By Michele Bachmann
If the decision of the interim government of Egypt is to consider the organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, then the United States should follow.
From the time of Hassan al-Banna and the “secret apparatus” staging terror attacks across Egypt and the assassinations of Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha and judge Ahmed El-Khazindar in 1948, to the ongoing attacks on Coptic Christians and churches and the terror campaign targeting the military in the Sinai and elsewhere, the Muslim Brotherhood has always kept terrorism as part of its arsenal and living up to their motto, “Jihad is our way.”
We’ve seen the Brotherhood engage in a two-faced policy of publicly condemning terrorism to media outlets in the West, and then supporting terrorism when they think no one is looking. When they get caught, the predictable response is to claim that they were misquoted or taken out of context. This is why Alain Chouet, the former head of the French Security Intelligence Service, observed that “like every fascist movement on the trail to power, the Brotherhood has achieved perfect fluency in double-speak.”
After the 25 January Revolution, the Obama administration and the American media fell for this double-speak, embracing the so-called “moderate Muslim Brotherhood.”
But as the people of Egypt quickly discovered, they were anything but moderate. Under former President Morsi’s brief tenure, the Muslim Brotherhood’s program of extremism was given a green light. Following his election, one of Morsi’s first agenda items was to demand the release of convicted terrorist leader Shiek Omar Abdel Rahman from American prison. The “Blind Sheik” was convicted in his role in federal court for his leadership role in authorising the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned follow-up “Day of Terror” attack. Morsi also released scores of convicted terrorists from Egyptian jails.
Under the Morsi regime attacks against women and religious minorities, including Coptic Christians and Shi’ites, increased dramatically with no response from the government. In April, when mobs and police attacked a funeral at St. Mark’s Cathedral, killing at least one mourner, one of Morsi’s top aides took to Facebook to blame the Coptic Christians for the attacks. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party have continued to incite violence against the Coptic community since Morsi’s removal
When Morsi issued his 22 November, 2012 declaration claiming that his power was beyond the review of the courts and that all his decrees could not be appealed – effectively declaring himself dictator – the Obama administration issued no condemnations. As protestors were being tortured by Muslim Brotherhood cadres in front of the presidential palace, the United States was continuing with plans to send planes, tanks, tear gas and financial aid to the Morsi regime over the protests from myself and many of my colleagues in both chambers of the United States Congress.
As Egyptians were being jailed and tried for “defamation” and “insulting the president” and after Morsi appointed a former Jamaa Islamiya terrorist leader as governor of the Luxor Governorate, where his terror group had attacked and killed 62 tourists in 1997, Obama’s Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson gave a speech in Cairo just days before the 30 June Tamarod protests continuing to back Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In October 2003, the former counter-terrorism “czar” for both President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Richard Clarke, testified before the US Senate that virtually every Islamic terrorist organisation in the world had in common membership and inspiration from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only has virtually every leader of Al-Qaeda passed through the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, but several of the 9/11 hijackers, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, were known to have been radicalised through the Brotherhood.
In February 2011, just days after Mubarak announced he was stepping down, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller told the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”
The move in Egypt to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation is one born out of urgent necessity and the group’s long history of terror. If this decision is made by the Egyptian government then the United States should follow. The designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation is warranted and long overdue.
Michele Bachmann is an American Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, and a former U.S. presidential candidate.