Obama Punishing Egypt for Punishing Muslim Brotherhood

All around the globe – from the far east to the middle east to Europe and even to North America – governments have been unable to effectively deal with Muslim Brotherhood-inspired movements. In recent history, there has been one glaring exception – in Egypt. It’s found the antidote for a virus that has been running rampant all over the world.

Obama: Punishing Egypt for Punishing Brotherhood.

Obama: Punishing Egypt for Punishing Brotherhood.

Yet, despite this, the Obama administration is punishing Egypt for not engaging in more Muslim Brotherhood outreach. The New York Times reported that military aid to the country is being withheld precisely for punitive reasons:

To signal its displeasure at the Egyptian military’s bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, officials said, the United States would withhold the delivery of several big-ticket items, including Apache attack helicopters, Harpoon missiles, M1-A1 tank parts and F-16 warplanes, as well as $260 million for the general Egyptian budget. {emphasis ours}

Regardless of where one comes down relative to whether the ouster of Mohammed Mursi was a coup or not, one thing is plain. The Egyptian government led by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi is in the process of neutralizing and defeating the Muslim Brotherhood like no other nation. Shortly after Mursi’s removal, the new Egyptian government began arresting the group’s leaders and hasn’t let up. In fact, last month an Egyptian court banned the group.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the umbrella group for Al-Qaeda, Ansar Al-Sharia, Hamas, Boko Haram, The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Al-Shabaab, and countless others. To illustrate just how large the Brotherhood’s global reach is, consider that Al-Shabaab, the group that claimed responsibility for the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya last month, has cells all over Africa, not just in Somalia / Kenya.

A Kenyan Intelligence document obtained by Sky News reveals how extensive the group’s reach is:

The intelligence report, which is 35 pages long, gives a detailed breakdown of how the network is operating throughout Africa with recruits and cells working in a huge range of countries including Somalia, Uganda, Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mali and South Africa as well as further afield in Yemen and Pakistan.

Back to the New York Times article, which reports that some aid will continue to be sent to Egypt:

Among the assistance that will be untouched, officials said, are programs to train and educate Egyptian military officials in the United States; the delivery of spare parts for many American-supplied weapons; and aid for health care, education and the promotion of business in Egypt. {emphasis ours}

It’s at minimum ironic, that the U.S. would withhold aid from a government that is cracking down on the Brotherhood but keep aid in place that would train that government’s military officials in the U.S. One such military official – Tarek Taha Abu Al-Azm – was trained by the U.S. Air Force and is a lead suspect in the Benghazi attack of 9/11/12. As we reported, by formally identifying the Jamal Network as a terrorist entity, the U.S. State Department included Al-Azm as a terrorist as well; he was a leader with the group and was arrested by Egyptian security officials in October of 2012.

Al-Azm: Benghazi Suspect who was trained by USAF.

Al-Azm: Benghazi Suspect who was trained by USAF.

The times then quotes a woman who leads a group that holds regular forums with Muslim Brotherhood members, sympathizers, and apparatchiks through the U.S.-Islamic World Forum (US-IWF). In that regard, it might have been preferable for her to issue full disclosure:

Some experts said the moves were meant to be more symbolic than substantive.

“This is not a signal to the generals to get their act together,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. “It is an effort by the administration to say, ‘You did what you did, and we want to keep working with you, but there is some price to be paid for not listening to us.’ ”

“At the end of day,” she added, “it is a pretty symbolic price.”

Cofman Wittes: Led Muslim Brotherhood-friendly conference in June.

Cofman Wittes: Led Muslim Brotherhood-friendly conference in June.

This past June, Cofman Wittes led the U.S.-IWF – an annual event held in Doha, Qatar – with Durriya Badani. The annual forum is rife with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters. Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Haris Tarin, the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s (MPAC) Executive Director from Washington, D.C. were all in attendance.

At minimum, Cofman Wittes’ connection to these Brotherhood figures should have warranted some disclosing before being quoted as simply being a member of a Saban Center group from Brookings.

In 2011, Badani’s name was on the list of attendees at the White House iftar dinner while others – like Tarin and Magid – were not, though they were in attendance. The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro reported at the time that Badnani said the guests were “not controversial at all”. Again, this is the woman who led the U.S.-IWF with Cofmann Wittes.

Durriya Badani: led pro-Muslim Brotherhood Forum with Cofman Wittes.

Durriya Badani: led pro-Muslim Brotherhood Forum with Cofman Wittes.

Badani and Coffman Wittes are not new to the U.S.-IWF and helped to lead the forum in 2012 as well. In the photo below, Wittes can be seen on the right and Badani can be seen on the left. The guy in the middle is Stephan Grand:

Badani (far left) and Coffman Wittes (far right) at 2012 U.S.-IWF.

Badani (far left) and Coffman Wittes (far right) at 2012 U.S.-IWF.

Yes, we believe it’s possible that Grand was humming this tune at the time this photo was taken (then again, he’s possibly a clown and a joker):

Then Senator John Kerry (D-MA) attended the 2011 version, which happened just a couple of months after the removal of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. That removal laid the foundation for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2012, which was no doubt, supported fervently by most – if not all – of those in attendance at the U.S.-IWF.

John Kerry: In attendance at the 2011 U.S.-IWF.

John Kerry: In attendance at the 2011 U.S.-IWF.

As for Egypt’s reaction to the Obama administration’s decision to delay / withhold aid, the Washington Free Beacon / Reuters reports:

Egypt’s government, the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel, said it would not bow to American pressure. The country’s military, which has been leading the crackdown against Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, can afford to be even more defiant.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members were killed and about 2,000 Islamist activists and Brotherhood leaders, including Mursi, were arrested.

Army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has emerged as the most popular public figure in Egypt, and he is well aware that many Egyptians have both turned sharply against the Brotherhood and bitterly concluded that Washington supports the movement.

It’s clear to Egyptians – and it should be clear to Americans – that the Obama administration is favoring the Brotherhood in Egypt. In large part, this has to do with an administration that has been infiltrated by Brotherhood operatives; Egyptians understand this too.

As a result, the Obama administration has decided to punish Egypt for doing what no other nation has been so effective at doing in such a short period of time – punishing the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s just that simple.

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