Senior Homeland Security Adviser Slams Egypt’s Christian Copts

Elibiary4BY RYAN MAURO:

The Coptic Christians of Egypt are — by any definition – victims, especially since the fall of Mubarak, but senior Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary disagrees. To him, the Copts are to be reprimanded for promoting “Islamophobia” and opposing the Muslim Brotherhood.

The estimated eight million Christians of Egypt have rallied behindthe presidential candidacy of General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who led the military in overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood rulers. Under his leadership, the Brotherhood has been banned as a terrorist organization. El-Sisi promised to rebuild or repair churches damaged by Brotherhood supporters and has even called for a reformation in Islam.

“If Egypt had not been saved by Sisi, you would have seen an exodus of all the Christians from Egypt,” says Naguib Sawiris, a high-profile Christian businessman in Egypt.

No one can rightly blame the Christians for backing El-Sisi, even if there are concerns about his government’s violations of civil liberties. The Christians view him as their rescuer and a strongman who can oversee a transition to a democracy. His main competitor, Hamdeen Sabahi, supports Al-Qaeda when it kills U.S. soldiers and is not viewed as a viable candidate.

Mohamed Elibiary, an openly pro-Muslim Brotherhood senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, takes issue with the Copts support for El-Sisi. In a tweet on April 12, he linked to a TIME Magazine article titled, “Christians and Tyrants.” He added that some Coptic leaders and activists “have been extremely unwise & immoral.” The tweet can be seen below:

Elibiary was previously taken to task in September for his criticisms of the Copts. He tweeted that, since 9/11, “extremist American Coptic activists have nurtured anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments.” In another, he spoke of the “need to reform Coptic activism in US including stop[ping] promoting Islamophobia.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Obama Admin: Fighting Terrorism but Supporting Terrorists?

1340112075904by Raymond Ibrahim:

News recently emerged that “the Obama administration is imposing sanctions on an Egypt-based group that has claimed responsibility for attacks against Egyptian officials, Israeli interests and foreign tourists in Cairo and the Sinai peninsula. The State Department said Wednesday [4/9/14] it has designated Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’”

While ostensibly a laudable move, some—many in Egypt—think this announcement is a ruse to portray the Obama administration as committed to combating terrorism, even as it supports the head of the terrorist-snake, the Muslim Brotherhood.

For instance, according to Mustafa Zayid, the Coordinator of the Sufi Coalition Forces in Egypt, “The expectation was for the United States of America to announce its designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization—as opposed to Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis, which takes its lead from it [Brotherhood].”

The Sufi leader further added in published comments to Watan “that Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is a pseudonym for the terrorist Brotherhood organization, clarifying that what the U.S. State Department did was one of the administration’s tricks to deceive the world, mocking it into believing that the U.S. is combatting terrorism.”

He further added that “the U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood and sponsors its terrorist activities throughout Egypt.”

Nor is the Sufi the only one making such charges.  According to Nabil Na’im, a Salafi, former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and confidante of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is funded by Khairat al-Shatter, the currently imprisoned, multi-millionaire Brotherhood leader.

Of note is the fact that, although al-Shatter was never part of the Morsi government, U.S. diplomats often met with him, including Ambassador Anne Patterson and Sen. John McCain.

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Former Jihadi Leader: Brotherhood Bought Al-Qaeda ‘Terror Support’ for $25 Million

Yesterday on Haya TV, Nabil Na‘im, a former leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad and close confidante of current al-Qaeda leader, Ayman Zawahiri—who also helped found Egypt’s Islamic Jihad—asserted that, during the reign of former president Muhammad Morsi, Zawahiri was given $25 million from Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shatter to organize, fund, and assemble the jihadi groups “in order to support the Brotherhood.”  (For more on the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Qaeda relationship, click here).

13820221303436It should be noted that al-Shatter, though not a member of Morsi’s government—only a leader of the Brotherhood—was, after being imprisoned after the revolution, asked for personally by John McCain during his visit to Egypt some months back, when he pushed for Brotherhood reinstatement.  Also, U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson was reportedly seen visiting Shatter often.

Earlier, Na‘im, the former Jihad leader had said that attempts by the U.S. to “reconcile” Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood was “nothing but a conspiracy by the American administration,” and that the Brotherhood, when in power, had betrayed Egyptian sovereignty, adding that ousted president Morsi granted Egyptian citizenship to more than 60,000 Palestinians, many of whom were in the ranks of the jihad.

Muslim Brotherhood Slaughter Christian Woman

by :

On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame.  Four people died.

One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.

According to an eyewitness who discussed the entire event on the Egyptian program, 90 Minutes, Mary Sameh George was parking by the church to deliver medicine to a sickly, elderly woman:

Once they saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rear view mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in.  When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair—to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off.  They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find….  Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off.  Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat.  Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked.

The eyewitness, as well as many others who have since appeared on videos, complained about Egyptian State Security and how it did not intervene—just like under Morsi, when St. Mark Cathedral was besieged, even as security stood by—how it knows exactly who the murderers are, and how one of Mary’s murderers, whom “everyone reported to Security,” was simply relaxing in his home, not even hiding.

Added the eyewitness: “Let me tell you, here in Ain Shams, we [Christians] know that every Friday is a day of death; that the day after Friday, Saturday, we’ll be carried to the morgue!”

In fact, the overwhelming majority of attacks on Egypt’s Christians occur on Friday—the day when pious Muslims meet in mosque for prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can only be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

A video of Mary’s family members has one woman screaming out the following words—which may be of interest to some Americans:

A message to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, who is calling for the Brotherhood to return to power again.   I want to tell him, have mercy, enough is enough!  His brother is in the al-Qaeda organization!  Why do you want to destroy Egypt?….Egypt will remain whether you, the Brotherhood, or anyone else likes it or not!

She was referring to something that is as well known in Egypt as it is little known in the United States:  that the Obama administration is a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which itself is connected to al-Qaeda.

The rest of the video portrays some of Mary’s other family members—many in tears and near hysteria—prompting one to wonder: where is the U.S media?  I have not seen a word on this latest Islamic attack on a church and Christians on BBC, CNN, or any of the so-called “mainstream media”?  Why is that?  They had no problem constantly showing us (over and over again) a video clip of a hysterical female relative of a member of Malaysian flight MH370.

Mary’s family members mourn during church funeral

The mainstream media is silent because Muslim persecution of Christians in general—Obama-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood in particular—throws a huge wrench in that narrative.

After all, how many Americans ever heard of the largest massacre of Syrian Christians by U.S.-supported Islamic rebels?

Read more

BREAKING NEWS: Egyptian Court Hands Out Death Sentence To 529 Muslim Brotherhood Members

By :

US media is reporting that an Egyptian court has sentenced to death 529 members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Reuters report, most of the defendants were detained last August after a forced dispersal of two Brotherhood protest camps:

3543827_370March 24, 2013 (Reuters) – An Egyptian court sentenced 529 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death for murder and other offences on Monday, in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the movement that is likely to fuel instability.

Family members stood outside the courthouse screaming after the verdict – the biggest mass death sentence handed out in Egypt’s modern history, defence lawyers said. Supporters set fire to a nearby school in protest, state television reported.

Turmoil has deepened since the army overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July. Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members in the streets and arrested thousands.

Most of the defendants at Monday’s hearing were detained during clashes which erupted in the southern province of Minya after the forced dispersal of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo on August 14.

Islamist militants have also stepped up attacks on the police and army since Mursi’s ouster, killing hundreds and carrying out high profile operations against senior interior ministry officials.

‘The court has decided to sentence to death 529 defendants, and 16 were acquitted,’ defence lawyer Ahmed al-Sharif told Reuters. The condemned men can appeal against the ruling.

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW reported last month that the deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is facing four separate trials and could also receive the death penalty.

Support Denied

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, meets with Egyptian Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi / AP

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, meets with Egyptian Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi / AP

By :

The Obama administration has turned down an urgent appeal from Egypt’s government for the delivery of U.S. Apache attack helicopters needed for counterterrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula.

U.S. officials and a Western diplomat said the 10 AH-64 attack helicopters had been blocked from delivery in October in response to the administration’s opposition to the military ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Morsi last year.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo within the past several weeks relayed the Egyptian government’s appeal to send the new Apaches in a cable to the State Department.

According to U.S. officials, the Egyptians said the attack helicopters were urgently needed for Cairo’s fight in the Sinai against a new al Qaeda-linked terrorist group called Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, or Ansar Jerusalem.

One official said the embassy cable reported that the Egyptians do not understand why the Obama administration, by blocking delivery of the Apaches, appears to be supporting the ousted Morsi regime.

The embassy stated that the Egyptians’ explained that their security needs should be met or the United States risks turning Cairo into an enemy, something the Egyptians do not favor.

“The Egyptians are fighting in the Sinai to protect their own interests, Jordanian interests, and Israeli interests,” the official said. “They’re in a tough fight and the administration is refusing to provide the Apaches, which is tantamount to supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.”

An Egyptian Embassy spokesman had no comment. However, a western diplomat familiar with the issue confirmed that the Apaches were requested recently and the response was that U.S. military aid remains on hold.

Read more at Free Beacon

Egypt Joins Other Arab States In Pulling Ambassador From Qatar

By gmbwatch:

US media has reported that Egypt joined three other Arab states last Thursday in withdrawing its ambassador from Qatar over its support of the Muslim Brotherhood. According a New York Times report:

Egypt

Egypt

March 6, 2014 CAIRO — Egypt on Thursday became the fourth Arab state in two days to pull its ambassador from Qatar over its support for Islamists around the region, including the deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, and his supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood.

After the withdrawal of envoys from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Egypt’s statement formalizes a breach between Cairo and Doha that began shortly after the military ouster of Mr. Morsi last summer. Its move adds to Qatar’s sudden isolation in the region and reinforces the alliance binding Egypt’s new military-backed government to the other oil-rich Persian Gulf monarchies.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were deeply apprehensive about the potential influence on their own populations of either democratic or Islamist leadership in Cairo. Since the Egyptian military removed Mr. Morsi, the conservative gulf states have donated billions of dollars to support the new government, just as Qatar had spent heavily to try to prop up the previous Islamist one.

Egyptian state news media declared Thursday that most of the Arab world had now repudiated Qatar, asserting that Doha must now decide whether it would stand on the side of ‘Arab solidarity’ or against it.

Read the rest here.

The GMBDW has been comprehensively covering the increasing pressure faced by the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf countries including:

  • The withdrawal by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates of heir envoys to Qatar
  • The troubles of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who has been antagonizing Gulf rulers with his increasingly strident criticisms.
  • The trials of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and cadre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • The actions taken by Saudi Arabia of late against the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • The increasingly difficult situation faced by the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait.

In a Featured Story, the GMBDW reported yesterday on the Saudi decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, noting that the decision did not appear to prevent two well-known leaders in the Global Muslim Brotherhood from attending a recent conference of the Saudi Muslim World League.

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That last embedded link includes the following important observation:

However, research by the GMBDW suggests that while clearly targeting the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf, the move by Saudi Arabia may not reflect the Kingdom’s abandoning of support for the wider Global Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi media has reported on the conclusion of last week’s global conference sponsored by the Muslim World League (MWL) titled ““The Islamic World, Problems and Solutions” which among other things, proposed the institution of the King Abdullah Islamic Solidarity Prize. Established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. Muslim Brothers played an important role in its founding and the League has always been strongly associated with the Brotherhood. US government officials have testified that MWL has in the past been linked to supporting Islamic terrorist organizations globally. According to the MWL’s own reporting, two leaders in the Global Muslim Brotherhood were in attendance at last weeks conference.

  • Ahmed Al-Rawiidentified as the head of the Islamic Waqf in Britain (aka Europe Trust), was said to have discussed the issue of Muslim Minorities. Dr. Al-Rawi is the current head of the Europe Trust, the endowment/funding arm of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), and a former FIOE President. FIOE, in turn, is the umbrella group representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and known to have received funding from the MWL.
  • Issam Al-Bashiridentified as President of the Islamic Fiqh Council in Sudan, was said to have addressed the participants at the conference which he thanked for “their interest in supporting projects of Islamic solidarity.” Dr. Bashir has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood including as a former director of the UK charity Islamic Relief, a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and as a former Minister of Religious Affairs in the political party of Hassan Al-Turabi, formerly closely tied to the Brotherhood.

The presence of two important leaders in the Global Muslim Brotherhood at an important Saudi conference invoking the name of King Abdullah suggests that the Saudi regime either not understand the GMB fully or may in fact be prepared to prepared to allow continued support of the GMB while attempting to limit or destroy the Brotherhood presence in the Gulf.

 

 

 

Egypt Bans Hamas, Shuts Down Hamas Offices

F120730ARK02Front Page, by Daniel Greenfield:

This is another of the judicial rulings stemming from charges against Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s rulers of Egypt who was overthrown by a popular uprising.

Egypt alleges that Morsi’s original jailbreak was aided by Hamas terrorists. Considering that Hamas is just the Muslim Brotherhood in 1967 Israel (the Muslim Brotherhood in 1948 Israel is known as the Islamic Movement and has members in Israel’s parliament) and that Morsi’s attack on the Egyptian military appeared to be coordinated with a Hamas strike on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, there are plenty of reasons for the Egyptian military to be mad at Hamas.

The Egyptian military has come to view Hamas as the foot soldiers of their domestic Muslim Brotherhood rivals who launched a coordinated military and political against them.

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters has banned all activities in Egypt by Hamas pending a court verdict in an espionage case involving ousted president Mohamed Morsi and members of the Islamist Palestinian group.

The court also banned all “organisations or groups branching from, financed or supported by Hamas,” a judicial source told Ahram Online.

Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s army-backed government and has faced a security crackdown since the military ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Morsi, from the presidency last July.

The court also ordered the closure of Hamas offices in Egypt, one of the judges overseeing the case told Reuters.

Egyptian officials have accused Hamas of providing support to Islamic militants who have increased their fatal attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi’s ouster. Hamas has repeatedly denied any such involvement.

Egyptian authorities have also accused several Hamas members of undermining national security by involvement in a series of jailbreaks at the beginning of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011.

Authorities have also charged former president Morsi of espionage with Hamas officials.

When Morsi was in power, Hamas held its secretive internal elections in Egypt in 2012. A top Hamas official, Musa Abu Marzouk, lives in Cairo and may be at risk of arrest by the new court decision.

Hamas is funded by Iran. The link from Morsi to Hamas to Iran establishes an espionage case and terrorist case against Morsi.

Egypt’s judiciary is a complex and messy thing, standing is easy to come by and rulings like these are temporary and may be challenged, so this isn’t a final government decision. But the Egyptian judiciary felt just as threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood as the Egyptian military so look for more decisions like this one.

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The ruling did not directly declare the group a terrorist organization.

‘Golden days’ over for Hamas as cash flow from Iran, Qatar dries up

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

WorldTribune.com

TEL AVIV — The Hamas regime is said to have lost the financial support of its major Middle East backers.

Military sources said Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip no longer benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars from such allies as Iran and Qatar.

The sources said the two Middle East states have reduced their allocation and transferred much of it through the exiled Hamas leadership.

“The golden days of Islamic support for Hamas have ended, and despite promises, the money is much less than before,” a source said.

The sources said the peak of Iranian financial support for Hamas was in 2011, when Teheran was believed to have relayed up to $400 million to the Gaza Strip. Since then, Qatar promised and failed to replace Iran, which reduced funding to an estimated $100 million a year.

“Iran has told Hamas it has no money, but the underlying message is that Hamas must first carry out Teheran’s policy before funding returns to former levels,” the source said.

The sources said the sharp decline in Iranian funds was exacerbated
by the loss of the lucrative smuggling trade from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.
They said the Egyptian military has destroyed at least 90 percent of the
estimated 1,200 tunnels, reducing the flow of goods from Egypt to a trickle.

In a briefing on Jan. 30, an officer from the army’s Southern Command
said the annual smuggling trade overseen by Hamas reached $200 million by
2013. But over the last year, the senior officer said, the Egyptian blockade
reduced revenues to several million dollars.

“The goods from Gaza focused on weapons, but also included food and
fuel, priced much lower than those now obtained from Israel,” the officer
said.

Hamas has acknowledged the virtual end of the tunnel smuggling trade.
The Islamic regime, unable to pay full salaries to its nearly
50,000 civil servants for the fourth straight month, said the flow of goods
through the tunnels dropped by 95 percent in 2013.

Israeli military sources said Hamas has sought to reconcile with Iran,
which led to an increase in funding. But they said the amount of money
relayed by Teheran was much less than in its heyday.

The economic crisis in the Gaza Strip has sparked tension between Hamas
and Palestinian militias. The sources said the militias, particularly the
Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad, were firing rockets into Israel to provoke
a crisis.

“Jihad has received far more money while Hamas can’t pay its members,”
the source said. “We have to assume that any Jihad rocket fire comes upon
orders from Teheran.”

Also see:

IPT Exclusive: An Al Jazeera Anchor’s Bloody Call

New photos of Nasr City cell members published

Long War Journal, By THOMAS JOSCELYN:

New photos of members of the Nasr City cell have been published in the Egyptian press. [See below.] Many of the cell’s members, who are currently awaiting trial, were detained in late 2012.

The cell has multiple, direct ties to al Qaeda. In particular, Muhammad Jamal al Kashef, who has long served as a subordinate to Ayman al Zawahiri, is one of the cell’s leaders. Jamal founded his own al Qaeda network (conveniently referred to as the “Muhammad Jamal Network,” or MJN, in the West) after being released from prison in 2011. According to terrorist designations issued by both the US State Department and the United Nations, Jamal worked with al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The designations by the State Department and the UN confirmed previous reporting by The Long War Journal. We were the first to report, at least in the English-speaking press, that Jamal was in direct contact with Zawahiri in 2011 and 2012. Jamal’s letters to Zawahiri revealed his ties to AQAP and AQIM.

Some of Jamal’s fighters participated in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Jamal established training camps in both the Sinai and eastern Libya prior to the attack.

Here is one of the newly published photos of Jamal. It is almost as if he is trying to tell us something. According to my colleague Oren Adaki, the note Jamal is holding reads, “Al Qaeda is perched on the hearts of the believers.”

Jamal holding photo of bin Laden

Jamal brandishes the photo of bin Laden in other pictures as well. We previously published another photo of Jamal at The Long War Journal.

The Nasr City cell loves the picture of bin Laden. Below is a picture of Sheikh Adel Shehato, a founding member of the cell, holding up the image. Like Jamal, Shehato was a senior member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which was led by Ayman al Zawahiri and merged with bin Laden’s venture before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Shehato was also one of the key al Qaeda ideologues who helped instigate the protest in front of the US Embassy in Cairo on the morning of Sept. 11, 2012 – just hours before the US Mission and Annex in Benghazi were overrun.

Adel Shehato holding pic of OBL

The story of the Nasr City cell and the Muhammad Jamal Network is a fascinating one. It challenges so many of the widely-held assumptions about al Qaeda’s current operations. The MJN is a good example of how various al Qaeda organizations and parties are linked in a global network, with Jamal receiving cash and assistance from AQAP while he is also working with AQIM. The story also shows that Zawahiri is still very much in the game. Jamal’s letters to the al Qaeda master in 2011 and 2012 were fawning, and clearly showed that he was seeking Zawahiri’s permission for his operations.

But sometimes a picture, or pictures, are worth a thousand words. Jamal, Shehato, and the other Nasr City cell defendants are quite proud of their al Qaeda roles.

Also see:

Red Star Says It All: Egypt Makes Strategic Alliance with Russia

Sisi PutinBY RYAN MAURO:

Egyptian Defense Minister El-Sisi, whose power essentially makes him the head of state, made his first trip abroad. It wasn’t to the U.S., or even to Saudi Arabia. It was to Russia, where he was photographed wearing a jacket with a red star given to him by President Putin.

This single photograph sums up what has happened since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled from power in Egypt. The Egyptian government immediately turned to Russia after the U.S. criticized the toppling of the Brotherhood and the subsequent crackdown on the Islamist movement. Egypt’s Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are also moving towards Russia in response to U.S. policy towards Iran.

This change in relations was music to the ears of President Putin, who said in a national address that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the century. When Egypt embraced Russia, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said, “We want to give a new impetus to our relations and return them to the same high level that used to exist with the Soviet Union.”

Both parties have agreed that they want to return to the days of the Cold War. That agreement was on display when Putin gave El-Sisi the jacket bearing a red star and he publicly wore it.

Putin signaled to the Egyptian delegation that his meeting with El-Sisi isn’t just about selling arms. It’s strategic positioning. He told them, “Egypt is the center of stability in the Middle East.”

The language of the Russian government is clearly designed to contradict that of the U.S. Putin zeroed in on the points of friction between the U.S. and Egypt.

The U.S. opposed the Egyptian military’s toppling of the Brotherhood and almost certainly opposes his inevitable presidential bid. Putin, on the other hand, came as close to endorsing El-Sisi’s candidacy as a foreign head of state can.

Read more at Clarion Project

Georgetown Panel Sides with Muslim Brotherhood

jkFront Page, by :

Egyptians are “literally split in half” on President Mohammed Morsi’s 2013 downfall, former Obama Administration adviser Dahlia Mogahed stated recently in citing polling data at Georgetown University.  Yet the pro-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) bias of the January 29, 2014, conference at which Mogahed spoke did little justice to the “deep division” facing Egypt, notwithstanding her calls for “pluralism” to overcome the country’s “huge polarization.”

Mogahed addressed the day-long conference “Egypt & the Struggle for Democracy” presented by Georgetown’s Prince Awaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  Originally scheduled for December 5, 2013, the conference made headlines even before opening.  Ramy Jan, one of the rare Egyptian Christians opposing Morsi’s removal, lost his ACMCU conference invitation after his past involvement in Egypt’s neo-Nazi party became known.

Conference participants universally mourned a “new born democracy …assassinated” in Egypt before completing a necessary “trial and error” process, as described by activist Nahla Nasser of Egyptians Abroad for Democracy (EAD).  A late conference addition, Nasser described visiting Rabia al-Adawiya Square before its bloody clearing by Egyptian forces on August 14, 2013.  Nasser found the pro-MB demonstrators there to be the “most respectful people I have ever met in my entire life.”

Making the questionable assertion that revolutionary change is “often from bad to good,” Middle East scholars like Maryam Jamshidi praised a post-Hosni Mubarak “burgeoning of the public square.”  Dalia Fahmy saw emerging during this time “political pluralism within political Islam.”  The MB-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) “ultimately played by the rules of the game,” Maha Azzam said, only to have the Egyptian military stop the “emergence of moderate Islamist parties.”

Under Morsi, “democracy mattered to” Egypt’s common people for the first time, assessed law professor Mohammed Fadel.  Egyptians “lived a very good year” under Morsi because of a “sense of belonging” after democracy replaced dictatorship, concurred Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery.  “We were sure that our votes meant a lot,” the former Egyptian FJP parliamentarian said.  Egyptians should “respect the process and not change the rules of the game” in contrast to the military overthrow of Morsi, the self-proclaimed supporter of sharia argued.

By comparison, the Georgetown panelists only saw no justification for the military’s intervention against Morsi.  Egyptian security institutions’ “vested interests” in matters such as state-owned businesses were the explanation for Morsi’s deposing given by Wael Haddara, a former Morsi adviser.  The Egyptian military expressed an attitude of Egypt “returned to its proper owners,” the former MB youth leader Mohamed Abbas stated via translation by ACMCU faculty member Jonathan Brown.

“Hysterical coverage” in the media was a significant cause of Morsi’s downfall, according to the Egyptian media scholar Mohamad Elmasry. “Many journalists perceive themselves to be activists” in Egypt, Elmasry criticized.  That “Morsi was fundamentally incompetent” and was “Brotherhoodizing the state” in the name of a “mini-caliphate” were common media themes during Morsi’s presidency described as “myth” by Elmasry.  Although Egypt’s “state-run press” is “historically a mouthpiece of the government,” under Morsi this press was “not the typical mouthpiece.”  While 81% of Al Ahram articles in 2008 were favorable to Mubarak, they were mostly neutral to Morsi when in power, according to Elmasry’s coding.

Morsi’s overthrow, meanwhile, resulted in returning “military rule with a vengeance,” according to Azzam.  While “power was defuse” under Morsi, according to Jamshidi, now it was “concentrated” again under the new post-Morsi constitution approved in a January 14-15, 2014, referendum.  This constitution strengthened “already powerful” state institutions and a “custodial status” to the military in particular, complained Fahmy.  After an expected presidential elections sweep, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the officer who brought down Morsi, will influence parliamentary elections and create a “rubber stamp” legislature helpless against the constitution’s executive predominance.

An “anti-Ikwhan [MB] fever” incited by a repressive military meant that “there is now no real civil society” in Egypt, stated former MB member Islam Lotfy Shalaby via Brown’s translation.  The military had closed numerous MB social service institutions serving thousands such as 80% of the schools in Egypt and the country’s largest hospital founded in 1924.  Seized MB assets amounted to ten billion Egyptian pounds (about $1.3 billion).

MB suppression also occurred in the media, leaving “essentially a singular voice” in Elmasry words that constantly condemned MB as, for example, a terrorist organization.  This served “to dehumanize the Brotherhood” and “to justify the massacres,” as manifested in a television show on the Rabia clearing with theRocky soundtrack.  Narratives of MB as terrorist and disloyal to Egypt were “extremely effective” in winning Sisi support according to Jamshidi.

Popular anti-MB sentiment meant that the “line between citizen and state repression has been blurred,” Jamshidi added.  “Popularly sanctioned state violence” stemming from “demonization” of certain Egyptians as “literally subhuman” manifested for Mogahed a “moral and spiritual crisis.”  Fadel, meanwhile, rather unconvincingly discussed how the political Rabia crackdown was religious persecution of Muslims under Article 7 in the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court.

Yet even the Georgetown panelists could not hide conflicting evidence.  While the anti-Mubarak protests beginning on January 25, 2011, were “very Egyptian,” the anti-Morsi protests beginning on June 30, 2013, were “very sectarian” in Dardery’s estimation.  “Egyptians united” characterized January 25 (82% of Egyptians desired Mubarak’s removal in a March 2011 poll noted by Mogahed) as opposed to “Egyptians divided” on June 30, concurred Shahin.  Egyptian confidence in their military, though, has stayed high at around 95% of those surveyed throughout two years of various upheavals following Mubarak’s resignation.

A “failure to build consensus” thus appeared to the Carnegie Endowment’s Michelle Dunne as causing the post-Mubarak revolution’s failure.  “We knew what we were against, but we did not know what we were for,” concurred Dardery with Dunne in discussing the anti-Mubarak “breadth of social consensus” described by Middle East scholar Nathan Brown.  Yet a “basic failure in Egyptian life” noted by Brown is that widely diverse Egyptians are unable “to deal with each other.”  While Dardery spoke of an “Islamic belief” that “Muslim and Christians are brothers,” Brown countered that “you have a got a problem in your camp” concerning sectarianism.

By overlooking key facts in Egypt’s complicated politics, the Georgetown conference if anything hindered developing Egyptian consensus across diversity.  Sisi’s authoritarianism aside, Amnesty International actually judges the 2014 constitution an “improvement over the 2012 version” passed under Morsi with its various Islamist rights restrictions.  Egypt’s “strong contrast with Tunisia” in social cohesion noted by Dunne occurred precisely in part because of Islamist renunciation of sharia in the new Tunisian constitution overwhelming adopted on January 26, 2014.

The Egyptian people might agree as well despite repression muzzling constitution opponents in the 2014 referendum.  Voting for the new constitution was 98.1% of the 38.6% of the electorate voting, about 20 million in absolute numbers.  This was eight million more than the 63% of roughly a third of the electorate voting for the 2012 constitution under Morsi and six million more than for voted for his presidency that year.  Any criticism of Sisi as a “modern day pharaoh,” moreover, ignores the insight of longtime Egypt resident and scholar Raymond Stock that this “land…has known largely that kind of rule for the past five millennia.”  As ACMCU’s John Voll noted in introducing the conference, many of its themes such as the compatibility of Islam and democracy remained unchanged from Voll’s 1961 graduate student days.

No conciliation was forthcoming from the panelists to their absent opponents.  Support for Sisi’s regime due to Islamist fears by Egyptian democracy organizations “disqualifies them as true and valid organizations” in Nasser’s eyes, for example.  The “political and religious despotism” under Morsi leading to a “Sunni theocracy similar to the Iranian model” denounced by various Egyptian human rights organizations on June 27, 2013, apparently did not concern Nasser.  Nor did Nasser heed the call of many of these same organizations on August 15, 2013, that MB “accept the political outcome of the June 30 uprising” and “return to peaceful politics” rather than spur the country toward a civil war.”  Contrasting with concern for the Rabia dead, meanwhile, ACMCU’sYvonne Haddad referenced a “quote/unquote massacre of the Copts.”

Dardery wore on his lapel the yellow and black R4BIA symbol in memory of Rabia, the same symbol featured by the twitter profiles of Haddara and Nasser.  The symbol’s website celebrates the “great Egyptian scholar and thinker Professor Sayyid Qutb” of MB executed in Egypt in 1966.  The website also proclaims that “R4BIA is…the grandchildren of [MB founder] Hasan Al Banna…against rotten Western values…the end of capitalists…the end of Zionists,” and “smiling martyrdom,” among other things.

Such sentiments ominously shade the pro-MB militancy expressed at Georgetown.  Azzam described a “generation in Egypt…not willing to take this lying down,” a generation that “would rather die” in Haddara’s words rather than accept Sisi’s new order.  “I am optimistic that the coup will not stand,” he concluded, “people will fight to bring it down.”

U.S. Still Declares Support for Muslim Brotherhood

Harf assuring world that there’s nothing to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood

Harf assuring world that there’s nothing to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood

by :

During a press conference in Washington, D.C. this last Wednesday, Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department Marie Harf said that “The United Sates does not rank the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.”

This despite the fact that those who support the Brotherhood often employ terrorism, including al-Qaeda and other jihadi organizations; this despite the fact that, since the ousting of the Brotherhood and Morsi, Egypt has been engulfed in terrorism; this despite the fact that the Brotherhood and their supporters targeted Egypt’s Christians, destroying around 80 churches in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Sisi, the man who ousted the Brotherhood to massive praise in Egypt, just went to Russia to meet with President Putin, as the U.S. continues losing one of the Mideast’s most strategic nations.

In Russia, the Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organization.

Even the UK’s former prime minister, Tony Blair recently declared “This is what I say to my colleagues in the west.  The fact is, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to take the country away from its basic values of hope and progress. The army have intervened, at the will of the people…”

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt; and many fellow Egyptians — both Muslim and Christian — know that it is involved in terrorism.  Russia and many other nations also know this.

But apparently not the United States.

The other possibility is that the U.S. government does know of the “nefarious” nature of the Brotherhood, but is allied to it anyway.  During the same conference, Harf said that contact between the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the Brotherhood is ongoing.

Much of this was revealed in the context of Ahmed Eleba, an employee of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo currently arrested for, among other things, his close ties to the Brotherhood, including Khairat al-Shater.

Currently imprisoned, al-Shater is the deputy leader of the Brotherhood; along with Morsi and other top Brotherhood leaders, he is being tried for, among other things, direct ties to terrorism.

****************

Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney:

Islamists Inside the Wire

Egyptian authorities last month arrested a local employee with the U.S. embassy in Cairo. It turns out he was actively involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that has properly been declared a terrorist organization in Egypt.

Incredibly, he was also reportedly in charge of the embassy’s “political Islam” portfolio. Is it any wonder that the Obama administration has been so supportive of this Islamist group, which is sworn to our destruction?

Ten influential national security professionals yesterday warned of a similar problem with Muslim Brotherhood penetration and influence operations – not overseas, but here, within the conservative movement and Republican Party. These leaders have called on the American Conservative Union to take corrective action.

And Team Obama must do the same, by ending its ties to and support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Go here to see the report

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Salafi insurgency fermenting in northern Sinai

100053125-least-egyptianBY :

Northern Sinai has long played host to a variety of smuggling networks and jihadi organizations. Since General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s military coup of July 3rd, 2013 in Egypt, however, there has been an exponential increase in attacks emanating from this area.

sinai2This increasingly lawless region is now the home ground for an emergent Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian authorities. Since July, 2013, more than 300 reported attacks have taken place in Sinai. The violence is also spreading into the Egyptian mainland, with attacks in recent weeks on a security facility in Cairo, and the killing of an Interior Ministry official in the capital.

Some of the groups engaged in the fighting are linked to global jihadi networks, including al-Qaeda. Others have connections to elements in Hamas-controlled Gaza. The precise links between the various organizations engaged are difficult to trace.

This emergent reality in northern Sinai has serious implications for Israel. While the main focus of the jihadi activity is directed against Sisi’s administration in Cairo, some of the groups centrally involved have a track record of attacks against Israeli targets. In al-Qaeda’s official propaganda channels, the north Sinai area is described as a new front in the war against ‘the Jews and the Americans.’

The most significant group operating in northern Sinai today is the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) organization. This organization has been active since 2011. It originated in Gaza, and made its way to Sinai following the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The group’s name will raise a wry smile for Israeli and Jewish readers. The Arabic term ‘Beit al-Maqdis’ (House of the Holy) for Jerusalem derives from the older Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple – Beit Hamikdash, with the same meaning.

Contemporary Islamists and jihadis, of course, would fiercely deny that any Jewish Temple ever stood in Jerusalem.

But this absence of logical consistency appears to have little impact on the organization’s energy for violent activity.

But this absence of logical consistency appears to have little impact on the organization’s energy for violent activity.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was responsible for repeated attacks on the El-Arish-Ashkelon gas pipeline in 2011-12, which eventually led to the suspension of supplies via this route.

The group also carried out the cross-border terror attack on August 18, 2011, in which eight Israelis were murdered, and an additional strike into Israel on September 21, 2012, which took the life of an IDF soldier.

More recently, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on Eilat on January 20, 2014. The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

The organization’s main focus in recent weeks has been on increasingly high-profile attacks against Egyptian targets. These have included an attempt on the life of Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim on September 5, 2013, and a series of bomb attacks in Cairo in January,2014. On January 25, 2014, the group claimed responsibility for downing a military helicopter over northern Sinai.

The weapon used in this attack, a Russian Igla air-defense system, was reportedly smuggled out from Gaza, where the group maintains links with Salafi Jihadi elements.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

So what exactly is Ansar Beit al-Maqdis?

According to a former militant of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, Nabil al-Naeim, the group is funded by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, following a deal brokered with powerful Brotherhood strongman Khairet al-Shater.

Naeim suggested that Ansar Beit al Maqdis is supplied with weapons by the Brotherhood via the Gaza tunnels and Libya. He maintains that the Hamas authorities in Gaza are aware of the deal.

The alleged Brotherhood links were also asserted by Sameh Eid, described in an al-Arabiyya article as an ‘expert on Islamist groups.’ Eid referred to the group as the ‘military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood,’ and said that Shater had threatened the Egyptian authorities with ‘escalation in Sinai and the targeting of the Egyptian Army.’

Read more at Gloria Center

IPT Video Report: NYC Pro-Morsi Rally Blasts Saudis as “Dirtier Than Jews”