National Alliance, Holocaust Deniers React to 9/11 Attacks

As Germany's defeat loomed during the final months of World War II, Adolf Hitler increasingly lapsed into delusional fits of fantasy.

Albert Speer, in his prison writings, recounts an episode in which a maniacal Hitler "pictured for himself and for us the destruction of New York in a hurricane of fire."

The Nazi fuehrer described skyscrapers turning into "gigantic burning torches, collapsing upon one another, the glow of the exploding city illuminating the dark sky."

An approximation of Hitler's hellish vision came true on Sept. 11, when terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers in New York, killing nearly 3,000 people. But it was not Nazis or even neo-Nazis who carried out the attack — the deadliest terror strike in history allegedly came at the hands of foreign Muslim extremists.

Still, in the aftermath of the slaughter, white supremacists in America and Europe applauded the suicide attacks and praised Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the massacre.

An official of America's premier neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance, said he wished his own members had "half as much testicular fortitude." The awestruck leader of another U.S. Nazi group called the terrorists "VERY BRAVE PEOPLE."

Neofascist youth in France celebrated the event that evening with champagne at the headquarters of the extreme right Front National. German neo-Nazis, some wearing checkered Palestinian headscarves, rejoiced at street demonstrations while burning an American flag.

Jan Kopal, head of the Czech National Social Bloc, declared at a rally in Prague that bin Laden was "an example for our children."

Horst Mahler, a former left-wing terrorist and prominent member of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany, proclaimed his solidarity with the terrorists and said America had gotten what it deserved.

What's going on here?

For decades, American extremists have lumped Arabs in with dark-skinned "mud people." In Europe, neo-Nazis have been implicated in countless xenophobic attacks on Arabs, Turks and other Muslims.

Extremist parties on both sides of the Atlantic hope to bar entrance to non-white immigrants.

The peculiar bond between white nationalist groups and certain Muslim extremists derives in part from a shared set of enemies — Jews, the United States, race-mixing, ethnic diversity.

It is also very much a function of the shared belief that they must shield their own peoples from the corrupting influence of foreign cultures and the homogenizing juggernaut of globalization.

Both sets of groups also have a penchant for far-flung conspiracy theories that caricature Jewish power.

But there is more. Even before World War II, Western fascists began to forge ideological and operational ties to Islamic extremists.

Over the years, these contacts between Nazis and Muslim nationalists developed into dangerous networks that have been implicated in a number of bloody terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East.

Wealthy Arab regimes have financed extremists in Europe and the United States, just as Western neo-Nazis have helped to build Holocaust denial machinery in the Arab world.

In the 1970s, Saudi Arabia hired an American neo-Nazi as a lobbyist in the United States. In the 1980s, U.S. neo-Nazi strategist Louis Beam openly called for a linkup of America's far right with the "liberation movements" of Libya, Syria, Iran and Palestine.

In the 1990s, an American Black Muslim was convicted in a plot to bomb the United Nations and other New York landmarks that was masterminded by a blind Egyptian cleric.

Just last year, a meeting sponsored by a U.S. Holocaust denial group brought together Arab and Western extremists in Jordan. And after the Sept. 11 attacks, a spate of articles by American neo-Nazis and white supremacists appeared in Islamic publications and Web sites.

Although links like these illustrate the ties between Muslim extremists and Americans, such ties are far more developed in Europe.

But since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, there are a number of signs — including a spate of articles by American neo-Nazis that have appeared in Islamic publications and websites — that an operational alliance may be taking shape in the United States as well.

Banking for Allah
Perhaps the best contemporary snapshot of this Nazi-Islamist extremist axis comes in the person of one Ahmed Huber, a neo-Nazi whose home in a suburb of Berne was raided by Swiss police on Nov. 8, after U.S. officials identified him as a linchpin in the financial machinations of Osama bin Laden.

The raid was part of a coordinated law enforcement dragnet that seized records from the offices of Al Taqwa, an international banking group.

Al Taqwa, which literally means "Fear of God," had been channeling funds to Muslim extremist organizations around the world, including Hamas, a group active in the Israeli-occupied territories.

Huber, a former journalist who converted to Islam and changed his first name from Albert, served on the board of Nada Management, a component of Al Taqwa.

After Swiss authorities froze the firm's assets and questioned Huber, the 74-year-old denounced Washington for doing the bidding of "Jew Zionists" who "rule America." In January, Nada Management announced that it had gone into liquidation.

A well-known figure in European neofascist circles, Huber "sees himself as a mediator between Islam and right-wing groups," according to Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Portraits of Hitler and SS chief Heinrich Himmler adorn the walls of Huber's office, alongside photos of Islamic political leaders and a picture of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the present-day boss of the French Front National.

In accordance with his self-proclaimed mission to unite Muslim fundamentalists and extreme right-wing forces in Europe and North America, Huber has traveled widely and proselytized at numerous gatherings.

In Germany, he speaks often at events hosted by the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, which publicly welcomed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Huber also befriended British author David Irving and other Holocaust deniers while frequenting "revisionist" conclaves.