Trump Admin Designates Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Terror Wings
Following the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to Egypt two weeks ago, the State Department and the Treasury Department announced today that two Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood terror wings -- Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra -- have been designated as terror groups:
As I reported here at PJ Media, the UK designated both groups last month. The action by the UK came after the Egyptian government provided evidence of the Muslim Brotherhood's financial support for Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra. Presumably, Egyptian authorities also provided the same information to the United States.
This has been a long time coming.
As the State Department designation notice observes, Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra have targeted police, military, and government officials over the past few years. As I reported here at PJ Media last May, the State Department warned that Hasm had issued an unspecified threat against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Just last month, the Muslim Brotherhood declared the U.S. "an enemy of the Arab world," and warned it would "shed our blood and wage war" after President Trump announced the U.S. would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The State Department notice also states that the leaders of both Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra were previously associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is a bit of an understatement.
Last May, I reported details in my exclusive three-part interview in Cairo with Egyptian terrorism expert Khaled Okasha, the former head of counterterrorism in the Sinai. Okasha traces the origins of Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra to the efforts of Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau leader Mohamed Kamal. Kamal was killed in a shootout with police in October 2016. Okasha explained that the terror groups are still under the effective control of the Muslim Brotherhood after Kamal's death.
(Coincidentally, Hasm launched a terror attack on police near my hotel during my visit to Cairo last May.)
Just days before Kamal was killed, U.S.-based researcher Moktar Awad published an assessment of the "Islamist insurgency" in Egypt. He noted Kamal's role in the Muslim Brotherhood's terror wings, including Hasm, which has assassinated several top officials responsible for local crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last February, Awad noted that a senior Hasm leader killed by Egyptian security forces was eulogized as a martyr on the official Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party site: