twitter activity reveals his strategic use of hashtags to amplify specific campaigns.
Multiple tweets were posted by Zaidan using this Hashtag among which the hashtag was also used to share misleading news.
Claim: Hindu extremists in India continue their crimes against the Muslims of India. Watch how a Hindu car ran over a veiled Muslim girl in #حيدر_آباد … But the Prime Minister #مودي is in charge of growing this wave of extremism…
Fact: A report by NDTV related was found to be related to this incident. It was told that this incident in Hyderabad Where a teenager was learning to drive a car and lost control and hit the car with a girl. According to the report, both of them live in the same colony.
Claim: He claimed by posting a video that the woman beaten in the video is a Muslim from India.
Fact: Media reports mentioned that She is a Hindu woman from Bihar.
The graph illustrates the extensive use of the #boycott_Indian_Products hashtag, with 13 tweets garnering over 7000 likes, 3000 retweets, and 600-plus comments. This indicates a heightened level of visibility and online presence, contributing to the negative sentiment associated with boycotting Indian products.
This was another hashtag that he promoted. He also used this hashtag with the post where he can be seen with other members of the Support Prophet M organisation members meeting about the Nupur Sharma incident in India.
The graph highlights the alarming popularity of the hashtag #Expel_Hindus_From_The_Gulf, with over 2500 likes, 1000 retweets, and 240 comments, indicating a disturbing surge in visibility and online influence.
Furthermore, the use of another derogatory hashtag, #India_Kills_Muslims, in his posts has amassed over 3500 impressions, underscoring a concerning increase in visibility and reach for such divisive content.
Ikhwansyriya’s Writer and Promotional Specialist
The website, Ikwansyria, is operated by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, and he consistently contributes to this platform, aligning himself with the controversial ideologies propagated by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Their website is also running in English to reach a wider audience.
Utilizing this platform, he consistently endorsed Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Nusra Front), a faction that includes some members affiliated with al-Qaeda, with Abdullah Al Muhaisani being a prominent figure among them. Zaidan actively accompanied the group and Al Nusra militants during armed operations, documenting their activities through videos and articles.
In one of his articles, he points out that the leadership of al-Qaeda, under Ayman al-Zawahiri, is perceived differently from the previous leadership under Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was seen as having charisma, which contributed to al-Qaeda’s perceived relevance and recruitment. However, the writer suggests that Zawahiri lacks this charisma, and as a result, al-Qaeda’s appeal and recruitment have suffered.
We also checked for his archived tweets from 2012. In the tweets as well we found him reposting Ikhwansyria’s post on his timeline.
Does he also endorse hate for India?
Analyzing his tweets we found multiple tweets by him that are endorsing hate for India. We provide you the screenshots of some of these tweets.
Support for separatists in Kashmir
The endorsement of separatism in Kashmir was evident in his tweets. He deemed the United Nations Council ineffective in curbing violence in the region. Furthermore, he levied accusations against India, alleging the killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Kashmir.
Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan’s background as a journalist with ties to Al Jazeera, his association with the Support Prophet M organization, and his involvement with Ikhwansyria suggest a complex network of affiliations. While he denies links to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, his activities, especially his promotion of Tahrir al-Sham and participation in campaigns against India, raise questions about his ideological and organizational affiliations.