The news about the airplane crash of EgyptAir Flight MS-804 on its way from Paris to Cairo with 66 casualties immediately led to speculations about a terrorist attack. And indeed, US intelligence agencies claimed that there were indications of an explosion. Experts hint to the fact that there is not only Islamist terrorist activity in France but even much more in Egypt. Since the plane crashed during a return flight to Cairo and it was only on the ground in Paris for one hour, there is a possibility that Egyptian terrorists are behind an eventual attack.
According to Dr. Mark Christian, the president of the Global Faith Institute, a US-think tank specialized on Islamic terrorism, admits that the Muslim Brotherhood has most to gain from terror attacks. Recently there has been a series of terror attacks in Egypt including the killing of security forces or setting fire at tourist sites. In addition, the economic situation of the country is very bad and the recent government of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is already regarded as vulnerable. Al-Sisi promised Egyptians prosperity and safety but has not been able to convert that into reality. Hence, the Muslim Brotherhood can only profit from further destabilization that will sooner or later lead to his overthrow. Christian said that the Muslim Brotherhood has a secret militant wing that is involved in terrorist attacks all over the Middle East.
In case a bomb had been placed in the plane already before its departure in Cairo, this would indicate that terrorists applied a totally new strategy. First, this means that airport personal was involved in the attack and second, it shows that a timed bomb can explode at any place in the world and therefore poses a global threat.
However, until now there is no evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in this airplane crash but it cannot be ruled out that the organization would be ready to apply this kind of violence in order to enhance its political position within Egypt.
The bill to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, the so-called “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act” increasingly gains support in the House. The legislation introduced by Mario Diaz-Balart shall pass a vote later this year and officially has bipartisan support since two Democrats are signing on as co-sponsors. A companion bill introduced in the Senate by Ted Cruz meanwhile has five key co-sponsors. In case the legislation will be enacted, it would outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood’s front groups and freeze its resources. Providing material support to the Brotherhood would then be a crime. Organizations which are identified in the text of the bill as radical front groups of the Muslim Brotherhood include the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the Muslim American Society (MAS). While the Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the latter even designated CAIR and MAS as terrorist organizations. One of the reasons is their financial support to terrorist groups such as Hamas. In general, the Brotherhood shares ideology with Al-Qaeda, Hamas and ISIS and experts like the former FBI director Robert Mueller claim that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”
Several terror analysts ignore all evidence for the Muslim Brotherhood’s links to terrorism and claim that the group is actually a firewall against violent extremism. Marc Lynch, who is working for the George Washington University and the Project on Middle East Political Science, argued in a Washington Post report that Congress should not designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. According to him, the Muslim Brotherhood served as bulwark against more violent groups due to its ideology of nonviolence and democratic participation. It thus was in competition for recruits with terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. Notwithstanding, Lynch ignores the fact that Al-Qaeda’s founders, Abdullah Azzam and Osama bin Laden, and its current leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, were also members of the Muslim Brotherhood or trained by the group. Furthermore, it has to be considered that the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda have the same ultimate goal: the replacement of democratic rule with Sharia. The main difference between the two groups is that the Muslim Brotherhood uses democratic participation as way to undermine democracy and destroy it from within. Al-Qaeda, in contrast, uses violence in order to attack and destroy democratic states. Despite this different approach, the two groups are two sides of the same coin.
On Monday, April 18, a group of people who are associated with the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) was received by members of the congress. The USCMO is a front organization that aims at advancing the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA. This agenda is outlined in a group-internal document called “The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America”. In this memorandum the group explicitly states that the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America is to destroy Western civilization from within. Therefore, the USCMO was founded in March 2014 as a political party that tries to mobilize Muslim voters in support of the Muslim Brotherhood agenda. The organization already participated in anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and fundraising on behalf of Islamic Relief USA which is an Islamic supremacist charity. Hence, congress should be aware of the USCMO’s real intention und it should be clear that legislators should have nothing to do with its program and members.