General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Egyptian military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seeks to put a nail in the
coffin of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Sisi has been taking advantage
of, and consolidating his powerful position, using the military-backed
government to carry out a relentless crackdown on ousted former president
Mohamed Morsi’s Brotherhood, which is the country’s main opposition movement.
Sisi has been throwing the group’s leadership and members in jail
breaking up any protests
, while continuing to pursue a military campaign against
terrorism in Sinai
, the upsurge which is believed to be linked to the
Brotherhood’s fall from power.
But despite the crackdown, the Brotherhood
and its allies have still been able to muster protesters in the streets and
universities. This may signal to the country’s leadership that the local
organization is still functioning, thus justifying more severe
On Wednesday, Egypt’s public prosecutor charged Morsi and 35
other top Islamists
with conspiring with foreign groups to commit terrorist acts
in Egypt, in a case that could result in their execution.
a research fellow at the Hudson Institutes’s Center for Religious Freedom, told
The Jerusalem Post
: “These are certainly wild charges.”
He said there
were many contradictions in the allegations, and little that made
“It seems like various bits and pieces were lumped together to
create a picture with no attention given to its contradictory details,” he said.
“Whether this is part of the new regime’s pressure on the Brotherhood to force
concessions, or part of the ongoing propaganda campaign against the Brotherhood,
or if they will actually bring such a case to court remains to be
Zvi Mazel, who served as Israel’s sixth ambassador to Egypt and
today is a fellow at The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a contributor
to this newspaper, told the Post
that there was no doubt that the new regime
sought to neutralize the Brotherhood with its legal action.
“On the other
hand, there is a basis of truth to the allegations,” he said.
evidence that the Brotherhood had connections with Hamas and Hezbollah, Mazel
said, adding that there were possibly ties to jihadists in Sinai as
Asked if Egypt would execute Morsi or other leaders, Mazel
responded that he did not think this would occur, but that it would provide the
legal case for their incarceration.
While Morsi and other Brotherhood
leaders remain behind bars or on the run, it is not enough for Sisi, who seeks a
complete victory over the main opposition movement.
Sisi is not allowing
any dissension or leaving anything to chance, going so far as to take one of the
country’s most popular comedians off the air
for criticizing the
Sisi has enjoyed positive media coverage and public support
since the July 3 coup that ousted Morsi from power.
In a possible sign
that Sisi may make a presidential bid, former presidential candidate Amr Moussa
said on Tuesday that he strongly backs him for president.
Fattah al-Sisi refuses to run [for the presidency], we will urge him to do so,”
Moussa said, according to a report by Ahram Online.Reuters contributed
to this report.