Trump pushing to classify Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization

In a private meeting without reporters and photographers, el-Sisi urged the U.S. president to join Egypt in labeling the movement a terrorist organization.

By World Israel News Staff

The Trump administration is acting toward designating the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, according to the New York Times, which cites officials familiar with the matter.

After talks were held in Washington on April 9 between President Donald Trump and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the White House reportedly directed national security and diplomatic officials to find a way to place sanctions on the group. The Brotherhood ruled Egypt in the aftermath of the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. The movement’s leader, Mohamed Morsi ,won the presidential election that followed in June 2012.

Now, however, the Muslim Brotherhood is a force of opposition to President el-Sissi.

In a private meeting without reporters and photographers, President El-Sissi urged the American leader to join Egypt in labeling the movement a terrorist organization, says the Times.

Earlier this month, President Trump announced that the U.S. was designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization as part of an effort to increase international pressure on Tehran.

Such a move imposes wide-ranging economic and travel sanctions on companies and individuals who interact with the targeted group. The president responded affirmatively to Mr. el-Sissi, saying it would make sense, says the newspaper report. Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers have interpreted that as a commitment, said officials cited by the Times as sources.

However, these officials also say that the proposal prompted fierce debate within the administration, including at a senior-level meeting convened last week by the White House National Security Council.

The newspaper says that in a statement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, acknowledged that the administration was working on designating the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists. “The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” she said.

National security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly support the idea, but the Pentagon, as well as career national security staff, government lawyers, and diplomatic officials have voiced legal and policy objections and are searching for a more limited step that would satisfy the White House, reports the Times.