World View: Reports Indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia Planning Military Action in Libya

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by JOHN J. XENAKIS, March 1, 2015:

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Reports indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia planning military action in Libya
  • Egypt court declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization
  • Egypt and Turkey may try to create a ‘Sunni front’ with Saudi Arabia

Reports indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia planning military action in Libya

Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Russia Today)
Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Russia Today)

Various unconfirmed reports are emerging indicating that there may be joint international action planned in Libya as early as next week.

Egypt is already conducting air strikes against ISIS-linked targets in Derna, close to where Egyptian Coptics were massacred recently, as displayed in a gruesome video. Debka reports that Egypt’s president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi is planning further action in Libya, including more air strikes and possible ground troops, within a few days. According to the report, Egyptian commando and marine forces are preparing for sea landings to seize Derna and destroy the terrorist elements there. If this attack is actually launched, it will be the first time in modern times that an Arab country has sent ground forces into another Arab country.

Al-Jazeera television reports that the Italian navy is getting ready to carry off sophisticated military drills off the coast of Libya as early as Monday. Although Italy claims that it will be a regular exercise, there are many more vessels taking part in this year’s exercise than have in the past, which Italy explains by saying that they are testing out sophisticated new technologies.

There are several reasons why Italy is pursuing this show of force:

  • Italy considers the flood of migrants from Libya into Italy to be an existential threat to Italy itself, because there may be ISIS-trained terrorists smuggled in, along with the other migrants. Italy may be planning some kind of military action in Libya in conjunction with Egypt’s air strikes and other operations.
  • The GreenStream pipeline is a gas pipeline running underneath the Mediterranan Sea from Libya to Sicily. The pipeline is vital to economic relations between Italy and Libya. In recent months, there have been attacks by gunmen on oil installations in Libya, forcing some ports to shut down. The new show of naval force may be related to threats of attack or sabotage on the pipeline.
  • For over a year, Italy ran a search and rescue program called “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”) that saved the lives of thousands of migrants attempting to travel from Libya to Italy. This program required Italian naval vessels near the Libyan coast. In November, the program ended and an EU program called Triton replaced it, but Triton restricts its operations to only 30 miles off the Italian coast. Triton has been considered unsatisfactory because many more migrants are drowning. Italy’s new show of naval force may be an attempt to restore a portion of the Mare Nostrum program.
  • Related to the last point, on Saturday there were large demonstrations in Rome by Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party for the government to do more to keep immigrants out. The naval show of force may help to mollify the protestors.

Some reports indicate that Russia has hinted at a willingness to participate in a naval blockade of Libya to prevent arm supplies from leaving Libya for other countries. Russia could play a role in this because it already has a naval fleet in the Mediterranean.

These are all unconfirmed reports of possible military action in Libya by Egypt, Italy and Russia. There are no reports of possible participation by Nato or the United States. Debkaand Cairo Post

Egypt court declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization

Egypt on Saturday became the first Arab country to name Hamas as a terrorist organization. The U.S. and the European Union have named Hamas as a terror group. An EU court took Hamas off the list in December 2014, ruling that the designation was not based on solid legal evidence, but the EU is appealing the court’s decision.

According to a decision on Saturday from the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters:

It has been proven without any doubt that the movement has committed acts of sabotage, assassinations and the killing of innocent civilians and members of the armed forces and police in Egypt.

It has been also ascertained with documents that [Hamas] has carried out bombings that have taken lives and destroyed institutions and targeted civilians and the armed forces personnel. It has also been ascertained that this movement works for the interests of the terrorist Brotherhood organization [which Egypt has already declared to be a terrorist organization].

About a month ago, the same court declared Hamas’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, to be a terrorist organization. Saturday’s ruling makes the political wing a terrorist organization as well.

A Hamas spokesman denied all the charges and said that the ruling was “dangerous”:

History has recorded Egypt’s support to national liberty movements in the Arab world and Africa, particularly in Palestine. … This ruling serves the Israeli occupation. It’s a politicized decision that constitutes the beginning of Egypt evading its role toward the Palestinian cause. This is a coup against history and an Egyptian abuse of the Palestinian cause and resistance, which fights on behalf of the Arab nation. We call on Egypt to reconsider this dangerous decision.

Al Jazeera and Al Ahram (Cairo) and CS Monitor and Al Resalah (Palestine)

Egypt and Turkey may try to create a ‘Sunni front’ with Saudi Arabia

By coincidence or by planning, the presidents of both Egypt and Turkey will be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week. Egypt’s Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will both be visiting King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the new king of Saudi Arabia, who has replaced King Abdullah, who died last month.

It is not known whether Erdogan will ever be in the same room as al-Sisi. The two have been bitter enemies ever since a coup by al-Sisi ousted Egypt’s elected president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, and later declared MB to be a terrorist organization. Erdogan’s own political party, the AKP, is an Islamist party like the Muslim Brotherhood, and they had good relations while Morsi was in power.

There has been some speculation that King Salman is going to completely reverse King Abdullah’s policy on the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) had branded MB as a terrorist organization, but some are wondering if Salman is going to shift from that policy. The Saudi foreign minister recently said that his government has “no problem with the Muslim Brotherhood; our problem is with a small group affiliated to the organization,” suggesting that shift is in the works.

Other problems make an Egypt-Turkey rapprochement unlikely: Erdogan vitriolicly hates Israel and supports Hamas. Al-Sisi vitriolicly hates Hamas and works closely with Israel on military matters, especially in North Sinai. It does n0t seem likely that any meeting, if one even occurs, will be pleasant.

If King Salman is able to pull off a miracle and mediate a new relationship between Egypt and Turkey, then it would appear to be the establishment of a new “Sunni front” in the Mideast, to oppose Iran, Hezbollah and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Al Arabiya and Kurdistan and Arab Times

Hero of the Middle East: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Gatestone Institute, by Bassam Tawil, February 23, 2015:

The courageous, historic speech yesterday by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam, calling for the reform of Islam, was the result of the even more courageous, historic speech delivered a few weeks ago by Egypt’s devoutly Muslim President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the current American administration’s great friend, is the tree whose fruit is the Islamist terrorism embodied by the ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and others.

Apparently some of the Sunni Arab States have not yet realized that their own national security, and ability to withstand Iran, depend on how strong Egypt is.

It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israel-Palestine conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran.

The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egypt’s faith in the United States, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated.

And now the greatest American insanity of all time: America and Turkey are arming and training Islamist terrorist operatives in Turkey, on the ground that they are “moderates” opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. They either ignore or are unaware that there is no such thing as a moderate Islamist terrorist. The other name of the “moderates” opposing Assad is ISIS.

The Muslim Brotherhood, in effect, runs Turkey. According to recent rumors, Turkey is also planning to build a nuclear reactor, “for research and peaceful purposes.”

Sheikh Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islam, yesterday delivered a courageous, historic speech in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, urging reform in religious education to curb extremism in Islam. Al-Tayyeb’s address was the result of an even more courageous and historic speech, delivered a few weeks ago by Egypt’s devoutly Muslim President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, at Al-Azhar University.

El-Sisi’s monumental statement, truly worthy of a Nobel Prize, is having a seismic result. Al-Sisi directed his remarks, about the ills of Islam to Islamic clerics in Egypt and around the world. It was enormously brave of him. He did not single out radical Islam, but he did call on all Muslims to examine themselves, carry out a religious revolution and renew their faith.

El-Sisi, a man of monumental courage, urged Muslims not to behave according to the ancient, destructive interpretations of the Qur’an and Islam that make the rest of the world hate them, destroy Islam’s reputation and put Muslim immigrants to Western countries in the position of having to fight their hosts. He claimed that it is illogical for over a billion Muslims to aspire to conquer and subdue six billion non-Muslims.

Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, delivered a historic speech to top Islamic scholars and clergy at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, December 28, 2014. (Image source: MEMRI)

Islam deals in depth with uniting the Muslim nation (umma) and mutual responsibility among Muslims, as though they were one entity. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.A.W.) said that every drop of Muslim blood is more precious than the entire Kaaba. Thus the liberty ISIS took upon itself to burn alive a Jordanian pilot and 45 Egyptians, to spread terrorism throughout Syria, Iraq and Egypt and to kill other Muslims in various locations around the globe, claiming they were “infidels,” is heresy in and of itself.

The calls for the deaths of “a million shaheeds” and the killing of Jews for the sake of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, as was done by Arafat in the past, and is being done now by his heirs in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, are a crime; they are extremist incitement that is opposed to the forgiving and compromising spirit of Islam. The murder and terrorism carried out by terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] and other Islamist organizations against Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims is contrary to the modern Islam needed in the contemporary era.

El-Sisi was correct that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sunni ideology, which drives most of the extremist Islamist organizations around the world, preaches forced conversion of “infidels” to Islam at any price, or death. Some of the “infidels” are supposed to join Islam of their own accord (targ’ib), out of self-serving interest, and some not of their own accord (tarhib), out of fear and death threats. Such conversions are also contrary to the original Islam, which states that no one is to be forced to convert to Islam and that a calm religious dialogue should be held.

However, a few days after President el-Sisi’s speech, which attempted to unify Muslims and Christian Copts, the Muslim Brotherhood and their affiliated terrorist organizations increased their attacks on Egyptian civilians and security forces throughout Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, as well as murdering 21 Egyptian Christian Copts in Libya. The Muslim Brotherhood knows that behind the scenes, U.S. President Obama supports the movement, especially the branch in Egypt seeking to overthrow President Sisi. This approval from the U.S. encourages the Muslim Brotherhood to be even more determined to subvert and undermine Egypt’s stability, sabotage its economic rehabilitation and destroy the el-Sisi regime.

In this atmosphere of American support, the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorist group in the Sinai Peninsula operates under Muslim Brotherhood protection. It recently changed its name to the “Sinai Province” of the Islamic State and swore allegiance to the “Caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It is currently working hand-in-hand with Hamas in the Gaza Strip to weaken el-Sisi’s Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

Other Islamist terrorist organizations also kill Egyptian civilians and security forces with bombs and assault rifles. In the name of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, they indiscriminately attack people on public transport, in airports and in public places, with the intent of retaking control of Egypt.

For this reason, an Egyptian court recently designated Hamas a terrorist organization, along with its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and outlawed both of them. In response, Qatar, a slippery agent in the service of America but also, treacherously, in the service of Iran, allowed armed Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades operatives to be interviewed by its Al-Jazeera TV. The operatives called the Egyptian president a traitor to the Islamic-Arab cause and to those seeking to “liberate Palestine.”

At the same time, Qatar continues to use its Al-Jazeera TV to broadcast hate propaganda targeting the el-Sisi regime, to disseminate videos and to fabricate insulting quotes intended to cause friction between el-Sisi on one side and the leaders of the Arab world and the Gulf States on the other — and to keep them from giving hungry Egyptians economic aid.

As the date for the economic conference in Sharm el-Sheikh (in the Sinai Peninsula) nears, Al-Jazeera’s propaganda machine has moved into ever-higher gear. Apparently, some of the Sunni Arabs states have not yet realized that their own national security and ability to withstand Iran depend on how strong Egypt is.

The U.S. Administration could easily halt the subversion of Egypt, but not only does it turn a blind eye, it suffers from a peculiar form of ignorance that makes it fight ISIS while at the same time supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the hothouse of most Islamic terrorist organizations, including ISIS. The damage done to Egypt and the cracks in the weak Sunni Muslim ranks in the Middle East will eventually harm American interests and expose the Gulf States to the increasing Iranian threat.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the current American administration’s great friend, is the tree whose fruit is the Islamist terrorism embodied by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Nusra Front, Boko Haram and others. This linkage has become obvious to all the Arab states, while the U.S. and Europe steadfastly ignore the danger to their own survival, and refuse to outlaw them.

It is possible, in fact, that U.S. policy is to weaken the Sunni world that is seeking to unite under el-Sisi’s flag of modernity. With European complicity, the U.S. Administration is trying to defraud the Arabs and turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a center of Middle Eastern chaos, in order to hide the nuclear deal they are concocting with Iran. That is why the West does not really want to rehabilitate the Palestinian refugees by settling them in the Arab states, and why the West continues to nourish false Palestinian hopes that perpetuate this conflict.

The treachery of the U.S. Administration is the reason why Egyptians’ faith in America, which is supposed to defend the Arabs against a nuclear Iran, has effectively evaporated.

In the meantime, Iran’s Houthi proxies have taken over Yemen, threatening the entire Persian Gulf from the south. The el-Sisi regime is currently in the market for new allies, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin recently paid a visit to Egypt to examine the possibilities of building a nuclear reactor, sounding the first chord of a regional nuclear arms race.

The problems of the Middle East begin in the United States: that was the claim of participants in the Al-Jazeera TV show, “From Washington.” They described American policy towards Egypt as hesitant, indecisive and undemocratic. They claimed that the U.S. Administration had not yet decided whether or not to support el-Sisi, who heralded change and the willingness to fight radical Islam (a fight America used to participate in) or to remain neutral and waffle, in view of Egypt’s presumed instability. The Americans seem to be putting their all money on the extreme Islamists, who they seem to think will eventually win the bloody conflict currently being waged in Egypt.

The Americans have forgotten that under Mubarak, the regime turned a blind eye to attacks against Israel that were carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood and their carefully fostered agents. Unfortunately, since el-Sisi was elected, Egypt itself has become a victim of radical Islamic terrorism. The U.S. Administration, however, appears clearly to hate el-Sisi, and seems to be doing its utmost to undermine him and see him thrown out.

Under ousted President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt was tolerant and patient toward the U.S. Administration’s best friends, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Islamist and Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Al-Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, all of which set up camp in the Sinai Peninsula. These terrorist groups smuggled weapons in from Iran, Sudan, Libya and Lebanon; dug smuggling and attack tunnels; developed missiles and carried out terrorist attacks “only” against Israel, the current U.S. Administration’s other apparent enemy, even though so many American Jews foolishly voted for them.

Now those same Islamist and Palestinian terrorist organizations are striking a mortal blow to the security or Egypt, and killing its civilians and security personnel.

The Muslim Brotherhood, mindful of America’s pro-Islamist policy toward it, is deliberately indulging in a wave of terrorism in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula. Muslim Brotherhood operatives there are targeting civilians, public transport, airports and natural gas pipelines, all to undermine Egypt’s internal security and bring down el-Sisi’s regime in favor of extremist Islamists and a nuclear-threshold Iran.

In the current international situation, the U.S. Administration has apparently finally cut a deal with Turkey — which will be flimsy and ethereal — that allows Turkey to do the only thing it really cares about: to bring down the regime of Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. is also trying to cut a deal with Qatar, which along with Turkey openly supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist proxies in Egypt, Gaza, Syria and Iraq, who in general work against Western interests.

The ironic result is that Turkey plays host to both NATO and senior Hamas figures, while it deliberately ignores the slaughter by ISIS of Kurds and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood, in effect, actually rules Turkey. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party make it easy for foreign fighters to cross the Turkish border into Syria and join the ranks of ISIS. Meanwhile, the Turkish government wages a diversionary propaganda war against Israel. According to recent rumors, Turkey is also planning to build a nuclear reactor, “for research and peaceful purposes.”

Another surreal result is that Qatar hosts the U.S. military bases, while it finances and encourages terrorist organizations operating against Israel and the Egypt. It also panders to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual mentor of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist who issues fatwas permitting the murder of civilians and approves death sentences for apostasy.

And now the greatest American insanity of all time: the U.S. and Turkey are arming and training Islamist terrorist operatives in Turkey, on the grounds that they are “moderates” opposed to Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria. They either ignore or are not aware that there is no such thing as a moderate Islamist terrorist.

The other name of the “moderates” opposing Bashar Assad is ISIS; Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah are now even saying that the U.S. is arming ISIS.

In the meantime, the Egyptian army continues its struggle against Islamist terrorist targets in the Sinai Peninsula and Libya, unaided, and even undermined, by the U.S.

In view of the U.S. Administration’s collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, I am persuaded that in the near future it will be possible to find a joint Egyptian-Israeli-Palestinian formula for eradicating the Hamas-PIJ enclave of terrorism, this time by Arabs.

Most ironically of all, in the shadow of American zigzagging, a joint Arab-Israeli front is developing against Sunni and Shi’ite radicalism, and the Palestinians can only profit from it. Thus el-Sisi, who, with towering vision and courage, dares to speak openly about the tree of radical Islam and its fruit, when others are afraid, is a truly great Islamic hero.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

****

On the Ground in Egypt: Patrick Poole and Stephen Coughlin – US Policy and Egyptian Counter-terrorism Efforts

Published on May 13, 2014 by securefreedom

Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Friday, 9 May, 2014
Patrick Poole, National Security and Terrorism Correspondent for PJ Media; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy

Also see:

Haftar – Sisi Alliance: The Road Block to ISIS bridge Into The Maghreb

February 21, 2015 / /

Our sources have reported that the Egyptian Special Forces Unit 999 executed a joint-raid with the forces of Libyan GEN Khalifah Haftar after the start of airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) positions inside Libya. Unit 999 and GEN Haftar’s forces conducted a raid on a camp located in the Dernah-area (variant: Darna) resulting in the total destruction of the camp. This particular camp is said to have a heavy-foreign fighter presence consisting of Tunisian, Egyptian and Algerian fighters. This particular camp appears to be part of the facilitation ratlines sending weapons and fighters to Syria through Egypt and Gaza, which is probably why the Sisi regime chose to target this location. IS responded by targeting the GEN Haftar stronghold of Quba in a series of bombings.

Libya: Egyptian troops launch ground attack in Isis-held Derna ‘capturing 55 militants’
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/libya-egyptian-troops-launch-ground-attack-isis-held-derna-capturing-55-militants-1488522

ISIL claims responsibility for deadly Libya blasts
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/isil-claims-responsibility-deadly-libya-blasts-150220235037650.html

Egypt Strikes ISIS Positions in Libya: Moderate Muslims Rise Up Against Terror
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4889

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.03.48 AM

Unit 999 conducting training
Source: The ISIS Study Group

The ratlines coming out of Libya are also fueling IS-affiliate Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) to continue moving forward in their campaign to secure the Sinai Peninsula to use as the gateway to Gaza, Jordan and Syria. If you suspect there’s a great sense of urgency on the part of Egypt to eradicate the IS presence in Libya and the Sinai, you would be correct. The reason for the increased operations in both areas has everything to do with ABM attempting to reach out to other jihadist groups in the country to bolster their ranks and create a “unified” command. Unconfirmed reporting has come out over the past few weeks about ABM allegedly reaching out to the Cairo-based group Ajnad Masr for the purpose of conducting joint-operations against the regime. This is significant since Ajnad Masr splintered from ABM in 2013 over their pro-IS leanings and regional agenda as opposed to just targeting the Egyptian government. If confirmed, then ABM will have an effective action-arm for conducting operations inside Cairo itself (ABM’s Cairo operations had been disrupted over the last 4 months due to security sweeps). Adding weight to this possibility are the reports that Ajnad Masr may be looking to target western embassies in the capital.

Jordan Steps Up Airstrikes Against ISIS, Egypt Launches New Sinai Offensive
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4669

Egypt and UAE Launch Airstrikes in Libya – US Kept in the Dark
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1302

Is Egypt Planning Military Intervention in Libya?
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=584

ABM video

ABM in their 2014 video pledging allegiance to IS
Source: Breitbart

The Libyan-affiliate of IS has been expanding rather quickly in the country and initiated the targeting of westerners, as demonstrated in the late-JAN attack on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli and early-FEB attack on an oil field near Sirt. Regarding the oil field attack, IS was looking for westerners but ended up killing one US citizen, a French citizen and three Filipino overseas foreign workers (OFWs) taken hostage. As we’ve seen in Syria and Iraq, a key part of increasing the group’s capabilities revolves around seizing critical infrastructure such as power plants, oil fields and refineries, and its no different here in Libya. We fully expect IS will continue to target Libyan oil infrastructure in order to target western workers, generate revenue and pressure the governments of other target countries – to include EU members.

Eight killed, including five foreigners, in ISIS-linked attack on Libya hotel
http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.639305

3 Filipino Oil Workers Kidnapped in Libya
http://manilastandardtoday.com/2015/02/06/3-filipino-oil-workers-kidnapped-in-libya/

corinthia hotel

The Corinthia Hotel Attack
Source: Harretz

We assess that GEN Haftar’s faction and the Sisi regime will continue planning for additional joint-operations similar to the Dernah camp raid. The UAE has been sending additional military equipment and weapons/ammo in support of these operations and has apparently signaled that they intend to increase their air campaign on IS targets in the country. Libya is of great importance as it gives IS a main hub from which to support expansion efforts throughout North Africa while providing additional logistical support to the war effort in Syria. The effort is deemed so important by IS leadership that they sent a “support package” consisting of cadre who fought US forces in Iraq to the country to assist in setting up the official affiliate. Furthermore, we assess that six months after IS sends such a group to an area that an affiliate is able to become fully operational. These personnel are a combination of structural IS fighters and personalities native to the target area. Regarding Libya, such personnel aren’t in short supply as the country was a major contributor of foreign fighters for the IS forerunner AQI during the OIF-era (its worth noting many of these personnel came from Benghazi). As such, what we’re seeing in Libya will likely be what we’ll see in the AF/PAK region six months from now. We also see indications that these same type of cadre were sent to Nigeria to assist Boko Haram 12 to 18 months ago. They have also sent similar cadre packages to other Maghreb states in North Africa, particularly those with active insurgencies.

The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=1392

The ISIS Expansion into North Africa
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3257

Its also worth noting that both GENs Haftar and Sisi have not been receiving adequate US military support. More damning is that the Obama administration has even supported “moderate elements” of the Arab Spring that were not hardly at all moderate – such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB -which is the father of the modern Sunni terrorist) for instance. The result was a MB-dominated Egyptian government that became increasingly pro-jihadist and a Libya that became far less stable than it ever was when the Qaddafi regime was in power. The result was our Cairo Embassy being overrun, Libya mission being closed and our ambassador to that country being killed by the very same “moderates” that the Obama administration supported. Once GEN Sisi seized power he took note of what happened to his mentor Hosni Mubarak and has grown closer to Russia. In fact, US influence throughout the Middle East – and globally – has been on significant decline for the past 6 yrs, which began to accelerate at the start of the Arab Spring. If you were wondering why we’re seeing Jordan, Egypt, the UAE and France are now “in the lead” in the fight against ISIS, that’s why – and that isn’t a good thing. The United States is not “more respected” as the Obama administration claimed we would be nor are we feared. The decisions of the American voter in the last two presidential elections won’t fully manifest itself for another 1-2 yrs – but when it does, there will be a lot of blood spilled.

Egypt Atmospherics
http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=614

Links to Other Related Articles:

Egyptian Army and IDF Take on ISIS Supporters in Sinai

Egyptian Army Hits Back at ISIS in Sinai

US Embassy in Tripoli “Secured” by Islamist by Islamist Militias of the Dawn of Libya

Violence In Tripoli and Benghazi Continues to Rise

Libyan Violence Causes US Embassy to Close in Tripoli, Also Attack on Egyptian Border Control Point

Tunisia, After Igniting Arab Spring, Sends the Most Fighters to Islamic State in Syria – The Washington Post

Tunisia Closes Border With Libya as Thousands Have Been Fleeing the Violence in Libya

ISIS in Gaza Update

Islamic State’s Presence in Gaza

Egyptian beheadings show ISIS taking ‘global jihad’ to rest of Arab world

Published on Feb 16, 2015 by jim hoft  (who reminds us that Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the Benghazi attack and 3 emails were sent to the WH informing them of this on the night of the attack)

Fox News, Feb. 16, 2015:

The Islamic State’s mass execution of Egyptian Christians is the latest sign that ISIS is pointing its sword against not just the West but the rest of the Arab world — drawing the region into a spreading war that leaves the United States in a difficult spot as it tries to marshal a cohesive coalition.

That coalition started last fall as a U.S.-led airstrike campaign involving several Gulf states, and Jordan. Not only have a host of western nations since joined to offer at least financial support, but several other countries in the Middle East and North Africa are now launching their own military campaigns.

On Monday, Egyptian warplanes struck at ISIS militants in Libya, in retaliation for the mass execution of Coptic Christians from Egypt. The airstrikes reportedly were coordinated with the Libyan government.

Meanwhile, Iran is said to be fueling Shiite militias now battling ISIS militants on the ground in Iraq, as Iraq’s military loses strength. Syria’s Assad regime has been fighting ISIS from the start. And Jordan, a U.S. ally, has escalated its role in the coalition after a captured Jordanian pilot was burned alive by the Islamic State.

The distinct campaigns have raised questions about the direction of the anti-ISIS coalition and alliances in the region.

“It’s much more like Game of Thrones, and much less like a seriously thought-through strategy against a regional opponent,” Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, told FoxNews.com.

With ISIS-aligned militants battling on so many fronts in the region, analysts say the organization is trying to demonstrate its clout, in turn boosting its already-robust recruitment.

The multiple fronts, though, create challenges for the Obama administration. The Washington Post reported Monday that Iran-backed militias are taking the fight to ISIS in Iraq — which in turn increases Iran’s already growing influence in that country.

The impact of Egypt’s entry into Libya remains to be seen. But retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a former military intelligence officer now with the London Center for Policy Research, said: “Egypt jumping into Libya is not part of the [U.S.] plan.”

Amid the chaos, Shaffer said his group is urging the creation of a single “comprehensive treaty organization” — a standing coalition of countries in the region, which he describes as a sort of “Arab NATO.” Such a group, he said, could organize against ISIS and plan for establishing post-ISIS governance in areas where there is none. This could include Jordan, Egypt and several other governments all fighting a common enemy, which he stressed as critical.

“If everyone is in charge, no one is in charge,” he said, describing the current patchwork of local battles in the region.

Matthew Levitt, counterterrorism analyst with The Washington Institute, described the strikes in Libya as a separate issue from other Islamic State battles, and one fed by the severe instability in that country. “It’s a problem for Egypt, because they’re right next door,” he noted.

But regardless of how connected the Libya fighting is to the broader Islamic State crisis, the entire conflict has had a curious side effect: drawing attention away from what once was the No. 1 enemy in the region, Israel.

Even before the rise of ISIS, analysts say, some Arab states in the region were beginning to — quietly — work with Israel on various challenges including Iran. Now with ISIS the singular force uniting a region notoriously riven by tribal, religious and territorial differences, Israel is on the sidelines.

“This is actually not about Israel, for the first time in a long time,” Levitt said.

He suggested it best for Israel not to play any active role in the current conflict but said the reality is the Gulf states are now realizing “that not every evil in the world … has to do with Israel.”

Pletka said, further, “They and the Israelis see the region through the same prism.”

Whether this results in the long run in Israel being seen as less of an enemy of the Arab world — or simply means Israel becomes the target of fewer United Nations condemnations for a short spell — it represents a significant change, analysts say.

“This is a major, tectonic shift,” Pletka said.

The Islamic State, meanwhile, continues to incite surrounding countries, chiefly through the tactic of horrific executions.

The video released online over the weekend showed 21 Egyptian victims kneeling on a beach, before being beheaded. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi quickly vowed revenge, saying the whole world is in a “fierce battle with extremist groups.”

Both the Egyptian government and Libya’s fragile state are facing internal threats from militants claiming loyalty to ISIS. Egypt already is battling ISIS militants in the Sinai Peninsula, and the airstrikes in neighboring Libya mark an expansion of that fight.

“Clearly, this is a global jihad right before our eyes,” retired Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News military analyst, said of the ISIS-driven killings.

In a written statement, the White House condemned the “despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists.”

The White House noted that the killing “is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.”

The White House urged a “political resolution” to the ongoing conflict in Libya. The White House is hosting a summit later this week on “countering violent extremism.”

FoxNews.com’s Judson Berger contributed to this report.

Also see:

French PM: West Must Fight Muslim Brotherhood Ideology

Muslims praying in the middle of a public street in France.

Muslims praying in the middle of a public street in France.

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 16, 2015:

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has stated that the West must “fight the discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood in our country” and scrutinize foreign funding of mosques, a sharp break from U.S. policy that views the Brotherhood as a moderate competitor to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS).

Prime Minister Valls said the country needs to enact policies to combat the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, making the point that Islamist terrorism is a product of radical preaching. He announced that the Interior Minister will lead a study on the foreign financing of mosques in France and the training of French imams.

“We seek to establish a model of Islam that is fully integrated, fully compatible with the values of the Republic,” Valls said.

France has a serious problem with growing Islamism that is hostile to nationalism, secular-democracy and integration. A 2011 intelligence report warned that “self-appointed” imams in Muslim-majority areas, specifically the city of Marseille, were spreading Islamism. It said only a “relatively low” percentage of the 250,000 Muslims in that city support violent jihad, but “Islamic fundamentalism has progressed to the point where it has won over the majority of the Muslim population.”

France recognizes that the problem is not just the act of terrorism, but the Islamist ideology that drives violence and is also detrimental to the West in many non-violent ways. The Prime Minister said after the attacks in Paris that the country is at war with radical Islam; a stark difference from the vague terminology of “violent extremism” used by the U.S.

Valls’ use of “radical Islam” wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It signaled a major shift in strategy and was repeated by the French ambassador to America afterwards.

“We are at war with radical Islam. It means that right now… Islam is breeding radicalism which is quite dangerous for everybody. So I think in the coming weeks or the coming months, we have to define the global strategy. Part of the strategy is to work with the Muslim countries,” the ambassador said.

The Prime Minister even said that Europe needs to recognize that Islamists slander opponents as “Islamophobes” to stop scrutiny of their ideology and leaders.

“I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people,” he says.

The Prime Minister’s bold statements come as Egypt has agreed to become the first country to buy French Rafale fighter jets. The Egyptian government will sign a $5.93 billion contract to acquire 24 aircraft.

The coinciding of Prime Minister Valls’ statement with the deal suggests that France wants to wage an ideological war against Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood and sees Egypt as a major ally in that campaign. President El-Sisi banned the Muslim Brotherhood and forcefully called for a reformation of Islamic interpretations that denounce any violence.

French President Hollande said that the deal was made because his country desires for Egypt to act as a stabilizing regional power.

“I believe that, given the current context, it’s very important that Egypt is able to act to uphold stability and to be in security, not only stability on its own territory, but stability in the region,” he said.

The word usage is important. Hollande means that the sale is not just an endorsement of Egypt’s fight against the ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, but of Egypt leadership role in the Middle East. A central post of that role is crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and undermining Islamism, including airstrikes on Islamist militias in Libya.

The deal is seen as a subtle rebuke of the U.S. over its criticism of Egypt’s handling of the Brotherhood. The U.S. says it is “not concerned” about the deal, but observers recognize that Egypt is reducing its reliance on the U.S. for arms. Egypt immediately reacted to U.S. criticism by embracing Russia and signing a major arms deal, as well as a recent agreement for Russia to build Egypt’s first nuclear reactor.

The French government’s stance is also important because the President and Prime Minister are from the Socialist Party, heralding a political consensus between the right-wing and left-wing parties that Islamism is the threat and a strategy against that ideology and its proponents including the Muslim Brotherhood is necessary.

Current French President Hollande defeated his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party, but they are both now on the same page in regards to this issue.

This is especially significant because Hollande emphasized his friendliness with the French Muslim community during the campaign. Soeren Kern wrote that Hollande’s victory was “the first time that Muslims have determined the outcome of a presidential election in a major Western European country; it is a preview of things to come.”

Sarkozy was warning about the lack of assimilation for years prior to the Paris attacks. He said policy adjustments were needed to integrate immigrants and to prevent “a society where communities coexist side by side.”

“Our Muslim compatriots should be able to live and practice their religion like anyone else…but it can only be a French Islam and not just an Islam in France,” Sarkozy said in 2011.

France and Egypt get it. They understand that Islamism is the problem due to the former’s experiencing of the Paris attacks by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda and the latter’s experience of Muslim Brotherhood governance. If the U.S. still doesn’t get it after 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, the Boston bombings and countless other acts of Islamist violence, then what will it take?

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

Egyptian planes pound ISIS in Libya in revenge for mass beheadings of Christians

Fox News, Feb. 16, 2015:

Egyptian warplanes struck hard at ISIS militants in neighboring Libya, killing as many as 64 militants and destroying the Islamist terror group’s training camps and weapons caches a day after a sickening video surfaced showing black-clad jihadists beheading 21 Coptic Christians.

The strikes came after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi went on national television in the world’s most populous Arab nation and vowed revenge was coming. The address was followed by the airing of military video showing the planes taking off for the mission and an Armed Forces General Command statement saying the strikes were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers.”

“Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” it said.

The ISIS video released online showed the Egyptian victims, poor men from Egypt’s rural areas who had traveled to Libya looking for work, kneeling before Islamic State executioners. In Egypt, which by some estimates is about 10 percent Christian, the video sent shockwaves through both Muslim and Christian communities. El-Sisi, the U.S.-trained, former military leader who in a landmark New Year’s day address called on the Arab world to reject radical terror, and then took the unprecedented step of attending services at a Christian church, told his nation the deaths would be avenged.

“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”

On Monday, el-Sissi visited the main Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo to offer his condolences on the Egyptians killed in Libya, according to state TV.

Egyptian state-run news service Al-Ahram, citing a Libyan military spokesman, reported that the strikes, which were coordinated with Libyan officials, killed 64 Islamic State fighters and left dozens wounded. Egyptian officials told the news service the strikes were the first of several to come.

Egypt is already battling a burgeoning Islamist insurgency centered in the strategic Sinai Peninsula, where militants have recently declared their allegiance to ISIS and rely heavily on arms smuggled across the porous desert border between Egypt and Libya.

The strikes also come just a month before Egypt is scheduled to host a major donor’s conference at a Sinai resort to attract foreign investment needed to revive the economy after more than four years of turmoil.

The Egyptian government had previously declared a seven-day period of mourning and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi addressed the nation late Sunday night, saying that his government reserved the right to seek retaliation for the killings.

“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”

Libya’s air force commander, Saqr al-Joroushi, told Egyptian state TV that the airstrikes were coordinated with the Libyan side and that they killed about 50 militants. Libya’s air force also announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an ISIS affiliate last year. The announcement, on the Facebook page of the Air Force Chief of Staff, did not provide further details. Two Libyan security officials told the Associated Press civilians, including three children and two women, were killed in the strikes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The video was released late Sunday by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group. The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. The killings raise the possibility that the extremist group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles from the southern tip of Italy, Libya’s former colonial master. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to “conquer Rome.”

In Washington, the White House released a statement calling the beheadings “despicable” and “cowardly”, but made no mention of the victims’ religion, referring to them only as “Egyptian citizens” or “innocents.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest added in the statement that the terror group’s “barbarity knows no bounds.”

Also Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He offered his condolences on behalf of the American people and strongly condemned the killings. Kerry and the foreign minister agreed to keep in close touch as Egyptians deliberated on a response, according to a release from the State Department.

The U.N. Security Council meanwhile strongly condemned what it called “the heinous and cowardly apparent murder in Libya of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” using another name for the terror group.

The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also condemned the mass killing, calling it an “ugly crime.”

“The United Arab Emirates is devoting all its resources to support the efforts of Egypt to eradicate terrorism and the violence directed against its citizens,” he said.

Sheikh Abdullah added that the killing highlights the need to help the Libyan government “extend its sovereign authority over all of Libya’s territory.”

The oil-rich Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, has given billions of dollars in aid to Egypt since el-Sissi, who was then military chief, overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 amid massive protests against his yearlong rule.

Egypt has since waged a sweeping crackdown against Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group, which it has officially branded a terrorist organization. El-Sissi has insisted the crackdown in Egypt, as well as support for the government in Libya, is part of a larger war on terror.

Libya in recent months has seen the worst unrest since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, which will complicate any efforts to combat the country’s many Islamic extremist groups.

The internationally recognized government has been confined to the country’s far east since Islamist-allied militias seized the capital Tripoli last year, and Islamist politicians have reconstituted a previous government and parliament.

Egypt has strongly backed the internationally recognized government, and U.S. officials have said both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have taken part in a series of mysterious airstrikes targeting Islamist-allied forces.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Also see:

Muslim Brotherhood Rep: “We are Now in The Retaliation Phase” – Al-Sisi Vows to Fight Back

Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai sets of a bomb.

Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai sets of a bomb.

Clarion Project, February 8, 2015

Muslim Brotherhood-linked television stations based in Turkey have been calling on supporters to use violent means in Egypt in an attempt to overthrow President Sisi and his army-backed government and return the country to Muslim Brotherhood rule.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated as a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The official Muslim Brotherhood representative in Turkey, Ashraf Abdulgaffar, made a similar call, advocating a policy of “an eye for an eye.” He said: “We are now in the retaliation phase. They [Sisi’s government] must taste pain, because there are traitors. My message to the Egyptian people is this: Stand firm and be ready for all sacrifices and prices to be paid.”

Other statements went much further. A “communique” issued by an organization claiming to be the “Revolutionary Youth,” and broadcast on Muslim Brotherhood Rabia TV, threatened to launch terrorist attacks on foreign nationals in Egypt. The televised statement gave all foreign nationals until February 11 to leave Egypt, saying “after that they may become targeted by the movements of revolutionary retribution.”

The commique went on to threaten foreign businesses saying, “All foreign companies operating on Egyptian soil have an opportunity until February 20 to withdraw all their franchises from Egypt and cease their operations.” If they do not do so, the group threatens, “all their projects may be targeted by the rebels.”

Muhammed Nasir, a commentator on the Brotherhood-linked Misr al An TV was just as blunt saying: “It is time to begin armed struggle.”

Both of these Brotherhood TV stations are based in Turkey.

This follows the call for “long and unrelenting jihad” that the Brotherhood published on their Arabic website last week.

According to Youm7, an Egyptian paper, Major-General Mahmoud Zaher, a strategic and political expert, said that the communique broadcast by the Rabia channel gave Egypt the right to fight the Muslim Brotherhood internationally. He said this threat was tantamount to a declaration of war. Speaking to Sky News Arabic, Zaher commented, “This is stupidity, and I thank them for this stupid act because it allows us to fight this group according to international law.”

Violence and clashes have continued within Egypt. This morning, nine Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested in the Sinai for inciting violence and attacking the police and the army. On Friday, Brotherhood supporters clashed in the streets with the army in Cairo’s suburb of Matariya.

The raids follow an intensifying army assault on the Islamic State’s affiliate in the Sinai, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. The army killed 27 militants on Friday in a series of airstrikes. For its part, the militants claimed responsibility for an IED that destroyed a military vehicle at Rafah in the Sinai near the Gaza strip.

The Brotherhood’s official statement on the Sinai campaign made no mention of the terrorist attacks of the Islamic State, instead saying, “There is no solution to this situation, except by returning the army to its barracks, restoring to the people of the Sinai their rights and dignity, trying all the criminals, and exacting retribution for all the blood spilled.”

Yet, President Barack Obama recently conducted private meetings last Wednesday with senior U.S. Muslim leaders connected to theBrotherhood. This is on top of the State Department and several congressmen meeting in closed sessions with a delegation from theEgyptian Muslim Brotherhood last week.

 

Egyptian President Al-Sisi Vows to Combat Terrorism in the Sinai

In a speech delivered on January 31, following a wave of terror attacks in the Sinai, Egyptian President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi vowed to combat terrorism, saying: “We are ready to die in order to keep the Sinai in Egyptian hands.”

 

Also see:

Egypt Excoriates Washington Post for Pro-Brotherhood Bias

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Egypt carrying flags bearing the Brotherhood's logo which featured crossed swords. (Photo: © Reuters)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate in Egypt carrying flags bearing the Brotherhood’s logo which featured crossed swords. (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, By Ryan Mauro, Feb. 5, 2015:

The Egyptian embassy has posted a letter by the ambassador to the U.S. thrashing the Washington Post for “toeing the Muslim Brotherhood line” and presenting the Islamist group as “moderate.”  It ends by advising the newspaper to be more balanced in order to “save whatever is left of your credibility in the Arab world.”

The letter is a response to a Washington Post editorial eviscerating the Egyptian government for having a “violent and cynical nature.” It claims that President El-Sisi is suppressing freedom and democracy and that his oppression is benefiting terrorist groups in the Sinai like the Islamic State (ISIS).

“The outlet also consistently promotes the polished English of Muslim Brotherhood propagandists, while muting attention to that organization’s Arabic messages, which drive extreme Islamist rhetoric and call for bloodshed, martyrdom and terror,” Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik writes.

Ambassador Tawfik writes that the newspaper has also “gone out of its way to absolve the Muslim Brotherhood of their crimes.” He points out that the editorial claims that Egyptian police killed over 20 protestors. What the Post didn’t mention is that three of them were Muslim Brotherhood members killed by their own explosives and the “protestors” killed two police officers.

The Egyptian government’s website documents the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood and warns about how the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is promoting the Islamist group in the media and policy circles. Tawfik touches on this in his letter, writing:

“History shows how a small number of Western academics and lobbyists succeeded in repackaging the Muslim Brotherhood and selling it to their elites as the panacea for curing radicalism, rather than the Trojan Horse it really is.”

Tawfik reminds readers that the Brotherhood “is the mother organization from which modern day violent jihad has sprung” and that the preaching of Brotherhood cleric Sayyid Qutb continues to radicalize Muslims today.

The Egyptian embassy is also offended at the editorial’s indictment of the government for the shooting death of activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh. Videotapes show that she was killed by a police officer using birdshot.

While this is terrible, it is unfair to blame the entire Egyptian government for it. There is no proof of a cover-up. In fact, an independent commission authorized by the Egyptian government concluded that the police used excessive force and violated human rights.

El-Sisi admits police abuse is a problem and is urging security forces to be mindful of human rights. He said that he views all Egyptian women, including al-Sabbagh, as his daughters and declared her a “martyr.” He ordered an investigation into her death, and the interior minister has said he will arrest any police officer involved.

The Post ridicules President Obama for ignoring these alleged human rights abuses in order to continue security cooperation. The newspaper apparently hasn’t paid attention to how many times the Obama Administration has criticized the Egyptian government.

The Obama Administration signaled its opposition to the military’s popularly supported overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It condemned Egypt’s crackdown on the Brotherhood and suspended a significant amount of military aid to Egypt as punishment. The White House continues to falsely assert that the Brotherhood is non-violent.

The U.S. demands the release of former Egyptian President Morsi and imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood members. The State Department recently met with Muslim Brotherhood figures plotting El-Sisi’s overthrow, including one who had his picture taken with a top Hamas leader.

The tension between President El-Sisi and President Obama is palpable. The Egyptian government used the riots in Ferguson to hit America back for its crackdown on the Brotherhood. Egypt has been moving closer to Russia as a result of the lack of U.S. support.

This isn’t the first time that the Egyptian government led by El-Sisi has grappled with the Washington Post. In an August 2013 interview, El-Sisi fought back against how his country was being depicted by the American media. He bluntly said to the reporter:

“The title of the article should be ‘Hey America: Where is your support for Egypt? Where is your support for free people?’…What I want the American reader to know is that this is a free people who rebelled against an unjust political rule, and this free people needs your support.”

El-Sisi made the case that the Brotherhood qualifies as a terrorist group and its overthrow was necessary and demanded by the population. Indeed, the protests requesting the removal of the Brotherhood-led government were the largest in human history, dwarfing the crowds that forced Egyptian President Mubarak’s resignation.

El-Sisi said the Muslim Brotherhood ideology is “based on restoring the Islamic religious empire” and is an international organization in 60 countries. He explained that “Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood,” hinting at the inconsistency in America’s labeling of amas as a terrorist group but not the Brotherhood.

Also see:

Foreigners, Diplomats Warned to Leave Egypt or Be Targeted for Jihad

In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag as chant slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque / AP

In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 file photo, Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi hold a large Egyptian national flag as chant slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 3, 2015:

An Islamist organization sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood is warning all foreigners and diplomats to flee Egypt by the end of February or face becoming “a target by the Revolutionary Punishment Movement,” according to a recent warning posted online by a Brotherhood-affiliated site and read live on television by one of its broadcast organs.

The statement issues a threat to “all foreign nationals,” “all foreign companies,” and all “embassy foreigners, diplomats, and ambassadors,” ordering them to leave Egypt by the end of the month or face violent attacks, according to an independent translation of the Arabic statement.

Foreign travelers also are warned to “cancel their trips” and told “they are not welcome to Egypt during these difficult days.”

The warning comes just a week after Brotherhood leaders and allies were hosted for a meeting at the State Department, which drew fierce criticism from the Egyptian government.

It also follows a similar statement by the Brotherhood urging its supporters to prepare for a “long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt.

The latest threat was issued by an anti-government group identifying itself as “The Youth of the Revolution.” The statement was published late last week on a Brotherhood-affiliated Facebook page and also read on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station operating out of Turkey.

“After the successive meetings with revolutionaries in the squares, we decided with all the Revolutionary Punishment Movement the following,” the statement reads.

“All embassy foreigners, diplomats, and ambassadors, are given a deadline until Feb. 28 to leave the homeland,” it states.

“All foreign nationals, from all foreign, Arab, and African nationalities and all employees with companies working in Egypt [must] leave the country immediately,” it says. “This deadline will end on Feb. 11, 2015, and after that they will be a target by the Revolutionary Punishment Movement.”

Foreign companies “working in Egypt” are instructed to leave by Feb. 20, “withdraw their licenses in Egypt and end their work, otherwise all their projects will be targets by revolutionaries.”

The revolutionary youth group also instructs any country supporting the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to withdraw its backing.

Like the Brotherhood, the “The Youth of the Revolution” does not recognize al-Sisi as the rightful Egyptian leader and seeks to reinstall as president ousted Brotherhood ally Mohamed Morsi.

“All countries supporting the coup and assisting it monetarily and politically must immediately cease from any support to the coup within a month from this statement otherwise all their interests in the Middle East will be exposed to severe attacks that will have dire consequences,” the group warns.

Following the Washington Free Beacon’s initial report on the meeting between the State Department and Brotherhood-aligned leaders, the Egyptian foreign minister lashed out at the Obama administration, calling its policies “incomprehensible.”

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was forced to admit that she initially misled reporters about the meeting.

Psaki claimed that the trip was organized and funded by Georgetown University, a claim the university denied when contacted Monday by the Free Beacon.

Psaki was forced to correct the record at a briefing Monday with reporters.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit. So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown,” Psaki said.

However, she continued to defend the decision to meet with the delegation.

When asked by a reporter, “is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group,” Psaki responded, “Yes. Yes.”

Terrorism analyst and reporter Patrick Poole said Brotherhood offshoots such as this youth group have become increasingly violent as the Egyptian government continues its crackdown on the Brotherhood and terrorist groups.

“For a year and a half we’ve seen these Brotherhood youth cadre offshoots grow increasingly violent, whether it is the ‘Molotov Movement’, ‘Revolutionary Punishment Council’, or whatever name they operate under this month,” Poole said. “Initially it was targeting police and military personnel, then violence at the universities and civilian areas. So it’s no surprise now that they’re going after foreigners.”

Brotherhood leaders have quietly endorsed this violent rhetoric, he said.

“The Brotherhood leadership, the vast majority of which is now either in prison or in exile, has nurtured this culture,” Poole said. “They train for it and justify it in their indoctrination curriculum. And as the call for a new phase of all-out jihad published on the Brotherhood’s official website last week indicates, this latest threat of violence can be seen as a direct response to what the leadership openly called for just days before.”

Egypt Labels Hamas’ Military Wing Terrorists

sissi-terror-e1414296567645IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Feb 2, 2015

An Egyptian court has labeled the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, a terrorist organization.

“The court ruled to ban the Qassam Brigades and to list it as a terrorist group,” Judge Mohamed al-Sayid said Saturday in an interview with Reuters.

The decision came as a result of a suit brought by Egyptian attorney Samir Sabri that accused the Qassam Brigades of financing and participating in attacks in Egypt against police, military and other targets. Hamas has diverged from its goal of fighting Israel and now aims to undermine Egypt’s internal security, according to the Egyptian court.

The court’s decision centered on the Qassam Brigades’ alleged involvement in a series of terrorist attacks, including one in October that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers. Sabri’s suit also claimed that Hamas’ armed wing smuggled weapons and funds into Egypt through a network of tunnels.

Egyptian security forces expanded their buffer zone along the border with Gaza in November in an effort to crackdown on the terrorist group’s smuggling operations. They claim to have destroyed 1,600 tunnels since President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July 2013.

Egypt’s government blames the Qassam Brigades for the spate of terrorist violence in the Sinai by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Salafi-jihadist group aligned with the Islamic State, which is believed to be responsible for hundreds of attacks in Egypt.

Last May, Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution claimed that 200 suspects tied to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis received training at camps run by the Qassam Brigades.

Last week, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis launched a series of attacks across the northern Sinai that killed 20 people, including civilians, and left 36 wounded. The attacks included a car bomb that detonated outside a military base and a series of mortar rounds that were fired at a hotel and several checkpoints.

Hamas dismissed the decision, labeling it as politics. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the ruling “dangerous” and claimed it only “serves the Israeli occupation,” also stating that the Qassam Brigades don’t have an interest in interfering with Egypt’s internal affairs.

Hamas deputy political leader Mousa abu Marzook denounced the ruling, calling the current Egyptian regime a “coup against the history, the ethics, and the principles of Egypt,” according to the Ma’an News Agency.

“Historically, the Qassam Brigades has never pointed their rifles at any of our people, especially our big sister Egypt and her army,” Marzook said.

A different court ruling from March banned Hamas from operating in Egypt. That came amid a crackdown on the terrorist group’s parent organization – the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas-Supporting MB Figures Meet With Congress, State Dept.

by John Rossomando
IPT News
January 29, 2015

1121A delegation including senior exiled members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and two people with a history of open support for Hamas lobbied senators Wednesday.

The delegation requested a meeting with several senators, a Senate source told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

The delegation sought help in restoring former President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt. Morsi-era parliamentarians, government ministers and judges formed the Egyptian Revolutionary Council in Istanbul, Turkey last August with the aim of toppling Egypt’s military government. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The delegation arrived in Washington Monday and will leave Thursday, according to a brief provided to the Senate offices. A Facebook post Wednesday by former Egyptian Judge Waleed Sharaby showed him alongside fellow delegation members on Capitol Hill.

The delegation also includes Sarwat Nafei, a self-described liberal elected as speaker of the Egyptian parliament in exile; Maha Azzam, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council; Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, an exiled Muslim Brotherhood member and Egyptian parliamentarian; and Mohammed Gamal Heshmat, an exiled member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s shura council and Egyptian parliamentarian.

Sharaby’s Facebook page shows him at the State Department on Monday. In a Facebook posting Thursday, Heshmat claimed he met with “a representative of the White House” as well. “The voice of the Egyptian revolution must be loud everywhere,” he wrote.

Sharaby and Heshmat have openly expressed support for Hamas.

 

Mohammed Gamal Heshmat, second from the left, with Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal.

Heshmat’s Facebook page features a picture of him posing with Hamas Chairman Khaled Meshaal. He told the IPT that he met Meshaal during a conference in Doha, Qatar last June, and said he did not have a “continuous relationship” or a “dark relationship” with the terrorist leader.

The Muslim Brotherhood leader has a long history of supporting Palestinian terrorists. Heshmat “wants to send weapons to the Palestinians, and even send Egyptians to fight,” Deborah Amos reported in 2002 for “NOW with Bill Moyers.”

Heshmat denied making the statement when the IPT asked about it Tuesday, saying all he had ever favored was sending “humanitarian aid” to help the Palestinians.

In an August 2012 Facebook posting, he denied that Muslims were responsible for a terrorist attack in the Sinai. “[I]t is unreasonable that the Muslims carried out such an incident, because if it were a jihadist operation, it would be the first inside Israeli territory,” the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

He blamed “an American Zionist plot” for Egypt’s military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in August 2013. In a Facebook posting last July, Heshmat called Israeli Jews “the descendants of pigs and monkeys” who were fighting against the “Palestine of Jihad.”

Similarly, Sharaby, although not a Muslim Brotherhood member, wrote an article last July praising the memories of Hamas co-founders Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Sharaby’s article poetically praises Hamas:

“Or shall I tell you how this blessed movement developed the thought of resistance in record time and under the circumstances in which it was impossible to verify that these results? From throwing stones at the enemy, to stabbing him with a knife, to the sniper shot, to the IED, to martyrdom operations in the heart of the Zionist Entity, to the short-range missiles, to the long-range missiles to attack Israeli military units which made the people of Israel go into bunkers!!!”

The Saudi tabloid Al-Madina slammed the State Department meeting Wednesday, calling the delegation “terrorists.” Saudi officials labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group last year.

The State Department defended the meeting in an email to the IPT. “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

Before coming to Washington, Dardery, Sharaby and Heshmat participated in a forumin New Jersey sponsored by Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice, which an Egyptian newspaper describes as a “Brotherhood organization.” The forum was also attended by noted Islamist leader Mohammed Qatanani.

Heshmat and Sharaby arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 20, according to the Facebook page of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice.

Appearing at an event Tuesday sponsored by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) at the National Press Club, Azzam called the discussions with the State Department “fruitful.”

“There was an overlap and a common reading of the situation, of the threat of the current regime to human rights and the rule of law,” Azzam said regarding the feedback her delegation received from the State Department. “They welcomed the continued engagement with us.”

Delegation members told the State Department that support for President Abdel Fatah Sisi’s regime ran contrary to American values and national interests. They asked the U.S. not to get in the way of the Egyptian people’s “fight for their own freedom,” Azzam said.

Tuesday’s CSID event emphasized the Sisi regime’s killing, torturing and jailing of political opponents. Speakers pointed to a 2014 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that found that Sisi and the Egyptian military were likely guilty of “crimes against humanity.”

The military government killed thousands of Egyptians, jailing thousands of innocent protesters and imprisoning over 40,000 political dissidents of all stripes, according to Azzam , including liberals, Islamists and others.

Nafei accused the media of creating “a complete fabrication” about the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood wished to create a religious state both before and after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

“The reality is that it’s democracy, pro-democracy,” Nafei said. “There is no religious state. There is no threat coming from a religious state.”

The delegation urged Egyptian-Americans of all stripes – Coptic Christian and Muslim – to unite against the Sisi government. Dardery asked Copts, who have overwhelmingly supported Sisi, to come to their side.

“The constitution that was made in 2013 … states clearly that all Egyptians are equal,” Dardery told the IPT. “There is no difference between a Christian, a Muslim and Jew.

“We’ve been living together for the past 1,400 years,” he continued. “We’ve been living with churches next to mosques.”

Dardery’s sentiments did not convince Michael Meunier, a Coptic leader and Sisi supporter who embraced the 2011 revolution early on. The Brotherhood was behind violence that has swept Egypt since Morsi’s fall, Meunier told the IPT from Cairo. He noted that Coptic churches were burned by the Brotherhood’s supporters, and St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo was attacked by Islamists during Morsi’s tenure.

Meunier had terse words for the State Department, saying that meeting with this delegation furthers the perception that the U.S. was behind the Brotherhood’s rise to power and heightens tensions between Egyptians and Americans.

Islamic State’s Sinai ‘province’ claims simultaneous attacks on Egyptian military, police

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 5.39.21 PM-thumb-560x356-5596LWJ, By

Wilayat Sinai, or the Sinai Province of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for a series of attacks throughout the Sinai yesterday via posts on Twitter. In a statement released earlier today, the organization said the operations were revenge against the Egyptian government for imprisoning the “sisters.” Two pictures of the attacks, one of which can be seen above, were posted with the statement.

The same justification has been offered by Ajnad Misr (“Soldiers of Egypt”) for its operations in Cairo and elsewhere. The jihadists claim that devout Muslim women are being oppressed by the government and, therefore, need to be avenged.

Wilayat Sinai says in its statement today that complex assaults were carried out against the Egyptian military and police in El Arish, Sheikh Zuweid, and Rafah. The raid in El Arish appears to have been the most sophisticated, as it involved three explosives-laden vehicles.

Interestingly, the group says that it launched the assaults, utilizing almost one hundred fighters (a claim that cannot be independently verified), after nighttime curfews went into effect. It did so to supposedly minimize the loss of civilian life.

The Islamic State and its so-called “provinces” are not known for their concern for civilian casualties in the Muslim majority world. Al Qaeda and its branches have attempted to steer their violence away from Muslim civilians, however. And, interestingly, Wilayat Sinai’s claim in this regard is again similar to how Ajnad Misr says it carries out its operations inside Egypt.

Ajnad Misr, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department in December, is an offshoot of Ansar Bayt al Maqdis (“ABM”) and has not sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s organization.

ABM’s Sinai faction pledged allegiance to the Islamic State last November and was quickly rebranded as the group’s Sinai “province.”

The number of casualties caused by the attacks varies across press accounts.

According to an Egyptian health official who spoke with Agence France Presse (AFP), at least 40 people were killed and dozens more were injured. Other reports say the number of casualties was lower. Wilayat Sinai’s statement implies that the number of people killed or wounded is much higher.

Regardless, the attacks are clearly the deadliest ones conducted by the group since it swore allegiance to the Islamic State.

The New York Times reports that the series of raids were carried out on the North Sinai security directorate headquarters, an army base, various security checkpoints, a hotel, the capital of the province, and a security camp.

Wilayat Sinai claimed several terrorist operations in late December, one on a natural gas pipeline that extends into Jordan and two others on Egyptian military vehicles.

The group has repeatedly targeted the Egyptian military in the Sinai, and killed dozens of soldiers in October, leading security forces to impose curfews in the North Sinai. Wilayat Sinai specifically mentions those curfews in today’s statement.

According to CNN, hundreds of police and troops have been killed in the last year and a half, since the military’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

According to one report in the Financial Times, Wilayat Sinai’s large-scale operations may have spurred smaller cells in other cities to also strike out in Suez, Cairo, and Port Said.

Despite the military’s crackdown since October, security forces are clearly unable to prevent these types of significant, multi-stage assaults from happening, highlighting flaws in Egypt’s ability to combat the jihadists.

Following Thursday’s raids, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) released a statement on the army spokesman’s Facebook page announcing it would ramp up operations to crackdown on militants in the Sinai. And President Abdul Fattah al Sisi cut his trip to an African Union summit in Ethiopia short due to the attacks.

In addition to the photo shown above, Wilayat Sinai released this photo from yesterday:

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 5.40.55 PM-thumb-560x356-5599

Islamic State Affiliate Attacks Sinai as Muslim Brotherhood Calls for Jihad

The flag of the Sinai-based terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The flag of the Sinai-based terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

CSP, by Aaron Kliegman, Jan. 30, 2015:

Islamic State’s Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, took credit via Twitter for coordinated attacks against the Egyptian military and police on Thursday killing at least 26 people and wounding 60 more.

According to security officials, the terrorists first targeted a military base, military hotel, and police offices in el-Arish, the capital of North Sinai. A car bomb went off by the rear of the military base while militants fired rockets at each building. Army checkpoints were also attacked throughout the city.

The terrorists targeted two additional towns, nearby Sheik Zuwayid and Gaza-bordering Rafah.

Despite the claim of responsibility, Egypt’s military spokesman blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, with whom the military has been locked in a struggle with since the military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohammed Morsi. There is a potential historical link between the Brotherhood and Sinai Province.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) was inspired by al-Qaeda and formed during the January 2011 uprisings against Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s long-time ruler. Some believe the Muslim Brotherhood is connected to Sinai Province and that the former was and is instrumental in creating and aiding the latter.

This is in part because the ISIS-affiliated group increased its activity after Morsi was brought down, with one security expert stating that the group was “avenging the Brotherhood.” Additionally, Nabil Naeem, founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, said in a 2013 article that ABM had been funded by the Brotherhood. Refaat Said, leader of the Socialist Party, Tagammu, went further to say that Morsi himself placed ABM in Sinai and released some members from prison. Moreover, Brotherhood Without Violence, a group with Brotherhood ties, states that ISIS in Sinai is the Brotherhood’s military wing.

The Egyptian government does have motivation to lay an ISIS-affiliated group at the Brotherhood’s feet but the possibility is important to note.

The Brotherhood also relates to the developing Sinai situation due to a recent visit to the U.S. State Department this week by a delegation of its leaders. This group met with State Department officials in Washington, DC to discuss their continuous opposition to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government.

Soon after the State Department meeting and just two days before the coordinated terror attacks in Sinai, the Muslim Brotherhood called for a “long, uncompromised jihad.” It is unclear if there is a link between this call for jihad and ISIS affiliates causing violence in Sinai, but the timing certainly makes for an interesting coincidence considering the Obama Administration’s insistence that the Muslim Brotherhood maintains a commitment to non-violence.

Egypt is an important ally for the West in its fight with global jihad and President Sisi’s efforts in this endeavor are essential, but his government is being challenged by this entrenched insurgency. The United States should be working with al-Sisi to fight jihad in all forms, whether from the Muslim Brotherhood or the spreading Islamic State.

Muslim Brotherhood: Prepare for Jihad

1122by IPT News  •  Jan 30, 2015

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, hailed as a moderate voice andwelcomed by officials in the Obama administration just this week, issued separate statements on its English and Arabic websites this week that appear to contradict each other.

A call for “a long, unrelenting Jihad” appeared on the Brotherhood’s Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

On its English language website Friday, the Brotherhood struck a dramatically different tone in an article in which it “Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence.”

“The Brotherhood should not have to – every day – reiterate its constants, its strategic stance and chosen path of civil peaceful struggle to restore legitimacy…,” it said.

It does when it posts a call to prepare for jihad invoking assembling the “steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God.”

The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence “no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say.”

As the IPT has shown, offering mixed messages in Arabic and English is routine for the Brotherhood.

On Thursday, a speaker on a Brotherhood-affiliated television station warned foreign tourists and business interests to leave Egypt next month, or risk becoming a “target for the revolutionary punishment movements.” A similar statement was posted on Facebook.

The dueling statements come just after the four-year anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak and led to the Brotherhood’s rise to dominate Egyptian government in his wake. But that rule was short-lived, as President Mohamed Morsi was forced from office by Egypt’s army in July 2013, after millions took to the streets to protest the government’s performance.

This week, dozens of people were killed in protests marking the 2011 revolution. A delegation of exiled Brotherhood officials visited Washington this week, urging support to return Morsi to power.

It was in that context that the Arabic call for jihad was published. According to the Free Beacon, it invoked Brotherhood founding ideologue Hasan al-Banna, who “prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers…”

“For everyone must be aware that we are in the process of a new phase,” the statement concludes, “in which we summon what of our power is latent within us, and we call to mind the meaning of Jihad, and prepare ourselves and our children, wives and daughters, and whoever marches on our path for a long, unrelenting Jihad. We ask in it the abodes of the martyrs.”

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The Last Refuge:

As Predicted – Muslim Brotherhood Calls For Open Jihad Against President Fattah al-Sisi In Egypt….

Why do they hate al-Sisi so much?

◾Disbanded the Muslim Brotherhood as a political terror entity. (link) (link)
◾Arrested those who burned churches and attacked Coptic Christians. (link) (link)
◾Jailed or banished the extremist forces. (link)
◾Supported Israel’s right to exist and defend it’s borders. (link) (link)
◾Defeated Hamas in the border region. (link) (link)
◾Destroyed the border terror tunnels used by Hamas (link) (link)
◾Pressured Hamas and the PA to negotiate the ceasefire, and forced the PA and Hamas to assemble ONE negotiating group for their interests. (link) (link)
◾Fought extremism in the Sinai region, and fought against ISIS infiltration.
◾Fought the Libyan new al-Qaeda network “Libyan Dawn”. (link)
◾Charged and prosecuted the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, who fled to Qatar. (link)

◾Followed the MB to Qatar and initiated sanctions against Qatar until they stopped financing and harboring terror. (link)
◾Formed a coalition against Qatar including the UAE and Saudi Arabia who withdrew their ambassadors and isolated Qatar in the region. (link) (link)
◾Won reelection with almost 70% of the vote. (link) (link ) (link)
◾Holds an 80%+ job approval rating among ALL Egyptians. (link)
◾Shut down Qatar financed Al Jazerra propaganda machine. (link)
◾Supported the framework for a new constitution which supports minority protections. (link)
◾Won a victory against Qatar as they finally conceded and stopped safeguarding terrorists. Sending the MB leadership to the new safe harbor of Turkey. (link)
◾United the moderate (non violent) Arab coalition, the Gulf Security Council, and constructed a unity principle that supports the safety of Jordan and formed a coalition to defend if needed. (link)
◾Faced down and quietly defeated Turkey’s bid for a security council seat in the United Nations. (link) (link)
◾Negotiated a safe passage coalition for Israel and Greece to form an energy based economic trade agreement.
◾Continues to fight the Islamist extremists inside Libya. (link) (link)
◾Continues to fight ISIS in the Northern Sinai region. (link) (link) (link)
◾Expanded the border safety zone with Gaza to insure greater control and protection from weapons smuggling. (link)

Open Jihad Declared in Egypt Following State Dept. Meeting with Muslim Brotherhood-Aligned Leaders

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 30, 2015:

The Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt just one day after a delegation of the Islamist group’s key leaders and allies met with the State Department, according to an official statement released this week.

Just days after a delegation that included two top Brotherhood leaders was hosted at the State Department, the organization released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.

The statement also was issued just two days before a major terror attack Thursday in Egypt’s lawless Sinai region that killed at least 25.

“It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom,” it states.

Preparation for jihad is a key theme of the Brotherhood’s latest call for jihad.

An image posted with the statement shows two crossing swords and the word “prepare!” between them. Below the swords it reads, “the voice of truth, strength, and freedom.” According to the statement, “that is the motto of the Dawa of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The statement also invokes the well-known Muslim cleric Imam al-Bana, who founded the Brotherhood and has called for the death of Jews.

Imam al-Bana prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers,” the statement says.

The Brotherhood’s renewed call for jihad comes at a time when current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is cracking down on the group and imprisoning many of its supporters, who notoriously engaged in violence following the ouster of Brotherhood-ally Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt experts said the timing of this declaration is an embarrassment for the State Department.

“The fact that the Brotherhood issued its call to jihad two days after its meeting at the State Department will be grist for endless anti-American conspiracy theories about a supposed partnership between Washington and the Brotherhood,” said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). “The State Department should have foreseen what an embarrassment this would be.”

One member of that U.S. delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.

“Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone,” reads an Arabic caption posted along with the photo.

Other members of that group included Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor.

When asked on Tuesday evening to comment on the meeting, a State Department official told theWashington Free Beacon, “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”

The official declined to elaborate on who may have been hosted or on any details about the timing and substance of any talks.

The meeting was described by a member of the delegation, Maha Azzam as “fruitful,” according to one person who attended a public event in Washington earlier this week hosted by the group.

The call for jihad, while surprising in light of the Brotherhood’s attempts to appear moderate, is part and parcel of organization’s longstanding beliefs, Trager said.

“Muslim Brothers have been committing violent acts for a very long time,” Trager explained. “Under Morsi, Muslim Brothers tortured protesters outside the presidential palace. After Morsi’s ouster, they have frequently attacked security forces and state property. “

“But until now, the official line from the Brotherhood was to support this implicitly by justifying its causes, without justifying the acts themselves,” he added. “ So the Brotherhood’s open call to jihad doesn’t necessarily mean a tactical shift, but a rhetorical one.”

Terrorism expert and national security reporter Patrick Poole said he was struck by the clarity of the Brotherhood’s call.

“It invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948,” he said.

“It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom,” Poole said. “Not sure how much more clear they could be.”

Poole wondered if the call for jihad would convince Brotherhood apologists that the group still backs violence.

“What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,” Poole said. “Will this development be met with contrition, or silence? And what says the State Department who met with these guys this week?”

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment before press time.