White House to designate Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation

White House to designate Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organisation

According to reports, President Donald Trump met with staunchly anti-Islamist Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi earlier this month and is now working to formally deem the Muslim Brotherhood - the worldwide Islamist group that serves as the mother's milk for much of the Sunni extremism that plagues the Arab world - a terrorist organization.

The Times reports that national security and diplomatic officials began discussing the move after Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi held a private meeting with Trump at the White House on April 9th.

President Donald Trump is seeking to blacklist the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, a far-reaching step that would place the United States firmly on the side of its authoritarian allies in the Middle East.

The United States government is considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said it would continue to work in line with "our moderate and peaceful thinking", regardless of moves by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to designate it a foreign terrorist organisation.

"There is not a single American expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who supports designating them" as a terrorist group, he continued.

The proposal to designate the group set off a debate within Trump's national security team, the senior US official said.

More news: Seattle college says student was among those killed by crane

The Egyptian government blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for a 2013 suicide bomb attack on a police station that killed 16 people.

The Times also said the decision has caused infighting at the White House, including during a meeting held last week by the National Security Council that included top officials from different departments.

While the group has existed for almost a century, the Muslim Brotherhood rose to global prominence in 2011 and 2012 during the "Arab Spring", a series of uprisings and revolutions across the Muslim world.

Daniel Benjamin, former counterterrorism coordinator at the State Department, said the department looked into designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in 2017 and 2018 and concluded that there was no legal basis for a designation.

A Cairo High State Security Emergency Criminal Court sentenced Hassan Malek, a businessman affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, to 25 years in prison on Tuesday. Sisi came to power in 2013 through a military coup that ousted the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader.

Turkey is under threat of USA sanctions if it pursues plans to purchase Russian S-400 missile defence systems, which are not compatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems.

Related Articles