Just another Juma in the Arab Spring.
Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, met in Cairo today with Gaza’s “prime minister,” Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas — the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. As PJM’s David Goldman observes, Morsi is getting ready to have the red carpet rolled out for him by the Obama White House in September. He should definitely have Hamas talking points down by then since he also had a powwow with the terrorist organization’s “political bureau” chief, Khaled el-Meshal, last week.
Morsi will also be ready to press on President Obama his demand for the release of the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman. Right after his election, he assured Egyptians that this was among his top priorities. On that score, too, the Brotherhood is rockin’ its familiar terror-leveraged “moderate two-step.” While Morsi works the diplomatic end, the Egypt Independent reports that Sheikhy’s son, Abdallah, has threatened to attack the American embassy and hold its employees hostage in order to extort pop’s release.
Abdel Rahman is the emir of the Islamic Group (Gama’at al-Islamia), a terrorist organization that is part of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary coalition and whose members are also now welcomed guests at the Obama White House. As Abdallah Abdel Rahman threatened a siege, another Islamic Group official, Aboud al-Zomor, explained that the blind sheikh was “a wronged man whose case has been fabricated, and he should be retried because some of the witnesses retracted their statements, which they made because of pressure from the [Mubarak] regime.” That’s news to me — and one might think I’d have heard that one. I can only say that it’s awfully hard to retract a tape … which is a problem for Abdel Rahman since the most damning evidence against him did not come from witnesses but from his own mouth — his calls for attacks on American military installations and the like were recorded for posterity on tape.
I’m not worried because I know Morsi’s pleas are certain to fall on deaf ears, thanks to stiff opposition from the State Department, which, under Secretary Clinton, is filled with advisors who are unalterably opposed to the Brotherhood — oh, wait a second …
Anyway, Happy Spring.