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Posts tagged ‘Hosni Mubarak’

Egypt Designates Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorist Group.


Image: Egypt Designates Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorist GroupEgyptians set fire to a microbus, said to be belong to a company owned by a businessman who supports the Muslim Brotherhood, after passengers allegedly held up four fingers, the symbol known as “Rabaa”, during the Dec. 24 funeral of those killed in a car bomb attack earlier in the day in the city of Mansoura.

The Egyptian government intensified its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday, formally listing the group as a terrorist organization after accusing it of carrying out a suicide bomb attack on a police station that killed 16 people.The move marked a major escalation in the army-backed government’s campaign to suppress the Islamist movement that propelled Mohamed Morsi to the presidency 18 months ago but has been driven underground since the army toppled him in July.

It gives the authorities the power to charge any member of the Brotherhood with belonging to a terrorist group, as well as anyone who finances the group or promotes it “verbally, or in writing”.

“This is a turning point in the confrontation. This is an important tool for the government to close any door in the face of the Brotherhood’s return to political life,” said Khalil al-Anani, a Washington-based expert on the movement.

The Brotherhood condemned the attack on Tuesday in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, north of Cairo. Earlier on Wednesday, a Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, had claimed responsibility for the attack that wounded some 140 people.

In Washington, the State Department also condemned the attack but urged Egypt to have an “inclusive political process.”

“We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific, terrorist bombing yesterday. There can be no place for such violence. The Egyptian people deserve peace and calm,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said but added: “We also note that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt condemned the bombing shortly after it occurred yesterday.

“We are concerned about the current atmosphere and its potential effects on a democratic transition in Egypt,” she added.

The Brotherhood, which estimates its membership at up to a million people, was Egypt’s best organized political force until this summer’s crackdown. A political and social movement founded in 1928, it won five elections after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

“The government decision aims to liquidate its political opponents,” Mohamed Touson, a member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told Al-Ahram online, a state-run news portal.

Since Morsi’s overthrow, the state has killed hundreds of his supporters in the streets and arrested thousands more. Morsi and other top Brotherhood leaders were last week charged with terrorism and plotting with foreign militants against Egypt.

They could face the death penalty.

A court ruling has also formally outlawed the group.

WAR ON TERROR

The army deposed Morsi in July following mass protests against his rule. Following Tuesday’s attack, the Brotherhood’s opponents took to the airwaves of the overwhelmingly hostile media to demand the group be declared terrorists.

Since Morsi’s downfall, at least 350 members of the security forces have been killed in bombings and shootings. The government has declared itself in “a war on terror”.

Analysts say the government decision points to the influence wielded by hawks in security services. Though it has been outlawed for most of its existence, this marks the first time the group has been formally designated a terrorist movement.

In a statement, the government said: “All of Egypt … was terrified by the ugly crime that the Muslim Brotherhood group committed by blowing up the building of the Dakahlyia security directorate.”

The statement did not say what evidence the government had to back up the accusation or name any suspects.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, meaning “Supporters of Jerusalem”, has claimed responsibility for a number of the attacks since Morsi’s downfall, including a failed bid to kill the interior minister in September.

In its statement claiming responsibility for the Mansoura attack, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis blamed the army-backed government for fighting “Islamic legitimacy” and spilling the blood of “oppressed Muslims”.

The government is pushing ahead with a political transition plan. A mid-January referendum is the next step, to be followed by parliamentary polls and a presidential election. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely tipped to win, assuming he runs.

The Brotherhood says it remains committed to peacefully resisting what it calls a bloody military coup against a freely elected leader. Its supporters are pressing a campaign of protest focused on university campuses.

Anani said: “The only party that will benefit from this is the radical Islamists who will capitalize on the despair and disenchantment.”

Some observers have drawn parallels with Algeria, where a civil war erupted in 1991 when the army aborted an experiment with democracy because the Islamists looked set to win.

“We might witness another insurgency, an Algeria scenario. You might see the emergence of a violent faction in the Brotherhood,” Anani said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Egypt: Three Christians Sentenced for Killing a Muslim.


CAIRO — An Egyptian criminal court convicted three Christians of killing a Muslim man, a judicial official and the state news agency said, in a dispute that that left nine people dead in some of this year’s worst sectarian violence.

Six Christians died in the clashes, which took place in a small town just outside Cairo in April, but no one was arrested or convicted for their killings, lawyers said.

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In its ruling, the criminal court of Qalubiya province sentenced one Christian man, Hani Farouk Awad, to life imprisonment and two others to 15 years for the killing of a Muslim resident of Khosoos, where the violence took place. Nine Muslims were sentenced to up to five years for vandalizing Christian properties while 32 were acquitted, the official said.

He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Egypt’s Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the country’s population, have long complained of discrimination and sectarian strife — usually fueled by hate speech from religious extremists, attempts to build new houses of worship or interfaith love affairs.

The sense of fear was heightened when Islamists rose to power following the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The Khosoos dispute was the worst violence during the one-year rule of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was removed in a popularly backed coup in July.

The fight started when young Muslims drew inflammatory symbols on an Islamic school and the vandalism was blamed on local Christians.

Two defense lawyers in the case said a cleric of the local mosque urged revenge for the death of the Muslim man, leading to three consecutive days of violence that also saw a church attacked and private shops and homes of Christians looted and burned.

Assailants doused one of the Christians with gasoline and set him on fire. They contend that only two Christians were convicted in the case. The difference with the court’s number of convicted could not be reconciled.

Samaan Youssef, one of the Christians’ lawyers in the case told The Associated Press that the prosecution failed to identify any of the suspects in the killing of Christians because local witnesses were afraid to speak out and possibly provoke revenge attacks and renewed violence.

The violence later spread to the doorsteps of the country’s main Coptic Cathedral after funerals for the Christian victims. An angry mob of Muslims threw firebombs and rocks at the church forcing a group of Christians, who attempted to march against the government, back into the church.

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The violence left two dead, including one Christian. Reports at the scene said few police were present.

Iskandar Samir, another lawyer and relative of some of the defendants, said he would appeal the verdict. He described it as the “continuation of a series of sectarian rulings,” adding that few Muslims are ever held responsible for violence against Christians.

Ishaq Ibrahim, a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said investigations into the attack on the cathedral were never completed and no one stands charged. He lamented what he called selective justice in the case.

“This opens the door for more sectarian strife,” he said. “The prosecution neglected the investigation.”

Both the two lawyers and Ibrahim said one of those acquitted has been dead for five years, “raising questions about the prosecution’s handling of the case.”

With hundreds of people killed in the past three years of turmoil, rights groups have criticized prosecutors and police for weak evidence collection and shoddy prosecution. The groups say the weak process perpetuates a culture of impunity.

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© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Pete Hoekstra to Newsmax: Terrorism Growing ‘By Leaps and Bounds’ Under Obama.


The Obama administration’s confused and weak foreign policy is paving the way for terrorism to flourish, according to Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“We now are seeing a resurgent al-Qaida, a resurgent Islamist movement. They see America as weak. They are training and people are participating in Syria, other parts of the world,” Hoekstra told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“They’re participants; they’re fighting with al-Qaida and radical jihadists. They’re from the West, they’re from Europe, they’re from Canada, and, yes, they’re from the United States. They’re going to come back and we are growing this problem.

“This problem is not diminishing under this president. It is growing by leaps and bounds.”

He said Americans should be outraged by the “mess” being created by the White House on the world scene.

“Our friends no longer trust us, we’ve lost Egypt, Israel is beside itself – they’re alone. It appears their only ally now in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia. How does this happen?” he said.

Story continues below the video:

Hoekstra said the United States is perceived as no longer knowing who its friends and enemies are.

“This goes all the way back to early on when Obama moved into the White House. Remember the Green Revolution in 2009?” he said, referring to the massive anti-regime protests in Iran when then-incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed an election victory over his main opponent.

“The people go to the streets [and] whose side are we are we on? We’re on the side of the regime,” he said.

A similar siding occurred in Cairo during the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally, according to Hoekstra.

“The people go to the streets in Egypt, whose side are we on, we’re on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood who’s overthrowing Mubarak, someone who has been an ally for 20 to 30 years.”

He said that in Libya, the U.S. has allied with jihadists in the past.

“A lot of folks we don’t know who ended up attacking us in Benghazi and then this week we hear, oh, by the way, we’re negotiating with the Islamists in Syria,” he said.

“Then it’s like, wait a minute, don’t you understand the Islamists in Syria, they’re the ones that attacked us, or their friends are the ones that attacked us in Benghazi, killed Americans?”

See “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Court orders the leader of MEND Charles Okah for psychiatrist test.


Charles-Tombrah-Okah

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Wednesday, ordered Charles Okah, who is a younger brother to ex-leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Henry, be subjected to a psychiatric test.

The court directed that the test should be conducted with a view to ascertaining if Charles who is currently answering to a criminal allegation bothering on terrorism, is fit to stand trial.

Okah, alongside one Obi Nwabueze, are facing trial over the 2010 Independence Day twin bomb blasts at the Eagle Square, which caused the death of about 12 people, leaving several others injured.

It will be recalled that one of the alleged masterminds of the bombing, Mr Osvwo Tekemfa Francis, a.k.a ‘General-Gbokos’, died in prison while the trial was going on, even as the high court, in a separate judgment, jailed one of the accused persons, Edmund Ebiware, to life imprisonment.

All the accused persons were said to have superintended over varying terrorist activities that hitherto took place within the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country, including the bomb explosion that rocked a post amnesty programme that was organised by Vanguard Newspaper in Warri, Delta State.

Meanwhile, Charles, who has since gone to the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court to challenge his trial, was yesterday brought to court in a wheel chair by prison officials.

His lawyer, Mr John Ainetor, told the court that his client’s health condition has deteriorated, maintaining that Charles, who shook uncontrollably while inside the wheel chair yesterday, could no longer walk.

He alleged that the prison authorities denied him of adequate medical care, say6ing it was the sole reason why the accused, despite spirited efforts, could not stand in t6he dock yesterday.

In his response, the prosecutor, Dr Alex Iziyon, SAN, maintained that the accused person was deliberately trying to hoodwink the court into believing that he is not fit to stand trial.

Iziyon argued that the legal requirement that the accused must be fit to stand trial does not imply that he must be able to stand on his feet in court.

He contended that the law stipulated that he must be of sound mind and be conscious enough to understand happenings around him.

Iziyon, citing the case of former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, who was taken to court while in bed, and in a cage, and noted that if the law could allow a former president to be so treated, Okah, an ordinary citizen cannot hid under a doubtful claim of ill-health to evade trial.

He argued that the claim of ill-health was a part of the defence counsel’s strategy to continue to delay trial.

However, Justice Kolawole, drew attention of the lawyer to a medical report that was written on Okah by the prison authorities, which was equally endorsed by the Chief Consultant Neurologists at the National Hospital, Abuja.

Part of the report by the medical experts at the National Hospital was to the effect that by his conduct, there was need to subject Okah to Psychiatric evaluation, to ascertain his mental state.

Consequently, the court held that in view of such expert opinion, there was need to ascertain the exact mental status of the accused person.

“I am ready to exercise a little more patient”, the judge stated, even as he ordered that the accused be taken to the National Hospital for psychiatric evaluation within seven days from today.

The judge equally ordered that the report of the examination should be made available to the court through the court’s Deputy Registrar (Litigation).

He held that should it turn out that the accused (Okah) is not mentally stable enough to be subjected to trial, he should be transferred to a psychiatric home where he will remain until he is certified fit for trial.

The judge further held that the bill for the treatment and examination of the accused person should be paid by the Federal Government through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), just as the case was adjourned till January 15.

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

Source: Radio Biafra.

Ex-CIA Chief Woolsey: Time to ‘Build Bridges’ With Allies.


Allies are wary of the United States — for good reason — says former CIA Director James Woolsey.

That wariness comes from “having seen less American leadership in recent years on a number of important issues,” he writes in The Wall Street Journal.

In Syria, for example, “the U.S. is not even leading from behind but rather stumbling along behind,” Woolsey says, adding that France, for example, was clear about its policy toward Syria and was prepared to attack President Bashar Assad.

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In Iran, Woolsey writes, “wavering American leadership has also led the Europeans to fear that their tough economic sanctions may be subjected to a pre-emptive weakening, now that the Obama administration is avidly pursuing talks with Tehran over its nuclear program.”

Woolsey notes that U.S. allies “over the past several years, almost always including Britain, have taken action that is in America’s interest. But they have also rather frequently seen the U.S. make unilateral concessions to enemies and refuse to lead.”

U.S. allies, he writes, deserve an apology because, “[a]t our worst, we have suggested by our behavior that it is better to be an enemy of the United States (Assad) than a friend (Hosni Mubarak).”

The nation’s former top intelligence official must now offer a sense leadership and direction much as it during the Cold War.

“But even in the absence of such leadership, the U.S. can take another step to build necessary bridges with its allies,” Woolsey writes, noting that a good start would be to ease concerns over recent reports that the National Security Agency spied on the leaders of Germany and France.

“America already is part of the decades-old ‘Five Eyes’ pact with Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, agreeing to share intelligence and not to spy on each other. The U.S. should accede to recent requests from Germany and France to join the group,” Woolsey says.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Dan Weil

Egyptian Foreign Minister: Cairo-Washington Relations in Turmoil.


Image: Egyptian Foreign Minister: Cairo-Washington Relations in Turmoil

CAIRO — Relations between the United States and Egypt are now in turmoil and the entire Middle East could suffer, the Egyptian foreign minister said in remarks made a week after Washington moved to curtail military aid to Cairo.Nabil Fahmy told state-run Al-Ahram newspaper that Egypt had been dependent on U.S. aid for too long but Washington was wrong to assume the Cairo government would always follow its line.

“We are now in a delicate state reflecting the turmoil in the relationship and anyone who says otherwise is not speaking honestly,” he said in comments published on Wednesday.

U.S. officials said the aid cut reflected Washington’s unhappiness with Egypt’s path since the army overthrew freely-elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3.

Egypt has already criticized the decision and suggested it could turn to other countries for military aid, possibly Russia.

Egyptian security forces have cracked down hard on Islamists since the army seized power, killing hundreds and arresting thousands, including Morsi and other leaders accused of inciting or carrying out violence.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders say they face more severe repression than under veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled by a popular uprising in 2011. The army-backed government calls the Brotherhood terrorists.

Islamists accuse the military of staging a coup and sabotaging democratic gains made since Mubarak’s demise.

Egypt has long been the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel and its military – the largest in the Arab world — has worked closely with Washington for decades.

The United States now faces a policy dilemma — how to promote democracy while not alienating an Arab ally which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the strategic Suez Canal.

Fahmy said an extended period of instability in ties would “reflect negatively on the entire region, including American interests.”

The current situation was not solely the result of the U.S. decision to withhold aid, he said.

“The truth is that the problem goes back much earlier, and is caused by the dependence of Egypt on the U.S. aid for 30 years. [The aid] made us choose the easy option and not diversify our options,” he said.

The long-standing military relationship caused Washington to wrongly assume that Egypt would always go along with its policies and goals, Fahmy said.

TURN TO RUSSIA?

Most worrying for the United States is the possibility that the army will turn to a rival country for military aid.

Egypt’s army is exploring its options. Military sources told Reuters last week that the army is planning to diversify its source of weapons, including a possible turn to Russia.

The government has insisted Egypt would not bow to U.S. pressure, saying it found American policy strange at a time when the country was facing what it calls a war against terrorism.

U.S. military aid to Cairo, put at $1.3 billion a year, was born out of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

The State Department made clear it was not cutting off all aid and would continue military support for counterterrorism and security in the Sinai, bordering Israel, where al-Qaida-inspired militants have stepped up attacks on soldiers and police since Morsi’s overthrow.

Egypt’s Western allies had been trying to persuade the government and Muslim Brotherhood to engage in an inclusive political process, but neither side demonstrated enough flexibility to ease the crisis.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Freeze of Aid Whips Up Anti-US Sentiment in Egypt.


CAIRO — Washington’s decision to withhold millions of dollars in mostly military aid to Egypt is fueling anti-U.S. sentiment and the perception that Washington supports Mohammed Morsi, the Islamist president the military ousted in a July coup.

That could boost the popularity of the military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, whom the United States is trying to pressure to ensure a transition to democracy and ease the fierce crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

The aid freeze could also embolden Morsi’s supporters to intensify their campaign of street protests in the belief that the military-backed government is losing the goodwill of its top foreign backer.

The protests, met by a fierce response by security forces that has left hundreds dead, have kept the new government from tackling Egypt’s pressing problems after 2 ½ years of turmoil.

Still, Egypt’s military-backed government is unlikely to abandon the road map it announced when Morsi was removed in a July 3 coup — to amend the nation’s Islamist-tilted constitution and put the changes to a nationwide vote before the end of the year, and hold parliamentary and presidential ballots in early 2014.

“Egypt is not so desperate that it needs to compromise on its political agenda,” George Friedman, founder of the U.S.-based global intelligence firm, Stratfor, wrote this week. “The United States will be the one to eventually readjust to the old reality of backing unpopular regimes that can preserve U.S. influence in the Nile River Valley.”

Warnings that Washington might cut off aid were met with a defiant response in the Egyptian media.

“Let American aid go to hell,” screamed the banner headline of Thursday’s edition of Al-Tahrir, an independent daily that is a sworn critic of the Brotherhood and the United States.

Egyptian newspapers and television have for weeks taken a deeply hostile line toward the United States, portraying Washington as unhappy to see Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood lose power and lambasting it for allegedly meddling in Cairo’s affairs.

The United States announced it was freezing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, most of it meant for the armed forces, as a show of displeasure over Morsi’s ouster and the subsequent crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist allies. Washington said the aid would be restored if “credible progress” was made toward setting up an inclusive, democratically elected government.

In its announcement Wednesday, the State Department did not provide a dollar amount of what was being withheld, most of it linked to military aid, but officials in Washington said it included 10 Apache helicopters at a cost of more than $500 million, M1A1 tank kits and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

The United States. also is withholding $260 million in cash assistance to the government. The United States had already suspended the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets and canceled biennial U.S.-Egyptian military exercises.

In Egypt’s first official reaction, the Foreign Ministry said the United States move raised questions about Washington’s commitment to supporting the Arab nation’s security goals at a time when it is facing terrorist challenges.

That was a reference to a burgeoning insurgency by Islamic militants, some with al-Qaida links, in the strategic Sinai Peninsula, as well as scattered attacks in other parts of the country.

In its statement, the Foreign Ministry said Cairo was keen to maintain good relations with Washington, but will independently decide its domestic policies. It also said Egypt will work to secure its “vital needs” on national security, a thinly veiled threat that it would shop elsewhere for arms and military hardware.

One official said the military was considering stripping U.S. warships of preferential treatment in transiting the Suez Canal or curbing use of Egypt’s air space by U.S. military aircraft. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue with the media.

Cairo has built close ties with Washington in the 34 years since Egypt became the first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel. The aid has long been seen as Washington’s reward for Egypt’s commitment to peace after it fought four wars against Israel between 1948 and 1973.

The Egyptian military may have gained the most from those close relations, using $1.3 billion annually to replace its aging Soviet-era arms and warplanes with high-tech American weapon systems, state of the art jet-fighters, Apache gunships and battlefield tanks.

Over the years, thousands of Egyptian officers from all branches of the military traveled to the United States for training or to attend military schools.

The biennial war games, codenamed “Bright Star,” gave the two militaries large-scale human contact in a simulated battlefield and in 1991, Egyptian troops fought alongside the Americans as part of the U.S.-led coalition that drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

El-Sissi, a career infantry officer who attended the U.S. War Academy, has credited the United States for its huge role in modernizing the Egyptian military over the past three decades.

In a three-part interview published this week in a Cairo daily, he said he appreciated the dilemma the Obama administration found itself in after Morsi’s ouster, having to carefully navigate between respect for U.S. laws on aid to foreign nations where a democratically elected government is toppled and a reliable ally that has for decades safeguarded its interests in a volatile and strategic region.

But the suspension is unlikely to push him to back down.

The military-backed regime in Egypt enjoys the support of key Arab nations, including ones with deep pockets like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These allies have poured billions of dollars into Egypt’s anemic coffers and are likely to continue to do so to win the common fight against Islamists.

The 58-year-old el-Sissi, who has not ruled out a presidential run in elections due next year, stands to gain more popularity at home. In a country where anti-U.S. sentiment runs high, mostly over Washington’s perceived bias in support of Israel, anyone seen to be standing up to the United States gains in popularity.

Already el-Sissi is being widely compared to the late charismatic president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, whose socialist-leaning rule and tense relations with Washington earned him near divine status among Egyptians and fellow Arabs.

In contrast, Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s toppled autocratic leader, jealously protected and maintained close ties with the U.S. from the time he took office in 1981 and for the next 29 years. One goal of the revolution that toppled him was to end what many Egyptians see as Washington’s undue influence over Cairo’s policies under Mubarak.

“The popular mood does not seem to care” about the aid suspension, said Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a prominent Egyptian scholar who has a dual-Egyptian-U.S. nationality. “As a matter of fact, most Egyptians who can speak out feel, ‘Just as well, we would like to end this Catholic marriage with the U.S.,'” he told Associated Press Television in an interview.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Pundits Slam Obama for Egypt Aid Cut.


Image: Pundits Slam Obama for Egypt Aid Cut

Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi demonstrate against the military in Cairo on Oct. 4.

By Elliot Jager

The Obama Administration’s decision Wednesday to suspend military aid to Egypt has been met with criticism across the political spectrum with U.S. conservatives warning it will bolster the Islamist opposition and beleaguered Egyptians seeing it as too late to promote democracy.

Senior administration officials in a background briefing to reporters confirmed that the U.S. would not provide $260 million in cash assistance now in the pipeline — part of $1.2 billion in annual military aid. Also being embargoed is delivery of F-16s, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles, and Apaches helicopters. The U.S. had already postponed a joint military exercise. Food and other civilian aid to the mostly impoverished country of 85 million is unaffected.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel — the administration’s point man on Egypt — and Gen. Abdel el-Sisi who heads the interim government agreed that counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation would continue.

Critics say the policy sends the wrong signal. “The aid cutoff will be trumpeted by the administration as a sign that it is serious about supporting democracy and upholding the rule of law. But if the goal here is to help end the violence in Egypt or bolster stability in the region, this is the worst mistake President Obama can make,” Jonathan Tobin wrote in Commentary. “The choice in Egypt is not between democracy and the military but between an Islamist dictatorship and secular authoritarians.”

The Wall Street Journal cautioned that “The U.S. is managing to anger nearly everyone in Cairo. The Islamists who demand President Morsi’s return and the shrinking band of liberal democrats will see this as continued U.S. support for the generals. The generals get to feel the back of Washington’s hand without being given an incentive to change their behavior at home. Israel is also upset, since its peace with Cairo was premised in part on U.S. aid.”

Writing in The New Republic, Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy termed the aid cut-off “a terrible mistake.”

He characterized it as “lose-lose” because it “will cost Washington substantial influence within Egypt without achieving any gains for either American geo-strategy or democratic prospects within Egypt.”

To ordinary Egyptians, the BBC reported, American policy looks to be in tatters along with America’s “reputation and credibility.”

The administration can expect the backing of at least one Republican. Sen. John McCain of Arizona has long pushed for the aid cut-off.

The Egyptian military has been ruling the country since the July ouster of Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government. He had been freely elected to replace Hosni Mubarak, the country’s aged authoritarian ruler, who was forced to step down in February 2011 in the face of massive street protests.

Since July, el-Sisi’s security forces have put down pro-Morsi Islamist protests leaving between up to 2,000 dead and many thousands injured.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Egypt Court Bans All Muslim Brotherhood Activities.


Image: Egypt Court Bans All Muslim Brotherhood Activities

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from carrying out any activities in the country and ordered the seizure of the group’s funds, widening a campaign to debilitate the Islamist movement of deposed President Mohammed Morsi.

“The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its nongovernmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and any organization derived from it,” said the presiding judge Mohammed al-Sayed.

The court ordered the government to seize the Brotherhood’s funds and administer its frozen assets.

The army-backed government is waging the toughest crackdown in decades on the Islamist group, which says it has a million members. Security forces killed hundreds of its supporters and rounded up thousands more since Morsi was deposed by the army on July 3 after mass protests against his rule.

The Brotherhood won parliamentary and presidential elections after veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi‘s toppling of Morsi triggered a political crisis in the Arab world‘s most populous state, with the Brotherhood insisting that a military coup robbed them of power.

The court decision is likely to drive more Brotherhood members underground and it may encourage young Islamists to take up arms against the state.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Egypt Bans Muslim Brotherhood Terror Group.


Obama’s foreign policy implosion

In a stinging rebuke to US president Barack Obama’s support of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt has just passed a law and made it a crime to be a member of said group in any way, shape or form. Looks like its back to the drawing board for Obama’s master plan of creating a Muslim Brotherhood-based country.

Are you listening, America?

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

egypt-rejects-barack-obama-support-for-muslim-brotherhood-antiobama

Every Egyptian is well aware of US president Barack Obama’s fervent support for the Muslim Brotherhood, even if American media won’t report on it.

The ruling opens the door for a wider crackdown on the vast network of the Brotherhood, which includes social organizations that have been key for building the group’s grassroots support and helping its election victories. The verdict banned the group itself – including the official association it registered under earlier this year – as well as “any institution branching out of it or … receiving financial support from it,” according to the court ruling, made public on Egypt’s state official news agency MENA.

The judge at the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters also ordered the “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets, and buildings” and said that an independent committee should be formed by the Cabinet to manage the money until final court orders are issued. The verdict can be appealed.

The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence. But after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly, formed a political party and rose to power in a string of post-Mubarak elections. In March, it registered as a recognized non-governmental organization.

“This is totalitarian decision,” leading group member Ibrahim Moneir said in an interview with Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV. “You are losers and it (the Brotherhood) will remain with God’s help, not by the orders by the judiciary of el-Sissi,” he added, referring to military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the overthrow of Morsi on July 3.

The court did not immediately make public the grounds for its ruling. The verdict came in a suit raised by lawyers from the leftist party Tagammu party, accusing the Brotherhood of being a “terrorist” and “exploiting religion in political slogans.” Several other courts are looking into similar suits. source – AP.

by Geoffrey Grider

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