Reports On Creation Of Muslim Brotherhood Lobby In U.S. To Prevent Trump Administration From Designating The Movement A Terrorist Organization

MEMRI, by  C. Meital and H. Varulkar, March 16, 2017:

Introduction

Following Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency, the issue of designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization resurfaced. During and after his presidential campaign, Trump’s Middle East advisor Walid Phares repeatedly stated that the new president would act for the passage of a bill doing so. For example, following Trump’s September 2016 meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fatah Al-Sisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Phares told the Egyptian daily Al-Watan that Trump had promised Al-Sisi that he would promote a bill that is already before Congress that designates the MB a terrorist organization.[1] After the election, Phares reiterated these remarks to the press.[2]

Ted Cruz’s tweet

It should be mentioned that in November 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) announced that they had introduced a bill designating the MB a terrorist organization.[3] In January 2017, Cruz tweeted that he and Diaz-Balart had reintroduced the bill on this matter: “Proud to introduce Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act w @MarioDB [Mario Diaz-Balart]. It’s time to call the enemy by its name.”[4]

In light of this bill, and in light of statements by Trump administration officials about its intent to promote it, the MB began preparations to confront the bill and prevent its passage. Launching a widespread informational media campaign, including the hiring of U.S. lobbying and legal firms, outreach to the press in the U.S., and dissemination of informational content aimed at improving its image in the West, particularly in the U.S., the MB attempted to convey that it is not a terrorist organization, but rather an ideological movement whose methods of operation are peaceful.

On the other hand, the Egyptian regime has been working to persuade the new U.S. administration that the MB is indeed a terrorist organization, as well as an umbrella organization for other terrorist outfits. In addition it was reported that Egyptian intelligence too had hired an American lobbying firm to improve the image of the Egyptian regime in the U.S.[5]Egyptian parliamentary representatives met in January 2017 with U.S. members of Congress to impress upon them the necessity of designating the MB as terrorist. Another visit by an Egyptian parliamentary delegation was scheduled for January but has apparently been postponed to April. Additionally, the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to the regime, has in recent weeks been criticizing Western media, particularly The New York Times, for providing a platform for the promotion of MB ideas. The Egyptian press in general expressed criticism of the regime for failing to sufficiently counter the MB’s media campaign.

This report will review MB media efforts to counter U.S. legislative and legal moves to designate it a terrorist organization, efforts by the Egyptian regime and official media to prove that it does indeed engage in terrorism, and claims by Egyptian writers that the regime is not doing enough to combat the MB’s campaign in the West.

MB Works To Create U.S. Lobby

In fact, already in November 2016, immediately after Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections, the movement began preparing to counter U.S. moves to designate it terrorist. The Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, which belongs to the MB and operates from Turkey under the directorship of Amr Darrag, who served as minister of planning and international cooperation in the administration of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, published a document by Dr. Badr Shafi’i on November 26 with recommendations for the movement on how to deal with America’s intent to promote a terrorist designation of the MB. The recommendations include: Appointing elements within the movement to supervise these steps and make contact with experts on international relations; contacting politicians, clerics, and countries that could sympathize with the MB in order to improve its image in Congress; establishing a legal-media team and hold ties with members of Congress; hiring a U.S. law firm and public relations teams; and establishing a substantial Islamic lobby in the U.S., while strengthening ties with movements opposing Trump’s policy.[6]

Recommendations published by the Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies (Eipss-eg.org, November 2016)

In January and March 2017, the institute published two more documents by Shafi’i that also dealt with this issue, in which he reiterated his recommendations.[7]

In addition, in recent months, the Arab press in general, and the Egyptian press in particular, reported on MB efforts to prevent the Trump administration from listing it as a terrorist organization. Thus, for example, MB sources outside of Egypt told the daily Al-Shurouq that the global MB organization was conducting widespread activity to this end. According to these sources, the movement was being assisted by the governments of Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco, and by the governments of countries where the MB has substantial parliamentary blocs such as Kuwait, Jordan, and Algeria. The sources also disclosed that the movement’s steps, not only in Egypt but in 82 countries around the world, as well as its contacts with members of Congress and senior U.S. writers and civil society organizations, are meant to prevent the decision.[8]

Evidence of these moves could be seen in comments by London-based MB official Mohamed Soudan, who said in late January that MB elements were speaking to American politicians, State Department officials, members of Congress, and academics, in order to explain the nonviolent history of the movement since its establishment in 1928.[9]

In other statements to the media, Soudan said that most of the MB’s contacts in the U.S. were done via a public relations firm, and added: “We will defend our history and the movement’s future with all possible legitimate and legal means.” According to him, the MB will not sit idly by but rather operate on all fronts and conduct meetings with all American parties in order to prevent a U.S. decision designating it a terrorist organization.[10]

On February 5, the Saudi website Elaph reported that the MB had signed a contract with an American lobbying firm, paying it $4.8 million to help it establish ties with Trump administration officials in order to improve its image in U.S. media. According to the report, the contract included organizing meetings with Trump administration officials, submitting documents on Egyptian government mistreatment of the movement and its members, publishing articles in American media, and providing platforms for movement officials in American print and TV media. Elaph added that elements close to the Obama administration had helped the movement sign the contract with this firm, whose officials include figures close to Obama’s election campaign  and to Hillary Clinton. According to Elaph, the firm employs dozens of former White House and State Department staffers who have extensive ties to members of Congress and political and strategic research centers in the U.S.[11]

Furthermore, former MB official Tareq Abu Al-Sa’ad claimed that as part of its efforts to improve its image in the U.S., the movement relies on specific American families who are members of the MB and have close ties to the U.S. administration. He mentioned a family which he said has ties to American officials and research institutes, as well as other MB officials that are expected to contact human rights organizations to help improve its image in Washington.[12]

One example of the MB’s efforts on this front is a New York Times article by Gehad Al-Haddad, a former Egyptian MB spokesman who was arrested in 2013 and is currently incarcerated in Tora Prison in Egypt. Gehad is the son of Essam Al-Haddad, an aide to former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.[13] In the February 22 article, titled “I Am a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist,” Al-Haddad rejected claims that the MB was a terrorist organization, stating that its ideology stems from the Islamic interpretation based on social justice, equality, and rule of law. He stressed that despite the Egyptian regime’s hostility, the movement always fought for the weak in society and that it believes in democracy and pluralism, adding that during the Mubarak era, it even worked together with democratic movements to prevent him from bequeathing the presidency to his son Gamal. He added that the MB opposes violence and has always operated peacefully, and that violent movements that are said to have grown out of the MB actually left the movement because it could not accept their violent methods.[14] Elements close to the movement said it had chosen Gehad Al-Haddad to pen the article because he had held close ties with U.S. officials during Morsi’s presidency.[15]

Al-Haddad’s New York Times article (New York Times, February 22, 2017)

Another New York Times article on February 20, by Declan Walsh, argued that a terror listing for the MB, which has millions of followers, could have negative consequences, especially for countries where MB-linked parties are in power or are prominent in Parliament, with serious implications for domestic politics, American diplomacy and the broader fight against Islamist extremism.  It stated further that marginalizing this movement could mean discouraging some of its moderate branches that have won wide praise for their democratic engagement, while empowering jihadist groups. Moreover, the proposed designation would reaffirm Trump’s embrace of Egyptian President Al-Sisi, who has faced severe international criticism for Egypt’s dismal human rights record in recent years and its ruthless persecution of the MB.

It should be mentioned that on February 23, Al-Masri Al-Yawm quoted Mohamed Soudan as saying that the MB had managed to convince Congress to not designate it a terrorist organization. The report quoted Soudan as saying that the global MB organization had managed to hold contacts with administration and Congress officials and had used documents to convince them that the MB was not and would never be involved in terrorist attacks, and that it routinely issues condemnations for attacks that take place in most countries of the world.”[16] However, the following day Soudan denied the statements attributed to him by Al-Masri Al-Yawm, and posted an article from the Egyptian daily Al-Misriyyoun on his Facebook page with the comment: “I know nothing of this statement and these comments, and I don’t know where they (Al-Masri Al-Yawm) got this fiction.”[17]

Al-Sisi Regime Responds To MB Media Campaign

The Egyptian regime does not seem to working as intensively to promote the U.S. Congressional bill to designate the MB terrorist as the MB is to prevent such a designation. In January 2017, Mohamed Al-‘Orabi, former Egyptian foreign minister and current member of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign relations committee, and Ahmed Al-Fadaly, head of the Independent Party Current, attended President Trump’s inauguration, and also met with members of Congress and administration officials. They presented President Trump with a memo demanding quick action to designate the MB as terrorist. Al-‘Orabi said during the visit that the Egyptian parliament would soon launch a widespread campaign to advance this issue.[18]

However, besides this visit, and MP statements about their intentions to act on the matter, no actual measures are reported to have been taken to promote the U.S. Congress’s anti-MB bill.

In mid-January 2017, it was reported that a delegation on behalf of the Egyptian parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee would travel to the U.S. later that month to meet with members of Congress and deliver a report on “the MB’s violent and terrorist acts.” Tarek Radwan, a representative of the committee, said that attempts were being made to arrange a meeting between the delegation and Sen. Cruz and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.[19] The visit, however, apparently never took place. On March 6, it was reported that delegation would visit the U.S. in April.[20]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, asked by the daily Al-Watan whether he had discussed the designation of the MB as terrorist during his late February 2017 visit to the U.S., responded: “I did not address this matter, but I told [U.S. officials] that it was important to note that the MB provides the philosophical and religious basis for radical ideology, and that we cannot combat terrorism [solely] by designating [organizations] in different ways, since all terrorist organizations are interconnected. Thus, [for example] even if ISIS is eliminated, new groups will continue to spring up as long as the source of radical ideology exists.” Shoukry added that the U.S. officials had grasped his point, that he was following the efforts of several members of Congress on the issue, and that the issue remains controversial.[21]

Egyptian Daily: New York Times Supports Terrorism, Slandered Egypt

In contrast to Egyptian officials, the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, which is close to Egyptian authorities and intelligence apparatuses, dealt extensively with the issue of designating the MB as terrorist, publishing a number of articles attacking the organization. It also criticized the U.S. media, particularly The New York Times, stating that it was enabling MB terrorism. On February 23, the day after The Times published Gehad Al-Haddad’s op-ed, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article titled “New York Times Supports MB Terrorism, Publishes Article by Gehad Al-Haddad…”[22] On February 24, it published an article titled “Questionable MB Plot to Slander Egypt in Western Media… Islamist [elements]: Organization Spending Millions of Dollars to Spread Its Poison.”[23]

On March 2, Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ published an article headlined “New Disgrace for New York Times: Paper Refuses to Publish Article Proving MB Terrorism; [Egyptian-American journalist and researcher] Michael Morgan after His Article Was Rejected for Publication…: ‘The Paper Has Become an [MB] Movement Platform and the U.S. Will Pay the Price.”[24]

Another Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’  article, published March 12, stated: “Since the onset of the June 30 [2013] revolution that ousted the MB regime, The New York Times has specialized in improving the MB’s image and slandering Egypt.” It quoted Islamic affairs expert Ahmed ‘Atta as saying that the MB International Organization secretary-general Ibrahim Munir Mustafa had paid global media outlets, chiefly the Times, $50 million to continue its attacks on Donald Trump because of Trump’s anti-MB stance.[25]

Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ February 24 article attacking the New York Times

Egyptian Journalists To Al-Sisi Regime: Be More Decisive In Countering MB Media Campaign

Several Egyptian writers criticized the regime’s inertia in the face of the MB’s media campaign. On February 22, Al-Ahram columnist Ahmed ‘Abd Al-Tawab wrote that the MB’s media campaign shows that the movement fears being designated a terrorist organization. He wrote that it is “Egypt’s responsibility” in this matter, “due to its decades-long experience with MB crimes, to provide the Trump administration with information and historical and current evidence that will help it combat the movement on the legal, political, and cultural levels, in accordance with the human rights [principles] that the MB endangers…”[26]

Al-Ahram writer Muhammad Salmawi also wrote of the need for Egypt to step up its activity vis-à-vis the U.S. on the MB issue. In an article titled “The Voice of the MB – and Our Silence,” Salmawi wrote of his surprise  at Egypt’s feeble reaction to Gehad Al-Haddad’s New York Times article. The MB, he said, realizes that the way to influence American society is through public relations and lobbying firms, and the Egyptian regime needs to do likewise: “Those who follow the American press at this time cannot help but notice the intense campaign to improve the MB’s image and cleanse them of any blood spilled now or in the past in the name of Islam. This campaign has a specific goal – to stop the Trump administration from designating the movement a terrorist organization, thus fulfilling one of [Trump’s] campaign promises. To this end, the campaign twists facts with reckless abandon, made possible by the absence of an opposing viewpoint that could have corrected the erroneous information and responded to [the MB’s] notorious lies. How much longer will we remain silent in light of a campaign that has raised its voice and spread throughout the American media since the onset of the June 30, 2013 revolution?

“Last week I read the article by the former official MB spokesman [Gehad Al-Haddad], penned from his Egyptian prison cell and published by The New York Times. I was surprised that some of the few [Egyptian writers] who addressed this matter settled for pondering how such a message was smuggled out of prison in Egypt… The problem is not how it was leaked, but how we could not deliver a similar message [in Western media]…

“How easy it is to criticize security measures that allow messages to be smuggled out of Egyptian prisons and given to newspaper offices… in New York. How easy it is to step up measures against all the prisoners [as a result]. But the MB continues to be heard in the American press – while our position cannot be found in the international arena…

“First, we must examine how the other side managed to gain such a noticeable presence in Western media – and such an examination is not difficult. The ongoing publication of pro-MB positions in Western media, and [this media’s]  disregard for the Egyptian popular will, stems not from some global plot against us or global sympathy with the mother movement that birthed all the groups that accuse others of heresy – but mostly from [the MB’s] accurate grasp of how to operate vis-à-vis American social institutions, and of the active role played by large PR firms in society – whether in the press, the media, in Congress, or elsewhere…

“The way to actively operate in the U.S. is by arriving at an understanding with these large institutions – whether during a presidential or congressional campaign, or in the fight to influence decision-making circles by means of the press and media, or by means of members of Congress. Such a campaign is undoubtedly costly, but losing is costlier still…”

Salmawi, who is known for his antisemitic views,[27] added: “The Jewish lobby in the U.S. has already understood the power of the PR institutions and the influence they wield over American society on all levels. Using this and other methods, they control the political decision[-makers] in the U.S. The MB and the other international elements that fund them have [also] understood this. Is it not time for us to understand what our enemies already have?!”[28]

* C. Meital is a research fellow at MEMRI; H. Varulkar is Director of Research at MEMRI.

 

[1] Al-Watan (Egypt), September 20, 2016.

[2] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 11, 2016.

[3] Cruz.senate.gov, November 4, 2015.

[4] Twitter.com/SenTedCruz, January 10, 2017.

[5] Rassd.com, March 5, 2017.

[6] Eipss-eg.org, November 26, 2016.

[7] Eipss-eg.org, January 28, March 3, 2017.

[8] Al-Shurouq (Egypt), February 8, 2017.

[9] Aa.com.tr, January 31, 2017.

[10] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017; Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[11] Elaph.com, February 5, 2017. Elements in Egypt affirmed the reports about the MB’s efforts to form a lobby. Gamal Al-Minshawi, an Islamic affairs researcher and former official in Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya, told the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ that the MB pays millions of dollars to foreign newspapers and news sites for positive coverage. Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[12] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 17, 2017.

[13] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that in 2007-2012 Al-Haddad was director of the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative in Egypt. Washingtontimes.com , September 18, 2013.

[14] New York Times (U.S.), February 22, 2017.

[15] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017. It should be mentioned that after Al-Haddad’s article was published, a website close to the MB reported that Egyptian prison authorities had penalized him by placing him in solitary confinement. Rassd.com, February 27, 2017. MB associates also said that Al-Haddad and other MB prisoners manage to smuggle writings out of prison with the help of their lawyers, but an Egyptian security source said that Al-Haddad did not pen the article himself, and that smuggling such writings out of prison was impossible. Al-Watan (Egypt), February 23, 2017; Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[16] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[17] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), February 24, 2017; Facebook.com/FreedomJusticeFrMohamedSoudan, February 25, 2017.

[18] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 20, 2017; Al-Watan (Egypt), January 22, 2017.

[19] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), January 12, 2017.

[20] Motamemservice.com, March 6, 2017.

[21] Al-Watan (Egypt), March 10, 2017.            `

[22] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 23, 2017.

[23] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), February 24, 2017.

[24] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 2, 2017. Michael Morgan is an Egyptian-American researcher at the London Center for Policy Research, who promotes the designation of the MB as a terrorist organization.

[25] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’ (Egypt), March 12, 2017.

[26] Al-Ahram (Egypt), February 22, 2017.

[27] In an article he published in the French-language Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Hebdo, titled “Look for the Jews,” Salmawi criticized  the French law criminalizing antisemitism and Holocaust denial, stating that it does not forbid denying crimes against humanity but only crimes against six million Jews who “allegedly” suffered a holocaust during World War II. He also wrote that whoever wants to understand the connection between the Monica Lewinsky affair in the U.S., the trial against “French thinker” Roger Garaudy (who was convicted in 1998 of Holocaust denial) and the barring of Holocaust denier David Irving from several countries needs to “look for the Jews.” Al-Ahram Hebdo, Egypt, February 4-10, 1998.

[28] Al-Ahram (Egypt), March 5, 2017.

All Art Is “Immoral,” Says Egypt’s Top—and “Moderate”—Cleric

MEF, by Raymond Ibrahim  •  Feb 27, 2017
Cross-posted from Coptic Solidarity

Art has a largely negative impact on human morality. So says Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al Azhar madrassa and arguably the “most influential Muslim in the world.”

In a recent televised interview, Tayeb was asked “To what degree does art influence the morals of the youth.” The sheikh responded that art—presumably all forms and expressions of art, as no particular form was specified—has a 90 percent influence rate on the morality of the youth; and all of it is bad.

What is of note here is that, once again, Tayeb responds in a way that one is hard pressed to differentiate from the “radical” response. For we are constantly hearing that it is the “radical Muslims”—the ISIS types—who condemn all forms of art. Yet here is the “moderate” making essentially the same claims.

But of course, this is nothing new. As documented here, Tayeb agrees with any number of “radical” views: he believes that Islam is not just a religion to be practiced privately but rather is a totalitarian system designed to govern the whole of society through the implementation of its (otherwise human rights abusing) Sharia; he supports one of the most inhumane laws, punishment of the Muslim who wishes to leave Islam, the “apostate”; he downplays the plight of Egypt’s persecuted Christians, that is, when he’s not inciting against them by classifying them as “infidels”—the worst category in Islam’s lexicon—even as he refuses to denounce the genocidal Islamic State likewise.

One can go on and on. Tayeb once explained with assent why Islamic law permits a Muslim man to marry a Christian woman, but forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a Christian man: since women by nature are subordinate to men, it’s fine if the woman is an “infidel,” as her superior Muslim husband will keep her in check; but if the woman is a Muslim, it is not right that she be under the authority of an infidel. Similarly, Western liberals may be especially distraught to learn that Tayeb once boasted, “You will never one day find a Muslim society that permits sexual freedom, homosexuality, etc., etc., as rights. Muslim societies see these as sicknesses that need to be resisted and opposed.”

Also not new is how important Western and Christian institutions ignore all this and continue to portray Tayeb and Al Azhar as “moderates.” Thus, despite all the above—despite the fact that Al Azhar encourages enmity for non-Muslims, and has even issued a free booklet dedicated to proving that Christianity is a “failed religion“—it was recently announced that “The Vatican and Al-Azhar University, one of Islam’s most renowned schools of Sunni thought, will be joining forces to discuss how to fight religious extremism that uses God’s name to justify violence.”

Such are the mockeries of our time as ugly reality continues marching unopposed.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum

Why Is General Mattis Nominating the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’s Stooge’?

Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria. Patterson defended President Barack Obama?s policy to defeat Islamic State militants in Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PJ MEDIA, BY RAYMOND IBRAHIM, MARCH 9, 2017:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ pick for undersecretary of defense for policy, Anne Patterson, is problematic.

Politico briefly explains why:

If nominated and confirmed, Patterson would hold the fourth most powerful position at the Pentagon — and would effectively be the top civilian in the Defense Department, since both Mattis and his deputy, Robert Work, were military officers.

As ambassador to Egypt between 2011 and 2013, Patterson worked closely with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist government. She came under fire for cultivating too close a relationship with the regime and for discouraging protests against it — and White House officials are voicing concerns about those decisions now.

This is putting it mildly. Back during the months leading to the June 30, 2013 revolution, Patterson — the “Brotherhood’s Stooge” as she was called by all, from news analysts to the Egyptian street — was arguably one of the most hated individuals by the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets against Morsi and the Brotherhood.

Not only did her face regularly appear next to Obama’s in placards; it sometimes appeared alone, indicating just how closely she was seen as supporting the Brotherhood. It should be noted that these were not isolated sightings, as shown by the number of different placards and signs:

Below are just a few anecdotes that I have translated from Arabic language media before, during, and after the June 30, 2013 revolution that highlight Patterson’s unsavory ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the days leading to the revolution, Patterson called on Egyptians not to protest. She even met with the Coptic pope and asked him specifically to urge the nation’s Christian minority not to oppose the Brotherhood — even though Christians were naturally going to suffer the most under Morsi, especially in the context of accusations of “blasphemy.”

Soon after the revolution, she repeatedly tried to reinstate the Brotherhood to power.

Even Muhammad Heikal — “the Arab world’s most respected political commentator,” and for over 50 years an Egyptian political insider — said during a live interview that Patterson had assured the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hisham Qandil, who under Morsi was Egypt’s prime minister, that “there are many forms of pressure, and America holds the keys to the Gulf.”

Later, Patterson demanded that Egypt’s recently appointed supreme commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, release all Muslim Brotherhood members currently being held for questioning:

And when Sisi rejected this order, the American ambassador began threatening him that Egypt will turn into another Syria and live through a civil war.

Another report said Patterson was “trying to communicate with General Sisi, demanding dialogue with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and concessions to them,” to which Sisi reportedly retorted:

Stop meddling in our affairs … the Egyptian people are capable of looking after their own welfare.

In a live interview on Tahrir TV, political insider and former Egyptian Member of Parliament Mustafa Bakari exposed the relationship between Patterson and Khairat al-Shater, the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said she was regularly seen going to and from the Brotherhood leader’s private residence, as opposed to meeting at the party’s headquarters. He said she told al-Shater “we [the U.S.] will stand with you [regarding the June 30 protests],” and that she treated the Brotherhood leader as the “true ruler of the nation.” Bakari concluded by saying:

[I]n fact, in my opinion, she is a member of the sleeper cells of the Brotherhood, likely recruited by Essam al-Erian or Muhammad al-Baltagi.

Because of all this, several of Egypt’s revolutionary forces, including Tamarod, which played a pivotal role in the June 30 Revolution, staged protests in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo “calling for the ejection of ambassador Anne Patterson.”

In connection, Egyptian journalist Abdullah al-Sanawi said this on live TV:

Anne Patterson’s presence in Egypt has become a great burden for America, and Patterson should be admitted into a mental hospital for her deeds are full of bloodshed and the Obama administration is in a very awkward position in front of the whole world, the [U.S.] Congress and the Pentagon.

Soon thereafter, Youm 7, a popular newspaper in Egypt (then the sixth-most visited website in the nation according to Alexa.com), conducted a survey asking its readers:

Do you support the call to kick U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson out because she interfered in Egyptian affairs?

A whopping 87.93% said yes, 10.54% said no, and 1.53% were indifferent. Youm 7’s audience is almost exclusively secular-leaning or Christian. It was the non-Islamists of Egypt that disliked the U.S. ambassador — not the Muslim Brotherhood, which benefited from her.

In 2013, even Foreign Policy, a publication notorious for always siding with establishment D.C., noted that Patterson was widely seen among Republicans “as the key implementer for a policy that at least offers tacit support to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Such is the person that General Mattis wants to place in a top Pentagon position.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Fountain of Islamist Violence

MEF, by Cynthia Farahat
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2017

What to make of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)? During the Obama years, it became commonplace for the U.S. administration and its Western acolytes to portray the Muslim Brotherhood as a moderate option to “more radical” Muslim groups. Thus, for example, U.S. director of National Intelligence James Clapper incredibly described the organization as “largely secular”[1] while John Esposito of Georgetown University claimed that “Muslim Brotherhood affiliated movements and parties have been a force for democratization and stability in the Middle East.”[2]

On the other hand, in 2014, the United Arab Emirates formally designated[3] the Muslim Brotherhood and its local and international affiliates, including the U.S. based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),[4] as inter-national terrorist groups. A British government review commissioned the same year similarly asserted that

parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. Both as an ideology and as a network it has been a rite of passage for some individuals and groups who have gone on to engage in violence and terrorism.[5]

In the United States, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) have recently introduced a Senate bill to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. In February 2016, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved a house bill that calls on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. In July 2016, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) introduced the “Naming the Enemy within Homeland Security Act,” a bill that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from funding or collaborating with organizations or individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.[6]

The question is—which view is correct? Without doubt, the second one is. The Muslim Brotherhood has been a militaristic organization since its inception and has operated as a terrorist entity for almost a century. It influenced the establishment of most modern Sunni terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (GI) Hamas, and the Islamic State (ISIS). These organizations have either been founded by current or former Brotherhood members or have been directly inspired, indoctrinated, or recruited by MB members and literature. Contrary to what the MB propagates to Westerners, MB violence is not just in the past but is an ongoing activity.

Historical Background

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna (1906-49), an Egyptian schoolteacher and sometime watch repairer from a small rural town north of Cairo. Reared in a deeply devout household steeped in the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence popular among Wahhabi and Salafi jihadists,[7] Banna engaged in Islamist activities from a young age, joining a local group that intimidated and harassed Christians and non-observing Muslims in his hometown.[8] He was also fascinated by secret societies, cults, and fraternal orders, which flourished in Egypt at the time, and this obsession drove him to form the Brotherhood as a fraternity cult with its own secret militia—al-Tanzim al-Khass (the Special Apparatus, also known as the Secret Apparatus)—charged with strategizing, funding, and executing military training and terror activities.[9]

During the first few decades of its existence, the Special Apparatus carried out numerous acts of political violence in Egypt, notably the 1947 assassination of Judge Ahmed Khazinder Bey and the 1948 assassination of Prime Minister Mahmoud Nuqrashi Pasha, who reportedly considered outlawing the MB.[10] At that time, according to a secret U.S. intelligence memorandum, the Brotherhood’s “commando units” were estimated to possess “secret caches of arms … reported to have 60,000 to 70,000 rifles.”[11] This military buildup was ac-companied by infiltration of the Egyptian army, including the conspiratorial group of Free Officers, who in July 1952 overthrew the monarchy in a bloodless coup.[12]

The Secret Apparatus was not only involved in assassinations but also carried out a large wave of terrorism and bombings.[13] Thus, for example, on Christmas Eve 1945 it bombed the British Club in Egypt, and in December 1946 bombed eight police stations in Cairo. Two years later, the Brotherhood bombed several Jewish homes in Cairo and many Jewish owned businesses and cinemas.[14] The Brotherhood also bombed trains in Sharqia and Ismailia, as well as the King George Hotel in Ismailia. In a 1948 raid on one of the organization’s Cairo offices, the police confiscated 165 bombs.[15]

After Banna’s assassination in 1949, Hassan Hudaybi, who succeeded him as MB general guide (al-Murshid al-Amm), claimed to have dissolved the Secret Apparatus in order to ease the government’s persecution of the movement,[16] only to be arrested in 1965 alongside other MB leaders for forming a new militia that engaged in military training with a view to assassinating President Gamal Abdel Nasser.[17] Hudaybi managed to escape with a three-year prison sentence (the MB’s foremost ideologue Sayyed Qutb was executed in 1966 together with two other leaders); his false denial of the MB’s military wing was to become a standard tactic of the Brotherhood to date.

Laying Infrastructure

This denial notwithstanding, the late 1960s and early 1970s saw the formation of a number of MB terror groups under ostensibly independent banners. The first such group was Gama’at al-Muslimin, commonly known as Takfir wa-l-Hijra (Excommunication and Emigration), formed by two leaders of the Secret Apparatus released from prison: Shukri Mustafa and Sheikh Ali Ismael, brother of MB leader Fattah Ismael who was executed alongside Qutb.[18] Another terrorist group created by the Brotherhood at the time was al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (GI, the Islamic group), which was responsible for the October 1981 assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Both groups were founded by active leaders of the Brotherhood, who never claimed to have left the organization or their leadership positions therein. Indeed, in his last speech, one month before his assassination, Sadat equated the GI with the Brotherhood and expressed regret for having released many Brotherhood operatives from prison.[19]

During the 1990s, the Egyptian authorities battled against a sustained wave of Islamist terrorism involving attacks on government officials and the country’s Coptic minority, the murdering of foreign tourists as well as an audacious attempt on the life of President Hosni Mubarak while he was in Ethiopia in June 1995.[20] In the same year, GI’s leader and MB spiritual authority, Omar Abdel Rahman, known as “The Blind Sheikh,” and nine others were convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Abdel Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina, and in Muhammad Morsi’s first speech as Egyptian president in Tahrir Square, he called for Abdel Rahman’s release and acknowledged the sheikh’s family who was present in the audience.[21]

No less important was the formation of the movement’s International Apparatus by Banna’s son-in-law Said Ramadan. Having fled Egypt to Saudi Arabia in 1954, Ramadan moved to Geneva in 1958 where he established the International Apparatus under the guidance of Mustafa Mashour, head of the Secret Apparatus, future MB general guide, and author of its militant manifesto “Jihad Is the Way.”[22] The International Apparatus was not fully operational until the mid-1980s when Mashour, who fled Egypt after Sadat’s assassination, settled in West Germany[23] in 1986 where he reestablished the Apparatus.

The International Apparatus is not just responsible for the Brotherhood’s public operations, but is also involved in operating and funding terrorist groups responsible for attacks on American soil. Thus, for example, Chakib Ben Makhlouf, one of the most prominent leaders of the MB’s Geneva office, is also the president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. He has been described by Egyptian member of parliament and terrorism expert Abdel Rahim Ali as “one of the most dangerous operatives of the Brotherhood’s International Apparatus.”[24] Likewise, according to Egyptian general Fouad Allam, who investigated the MB’s operations in the 1960s-70s, the Geneva office funneled funds that helped establish al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya.[25]

Later Influence

The International Apparatus’s most critical mission, though, has been to infiltrate, subvert, and recruit operatives from within the armies, governments, educational systems, and intelligence agencies of the MB’s targeted states, especially in the West, in what is called “civilization jihad.”

This term dates to a 1991 document titled The Explanatory Memorandum, drafted in a meeting that outlined the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic goals for North America and entered as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terror funding trial in 2008—the largest terror financing case in U.S. history.[26] In 2009, five MB leaders were charged with providing material support to Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch and a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The 1980s and 1990s were the two most important decades for the “civilization jihad.” During this time, Hamas was transformed from an essentially missionary and charitable organization seeking to win Palestinian hearts and minds into a fully-fledged terror group during the first intifada (December 1987-September 1993), and the seeds were sown for the advent of al-Qaeda through the newly-formed Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK, the Services Bureau), also known as Maktab Khidamat al-Mujahidin al-Arab (the Services Bureau of Arab Jihadists) and the Afghan Services Bureau.

As jihadists flocked to Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the Soviet occupation, the Brotherhood was busy running recruitment, jihadist services through its MAK offices throughout the Middle East. In 1984, MB operative Abdullah Azzam established the MAK office in Jordan.[27] Azzam’s philosophy helped establish and organize the Brotherhood’s “global jihad” movement, which earned him the alias, “The Father of Global Jihad.”[28] No less important, this philosophy inspired GI and Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) to try to export their terrorism and greatly inspired Osama bin Laden, whom Azzam taught at a Saudi university.[29]

In 1985, Azzam, bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, leader of Takfir wa-l-Hijra who fled Egypt after the Sadat assassination, founded MAK in Pakistan, which subsequently evolved into al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, the Amman MAK office recruited one of the world’s most brutal terrorists of modern time, Abu Musab Zarqawi.[30] Mentored by Jordanian former MB leader Abu Muhammad Maqdisi, in 1999, Zarqawi founded Jama’at al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad (Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), which six years later, evolved into al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) after Zarqawi pledged allegiance to bin Laden in late 2004. This group eventually morphed into ISIS after Zarqawi’s death in June 2006. Indeed, in a 2014 interview reported in Al-Arabiya News, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Yusuf Qaradawi admitted that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.[31] For their part, several MB leaders publicly announced their support for ISIS, including the Qatar-based Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim.[32]

The nature of al-Qaeda’s current relationship with the Brotherhood is somewhat unclear. While Zawahiri argued that bin Laden’s affiliation with the MB was severed in the 1980s due to differences over the anti-Soviet Afghanistan campaign,[33] this claim was discounted by Tharwat Kherbawy, the highest ranking MB member to have defected from the organization,[34] and also by evidence suggesting that the Brotherhood is still organizationally involved with al-Qaeda. Thus, for example, after Morsi’s July 2013 ouster from power, Zawahiri issued a videotaped statement on his behalf where he criticized Egyptian Salafi jihadists for not formally joining the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to help it uphold Shari’a law.[35] In another statement, Zawahiri criticized the deposed MB president for having played politics with opponents,[36] but eventually prayed for his release and supported him while he was facing trial for inciting the killing of regime opponents and for espionage for foreign militant groups including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp.[37]

A Political Party or a Jihadi Group?

The Obama administration’s stubborn support for the Morsi regime and its tireless attempts to cast the MB as a moderate organization are preposterous—not only because the Brotherhood is the bedrock of some of the worst terror groups in today’s world but also because violence is endemic to the movement’s raison d’être: restoring the caliphate via violent jihad. Were the Brotherhood to give up this foundational goal, it would lose its legitimacy and sole reason for existence. This is why Banna used military terminology in structuring the MB, calling the organization “Allah’s battalion,”[38] a term used to this very day to denote the MB’s governing core; this is why the current Brotherhood leadership includes operatives who personally engaged in violent jihad and terror activities such as Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh.[39]

Furthermore, the organization’s Secret Apparatus remains intact and operational with new recruits required to undergo military training by such militias as the 95 Brigade,[40] which was established in 1995 and which played an active role in the January 2011 riots leading to Mubarak’s downfall. In a series of interviews with al-Jazeera TV, Osama Yassin, a former minister in Morsi’s cabinet, revealed that members of the brigade engaged in the abduction, beating, and torture of “thugs” and threw Molotov cocktails at their opponents.[41] Asked by an Egyptian newspaper to clarify these revelations,[42] the MB dismissed them as a joke. Still, the brigade operatives were later implicated in the killing of anti-Brotherhood protestors. In March 2014, for example, two operatives were sentenced to death after an online video clip showed them killing a teenager by throwing him from a building.[43]

According to the Brotherhood’s own standards and internal bylaws,[44] there are ten solid, unchangeable thawabit (precepts) in their organization’s bai’a (Islamic oath of allegiance) process. The fourth of these precepts is violent jihad and martyrdom,[45] which the Brotherhood states is an obligation of every individual Muslim, as well as the collective obligation of their organization.

Unfortunately, many American specialists either receive foreign funding or are otherwise oblivious to these facts and actively engage in a disinformation campaign. For example, a Brookings Institute article turned the meaning of the “fourth precept” of the Brotherhood’s bylaws on its head, stating that it stipulated that “during the process of establishing democracy and relative political freedom, the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to abide by the rules of democracy and its institutions.”[46]

Reality, of course, was quite different. When after Mubarak’s downfall the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power in a sham presidential election,[47] which brought its operative Mohamed Morsi to the presidential palace, its violent[48] and undemocratic rule triggered, in short notice, mass protests throughout the country that brought millions of protestors to the streets and enabled the military to overthrow Morsi in a bloodless coup.

Islamic Reformers

Indeed, the sheer brutality of ISIS and various Brotherhood-affiliated or inspired terror groups across the Middle East has led to the advent of a mainstream Islamic reformist movement that draws on vastly more popular support than the Brotherhood itself. This unprecedented revival of a reform-oriented movement has received too little attention in the West. For example, Islam Behery, one of the movement’s heroic leaders, was incarcerated for a year for blasphemy for insulting al-Azhar University and the Sunni doctrine on his television show.[49] For two years, that show had been dedicated daily to exposing the brutality and terrorism of Sunni doctrine while offering a non-theocratic, liberal interpretation of Islam that pushes for separation of mosque and state. Behery received a presidential pardon in December 2016, which was unprecedented in Egyptian history.

Another supporter of reformation and freedom of thought is Ibrahim Issa, a popular Egyptian commentator, television host, and owner and editor-in-chief of the independent opinion newspaper Al-Maqal. Earlier this year, Issa announced that he would end his TV show due to “current events,” kindling speculation that the cancellation was related to Saudi pressure on the Egyptian regime because of Issa’s criticism of the kingdom’s violent Wahhabi sect.[50] Issa’s reformist stance has placed him on terrorist hit lists since 1992, and he has been living under tight security ever since. His opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood has made him one of the organization’s high profile targets, and in 2015, he became the subject of an official fatwa declaring him an “infidel.”[51]

Another heroic figure of Islamic reform currently facing the possibility of incarceration for blasphemy is the popular author and prominent secular figure Sayyed Qemani. His sin: stating that al-Azhar University should be designated a terrorist organization.[52] Behery, Qemani, and their like have the support of the most mainstream media figures in Egypt and across the Middle East, and they have dramatically changed the Islamic political discourse. Yet Western audiences have almost never heard of their heroic efforts.

The war of ideas is highly dynamic in today’s Middle East. The vast majority of the region’s peaceful Muslims are marginalized by Western support for the Brotherhood and the West’s refusal to designate the MB as a terrorist organization.

Conclusion

The deadly Brotherhood cult is responsible for almost a century of terror since the young Banna engaged in the intimidation and harassment of his Christian and moderate Muslim neighbors. Since then, the Brotherhood established Hamas as its Palestinian wing. Three Brotherhood activists established al-Qaeda. Brotherhood leaders, from inside their prisons, founded al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Brotherhood members recruited the founder of Jama’at al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad who started the trend of video decapitations, and one of its former operatives is currently acting as the caliph of Islamic State. The MB also has other connections to organizations on the U.S. government’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Neither Washington, nor any capital, can hope to counter Islamic terrorism successfully without allying with Muslim
figures fighting on the forefront of the battle of ideas. Washington can give these moderate Muslims a voice by designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Brotherhood has stated its intention to destroy the West’s “miserable house” by infiltrating Western society and institutions and subverting them from the inside.[53] Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization will stop its operatives from reaching sensitive positions in the intelligence community and in other powerful U.S. government positions. It will also stop Brotherhood operatives in the United States from funding terrorism operations worldwide.

Cynthia Farahat, a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow and columnist for Al-Maqal daily newspaper, is currently working on a book about the Muslim Brotherhood.


[1] ABC News, Feb. 10, 2011.

[2] John Esposito, “The Muslim Brotherhood, Terrorism and U.S. Policy,The Huffington Post (New York), Mar. 22, 2016.

[3] Reuters, Nov. 15, 2014.

[4] The Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2014.

[5] Reuters, Dec. 17, 2015.

[6] Rep. Dave Brat, press release, Brat.House.gov, July 19, 2016.

[7] Abdallah Aqeel, “Al-Sheikh al-Muhadith Ahmad Abdel Rahman al-Banna al-Sa’ati,” AlaqeelAbuMostafa.com, accessed Aug. 30, 2016.

[8] Hassan al-Banna, Mudhakkirat al-Da’wa wa’l-Da’iyah (Cairo: Maktabat al-Shihab, 1979), pp. 17-8, 25-6; Misr al-Balad TV (Cairo), Mar. 19, 2014.

[9] Mahmoud Sabbagh, Haqiqat al-Tanzim al-Khass (Cairo: Etisam Publishing, 1989).

[10] Abdel Rahim Ali, “Abdel Rahman Sendi: Mu’asis al-Tanzim al-Khass bi’l-Ikhwan,” Islamists-Movements.com, Nov. 12, 2015.

[11]Assessing the Islamist Threat, circa 1946,Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2006, pp. 76-82; FrontPage Magazine (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), Feb. 13, 2006.

[12] Khaled Mohieddin, Al’an Atakkalam: Mudhakkirat al-Thawra (Cairo: American University of Cairo Press, 1995), p. 45; Hassan Ashmawy, Mudhakkirat Harib (Cairo: Islamic Publishing House, 2000), p.15.

[13] Farouk Taifour, “Al-Juz’ al-Rabi: al-Ikhwan wa’l-Tanzimat al-Sirriya,” Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo, EIPSS-EG.org, Feb. 24, 2016.

[14] “Profile: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” BBC, Dec. 25, 2013.

[15] Al-Wafd (Cairo), Dec. 14, 2013.

[16] Salah Shadi, Safahat min al-Tarikh (Cairo: Islamic Publishing House, 1987), p. 79.

[17] Ahmad Abdel Majid, Al-Ikhwan wa Abdel Nasser: Al-Qissa al-Kamila li-Tanizm 1965 (Cairo: al-Zahra for Arabic Media, 1991), p. 33.

[18] Tharwat Kharbawi, Sirr al-Ma’bad (Cairo: Nahdet Misr Publishing, 2012), p. 220.

[19] YouTube, “Al-Sadat Yatahadath an al-Gama’a al-Islamiya wa’l-Ikhwan,” May 9, 2012.

[20] Efraim Karsh, Islamic Imperialism: A History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013; rev. ed.), chap. 12.

[21] TV News (Cairo), June 29, 2012.

[22] Mustafa Mashour, “Al-Jihad huwa al-Sabil,” The Official Muslim Brotherhood Encyclopedia, IkhwanWiki.com, accessed Aug. 31, 2016; idem, “Jihad Is the Way,” trans. Palestinian Media Watch, Jerusalem, Feb. 9, 2011.

[23] Daniel Pipes, “How Islamists Came to Dominate European Islam,” National Review Online, May 25, 2010.

[24] Al-Bawabah News (Cairo), Mar. 11, 2014.

[25] Rifaat Sayed, Hassan al-Banna, al-Sheikh al-Musalah (Cairo: Akhbar al-Youm Publishing, 2004), p. 198

[26]The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Plan for America—Court document,” The Clarion Project, Washington, D.C., accessed Sept. 1, 2016.

[27] Farouk Taifour, “Hal Kharajat Daesh min Rahm Fikr al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin?” Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo, EIPSS-EG.org.

[28] “Abdullah Azzam: Overview,” Counter Extremist Project, New York, accessed Feb. 9, 2017.

[29] Karsh, Islamic Imperialism, chap. 13.

[30] Elaph (London), July 18, 2005.

[31] Al-Arabiya News Channel (Dubai), Oct. 14, 2014.

[32] “Al-Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim: La li’l-Tahaluf al-Salibi dudd al-Dawla al-Islamiya,” You Tube, Sept. 19, 2014.

[33] Stephen Lacroix, “Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Muslim Brotherhood,Foreign Policy, Oct. 3, 2012.

[34] Al-Aan TV (Cairo), Apr. 19, 2014.

[35] “Ta’kib al-Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri ala Azl Morsi wa-Tahdid al-Jaish,” You Tube, July 5, 2013.

[36] “Ayman al-Zawahiri Yuwajih Risalat Itab li-Morsi wa-Yadou Allah an Yafuku Asrahou,” You Tube, Feb. 11, 2014; Erich Follath, “Political Stability Eludes Polarized Egypt,” Der Spiegel (Hamburg), July 29, 2013.

[37] Reuters, Dec. 17, 2015.

[38] Banna, Mudhakkirat al-Da’wa, p. 144.

[39] “Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh Yajtami ma’a Haraket Taliban Afghanistan,” You Tube, June 8, 2013.

[40] Al-Wafd (Cairo), Jan. 11, 2013.

[41] Al-Jazeera TV (Cairo), Nov.-Dec. 2011.

[42] Al-Watan (Cairo), Jan. 3, 2013.

[43] Al-Arabiya News, Mar. 29, 2014.

[44]Bylaws of the International Muslim Brotherhood,” June 1928.

[45] Muhammad Kandil, “Al-Thabit al-Rab’i: al-Jihad Salbiluna,” The Official Muslim Brotherhood Encyclopedia, IkhwanWiki.com, accessed Sept. 1, 2016; “The Muslim Brotherhood: Understanding its Roots and Impact, 1. Overview,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Washington, D.C., accessed Feb. 9, 2017.

[46] Umar Ashur, “Hal Ya’ud al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun fi Masr ila’l-Unf al-Siyasi?” Brookings Institute, Washington, D.C., July 30, 2014.

[47] Daniel Pipes and Cynthia Farahat, “Egypt’s Sham Election,” National Review Online, Dec. 6, 2011; Shuruk News (Cairo), Mar. 22, 2016.

[48] Amb. Yahia Najm, Akhbar al-Yom TV (Cairo), in Cynthia Farahat, “CairoGate: Egyptian Diplomat Survives MB Torture Says ‘It was like a Nazi camp,'” Dec. 9, 2012.

[49] Al-Ahram (Cairo), Dec. 29, 2015.

[50] Bawabat al-Qahira (Cairo), Jan. 1, 2017.

[51] Bawabat al-Haraqat al-Islamiya (Cairo), Mar. 18, 2015. The fatwa was subsequently broadcast on the official Muslim Brotherhood television channel Rabaa, broadcasting from Turkey. See Al-Arabiya News, Dec. 5, 2017.

[52] Al-Dustur (Cairo), Jan. 3, 2016.

[53]The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Plan for America—Court document,” The Clarion Project, Washington, D.C., accessed Sep. 1, 2016.

Hamas Terror Double Game Backfires as Fighters Defect to Islamic State in Sinai

hamas-isisPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 27, 2017:

The Hamas terrorists in control of the Gaza Strip adjacent to the Sinai Peninsula find themselves between a rock and a hard place these days as the double game that they’ve played with the Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai has backfired as reportedly hundreds of their trained Qassam Brigade fighters have defected.

Meanwhile, an attempted rapprochement with Egypt in recent weeks also appears to be breaking down as the Islamic State is reportedly setting Hamas up for a war with Israel that it is most likely not prepared for.

As I reported here at PJ Media back in June, Hamas, fashioned by some in the Washington D.C. ‘smart set’ as supposed ‘moderates,’ had been actively cooperating with the Islamic State.

Read more

Trump Administration Intel – White Hats Confer With Reform Agents Within Political Islam…

The Last Refuge,  by sundance:

To understand the activity within any intelligence action any observer must do two things:

  • #1 You must stay elevated. If you try to get into the weeds you will be lost because your insight will be lacking specificity briefs.
  • #2 You must always reflect upon the recent historic context of the engagement you are observing. Including, most importantly, the engagements of the parties therein.

The recent example of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo traveling to Saudi Arabia last weekend, at the request of President Donald Trump, to personally present Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef with an award named after former CIA director George Tenet, is an example of the need for this approach.

pompeo-and-crown-prince

If you want to understand what’s going on, you must understand the recent relationship of the parties.  It begins with understanding modern political Islam.

Within “political Islam” there are various factions. However, again with the intent to remain elevated, let us just approach two larger congregations as: “Authentic supporters” and “Reform Agents”.

sisi

The modern extremist elements fall under the category of “Authentic Supporters” or Salafists (politically, The Muslim Brotherhood).   The “Reform Agents” are represented by people like Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah III.

Within “Political Islam” these two elements (Authentic -vs- Reform) are fighting for the heart, soul, intellect and -in larger measures- the future of Islam in a modern world.

All the various Muslim factions fall along a continuum of authenticity to the principles of Islam. The more authentic the expression, the more violent and confrontational the group. The more moderate the expression, the reformers, the less violent… etc.

Over the course of the past decade each political side has surged and/or retreated during the larger struggle for the heart of those who adhere to the Muslim faith. The so-called “Arab Spring” was a surge of the Authentic group, and was empowered/emboldened by the foreign policy activity of exterior nations. In particular, the ideological sympathy of former President Barack Obama.

In the face of the growth of the various Authentic expressions, the Reform elements were in a retreating position attempting to contain the internal damage being carried out by the extremist groups. Reformers and more moderate voices were simply trying to hold on to the construct of a civil society amid the growing crisis created by emotional demands of extremists requiring adherence to Sharia, the authentic political law of Islam.

On January 19th 2015, three days before Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died from a lung infection, Egypt’s President Fattah al-Sisi was urgently summoned to met with him.

It was only a few weeks earlier (New Years Day 2015) when al-Sisi delivered an impassioned speech to a scholarly audience in Al-Azhar University in Cairo comprised of Islam’s most important religious leaders.

As the most notable and visible reformer (<- important link) President Fattah al-Sisi made the case for “a religious revolution in Islam that would displace violent jihad from the center of Muslim discourse“:

“The corpus of texts and ideas that we have made sacred over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. You cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You must step outside yourselves and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.” –LINK

el-sisi-in-saudiPresident al-Sisi’s visit to Saudi Arabia to visit with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was a meeting specifically requested by an aging 90-year-old Saudi King to recognize Sisi for his courage and leadership.

King Abdulaziz was intent on honoring his friend.

Saudi Arabia had been coping with the same internal conflict as all other Muslim nations who were caught between the internal struggle.

President Sisi left Saudi Arabia with the full support of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, and upon his death a few days later the new Saudi King Salman; who  honored Sisi in a similar fashion as did his brother.

With the support of Saudi Arabia, the demands of al-Sisi to remove the extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood gained traction. The Gulf States finally, and collectively, pressured Qatar to stop aiding/financing extremism.

Under pressure Qatar conceded and expelled The Brotherhood along with the five leading voices of leadership within the Muslim Brotherhood. Recep Erdogan gave them refuge in Turkey.

This was the origin of the turning tide, when the Reform Agents began to stabilize and reassert their politics and internal domestic economies – the underlying wedge issue used by The Brotherhood to stir turmoil.

Unstable Yemen is to Saudi Arabia -> as unstable Libya is to Egypt -> as unstable Syria is to Jordan… and so it goes.

Each unstable nation being stirred by the extremist voices of various agents operating under the umbrella of the destabilizing politics expressed by The Muslim Brotherhood.

Remove the destabilizing agents and the Reformers believe they will be able to stop the extremists. This is the longer-term objective of those within the fight inside political Islam.

Now look again at the nations of Trump’s visa restrictions and you’ll note the presence of the destabilizing agents: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran [and Sudan, Somalia].

This is the necessary backdrop to understand events as they unfold and relate to President Donald Trump and his own foreign policy objectives and engagements.

It is not accidental that newly appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to meet with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Muhammad bin Nayef, after a phone call between Saudi King Salman and President Trump took place.

trump4

Director Pompeo’s visit was to recognize the efforts of Saudi Arabia in the larger fight against Islamic extremism/terrorism.  However, based on internal consumption, Pompeo could not be seen publicly in this regard with King Salman himself.  The visible face of Saudi Reform is the crown prince.

  • Jan 20th – President Trump takes office.
  • Jan 26th – President Trump has a phone call with King Salman
  • Jan 26th – On the same day, State Dept. Nominee Rex Tillerson visits State Dept. HQ and the media report on the resignation of many existing State Department personnel.
  • Feb 1st – Secretary Rex Tillerson is confirmed by the Senate.
  • Feb 2nd – The three Muslim Awan brothers are terminated amid accusations they accessed congressional intelligence committee computers without permission.
  • Feb 8th – FOX reports administration considering labeling The Muslim Brotherhood as an official terrorist organization.
  • Feb 11th – CIA Director Pompeo travels to Saudi Arabia to deliver thanks.

By all appearances it seems the Trump administration was given a head’s up of sorts as to specific [Muslim Brotherhood] agents within the U.S. State Department. And also with key Democrat staffers, in highly sensitive intelligence positions, amid Congress.

Additionally:

To wit, Egyptian media announce that Fattah el-Sisi will be traveling to Washington DC to meet with President Trump:

[…]  Informed sources said that the presidency is currently coordinating with the US to arrange a visit next month. The sources referred to the visit as the first official one for an Egyptian president to Washington since 2009, as the last visit since then was paid by former President Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will leave Washington next Monday going back to Tel Aviv. Israeli TV reported on Sunday that Netanyahu is planning to form the ‘Israeli-Saudi-Egyptian’ axis.  (read more)

It is ironic, but not coincidental, that no official Egyptian delegation has visited the United States since President Obama traveled to Cairo and started “The Islamist Spring” which led to the uprising of the Muslim Brotherhood extremism in Egypt.

dawn-of-the-muslim-brotherhood

Irony, because now the Trump administration is facing the internal extremist purging of the Muslim Brotherhood embeds remaining within the U.S. government leftover from President Obama’s aftermath…. and now, President Fattah el-Sisi, the destroyer of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt comes to officially visit President Trump in Washington.

I hope everyone can clearly see what’s going on in the bigger picture.

After eight years of Obama’s intense political embedding of extremist sympathy in every aspect of governance, and culture – President Trump is now tasked with removing it, all of it; and finding allies amid those who have already mounted the same effort.

sisi-trump

It is also important to remember the political enterprise of The Muslim Brotherhood not only employs congressional staffers, but also has key connections to elected officials within both parties.   Representative Adam Kinzinger and John McCain are two of the more obvious sympathizers on the right side of the UniParty.

Again, reference the seven states of turmoil/concern and you’ll notice a pattern:

Senator John McCain and Senator John Kerry in Cairo, Egypt – 2011

john-mccain-and-john-kerry-in-cairo-on-sunday-egypt-stock-exchange

What came next?…  The installation of the Muslim Brotherhood:

morsi-kerry

Senator John McCain and Ambassador Christopher Stephens, Benghazi Libya 2012

mccainbenghazicourthouse

What came next?…. The rise of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood

alqaedaoverbenghazi

Senator John McCain travels to Syria in 2013

john-mccain-isis

What came next?  Yup, you guessed it – Muslim Brotherhood (via ISIS)

Isis soldiers in Syria

 

Why were protesters wearing hijabs?

Women’s March protesters in Washington on Jan. 21. (Photo posted at Cheri Berens blog)

Women’s March protesters in Washington on Jan. 21. (Photo posted at Cheri Berens blog)

WND, by Garth Kant, January 25, 2016:

WASHINGTON – They gathered by the thousands to watch history on television.

They cheered wildly when President Trump said in his inaugural address that the U.S. will eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth.

The next day, they looked on in shock and horror at the violent protests in the streets. They were even more horrified when they saw American women wearing hijabs, Muslim headscarves worn as a sign of piety.

But this wasn’t Kansas. It wasn’t even the Midwest. It was the Middle East.

Cairo, Egypt. Home to tens of millions of devout Muslims.

Cheri Berens saw it first hand.

From her vantage point, “The entire coffee shop gasped in disbelief at the vision of American women donning the headscarf.”

Berens is an American who has lived in Cairo for years working as a researcher for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. She witnessed the violence that preceded the takeover of the country by the radical Muslim Brotherhood and the counter-revolution that removed it from power.

Berens is an American who has lived in Cairo for years working as a researcher for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. She witnessed the violence that preceded the takeover of the country by the radical Muslim Brotherhood and the counter-revolution that removed it from power.

(Photo: Twitter screenshot posted at Cheri Berens blog)

(Photo: Twitter screenshot posted at Cheri Berens blog)

Berens is author of “Cheri’s Memoir: An American Woman Living in Egypt” and is working on her next book, “The Cultural History of Egypt.”

And, in an essay on her blog titled “Women’s March to Islam?” she chronicled how for everyday Egyptians watching on television, packed into “every coffee shop in Cairo that had a satellite dish,” the scenes in the streets of Washington, D.C., were disturbingly familiar.

They recognized the same methods the Muslim Brotherhood used for decades to finally seize control in Egypt playing out in the American capital.

“First we saw protesters smashing windows and torching cars,” wrote Berens.

“Hushed murmuring began around me as every single Egyptian in the coffee shop could be heard saying the words: ‘Muslim Brotherhood.’”

She observed: “The images we were watching could have been taken right from a street in Egypt. It is exactly what we had experienced on a daily basis for more than a year.”

While the violence stunned the Egyptians, it was American women wearing hijabs that evoked agitation and even anger.

“We have been fighting to remove the headscarf. Why are these the stupid women putting them on?” asked an Egyptian woman within earshot of Berens.

Indeed, it is a question many have asked: Why would American women, and even the homosexual community, make common cause with those who would strip them of their rights and civil liberties?

Indeed, it is a question many have asked: Why would American women, and even the homosexual community, make common cause with those who would strip them of their rights and civil liberties?

WND put that question to former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who once introduced legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and who observed that the question of why collaboration occurs among disparate causes comes up often.

“People understand Islam abhors homosexuality, yet they often join forces in protests with gay activists,” she told WND. “The answer is simple, Black Lives Matters, the gay agenda, as well as Islamic supremacism, all seek domination over American freedoms.”

Still, why collaborate?

“They cannot reach their aims separately, but they can realize the fall of individual liberties if they work together. Once liberties fall, the groups break with each other in a race to impose their particular views on the American populace,” Bachmann explained.

“Causing liberties to fall is a long-term project, and they will use whatever allies they can get to realize that phase of their goals,” she concluded.

That strategy seemed apparent in what Berens observed.

Berens remarked how no one would ever think of damaging someone’s car or business before 2012, the year the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Egypt.

But after that, “mobs of Muslim brotherhood would ‘protest’ in the streets, ripping apart public and private property and disabling normal activity – just as we were now watching on TV.”

“Some of the ‘protesters’ even covered their faces in the exact same way the Muslim brotherhood do.”

Making Egyptians even more uneasy was seeing police reduced to what Berens called a quasi-helpless state.

“Again the words ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ were mumbled throughout the coffee shop. The Muslim Brotherhood had disabled our police force via accusations of police brutality long before the violent protest began.”

She explained: “Via a well-calculated program of propaganda and lies, they were able to make the police force impotent. Police became afraid to stop the protest for fear of being accused brutality.”

Egyptians have experienced their own version of what’s come to be called the “Ferguson effect” and the epidemic of police shootings last summer in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

“During the last two weeks, 29 police officers have been killed in Egypt,” observed Berens. “Once the Muslim Brotherhood put this idea of ‘police brutality’ into place, police offers became fair game and are killed on a regular basis. Before 2012, killing a police officer was absolutely unheard of.”

Berens detected Muslim Brotherhood influence among the Washington protesters and rioters, and one facet may help explain how something many Egyptians consider a sign of oppression, the hijab, became a trendy accessory for some American women during their march.

One of the four main organizers of Saturday’s Women’s March was Linda Sarsour, a pro-Palestine Muslim activist who supports Shariah law, the strict Islamic code that renders women thoroughly subservient to men.

Sarsour worked with the Obama administration as what they called a “Champion of Change” and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

She also is affiliated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case. Sarsour was seen recently posing for photos at a Muslim convention in Chicago with an accused financier for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Berens said the Egyptians with whom she watched the protests were bewildered by the explanation offered on television that the women were marching for civil rights.

“The women in the coffee shop shook their heads and asked, ‘Rights? The headscarf will take away your rights!’ one young woman shouted at the TV.”

Berens recounted how the grand mufti of al-Ahzar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, has ruled that the headscarf is not a religious requirement. She said that is well known to anyone who has read the Quran or studied Islam.

“And here, in front of our eyes, were non-Muslim, American women donning the headscarf!”

“In Muslim countries such as Egypt,” she continued, “women who do not wear a headscarf are often sexually harassed or attacked. They are beaten; they are raped; and sometimes, they are killed.”

“In 2012, when the Muslim Brotherhood took power, there were several attacks on Christian women on trains. They were grabbed, their hair chopped off, they were pushed off fast-moving trains. They were told they must wear headscarf – even though they are not Muslim.”

Berens stated plainly, “Any country in which the headscarf is imposed, women always suffer from abuses and restrictions.”

That included, she said, the law imposed by ISIS in al-Qaida in Syria against women sitting in chairs, because it will stimulate them and make them “go out of control with lust.” Out of the same fear, women in certain areas of the Sudan are barred from wearing pants.

“In most Muslim communities,” Berens observed, “even Muslim communities in America, the headscarf eventually leads to the full veil, because the headscarf leads to the belief that women easily become sexually ‘out of control,’ or they become too ‘tempting.’”

Berens said that is what American women should be protesting.

And she made a bold declaration: “This ‘women’s march’ wasn’t about Trump. Trump is being used as a scapegoat for the Muslim agenda.”

It was her research that led her to such a stark conclusion.

“I follow more than 100 Muslim Brotherhood groups in America and also several of their most powerful activists. They were all promoting this Women’s March.”

She then used a phrase more often associated with the previous president: “The activists, who call themselves ‘community organizers,’ targeted African-Americans and Hispanics, but even more heavily targeted was the LBGT community, pro-choice groups, and vulnerable university students.”

Berens echoed Bachmann’s observations about groups that would otherwise seem to be natural enemies coming together for a common cause.

She noted that “Muslims despise homosexuals” and that homosexuality is punishable by death in Islam, yet the Muslim organizations promoting the event targeted the LBGT community and claimed to promote their rights.

The author said that was done to enlist their aid, as Muslims have done with Christian and Jewish groups in attacking so-called “Islamophobia.”

Berens said the Muslims targeted pro-choice American women for the same reason, despite the fact that “abortions are illegal in Islam and no Muslim woman would dare have one.”

She warned: “They want American women to have abortions. They want the non-Muslim population to be stagnant while the their Muslim population grows. Numbers mean power.”

Berens also noted that the Muslim Student Association targeted students throughout the United States to go to the march.

“They have their finger on the pulse of the ‘gender identity crisis.’ They want American youth to be confused and frozen. They want American youth to be non-productive beings obsessed with their ‘civil right’ to a ‘safe space’ and ‘time outs.’”

That, she suggested, was the radical Muslims’ endgame.

“They want a young male population that is weakened, or with confused female tendencies, whether real, imagined or transgendered. They want to confuse the American youth so they are helpless and unable to fight. They want to oppress the women and weaken the men.”

And to that end, Berens maintains, subversive Muslims are employing misdirection.

“Most Americans have been focused on the stupidity of some of the goings on at the Women’s March instead of the deviousness of it. They want you distracted so that you won’t see what is really happening behind the scenes.”

And who does Berens blame for all the misinformation about the radical Muslims’ true intentions?

The American media.

She concluded with a revelation and a stark warning.

“Very powerful Muslim Brotherhood organizations helped organize and promote this event targeting very specific groups. And, starting in 1962, the Muslim Brotherhood placed very powerful people in the media profession to co-opt the media.”

And, a footnote, in case one would wonder: Why would Muslims in one of the most Islamic nations in the world erupt in cheers at President Trump’s promise to wipe out radical Islamic terrorism?

Berens made an observation that revealed some Americans might have more in common with the average Egyptian than they realize.

“We here in Egypt have experienced many terror attacks and all of us have experienced the death of a friend or family member who were members of the Army and who fight ISIS on a daily basis.”

***

EXCLUSIVE – Egypt Dispatch: Top General Killed in Joint Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas Assassination Plot

muslim-brotherhood-terrorism-sized-770x415xt-1PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, October 23, 2016:

The killing of a top general responsible for anti-terrorism operations in the restive Sinai province killed outside his home in Cairo yesterday was part of an assassination plot involving Muslim Brotherhood splinter groups and top terror operatives from Hamas in Gaza, Egyptian security sources told PJ Media last night.

The murdered general was responsible for shutting down the smuggling tunnels between Hamas-controlled Gaza and Egypt, and the joint operation is believed to be intended to relieve some pressure from the Egyptian army’s operation that had placed a stranglehold one of Hamas’ main sources of income and slowed the movement of weapons and fighters from Gaza into Sinai fighting against the Egyptian government, including the Islamic State’s group in Sinai.

A statement published after the assassination also invoked the death of a senior Muslim Brotherhood operative killed in a shootout with police earlier this month.

The New York Times reports:

Gunmen suspected of being Islamist militants killed a senior Egyptian Army officer on Saturday in a brazen daylight shooting outside the man’s home in a Cairo suburb.The state media identified the officer as Brig. Gen. Adel Ragai, commander of the army’s Ninth Armored Division.

General Ragai, according to multiple pro-state papers, had previously been deployed to Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, where the military is fighting Islamic State militants.

The military did not issue a statement.

“I heard the gunshots and saw him die before my eyes,” Sumaya Zein el-Abedeen, the general’s wife, told the state media. She said neighbors had told her that they saw three gunmen with assault rifles in a vehicle outside the couple’s home. The men fired on General Ragai and his driver. Both men were taken to a hospital, where they were declared dead.

A group called Liwa al-Thawra, the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility on Twitter for the attack. The group’s account was then suspended.

General Ragai was also responsible for an armored division in Sinai:

The Liwa al-Thawra statement claiming responsibility also invoked the killing of Mohamed Kamal, one of the top Muslim Brotherhood leaders leading the group’s more violent factions.

After the killing of Kamal, LIaw al-Thawra issued a statement vowing retribution.

As I reported here at PJ Media on the death of Kamal, he was responsible for the Muslim Brotherhood’s violent factions, including the most recent incarnation of the group’s military wing, Hassm that has been involved in assassinations of Egyptian military officials.

Coincidentally, Hassm released a video yesterday showing fighters engaged in military training:

The possible involvement of Hamas operatives in the assassination operation yesterday may demonstrate an even increased role in terrorism in Egypt, including their ties to the Islamic State group’s activity in Sinai.

The roots of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “special committee” terror units go back to a split within the group’s leadership, with the old guard looking for compromise with the Egyptian state and the youth wing led by Kamal that sought a more violent “creative revolutionary path.”

A series of statements during 2015 endorsed the group’s campaign of violence:

  • A group called the “Revolutionary Punishment Movement” closely tied with the Brotherhood issued a statement in early February warning all foreigners and diplomats to leave the country by February 28, 2015, or possibly be faced with becoming targets in their attacks.

I reported here at PJ Media in June 2015 about the escalation of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood youth cadres during 2015, beginning with the published call for a “long, uncompromising jihad” in January 2015.

This past June, I reported on the arrest of an IED terrorist cell composed of Muslim Brotherhood members operating out of Alexandria that attacked military, police, diplomatic and business targets.

Meanwhile, bills calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization have stalled in Congress.

In the House, H.R. 3892, the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015,” a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and currently with 68 cosponsors, passed the House Judiciary Committee in February on a 17-10 vote.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan has not brought the bill up for a full House vote.

The Senate companion bill, S. 2230, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and currently with 7 cosponsors, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is bottled up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Foreign Relations chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has yet to bring the bill up for a committee vote — or even to hold hearings on the matter.

Bill cosponsors have expressed frustration with the Obama administration’s inaction on the Muslim Brotherhood even as terror attacks by the group continue. The group has targeted Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which I reported on here just a few weeks ago based on my April 2014 survey in Upper Egypt of sectarian attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood.

With Congress in recess until after the November 8 election, the only opportunity for these bills to be considered in either the House or Senate would be in the lame duck session.

Wikileaks: Bill Clinton Boasts of Hillary’s ‘Working Relationship’ with Muslim Brotherhood

clinton-and-morsi-brendan-smialowskiap-640x480

Breitbart, by John Hayward, October 18, 2016:

In a speech Bill Clinton gave at the home of Mehul and Hema Sanghani in October 2015, revealed to the public for the first time by WikiLeaks, former President Bill Clinton touted Hillary Clinton’s “working relationship” with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in Egypt as an example of her diplomatic skills.

President Clinton also gave his wife a lot of credit for negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, in a passage that began with the standard Democrat “stuff happens” shrugging defense for foreign policy failures:

Finally, we live in a world, as I said, that’s full of good news and bad news. The United States cannot control it all, but we need a president who’s most likely to make as many good things happen as possible, and most likely to prevent big, bad things from happening. You can’t keep every bad thing from happening; who’s most likely to be able to get people involved in a positive way. Even the people who don’t like the Iran nuclear agreement concede it never would have happened if it hadn’t been for the sanctions. Hillary negotiated those sanctions and got China and Russia to sign off – something I thought she’d never be able to do. I confess. I’m never surprised by anything she does, but that surprised me. I didn’t think she could do it. The Chinese and the Russians to see past their short-term self-interest to their long-term interest and not sparking another nuclear arms race.

And when the Muslim Brotherhood took over in Egypt, in spite of the fact that we were (inaudible), she developed a working relationship with the then-president and went there and brokered a ceasefire to stop a full-scale shooting war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which on top of what was going on in Syria and the (inaudible) Jordan would have been a calamity for the world.

And when we were trying to reset our relations with Russia under President Medvedev, she and her team negotiated a New START Treaty, which limits warheads and missiles. And she lobbied it through the Senate. She had to get 67 votes, which means a lot of these Republicans who say that they don’t like her now are just kidding for election season. They trusted her, and she got it passed. You can’t get 67 votes in the Senate without a lot of Republican support. And I don’t know about you, but with all this tension and Mr. Putin trying to affect the outcome of the conflict in Syria, I think it’s a very good thing that we’re in a lower risk of any kind of accidental nuclear conflict with the Russians. She did that.

You’ll rarely find a more tortured political framing of the Iran debacle than Bill Clinton boasting that the sanctions Barack Obama lifted were super-awesome, as even those who don’t think those sanctions should have been lifted agree.

Mr. Clinton’s version of the Iran sanctions leaves out a few details, such as Russia’s keen financial interest in keeping Iranian energy out of the European market, and China’s desire to use Iran sanctions as a geopolitical bargaining chip.

But the part about the Muslim Brotherhood is most interesting. If anything, he is selling Hillary Clinton’s “working relationship” with Egyptian Islamists short, because she used American diplomatic leverage for Morsi’s benefit even before he got elected, warning Egyptians about “backtracking” to a military regime at a key moment of the post-Mubarak campaign, when Morsi was running against a former member of Hosni Mubarak’s military. There have long been rumors that more subtle forms of U.S. “pressure” were used to secure Morsi’s office, as well.

Then again, in public pronouncements, Clinton called Hosni Mubarak’s tottering regime “stable” and cautioned her Obama Administration colleagues against “pushing a longtime partner out the door.”

A few days ago, declassified State Department documents revealed Clinton’s talking points for a 2012 meeting with Morsi hailed his election as a “milestone in Egypt’s transition to democracy,” and stated that she was to offer the Muslim Brotherhood leader “technical expertise and assistance from both the U.S. government and private sector to support his economic and social programs.”

Clinton was also supposed to privately offer Morsi assistance with his police and security forces, which would be conducted “quite discreetly.”

After Morsi was gone, she declared herself exasperated with Egyptian political culture and declared herself a cynical “realist.” That is pretty much the opposite of what everyone in the Obama Administration was saying while the “Arab Spring” was in the midst of springing its little surprises on autocratic but America-aligned (or at least America-fearing) regimes, which we were all supposed to feel guilty about selfishly supporting for so long.

As for Clinton’s superb working relationship with Morsi, that eventually ended with Morsi’s wife railing against Clinton for supposedly dismissing him as “a simpleton who was unfit for the presidency,” and threatening to publish letters from Clinton to Morsi that would damage the former U.S. Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Mohammed Morsi is developing a solid working relationship with the Egyptian penitentiary system.

Egypt has one of those icky military governments again, and while it won’t have fond memories of Hillary Clinton’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood regime, it will most likely work with whoever wins the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Therefore, a prospective President Hillary Clinton probably won’t suffer too much from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appalling lapses in judgment.

Analysis: A new crack in the Sunni bloc?

showimage-3The vacuum left by America’s disengagement has thrown the Middle East into a dangerous state of instability, wherein extremist groups thrive and thwart any hopes for peace.

By Zvi Mazel, JPOST, October 16, 2016

There seems to be a growing rift between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the twin mainstays of the Sunni front against the major threats of Iran’s terrorist operations and nuclear building on the one hand, and against the rogue Sunni Islamic State on the other. The two countries no longer see eye to eye on a number of regional issues, although they deny it and insist that they are still coordinating their actions.

The Egyptian president has stated on a number of occasions that the security of the Gulf is essential to the security of his country, while the Saudi king wrote to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that any attack on Egyptian security would be seen as an attack on Saudi Arabia.

Simmering tensions came to the boil at a special meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria on October 8.

Egypt not only voted with Russia to defeat the French proposal calling for a stop to bombing on Aleppo, it also voted for the Russian counter-proposal opposed by the West. The Saudi representative strongly condemned the two votes, which led to a spate of acrimonious articles in Egyptian and Saudi media. Sisi had to intervene; he declared that though Egypt remained committed to good relations with Gulf countries, it had its own interests.

The so-called pragmatic Sunni bloc, which included the Gulf states, Jordan and Morocco, emerged during the Mubarak years, and enjoyed the powerful support of the United States. Israel played a significant role behind the scenes, because the Gulf states and Egypt believed that it would be able to pressure Washington into stopping Iran’s nuclear program, while at the same time hoping that Israel might bomb Iran’s nuclear installations and deliver the region from that threat.

Barack Obama’s gradual disengagement from the Middle East, while favoring Shi’ite Iran over Sunni countries, was a game changer. America jettisoned Mubarak, its long-term ally, and welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood; it turned its back on President Sisi and made a deal with Iran on its nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states felt betrayed and lost their trust in the United States, while Egypt, losing political, economic and military American support, turned to Russia and China for sophisticated weaponry and to develop economic projects – including building a nuclear plant to produce energy with the help of Russia. The Russian and Egyptian armies are conducting joint exercises, further testimony to the deepening ties.

In short, deprived of the strong American backing which was the basis of their common policy, Egypt and Saudi Arabia took different paths based on their divergent interests. Egypt, fearing an Islamic takeover, believes Syrian unity must be preserved at all costs, and aligned itself with Russia with regards to Syria, whose goals are similar to those of Iran, which wants President Basher Assad to remain in place in order to ensure its continued access to its Hezbollah ally in Lebanon through Syria.

Riyadh is steadfastly supporting Sunni rebel groups fighting to eliminate Assad and set up a Sunni regime. These groups include Islamic terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and therein lies the crux of the problem. The Brotherhood is still manufacturing terrorism in Egypt, presenting a very real threat and hampering the country’s economic development. As to Saudi Arabia, although it expelled the Brothers following the 9/11 attacks in New York – 15 of 18 perpetrators being Saudi Muslim Brothers – and has declared that the Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, just as Egypt did, it is now in the uneasy position of forbidding its activities in the kingdom while supporting them abroad. In Yemen, it backs al-Islah, a “Reform” party which is an offshoot of the Brotherhood, against the Shi’ite Houthi rebels, in the hopes that they will rule the country after defeating the rebellion.

Egypt emphatically does not want that to happen. It reluctantly joined the Saudi-led coalition again the Houthis, but is not taking part in military operations beyond patrolling the entrance to the Suez Canal, which is in its own interests. The situation regarding Libya is similar. Egypt backs Gen. Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, who is battling extremist groups with great success, while Saudi Arabia helps Brotherhood organizations.

In short, for Egypt, the most pressing threat is that of the Muslim Brothers, which enjoy the support of Turkey and Qatar. Saudi Arabia is more afraid of Iran, and therefore reluctantly allies itself with Sunni terrorist organizations it abhors. It has even grown closer to Turkey, a country at odds with Egypt over the removal of Morsi and the overthrow of the regime of the Brotherhood.

Sometimes logic goes overboard: Sunni Egypt and Sunni Saudi Arabia should have been united in condemnation of the relentless bombing of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian planes, driving the Sunni population out of the town with the intent to replace them with Alawites – but Egypt voted against the French resolution to end the bombing.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has given Egypt $15 billion in outright grants, loans or deposits into Cairo’s central bank, in order to bolster the Egyptian economy and currency, and has supplied Egypt with natural gas and oil. Both countries will try to overcome their differences, but it will not be easy. Riyadh is sending conflicting signals. It suspended regular deliveries of refined oil in spite of the 25 year contract signed in May, estimated at $23b.; it also significantly raised the price of visas for the pilgrimage to Mecca.

On the other hand, it deposited $2b. into Egyptian banks in September to bolster the Egyptian currency. A high-ranking Egyptian delegation is soon expected in Riyadh to “discuss regional issues and the implementation of the cooperation agreements signed in Cairo, during the visit of King Salman in April,” as well as the Syrian issue. The Saudi ambassador to Egypt has been called home to prepare for the visit.

The vacuum left by America’s disengagement has thrown the Middle East into a dangerous state of instability, wherein extremist groups thrive and thwart any hopes for peace. The Sunni bloc is in disarray. It is every country for itself. This has led to a quiet strengthening of security and intelligence cooperation with Israel, and even greater economic exchanges. But this is kept under wraps. Neither President Sisi nor King Abdullah of Jordan dared attend Peres’s funeral, as this newfound collaboration does not bode well for the much-touted “regional solution” of the Palestinian issue.

The writer, a fellow of The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden.

Clinton Backed Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Regime

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2012 / AP

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2012 / AP

Talking points show Clinton called Morsi’s election ‘milestone’ for Egyptian democracy.

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, October 13, 2016:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 called the election of Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood leader a “milestone” for Egyptian democracy and offered covert police and security help, according to declassified State Department documents.

A nine-page document, once-labeled “Secret,” listed talking points for Clinton’s meeting with newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 14, 2012. The talking points said Morsi’s election was a key step toward popular democracy in the strategic North African state.

“We stand behind Egypt’s transition to democracy,” the heavily-redacted Clinton talking points state, adding that the only way to maintain a strong Egypt is “through a successful transition to democracy.”

The first key objective of the meeting was for Clinton to “offer our congratulations to Morsi and to the Egyptian people for this milestone in Egypt’s transition to democracy.”

Clinton then was meant to offer Morsi American technical expertise and assistance from both the U.S. government and private sector to support his economic and social programs.

Clinton’s talking points also included an offer of secret assistance to help Morsi “upgrade and reorient Egypt’s police force toward serving the needs of a democratic people.” The offer included sending a team of U.S. police and security experts to Egypt as part of a “framework of cooperation” that would be carried out “quite discretely.”

Also, the talking points reveal Clinton was ready to help launch an Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, a private sector initiative of U.S. and Egyptian investors to help Egyptian businesses. The fund was to be launched with $60 million and would later involve Congress adding $300 million over five years.

The fund was created in September 2012.

Many pro-democracy Egyptians who had taken to the streets as part of the 2011 revolution that ousted long-time U.S. ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak viewed U.S. support for Morsi as a betrayal and part of a U.S. strategy of backing the Muslim Brotherhood in the region.

The meeting between Clinton and Morsi took place two months before terrorists in neighboring Libya attacked a U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA facility, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens.

A second State Department document revealed that Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides wrote to Morsi on Sept. 24, 2012 seeking collaboration with the Egyptian leader on Syria and Iran.

“It was a honor to meet with you in Cairo,” Nides wrote in the letter. “We share the goal of growing our markets and increasing trade, as well as a desire for a stable, secure and peaceful region. As I said when we met, the United States also remains committed to helping Egypt address regional issues, including Syria and Iran.”

Both documents reveal that the State Department under Clinton had little understanding of the Islamist threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its branches.

Andrew C. McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted Islamist terrorism cases, said Clinton backed the Muslim Brotherhood over the Egyptian military, stating it was imperative that power be turned over to the winner of the election.

“The defining mission of the Muslim Brotherhood is the implementation of sharia,” McCarthy said. Sharia is Islamic law that critics say is antidemocratic and contrary to fundamental rights and freedoms

The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on the Obama administration’s secret 2011 Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11.

The directive, according to officials familiar with its contents, outlined how the administration would seek to support the Muslim Brotherhood around the world despite the Islamist supremacist organization providing the ideological underpinning for jihadist terrorism for both al Qaeda and its successor, the Islamic State.

U.S. backing for Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was derailed by the Egyptian military a year after the meeting. Morsi, the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history, was ousted in a coup after he had sought to consolidate power by granting himself unlimited authority in what pro-democracy critics called an Islamist coup.

Egyptian military leaders arrested Morsi on July 3, 2013, after protesters took to the streets to oppose his rule. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi headed a military government and was later elected president.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an international organization founded in 1928 that adopted as its motto “Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our Leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the path of Allah is our highest hope.”

The leaders of the Brotherhood in September 2010 declared jihad, or holy war against the United States and Israel, six months before the Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

Clinton’s backing for Arab Spring states was guided by PSD-11 and produced ongoing disasters in the region, namely in Libya and Syria.

U.S. intervention in Libya ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi but left the oil-rich state in turmoil. It is now viewed as a failed state and safe haven for several Islamist terror groups.

Syria’s civil war helped spawn the emergence of the Islamic State in 2014.

In a section on Israel, Clinton’s talking points expressed appreciation to Morsi for assertions that Egypt would continue to abide by international treaties and obligations.

“Maintaining peace with Israel is a fundamental shared interest and critical for Egypt’s ability to address its economic challenges and enjoy international support as it consolidates its democracy,” the talking points stated. “We may not have a common view, but we do have a common interest.”

The CIA also covertly backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, according to Egyptian news outlets. In December 2013, the news website Al Bashayer published audio recordings of a CIA delegation that met with Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Khayrat al Shatir and Brotherhood official Isam al Haddad at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Jan. 8, 2013.

The CIA asked the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to open a back channel to al Qaeda “to secure the safe exit of U.S. troops” from Afghanistan.

Additionally, another news outlet, Al-Marshad al Amni, reported that Maj. Gen. Abd-al-Hamid Khayrat, former deputy chief for Egyptian State Security Investigations said the CIA in January 2013 “asked for the help of the MB in Egypt to facilitate… the withdrawal from Afghanistan.” The Muslim Brotherhood agreed to become a “bridge” between the U.S. government and al Qaeda, Khayrat said.

The reports triggered widespread conspiracy theories in post-Morsi Egypt that the CIA was collaborating with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to destabilize Egypt.

The Clinton talking points about the transition to democracy were reflected in a briefing given by a State Department official to reporters the day before the 2012 meeting. The covert police assistance was not mentioned.

A day after the meeting, Clinton stated in remarks at the U.S. Consulate in Alexandria, Egypt, that she told Morsi the success of his presidency and Egypt’s success “depends upon building consensus across the Egyptian political spectrum and speaking to the needs and concerns of all Egyptians—all faiths, all communities, men and women alike.”

Retired Army Lt. Col. Joseph Myers, a former DIA official and specialist on terrorism, said the documents show the endorsement and support of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt was “a fools errand and shows a disastrous strategic naivety.”

“The whole policy initiative to support a Muslim Brotherhood government anywhere is another example of a total policy failure of Secretary Clinton,” Myers said.

“But it also raises deeper questions of who in our government is advising and influencing such reckless and dangerous policies that show no fundamental comprehension of the threat we face from radical Islamic jihad,” he added. “Or worse these advisers precisely understand what they are doing to U.S. policy and Secretary Clinton could not.”

Two Senior Leaders of Muslim Brotherhood ‘Terror Wing’ Killed in Egypt

muslim-brotherhood-terrorism-sized-770x415xtPJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Oct. 4, 2016:

Two senior leaders of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood were reportedly killed in a shootout with government forces, the Ministry of Interior announced late yesterday:

Reuters reports:

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said early on Tuesday that it killed a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader it said was responsible for the group’s “armed wing” and another member of the group in a shootout on Monday.Mohamed Kamal, 61, a member of the group’s top leadership, and Yasser Shehata, another leader, were killed. The ministry said it raided an apartment in Cairo’s Bassateen neighborhood after learning it was used by the leaders as a headquarters.

Both Kamal and Sehata were wanted by Egyptian authorities since the dissolution of Mohamed Morsi’s government in August 2013:

Shehata was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for “assaulting a citizen and forcibly detaining the person in the headquarters of the freedom and Justice party,” the political wing of the origination, the ministry said in its statement.Kamal had been sentenced to life in prison on two counts in absentia, added the statement.

Kamal is one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Guidance Bureau. He was in charge of the supreme Administrative Committee, known as the youth committee. He resigned from the committee in May 2016, because the committee was opposed by other top leaders in the organization.

It is precisely Kamal’s role in inciting violence through the Muslim Brotherhood’s youth committee that brought him into conflict with other leaders of the group. He was directly responsible for the creation of the youth cadres that continue to wage a widespread terror campaign targeting army, police and other Egyptian government officials.

In June, Mohamed Hamama explained Kamal’s role in establishing the Muslim Brotherhood’s current terror wing:

The roots of dissent grew out of this crisis management committee, with Kamal and [Ali] Bateekh among its members. They were elected by the group’s Shura Council in 2013, following the end of the mandate of the Guidance Bureau, the group’s leadership body. In the committee’s view, Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie still retains his position despite his imprisonment, while the committee takes on the Guidance Bureau’s responsibilities given the absence of most of its leaders.By June 2014, divisions in opinion on major issues, such as the group’s position on violence, began to fester. According to a former Brotherhood leader from the Delta who preferred not to be named, Kamal, Bateekh and others called for a meeting in January 2015 to discuss the revolution’s anniversary. At that meeting, they spoke of violence as an inevitable path. The meeting culminated in the formation of two new committees to adopt a violence-oriented strategy: the Revolutionary Punishment Committee and the Popular Resistance Committee.

The constituencies affiliated with Kamal, Bateekh and other dissenters live in the areas where the greatest violence against the state has been waged in the last two years: Cairo, Alexandria, Qalyubiya, Monufiya and the northern part of Upper Egypt.

Coincidentally, prior to the announcement of Kamal’s death, research Moktar Awad published an assessment of the “Islamist insurgency” in Egypt, noting Kamal’s role in the Muslim Brotherhood’s terror wing, including its most recent incarnation, Hassm, which has assassinated several top officials responsible for local crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood:

Immediately after Kamal began leading a faction of the Muslim Brotherhood towards a “creative revolutionary path,” a series of statements during 2015 endorsed the group’s campaign of violence:

  • A group called the “Revolutionary Punishment Movement” closely tied with the Brotherhood issued a statement in early February warning all foreigners and diplomats to leave the country by February 28, 2015 or possibly be faced with becoming targets in their attacks.

I reported here at PJ Media in June 2015 about the escalation of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood youth cadres during 2015, beginning with the published call for a “long, uncompromising jihad” in January 2015.

This past June, I reported on the arrest of an IED terrorist cell composed of Muslim Brotherhood members operating out of Alexandria that attacked military, police, diplomatic and business targets.

Meanwhile, bills calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization have stalled in Congress.

In the House, H.R. 3892, the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015,” a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and currently with 68 cosponsors, passed the House Judiciary Committee in February on a 17-10 vote.

But House Speaker Paul Ryan has not brought the bill up for a full House vote.

The Senate companion bill, S. 2230, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and currently with 7 cosponsors, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is bottled up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Foreign Relations chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has yet to bring the bill up for a committee vote — or even to hold hearings on the matter.

Bill cosponsors have expressed frustration with the Obama administration’s inaction on the Muslim Brotherhood even as terror attacks by the group continue. The group has targeted Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which I reported on here just a few weeks ago based on my April 2014 survey in Upper Egypt of sectarian attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood.

With Congress in recess until after the November 8 election, the only opportunity for these bills to be considered in either the House or Senate would be in the lame duck session.

Egyptian Leaders Praise Donald Trump, Blast Hillary Clinton After President El-Sisi Meets with Both Candidates

trump-el-sisi-ap-640x480Breitbart, by JEN LAWRENCE & DUSTIN STOCKTON, Sept. 21, 2016:

NEW YORK CITY, New York — Members of the Egyptian delegation to the United Nations blasted Hillary Clinton just a day after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with both Clinton and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. They also had high praise for Trump—and while not an official endorsement, it is a positive outcome for Trump’s first and only meeting with Muslim world leaders thus far.

Egyptian officials expressed frustration and outrage over the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and expressed concern that a Clinton administration would continue to undermine Egyptian efforts to dismantle Brotherhood terrorists attempting to destabilize the democratically elected Egyptian government.

Ahmed Gad, a member of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, told Breitbart News Tuesday night:

I think 90 percent of Egyptians would prefer Trump because he will not cooperate with terrorists. He [Trump] will not cooperate with Muslim Brothers and our main concern in Egypt now is terrorist attacks as you saw two days ago in the United States. We saw it daily in Egypt on the hands of Muslim Brothers so we know very well that Muslim Brothers are a terrorist group and we want to build up our democratic regime.

Many members of the Egyptian delegation spoke on the record exclusively with Breitbart News at an event to promote communication and unity between the United States and Egypt on Tuesday night. The event was organized by popular Egyptian media personality and host of American Pulse Dr. Michael Morgan, and featured several American foreign policy experts including representatives from the London Center for Policy Research and more than a hundred prominent Egyptians including members of parliament, leading media figures, government officials, and businessmen.

The Egyptian delegation interviews came as El-Sisi, in an interview with CNN, said that he has “no doubt” that Donald Trump would make a strong leader. El-Sisi also responded to a clip of Hillary Clinton accusing the Egyptian government of being “basically an army dictatorship,” during a debate with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He said, in part, that “in Egypt there will not be a chance for any dictatorship because in Egypt there is a constitution, there is law, and there is the will of the people which will refuse to allow any leader to stay in his position for any period longer than his term which is four years.”

The fact that El-Sisi and those from the Egyptian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly here in New York City this week would speak so openly and positively about Trump—and so openly and negatively about Clinton—may surprise some. They are Muslim leaders and Egypt is perhaps one of the biggest and longest-standing Muslim nations in world history. Many establishment media outlets have painted Trump’s relationship with all Muslims as toxic, since he has expressed plans to temporarily ban Islamic migration into the United States. But El-Sisi, when asked about Trump’s proposed Muslim ban during his CNN interview, defended Trump.

“The United States in general conducts very strict security measures for everyone who wishes to visit it, which has been in place for quite a few years,” El-Sisi, the first Muslim world leader to meet with Trump, told CNN. “It’s also important to know that during election campaigns many statements are made and many things are said, however afterwards governing the country would be something different.  And will be subject to many factors.”

El-Sisi expressed these same sentiments in other interviews with the Egyptian delegation to the U.N.G.A. this week. At Trump’s meeting with El-Sisi, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn—the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for two years during the Obama administration—and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) were also present.

The Trump campaign said in a readout of the meeting sent to press:

Mr. Trump thanked President el-Sisi and the Egyptian people for what they have done in defense of their country and for the betterment of the world over the last few years. He expressed great respect for Egypt’s history and the important leadership role it has played in the Middle East. Mr. Trump expressed to President el-Sisi his strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism, and how under a Trump Administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead. Mr. Trump emphasized the strong partnership that the United States and Egypt have shared for so many years and how this relationship is vital to help promote peace and stability in the Middle East, broader region and the world. Mr. Trump also expressed his recognition of Egypt’s close relationship with Israel on countering terrorism.Mr. Trump highlighted how Egypt and the U.S. share a common enemy and the importance of working together in defeating radical Islamic terrorism, not only politically and militarily, but also addressing the ideology. Mr. Trump emphasized to President el-Sisi his high regard for peace-loving Muslims and understands that every day there are people of goodwill that sacrifice their lives and fortunes to combat the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Mr. Trump said that if he were fortunate enough to win the election in November, he would invite President el-Sisi on an official visit to the United States and would be honored to visit Egypt and the Egyptian people who he has a great fondness for.

Clinton’s campaign described her meeting with El-Sisi as being successful as well. According to a Clinton aide:

Secretary Clinton and President Sisi had a constructive discussion about bilateral ties and cooperation on a wide range of issues, including counterterrorism. They also discussed the importance of economic development and investment in Egypt. Secretary Clinton emphasized the importance of respect for rule of law and human rights to Egypt’s future progress. Secretary Clinton called for the release of U.S. citizen Aya Hijazi and raised concerns about prosecution of Egyptian human rights organizations and activists. Secretary Clinton discussed ways to deepen counterterrorism cooperation, particularly in the fight against ISIS. She and President Sisi exchanged views about the Middle East, and Secretary Clinton underscored the importance of the Egyptian cooperation with Israel on counterterrorism, and her commitment to defeating ISIS, to addressing foreign fighters, and to countering radicalization.

However, the Egyptian delegations’ respective statements to Breitbart News do not reveal a positive aftermath for Clinton’s meeting.

But clearly, based upon El-Sisi’s interview with CNN and comments that the various members of the Egyptian delegation here made to Breitbart News, it is Trump not Clinton whom the Egyptian leadership wants to win the election.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Egyptian Chamber of Media Industry, Amr Fathy, took issue with Hillary Clinton’s claims that President El-Sisi is a dictator. “The signs you take as dictatorship is not dictatorship,” Fathy told Breitbart News. Of El-Sisi, Fathy added: “This is our president and we are behind him.”

“The Egyptian authorities they have already dealt with Hillary before; we did not deal with Trump,” Fathy explained about the meetings between El-Sisi and the American presidential candidates. “So, maybe we know now much more and better idea about Mr. Trump in specific.”

When asked about the coziness between Clinton and the Muslim Brotherhood, Fathy showed just how damaging the Obama foreign policy directed by Hillary Clinton and her successor at the State Department, John Kerry, has been to America’s standing in the eye’s of the Egyptians. He said:

They [Muslim Brotherhood] were supported by the Americans and the Western world. Why? I don’t know. They did not come by democracy, they were not the people who came out on the 25th of January. They were not, the youth were the people who came out. We have our own identity, we are not a theocratic nation we have never been a theocratic nation. The American policy is always pushing for theocratic regimes and then when you have a theocratic regime you start crying.

One consistent theme among the Egyptians who spoke with Breitbart News was the deep distrust of Hillary Clinton. Dr. Morgan said of Egyptian President El-Sisi’s meetings with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Monday:

President El-Sisi wanted to meet up with both candidates because he did not want to give Hillary a chance to use and abuse an indirect endorsement from a meeting with a President like El-Sisi. As evil as she is, she was going to go out into the media and say, ‘oh I have a good relationship with this man, I know foreign policy’ so he made sure that he would meet Trump as well to make sure the America public doesn’t think he supports Hillary. We know he would never support Hillary because Hillary is another eight years of Obama and Obama has been really bad for Egypt.

The members of the Egyptian Parliament that Breitbart News spoke with Tuesday night showcased the inclusive nature of the new Egyptian government under President El-Sisi. Among the representatives were two women, a Coptic Christian, and a 31-year-old man. One of the female Parliament members pointed out that a third of the Egyptian parliament members are under the age of 35.

One of those women, Sahar Talaat Moustafa, is the head of the Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee. When asked by Breitbart News how the Egyptian people see Hillary Clinton, she responded: “A lot of people in Egypt feel she is in support of the Brotherhood. Actually, a majority of people think so.”

Moustafa invited Americans to come visit Egypt and see for themselves.

“I invite you to come and see how things are going on in Egypt,” she said. “Everything is so smooth we are walking normally in the streets and there is no terrorism. Egypt’s is one of the safest countries to go.”

Ahmed Gad is a member of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee and he echoed the desire of the Egyptian dignitaries who spoke with Breitbart News for a better relationship with the United States, but also concern that under the Obama administration the United States sided with the wrong side in the Muslim Brotherhood. Gad said:

For us, it’s a very important signal that we want to resume our good relations but in the same time, I am speaking as a political researcher, frankly speaking, we are very disappointed from Obama’s policy towards our country. Because, by the way, I am a Coptic in Egypt so we suffered a lot under the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Some sort of cooperation between the American administration, Obama Administration, and the Muslim Brothers. We know very well that they are terrorists, they burned and destroyed over 100 churches in Egypt, and they killed a lot of Christians. They killed and are still killing a lot of Egyptians priests men and soldiers. At the same time the Obama administration is refusing to deal with the Muslim Brothers as a terrorist group.

Gad said that El-Sisi’s background as a general should not be taken to mean he is somehow running a “military dictatorship” as Hillary Clinton claimed.

“Yes, El-Sisi has a military background but he saved Egypt,” Gad said. “He restored the Egyptian identity.”

That’s why they seem to really want Trump elected in the United States.

Some of the members of the Egyptian Parliament did express concern that Donald Trump might have trouble restoring the relationship with Egypt because of the institutional nature of the American system of government and foreign policy. Many of the American foreign policy experts explained that the American President sets foreign policy and that a President Trump would have the authority to change the diplomatic course between the two nations.

“That’s why we are ready to cooperate with anybody who can fight the Muslim Brothers and frankly speaking, we are fighting terrorism on behalf of the Modern World,” Gad said.

Brotherhood Members Gather in D.C. to Blast Egyptian Government

mb-theaterby John Rossomando
IPT News
September 21, 2016

Roughly two dozen Egyptians opposed to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, some with Muslim Brotherhood connections, signed a declaration last week in Washington endorsing a civil constitution that separates mosque and state. Three of the declaration’s points involve prosecuting current Egyptian officials.

Sisi, a former general, assumed power in July 2013 after his military forces ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who led the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party. Sisi was elected president with an overwhelming 96 percent of the vote in 2014.

He has cracked down on dissent, especially by the Muslim Brotherhood, imprisoning 29,000 Brotherhood members, mainly on terrorism charges.

They, in turn, have organized campaigns against the government, calling it the product of a coup.

In a Facebook post, one participant explained the statement was issued from Washington after “all other places rejected the meeting.”

The fourth point of their 10-point “Washington Initiative” endorses the creation of a civil state. It calls for “[d]rafting a civil constitution which expressly stipulates no state interference in religious institutions or vice versa, and no military intervention in the political process. It will establish rights and freedoms according to the basis of international human rights declarations and global covenants.”

This declaration also endorsed pluralism, freedom of expression, press freedom, and full equality of all Egyptian citizens. It also calls for releasing political prisoners.

Many of these positions are inconsistent with the Brotherhood’s policies during its year in power. Muslim Brotherhood leaders had promised to bring about democratic reforms once in office. Instead, they resorted to the same sort of repression found during Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30-year reign. This became clear after Morsi asserted emergency powers in November 2012.

“It was clear from President Morsi’s first day in office that his program for the first 100 days of his term paid little attention to addressing human rights issues and realizing Egyptians’ aspirations for democratization,” the Cairo Institute for Human Rights said in a new report issued in June.

Morsi created the underpinnings of an authoritarian regime in place of Mubarak, the institute said.

Military trials for civilians continued under Muslim Brotherhood rule and accusations of defamation of religion frequently were used to stifle freedom of expression, the institute reported. Press freedom also suffered during Morsi’s presidency.

The delegation in Washington last week included Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, foreign affairs chairman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s banned Freedom and Justice Party, and a frequent participant in pro-Brotherhood lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital.

Dardery previously rejected the separation of mosque and state.

“The issue of the separation of religion from politics is a church issue and it does not apply to Islam,” Dardery said in a Feb. 15, 2014 speech he gave at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, and translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “Democracy is the rule of people [for] the people by the people within the limit of what God allows. Islam is a choice, is a contract between me and God.”

Dardery’s statement at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee more closely resembles the International Muslim Brotherhood’s bylaws, which ultimately envisions an Islamic state.

“The need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings. Defend the nation against the internal enemies, try to present the true teachings of Islam and communicate its ideas to the world,” Article 2, Paragraph E of the bylaws say.

In contrast, Dardery claimed in a more public setting a year later that the Muslim Brotherhood did not want a religious state.

“We’re not calling for a religious law, we’re not calling for a theocracy; we’re standing against theocracy, period. What we are calling for is a democracy that can bring the liberals, the leftists, the nationalists, or the Muslim Brotherhood, because they’re all equal,” Dardery told a University of California, Berkeley audience.

He also affirmed in the speech the idea of a civil state with Islamic principles, meaning that the state would be governed by laypersons under a constitution and that laws would be made within the boundaries of Islamic shariah. This concept contrasts with the Iranian model where clerics rule directly over the people.

The 2012 Egyptian constitution drafted under Morsi’s rule had created a civil state butmade laws subject to review by Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most important institution.

Amnesty International faulted the Muslim Brotherhood’s last attempt to write a constitution for blocking women’s path to full equality and failing to protect minorities.

“It is therefore no wonder that the constitution, drafted solely by political Islamists, further entrenches both political and religious despotism and paves the way for a Sunni theocracy similar to the Iranian model,” the Cairo Institute for Human Rights wrote.

Michael Meunier, a Coptic Christian who helped organize and coordinate factions involved in the 2011 revolt that toppled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, dismissed the D.C. gathering and its resulting declaration as smoke and mirrors.

“All the [people in] attendance are members of the MB disguised under different banners. I know several of them and definitely they don’t speak for [a] civil state and did not support the creation of a civil state in 2011. [Their] insistence on Jan 25th as the official revolution gives away their motive. They don’t want to acknowledge June 30th as a Revolution since it was against the MB,” Meunier said in an email.

The declaration had more to do with persuading American policymakers to support the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian government, Meunier said. The Brotherhood used similar rhetoric before it came to power in Egypt but failed to deliver after Morsi’s inauguration.

“They love playing under different umbrellas,” Meunier said. “They say one thing in English and another in Arabic.”

Dardery’s contradictory statements support Meunier’s point that Muslim Brotherhood members vary their message depending on their audience.

Egypt’s Youm 7 newspaper identified other Brotherhood-linked figures who participated in the recent conference. In addition to Dardery, participants included former Morsi adviser Seif El-Din Abdel Fattah; Ayman Nour, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sharq Channel; Muhammad Mahsoub of the Wasat Party; and Brotherhood analyst Essam Hajji.

The declaration triggered “earthquakes inside the Brotherhood camp” after its signing,Youm 7 reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood disavowed any formal participation in the conference and said any Brotherhood members who participated did so on their own.

“Media reports announcing the outcome of the ‘dialogue’ workshop held recently in Washington, attended by some political activists, also claimed representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood were present. This is not true. The group had no knowledge of anyone representing it in that workshop,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Talat Fahmy said in a statement posted on the Brotherhood’s own website, Ikhwanweb. “The Muslim Brotherhood reiterates that any views, opinion, stances or attitudes attributed to it must be so expressed through its own institutions and spokespersons.”

Other Islamists denounced the document as a “farce” because it does not recognize the Islamic nature of Egypt.

Serving Muslim Interests With American Foreign Policy

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Front Page Magazine, by Joseph Klein, Sept. 2, 2016:

A Hillary Clinton presidency would likely continue along the pro-Islamist foreign policy arc that both her husband’s administration and the Obama administration have developed.

President Bill Clinton committed U.S. military resources to help Muslims during the so-called “humanitarian” intervention in Bosnia. However, he chose to turn a blind eye to the genocide that swamped Rwanda during his administration. As G. Murphy Donovan wrote in his American Thinker article “How the Clintons Gave American Foreign Policy its Muslim Tilt,” “Muslim lives matter, Black Africans, not so much.” Noting that “it was Muslim unrest that precipitated Serb pushback, civil war, and the eventual collapse of Yugoslavia,” Donovan added, “Bosnians are, for the most part, Muslims with a bloody fascist pedigree.” Nevertheless, with no strategic U.S. national interest at stake, Bill Clinton tilted American foreign policy in favor of the Muslim side in the Bosnia conflict. We are now reaping the lethal consequences of that tilt. Donovan points out in his article that, on a per capita basis, Bosnia Herzegovina is the leading source of ISIS volunteers in all of Europe.

President Obama, along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, took the side of Islamist “rebels” against the secular authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Libya and Syria that had managed to keep the lid on jihadist terrorism for many years. These Islamists included members of al Qaeda as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Libya, Hillary Clinton was the leading voice pressing for military intervention against Col. Muammar el- Qaddafi’s regime. She did so, even though, according to sources cited in a State Department memo passed on to Hillary by her deputy at the time, Jake Sullivan, in an e-mail dated April 1, 2011, “we just don’t know enough about the make-up or leadership of the rebel forces.”  In fact, as subsequently reported by the New York Times, the only organized opposition to the Qaddafi regime that had developed underground during Qaddafi’s rule were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a terrorist group, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  The author of the State Department memo had acknowledged the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s terrorist past but said they “express a newfound keenness for peaceful politics.” Was Hillary Clinton relying on such assurances of a reformed “peaceful” Islamic group fighting against Qaddafi, even though it had been on the State Department’s terrorist list since 2004 and one of its leaders, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi,  praised al Qaeda members as “good Muslims” in a March 2011 interview?  If so, that is just another indication of her bad judgment.

As for Egypt, Hillary was informed by her outside adviser and confidante Sid Blumenthal, in an e-mail dated December 16, 2011, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s intention was to create an Islamic state. Moreover, the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and other radical groups was “complicated,” Blumenthal quoted a source “with access to the highest levels of the MB” as saying. Blumenthal also reported, based on a confidential source, that Mohamed Morsi, who was then leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, believed that “it will be difficult for this new, Islamic government to control the rise of al Qa’ida and other radical/terrorist groups.”

Nevertheless, the Obama administration supported the Muslim Brotherhood in its bid to seek power in Egypt through a shaky electoral process. After Morsi’s election to the presidency, Hillary visited Egypt where Morsi warmly welcomed her and she expressed strong support for Egypt’s “democratic transition.” However, the only real transition Morsi had in mind was to impose sharia law on the Egyptian people, the very antithesis of true democratic pluralism. Yet the Obama–Clinton gravy train of military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamist regime continued without any preconditions. Hillary Clinton herself and her State Department referred to the importance of the U.S.’s “partnership” with the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime.

When Morsi was removed from power, after millions of Egyptians had taken to the streets to protest the increasingly theocratic regime, the Obama administration decided to suspend aid to the more secular successor military regime. The “partnership” was no more once the Islamists were swept out of office.

While Morsi was still president, the Clinton Foundation, which has taken millions of dollars in donations from Muslim majority governments and affiliated groups and individuals, invited Morsi to deliver a major address at the Clinton Global Initiative. This invitation was extended just a month after an individual named Gehad el-Haddad, who was working simultaneously for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Clinton Foundation in Cairo, left his Clinton Foundation job to work for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood full time. Fortunes changed for this individual, however, when, after Morsi was overthrown, Haddad was arrested for inciting violence and given a life sentence.

The Obama administration, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, also cooperated with the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to pass and implement a United Nations resolution that was intended to curb speech considered Islamophobic. Clinton, in full spin mode, insisted that the new UN resolution was totally consistent with the free speech protections of the First Amendment, as opposed to the “defamation of religions” resolutions that the OIC had sponsored in the past but was willing to have replaced. The truth, however, is that all we were seeing was old wine in new bottles. To make sure that the OIC was comfortable regarding the Obama administration’s intentions, Clinton assured the OIC that she was perfectly on board with using “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.” She was trying to publicly assure American citizens that their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and press were safe, while working behind the scenes with her OIC partners to find acceptable ways to stifle speech offensive to Muslims.

The signs of Hillary Clinton’s Islamist tilt as she runs for president include the sweepingly general and demonstrably false assertion in her tweet last November that Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”  She has obviously learned nothing from her disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. Neither is she willing to acknowledge that the terrorists whom she has called a “determined enemy” are jihadists animated by an ideology rooted in core Muslim teachings of the Koran and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and actions).  Is there something about the word “Muslim” in the Muslim Brotherhood and “Islamic” in the Islamic State that she is having problems understanding?

Perhaps, it is Hillary’s close association with Huma Abedin, her top campaign aide and confidante, who has had questionable links to Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations, which explains Hillary’s denial of the truth. If someone as close to Hillary as Huma Abedin, whom she apparently trusts with her life, is a Muslim, then how could any Muslim possibly have anything to do with terrorism?

Then again, perhaps Hillary’s willingness to give Islamists the benefit of the doubt is all the money that the Clintons have received over the years from foreign donors in Muslim majority countries, including the Saudi government and affiliated groups and individuals. Hillary Clinton has also reached out for campaign donations from a pro-Iranian lobby group, the National Iranian American Council. Whatever human rights abuses are inflicted on people in these countries, it would be counterproductive to bite the hand that feeds you, in the Clintons’ way of thinking.

Finally, the Democratic Party itself has moved much further to the Left since the days of Bill Clinton’s presidency, which has led to the broadening out of the pro-Islamist bias that began to take shape with Bill Clinton’s intervention in Bosnia. As David Horowitz wrote in a January 8, 2016 article published by National Review:

“Leftists and Democrats have also joined the Islamist propaganda campaign to represent Muslims — whose co-religionists have killed hundreds of thousands of innocents since 9/11 in the name of their religion — as victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, denouncing critics of Islamist terror and proponents of security measures as ‘Islamophobes’ and bigots. Led by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Democrats have enabled the Islamist assault on free speech, which is a central component of the Islamist campaign to create a worldwide religious theocracy.”

For a variety of reasons, Hillary Clinton as president can be expected to move the United States towards an even more accommodative stance than her predecessors with Islamists who mean to do us harm.