The efforts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to officially label the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a foreign terrorist organization has earned the support of various Arab allies of the United States, Fox News has learned.
“It would be a positive step forward indeed,” declared Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, the Egyptian Ambassador to the United Nations, in response to a question from Fox News last week.
The West is suffering from “laziness and must do its homework,” Salman Al-Ansari, president of the Saudi American Public Affairs Committee, also told the news network, adding:
The U.S. needs to confront the evils of the Brotherhood as soon as possible. If you have Saudi Arabia saying the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group, if you have Egypt and the United Arab Emirates [UAE] saying it’s a terrorist group, then what should stop the U.S. from designating the MB as a terrorist group as long there are hundreds of pieces of evidence that prove this fact?
U.S. Muslim-majority allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt have all banned MB as a terrorist organization.
Soon after taking office in January of this year, a debate erupted within the Trump administration over adding the Muslim Brotherhood to the State Department and Treasury lists of foreign terrorist organizations (FTO).
Fox News learned that the debate to label MB a terrorist group continues inside the White House.
“The fight is far from over,” a senior administration official told the news network, noting, “The commitment inside the West Wing to the question of designating the Brotherhood has not waned.”
The Trump administration is acutely aware of MB’s jihadist roots, according to the official.
He told Fox News, “The White House completely understands how the modern global jihadi threat, which the president has rightly described as radical Islamic terrorism, can be driven back at its roots to the Brotherhood.”
Over the tenure of the previous administration, Republicans in Congress offered legislation to label the Brotherhood a terror organization to no avail.
“This president is unprepared to follow the disastrous policies of prior administrations, especially the Obama White House’s empowering of the Brotherhood that led to the catastrophic consequences of the so-called Arab Spring and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from the Sinai [in Egypt] to Sinjar [in Iraq],” the Trump administration official told Fox News.
Back in January, Reuters reported that some officials within the administration were hesitant at the time to back the designation.
“Trump advisors, as well as many veteran national security, diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence officials argue the Brotherhood has evolved peacefully in some countries,” noted Reuters.
The embattled nation of Qatar has reportedly provided sanctuary to MB for years.
President Trump has come out in support of Saudi Arabia for condemning Qatar’s relationship with Iran and terrorist groups like MB.
Despite the strained links between the United States and Qatar, America’s NATO ally Turkey has maintained its relationship with Doha.
In February, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came out in defense of MB, rebuking U.S. efforts to list the group as a terrorist organization.
Christopher Holton of the Center for Security Policy told Fox News that it is essential to designate the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in the United States.
The Center for Security Policy has been a staunch supporter of labeling MB a terror group.
“As the Egyptian ambassador well knows, the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood are identical to those of all the jihadist organizations, such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hamas: the establishment of an Islamic state ruled by Sharia,” Holton told Fox News.
He blamed the “the Swamp in the State Department” and Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster for preventing MB’s terror designation so far.