The Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced on Thursday the arrest of a Muslim Brotherhood IED terror cell that attacked military, police, diplomatic and business targets in Alexandria from January of this year until their arrest. Alexandria historically has been a long-time Muslim Brotherhood base of support.
Meanwhile, bills calling for the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization are stalled in both the Senate and House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress.
Asharq Al-Awsat reports:
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior yesterday said that security forces have managed to arrest 13 members of a new terrorist cell that is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood in the city of Alexandria. The members of the cell, which is called “Lijan Al-Irbaak”, confessed to their involvement in carrying out 10 terrorist operations recently.
Since the former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi was removed in July 2013, the Egyptian authorities have arrested thousands of leaders and supporters of the group including its Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie who is accused of carrying out acts of violence and attempting to overthrow the state. Most of those arrested were given a variety of sentences including the death sentence.
The Ministry of Interior said in a statement issued yesterday that as part of its efforts to prosecute members and leaders of the Brotherhood and thwart their destructive plans, the leader and members of the “Lijan Al-Irbaak” cell that is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested in Alexandria.
The Interior Ministry published the following video subtitled in English. In the vdieo, several of the cell members recount when they joined the Muslim Brotherhood and how they were recruited for the “Disturbance Committee” IED terror cell:
The Ministry also posted on their Facebook page a list of the eleven attacks the cell members admitted to since January.
Last year I reported here at PJ Media on the long list of terror attacks in Egypt involving Muslim Brotherhood members, and even children of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders who had been killed transporting IEDs and in shootouts with Egyptian police.
As I noted at the time, calls for violence targeting Egyptian officials have come through official Muslim Brotherhood channels:
- In January 2015, the group’s official website posted a statement calling for a “long, uncompromising jihad” and directing its members to prepare for such. This statement was posted just a day after top Muslim Brotherhood leaders were hosted at the State Department.
- Days later, a group called the “Revolutionary Punishment Movement” closely tied with the Brotherhood issued a statement warning all foreigners and diplomats to leave the country or be faced with becoming targets in their attacks. In fact, the Alexandria cell admitted to targeting a Libyan consulate diplomatic vehicle.
- Then in May of last year, the Muslim Brotherhood published an official statement in English and in Arabic stating that “the revolutionary option with all its means and mechanisms is its strategic choice from which there will be no retreat,” and justifying the killing of politicians, judges, security officials and media personnel.
Since that report last June, Israel has banned the Muslim Brotherhood and imprisoned some of their senior leaders for inciting terrorism and calling for the overthrow of their democratically elected government. And just this past April, Jordan too shut down the offices of their Muslim Brotherhood branch:
Police in Jordan shut headquarters of main opposition movement, Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, group officials say https://t.co/YDl1cx72tI
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 13, 2016
Meanwhile, bills in the U.S. Congress 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 59 cosponsors, passed the House Judiciary Committee in February on a 17-10 vote.
And yet, House Speaker Paul Ryan has not brought the bill up to a full House vote.
The Senate companion bill, S. 2230, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and currently with 5 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 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, including the targeting of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community:
Middle East Christian groups have openly called on the U.S. Congress to take action on designating the Muslim Brotherhood and supporting the House and Senate bills.
Undoubtedly, Washington, D.C., foreign policy think tanks, especially those “experts” favored by the Obama administration who continue to hail the Muslim Brotherhood as “moderates” and promote them as “a firewall against Al-Qaeda,” will brand the news of the Alexandria IED terror cell as “regime propaganda,” despite the mounting evidence of the group’s complicity in the reign of terror plaguing Egypt.
The intransigence of Congressional Republican leadership to move the Muslim Brotherhood terror designation bills comes as more evidence emerges of the group’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, openly cooperating with the Islamic State affiliate operating in the Sinai, including reports of a high-level meeting between Hamas and ISIS leaders this week:
— Sa’ka (@BTelawy) June 10, 2016
With the congressional schedule quickly running out of days as they approach political conventions, summer recess and heated election campaigns, time is limited for Congress to consider the Muslim Brotherhood designation bills.