UK Designates Muslim Brotherhood Terror Wings Hassm and Liwa al-Thawra
The UK has added two Muslim Brotherhood terror groups to its official list of proscribed terrorist organizations, according to an announcement made by the British Embassy in Cairo last Friday.
Hassm 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 Hassm had issued an unspecified threat against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Earlier this 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 that the U.S. would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
In announcing the designation of the Brotherhood terror wings, the British embassy expressed solidarity with Egypt in its fight against Islamic terrorism:
After reviewing evidence of attacks carried out by Hasm and Liwa Al-Thawra against Egyptian security personnel and public figures, the UK Government has concluded that these groups meet its criteria for proscription. Proscription will enhance the UK Government’s capacity to disrupt the activities of these terrorist organisations.
UK Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said: “We said we will not leave Egypt alone in the frontline in its battle against terrorism and we meant it. Today we use the full force of UK law against two terrorist groups that have murdered many in Egypt and are the enemy of us all. This will strengthen our joint efforts to uproot terrorism and the ideologies that feed it. I am confident that our resilient societies will prevail against these poisonous groups.”
The move reportedly came after the Egyptian government provided evidence to the UK of the Muslim Brotherhood's financial support for Hassm and Liwa al-Thawra. The proscription of these terror groups may be the first step in the UK declaring the entire Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, Egypt Today reported.
A new study published earlier this month, by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change found there has been considerable ideological overlap between the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups such as the Islamic State:
“The evidence now shows that there is considerable ideological overlap in how Islamic scripture is used by Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and violent jihadists, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda,” said Dr Emman El-Badawy, head of research at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
“Understanding the ideological proximity of non-violent Islamist and Salafi-jihadism has never been more urgent, as the Muslim Brotherhood is increasingly under the spotlight."
Officials with Liwa al-Thawra have tried to publicly distance themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood. However, there is considerable evidence of ties between Liwa al-Thawra, Hassm, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In my exclusive three-part interview with Egyptian terrorism expert Khaled Okasha, the former head of counterterrorism in the Sinai, Okasha traced the origins of Hassm 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.
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 Hassm, which has assassinated several top officials responsible for local crackdowns on the Muslim Brotherhood.
In February, Awad noted that a senior Hassm leader killed by Egyptian security forces was eulogized as a martyr on the official Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party site:
An examination of social media posts of the Hassm leader showed explicit support for the Muslim Brotherhood, leading Awad to note the Hassm leader's "likelihood of being a member of that organization beyond the first tier."
His posts promoted historical Muslim Brotherhood figures, stating "those are our leaders."
After Hassm attempted to assassinate an assistant prosecutor general last October, Awad noted that the terror group's first claimed successful assassination last July was of the chief investigator in Tamya. That investigator had been notorious for cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood in Fayoum.
Arrests of Hassm operatives have also tied the terror group's activity to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Even al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) admits that Hassm is part of the "armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood":
As I've reported here this year, the CIA, State Department, and Washington, D.C., foreign policy establishment continue to defend the "moderate" Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, many of our Arab and Muslim allies -- as well as Israel -- have already designated the group as a terrorist organization.
I have also reported that, in stark contrast to the CIA, Western intelligence agencies have begun to warn about the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood. Just last month, German authorities denied the citizenship application of a Muslim Brotherhood supporter who had attended a Muslim Brotherhood terror training camp in Iraq.
Bills calling on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization (S. 68, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz; and H.R. 377, sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart) now languish in both chambers.
They are being bottled up by Republican congressional leadership.