News / Middle East

Egyptian Police Crack Down on Brotherhood Supporters; One Killed

Egyptian security officials inspect the wreckage of a bus that was damaged by an explosion in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
Egyptian security officials inspect the wreckage of a bus that was damaged by an explosion in Cairo, Dec. 26, 2013.
Reuters
Egypt escalated its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday, detaining at least 16 of the group's supporters on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization the day after it was declared one by the government.

One person was killed on Thursday when student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood clashed with residents of a Cairo district where they were protesting, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
 
The activists were held in the Nile Delta province of Sharkiya on suspicion of “promoting the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood group, distributing its leaflets, and inciting violence against the army and police,” the state news agency said.
 
Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
x
Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
Egyptian police stand guard after an explosion has hit a public bus in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district, Dec. 26, 2013.
The government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group on Wednesday in response to a suicide attack a day earlier that killed 16 in the Nile Delta, accusing the group of carrying out the bombing. The Brotherhood condemned the attack.

The government did not provide evidence to back up the charge that the Brotherhood had staged the Nile Delta attack in Mansoura, north of Cairo, which was claimed by the Sinai-based radical Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. 

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has derides the Brotherhood for its lack of militancy, has taken responsibility for several other major bombings, including a failed attempt to kill the interior minister in September.
 
​Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif told state TV on Thursday that anyone taking part in Brotherhood protests would be jailed for five years. “The sentence could be death for those who lead this organization,” he added.
 
Earlier in the day a bomb explosion in Cairo wounded five people, and Latif said a second similar home-made device was found nearby and dismantled.
 
The Brotherhood's Islamist allies responded defiantly to the cabinet decision announced late on Wednesday, vowing to continue the protests it has staged against the army since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.
 
“The putchists are a terrorist organization. The Brotherhood are peaceful patriots,” they said in a statement.
 
Driven underground
 
Wednesday's move marked an escalation in the government's campaign to suppress the Islamist movement that propelled Morsi to the presidency 18 months ago but has been driven underground since the army toppled him in July after big protests against him.
 
In the weeks after Morsi's removal, the security forces killed hundreds of his supporters while dispersing their protest camps, and arrested thousands more including most of the Brotherhood's top leadership.
 
Though the Brotherhood has been outlawed for most of its existence, this is the first time it has been formally listed as a terrorist organization.
 
FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.
x
FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.
FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi (R), speaking from the defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo, Egypt.
State prosecutors last week ordered Morsi and others to stand trial on charges including terrorism for which they could be executed. A Brotherhood activist, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of arrest, said the new decision seemed aimed at deterring further protests against the government.
 
The cabinet said terrorism charges could be applied to anyone who finances or promotes the group “verbally and in writing”. Publication of the Brotherhood's newspaper, Freedom and Justice, was halted in response to the decision.
 
“We will continue with the protests. Peaceful action is the hope,” said the activist from Alexandria.
 
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
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, the pro-Morsi coalition, called for a “week of anger” and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Brotherhood, called for protests on Friday after the cabinet's move.
 
​The public prosecutor's office, which is investigating the Mansoura bombing, said there would be no comment until its investigation was complete.
 
Bombings and shootings targeting the security forces have become commonplace, with around 350 soldiers and policemen killed. The state has declared itself in “a war on terror”.
 
Most of the attacks have been in the Sinai Peninsula, though the Mansoura attack suggested the violence is spreading to the more heavily populated areas of the Nile Valley and Delta.
 
The government has said violence will not derail its political transition plan. The next step is a mid-January referendum on a new constitution.
  • 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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More