News / Middle East

Egypt Arrests Muslim Brotherhood Members, Supporters Under Terror Law

Tensions Swell Between Brotherhood, Egypt's Militaryi
X
December 26, 2013 10:07 PM
Egypt’s interim government has labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization, a designation rejected by Brotherhood supporters, who are vowing to continue protests that began in July when the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi who came from the Brotherhood. Arash Arabasadi has more.
VIDEO: Egypt’s interim government has labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization, a designation rejected by Brotherhood supporters, who are vowing to continue protests that began in July when the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Edward Yeranian
A roadside explosion blew out the windows of a passenger bus in a Cairo suburb Thursday, injuring five people. The blast came one day after Egypt's military-installed interim government criminalized the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, further cracking down on a movement that had risen to power in national elections last year.

Authorities on Thursday arrested at least 18 Muslim Brotherhood members, including a former member of parliament and a son of a top leader, on the grounds of belonging to a terrorist group. The action came after Egypt's interim government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, broadening its authority to move against the the country's largest opposition group.

The interim government has arrested most of the Brotherhood's top leaders since the military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, following large popular demonstrations against him. A year earlier, in June 2012, Morsi was elected Egypt's first civilian president with 51.7 percent of the popular vote.

A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
x
A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
Protests erupted in the wake of Morsi's overthrow. Army-backed security forces killed hundreds of his supporters while dispersing their protests in two major sit-in camps in Cairo, and arrested thousands more including most of the Muslim Brotherhood's top leadership.

In a Cairo suburb, Egyptian police combed through the wreckage of a red city bus Thursday morning, picking through shards of glass from blown out windows. A police detective said another homemade bomb was found nearby.

The Muslim Brotherhood

  • Egypt's largest and oldest Islamist organization
  • Was banned under Hosni Mubarak
  • The Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was elected president in 2012
  • The Brotherhood won the most seats in 2012 parliamentary elections
  • Brotherhood supporters have staged massive protests since Morsi's ouster
  • Egypt outlawed the group again in September 2013
  • Egypt's military-installed government declared it a terrorist organization in December 2013
He pointed to an explosive device and said it was hidden inside an commercial billboard and appears to be homemade. He displayed what appeared to be a cooking pot, and he said it was built to pack a punch and cause as much damage as possible.

A doctor at the Nasr City hospital where blast victims were taken indicated that most of the injuries were from shrapnel. He said no one died, but that five people were wounded, one of them seriously.

The Interior Ministry described the attack as an attempt to intimidate voters ahead of a referendum next month on a new constitution, part of a plan for a democratic transition. The constitution will replace the one adopted while the Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt's parliament.

The decision to declare the group a terrorist organization followed a Tuesday bombing, which left 15 dead and scores wounded outside a police headquarters in Mansoura, north of Cairo.

Said Sadek, who teaches political sociology at the American University in Cairo, says the government move against the Brotherhood follows public outrage at the spate of recent terrorist attacks in the Sinai and several Egyptian cities.

A little-known militant group calls itself "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis" claimed responsibility for the attacks. The Sinai-based group voiced contempt for the Brotherhood for lack of militancy.

Sadek said the declaration could scare away many of the Brotherhood's less committed members.

"The government position is a psychological blow to the Muslim Brotherhood social base. It will undermine the membership in the group, because members of the Muslim Brotherhood are not all at the same level of ideological commitment and dedication, and it may push some people to freeze their membership or not be active because they are scared," said Sadek.

A spokesman for Egypt's Interior Ministry told government TV Thursday that anyone participating in Brotherhood protests would be sentenced to five years in prison. He added that leaders of the group could receive the death penalty.

  • Activists shout anti-terrorism slogans as they hold posters with Arabic slogans that read, "Egypt is entrusted to us. The army and people are one hand," during a rally in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • An activist holds a sign with an anti-terrorism picture and Arabic that reads "terrorists brotherhood" during an anti-terrorism demonstration in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • Bus driver Adel Abd El Fatah sits inside a damaged bus after a bomb blast near the Al-Azhar University campus in Cairo's Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
  • Egyptians carry the coffin of a victim killed in an explosion at a police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, Egypt, Dec. 24, 2013.
  • An Egyptian man makes his way through rubble at the scene of an explosion at a police headquarters building in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, Egypt, Dec. 24, 2013.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid