In recent weeks, the Muslim Brotherhood has stepped up their terrorist activity and made unmistakable calls for more violence in Egypt, effectively dropping the “moderate” mask that gave cover to Western analysts and government officials going back to the Bush administration.
This policy has nonetheless stayed intact — the Obama administration continues to meet with and be advised by Brotherhood officials.
A March 2007 Foreign Affairs article, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood,” provided talking points to the D.C. foreign policy “smart set” advising a continuance of this charade. At the time, I was one of the few analysts publicly challenging claims of the Brotherhood’s “moderation,” and I documented elsewhere the foreign policy disaster wrought by embracing the Muslim Brotherhood and other so-called “moderate” Islamists.
Just days before my arrival in Cairo last year, two Muslim Brotherhood members were killed in a shootout with Egyptian security forces as they attacked a police checkpoint in the Nile Delta. At the same time, the ISIS-linked Sinai terrorist group that has been waging a terror campaign there released a suicide bomber video showing one individual who was know to have been involved in the Muslim Brotherhood protests that were broken up by Egyptian authorities in August 2013.
As I traveled into Upper Egypt I saw churches and ancient monasteries that had been burned down by Muslim Brotherhood mobs, complete with graffiti identifying those terrorist acts with the group. I interviewed Coptic church officials who gave testimony to the direct role of Muslim Brotherhood officials in those attacks, which were responsible for the destruction of more than 70 churches and 1000+ Christian homes in the space of just a few days:
But when the United Arab Emirates gave terrorist designations to two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood groups in its efforts to stamp them out last November, the State Department weighed in on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Calls by the Muslim Brotherhood for increased violence by their members have escalated over the course of this year:
- In January, 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.
- 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 or possibly be faced with becoming targets in their attacks.
- Late last week, 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.
Just two weeks ago, the official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood was openly calling for beheadings:
MB's call for violence here is very explicit: https://t.co/hhHHpHAEbe It's calling for retribution and cutting off heads from rotten bodies.
— Eric Trager (@EricTrager18) May 18, 2015
These calls for increased violence have received official sanction by Islamic clerics associated with the Muslim Brotherhood:
Akram Kassab of the International Union of Muslim Scholars — one of the top Islamic bodies in the world — called the assassination of Egyptian judges who sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leaders to death a “religious duty.”
The threats and exhortations are having the intended effect. Muslim Brotherhood cadres are responding to these calls for an expanded terror campaign:
April 25: Four individuals identified by police as members of the Muslim Brotherhood accidentally killed themselves in Beni Suef while making bombs.
May 10: Two Muslim Brotherhood members were killed while carrying IEDs on a motorcycle that went off prematurely in Fayoum. One of the men was the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader.
May 18: Two Muslim Brotherhood members were killed in a firefight with police at a hideout in Helwan. The pair were suspects in an attack on a judge’s home.
May 19: A Muslim Brotherhood member was wounded as he was building bombs in his apartment in a Cairo suburb.
May 20: A Muslim Brotherhood member who was the main suspect in the killing of a Homeland Security colonel in April was killed in a confrontation with police near Cairo.
May 26: Police arresting Muslim Brotherhood members in Giza discovered a workshop where various weapons were manufactured.
More instances could be cited denoting the upward terror trend.
Undoubtedly, D.C. “experts” will say these developments are just the legitimate response to oppression by the Egyptian government. But in fact, this violent behavior predates the removal of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and has continued ever since. (I noted here at PJ Media in July 2012 that Morsi had been recruited into the Muslim Brotherhood here in the U.S. while studying at USC.)
During my live blog here at PJ Media of the June 30, 2013 Tamarod protests, which brought millions into the streets of Egyptian cities calling for Morsi’s removal, Muslim Brotherhood cadres were training with weapons and shields — and firing at protesters from Muslim Brotherhood offices:
During the dispersal of the Rabaa protests in August 2013 following Morsi’s ouster, numerous videos showed supposedly “non-violent” protesters firing at security forces and even burning down their own camps:
Pictures taken at the protest show Muslim Brotherhood cadre members with weapons:
Just days afterward, Muslim Brotherhood supporters that had barricaded themselves inside a Cairo mosque opened fire on security forces. They were later allowed to leave the mosque without incident or arrest.
Throughout 2014, the Muslim Brotherhood terror campaign continued apace:
January 24: Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested for running a Molotov-building workshop in Alexandria.
March 12: Authorities arrested 11 members of a Brotherhood-funded terrorist cell in Dakahlia.
March 28: A Muslim Brotherhood mob dragged a Christian woman, Mary Sameh George, from her car and stabbed her to death.
April 2: A top Brotherhood activist attributed three explosive blasts at Cairo University that killed one officer and wounded five others as revenge for the Rabaa protest dispersal.
August 18: Six Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested for planning to bomb electricity towers.
September 5: Four Muslim Brotherhood leaders who planned to sabotage power stations in Suez were arrested.
These are just a small representative sample of documented Muslim Brotherhood incidents.
The open question: what will the Obama administration’s do in response to this escalating terror campaign?
As Muslim Brotherhood attacks continued last year, 20 members of the House of Representatives co-sponsored a resolution calling for the designation of the group as a terrorist organization. That bill, H.R. 5194, noted in its findings that the U.S. government itself has already designated branches, leaders and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations, and that terrorism has been integral to the group since its founding.
As terror attacks directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood increase, and as the group issues more open calls for violence, perhaps Congress will consider reintroducing the resolution from the previous congressional session. Will the United States leave Egypt, one of its allies and the largest Arab country in the world, to fend off the ongoing terror campaign on its own just so the Obama administration isn’t forced to admit their embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood has been a catastrophic, deadly failure?
(Also read: “More MB Leaders Arrested“.)