Egypt, on the forefront in fighting terrorism, remains committed to eradicating Islamist extremism. “There is a global campaign of terrorism, and the only way to confront it is through a comprehensive global response that deals with the entirety of the threat,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement this week following a wave of attacks on government targets.
On Thursday, a roadside bomb detonated wounding 20 Egyptian policemen in North Sinai’s provincial capital of El-Arish. The policemen were traveling on a bus on leave in the volatile area. Three of the wounded were in critical condition, reported AFP. Also on Thursday, an Egyptian police detective was shot dead outside his home in the governorate of Beni Suef by unknown attackers. He was shot in the neck and chest, according to the Health Ministry in the province.
Egypt has been facing a wave of terrorists attacks launched by the Muslim Brotherhood after the removal of Morsi. The Foreign Ministry held a press conference over the weekend to discuss with the press the latest attacks int he Sinai. In a memo provided at the conference, the Foreign Ministry wrote:
At the core of this terrorist scourge is the toxic ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which continues to spread hate and fear across the globe. In Egypt today we still witness the negative effect of the political inspired by Sayd Qutb, the godfather of the Muslim Brotherhood and his followers who championed violence manifested in their foiled assassination of president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954. His anti-western, anti-Semitic and anti-secularist school of thought continues today to serve as a manifesto for radical groups such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh.
In conversation with a senior Egyptian security official, he stated that there has been a new phase of escalation of violence perpetrated against the Egyptian state and people by the Brotherhood. This comes after some of the senior members of the Brotherhood received capital punishment sentences, and after a fatwa was issued by the highest council of the Brotherhood.
He stated that in the last three months, they have noticed from monitoring the Brotherhood organization that they have devised a new project called the “jihadist operations.” “Senior leaders and about 150 members of the Brotherhood of the so called “ulamas” or high scholars of the Brotherhood signed a document that justified the inevitability of jihad,” he explained.
He said this was a “radical transformation” of the Brotherhood’s dealing with the domestic situation. “Since then, the Brotherhood has allocated finances in order to escalate terror attacks.”
MEMRI reported that on May 27, 2015, a group of 159 pro-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) clerics and 10 pro-MB religious bodies from across the Arab and Muslim world posted a document calling for the overthrow of President el-Sisi and restoring Morsi to the presidency.
The Muslim Brotherhood has recently called for a rebellion against President Sisi after nine of the group’s leaders were killed in a raid, reported AP.
In the statement issued by the Brotherhood, it said, “Come out in rebellion and in defense of your country, yourselves and your children,” AP reported. “Destroy the citadels of his oppression and tyranny and reclaim Egypt once more.”
The Brotherhood called the killings “a turning point that will have its own repercussions… el-Sissi is initiating a new phase during which it will not be possible to control the anger of the oppressed sectors who will not accept to be killed in their own houses and in the middle of their families.”
RCSS (The Regional Center for Strategic Studies) in Cairo reported that the “Recent Statements made by the Muslim Brotherhood highlight a dangerous shift in their ideological and organizational framework which rationalizes and condones armed violence.”
“Muslim Brotherhood is a political, economic and military organization,” says Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly, Director and Chairman of RCSS (The Regional Center for Strategic Studies). “ISIS is a military organization with a target of establishing a state but don’t have any politics of any sort.” He continued, “They know only how to kill and only depend on killing.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood has much more nuanced strategy using media, deception, sometimes negotiating-they have a much more sophisticated membership and economic structure. They have companies, banks and global reach,” he noted.
“The international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is the mother organization of all terrorist organizations,” said the senior Egyptian security official. “The Brotherhood has several designations,” he noted. “For example, Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt), The Revolutionary Retribution Movement, or the Rabaa al-Adaweya and al-Nahda groups.”
“ABM (Ansar Bait al-Maqdis), or the Sinai Province, who pledged allegiance to ISIL, they all share the same ideology and share the same thoughts on religion,” he said. The various groups are merely front names, he explained, that allow them to distract the security services from following the path of the Muslim Brotherhood. “The Brotherhood allocated funds in order to support ABM (Ansar Bait al-Maqdis). It also gives orders to Hamas in Gaza Strip,” he noted. Hamas is the military wing of the Brotherhood, he concluded.
The official noted that the Brotherhood gives orders to Hamas and some of the “takfiri groups and elements” in the Gaza Strip, like the Army of Islam, led by the terrorist leader Mumtaz Daghmash (listed on the U.S. designated list of terrorists), and groups such as Monotheism and Jihad, in order to mount attacks inside Egypt through infiltrating the tunnels.
“The Brotherhood provides logistical and financial support to the terrorist groups in the Sinai,” he stated. They share ideologies, he added, which enables their cooperation. “All these are takfir groups with the radical ideology regardless of the names, hundreds of names, but they all share the same radical ideology,” he said.
“The Brotherhood uses its own affiliated organizations worldwide and charity organizations in more than 70 countries in order to have money laundering and use that money to support the aspirations of the terrorist organizations to flourish and spread,” he explained.
“We have many documents that [show] many members of the Muslim Brotherhood are fighting in Syria and Iraq, fighting side by side with ISIL. We have confirmation that the Muslim Brotherhood has allocated funds and has closely cooperated with ABM in order to coordinate attacks in the Sinai,” he stated.
He continued saying that the documents prove that the Brotherhood is fully responsible for the terrorist attacks inside Egypt. “There is also clear orders and instructions by the senior members of the Brotherhood to target all commanders and leaders in the military, police and judiciary.”
He noted that the last order they [Brotherhood] have taken is the assassination of the late general Hisham Barakat. “That is why I ask you to read the court ruling of Morsi and his lieutenants. By reading the court ruling, you will know quite well that this organization has turned into a terrorist in the full sense of the word.”
He said that the finances are used to feed violence in order to achieve the objectives of the group. “Confrontation with the State happened in 1954, 1965 and now recently since August 2013. Their objectives have never changed, using explosives, trying to demolish and bring down the State.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood is an international organization, like the fascist and communist parties in the past. Some are freely working in Turkey, Europe and Qatar. It is about time to at least address the funneling of resources for what they do here,” said Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly.
Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in 2013. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The UK is currently conducting an investigation on the Brotherhood. The United States designated Hamas, the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, as a terrorist organization in 1997, but has yet to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would freeze funding that is allocated towards terrorist activity around the world.
Tera Dahl is Executive Director of the Council on Global Security.