Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

White House planning to designate Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation

White House is working to designate Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization Trump pushing to designate Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group
Patty Aguilar | 01 May, 2019, 00:23

Others believe the measure would allow el-Sisi to crack down on his Muslim Brotherhood opponents in Egypt. El-Sisi led a coup in 2013 that challenged and removed former president Mohamed Morsi from power.

White House national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo support the designation but officials at the Pentagon and elsewhere have been opposed and have been seeking more limited action, the senior official told Reuters.

"The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

The White House directed national security and diplomatic officials to find a way to place sanctions on the group after a White House visit on April 9 by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, for whom the Brotherhood represents a source of political opposition.

The Trump administration is reportedly looking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization.

Such a designation would make the Muslim Brotherhood and its partners vulnerable to harsh economic and travel sanctions imposed by the US. It is also unclear what the consequences would be for Americans and American humanitarian organizations with links to the group, and human rights officials have anxious that Mr. el-Sisi might use it to justify an even harsher crackdown against his opponents.

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In the first parliamentary elections after President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow in February 2011, the political party associated with the Muslim Brotherhood ascended to power, winning almost half the seats in Egypt's parliament.

While the group has existed for almost a century, the Muslim Brotherhood rose to global prominence in 2011 and 2012 during the "Arab Spring", a series of uprisings and revolutions across the Muslim world.

What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Egypt-based Brotherhood is an influential Sunni Islamist organization with millions of members across the Middle East, and is already considered a terrorist organization by a handful of countries including Egypt, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt is one of the biggest U.S. strategic partners - an Arab country that made peace with top United States ally Israel 40 years ago and remains one of the largest recipients of USA aid, at more than $1 billion a year. When Sisi took over in 2013, security forces killed some 700 protesters who had assembled in two Cairo squares - with courts then sentencing to death 75 people, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders, over the uprising.

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