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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs