HUGE: Trump Leans Toward Designating Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Organization

White House is working to designate Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization

Trump mulls terror designation for Muslim Brotherhood

Two of Egypt's closest allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, also blacklisted the group but several western powers, including the USA, did not, for both legal and policy reasons.

Though US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both purportedly support the move, career national security staff, government lawyers and diplomatic officials have raised legal and policy concerns.

Sisi, who ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 and was elected president the following year, has overseen a sweeping crackdown on Islamist as well as liberal opposition in Egypt.

"The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern and this designation is working its way through the internal process", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email.

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Once the U.S. designation is announced, sanctions on companies and individuals who interact with the group will come into effect.

During that meeting, el-Sisi reportedly urged the president to place the designation on the Muslim Brotherhood, to which the president responded in the affirmative, a response that Trump's advisers interpreted as a verbal commitment, the Times reported.

Illustrative: Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists gesture from the defendants cage as they receive sentences in a mass trial in Alexandria, Egypt, May 19, 2014.

In the first parliamentary elections after President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow in February 2011, the political party associated with the Muslim Brotherhood ascended to power, winning almost half the seats in Egypt's parliament.

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"It will be used to go after organizations inappropriately within the United States", said Blazakis, head of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies' Center on Terrorism, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism.

The Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, says it is a non-violent movement and denies any relationship to violent insurgencies waged by al Qaeda and Islamic State militants.

United States President Donald Trump shakes hands with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt.

The proposed sanctions would include travel and economic sanctions on the group, its branches worldwide, its affiliated groups and its members.

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The group, which advocates for a society based on Shariah law, most notably rose to political power in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was overthrown as Egypt's president during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Numerous group's members fled to Turkey after the Brotherhood was banned in Egypt. Turkey remains a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally. Morsi was a former leader in the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has close ties with President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party and many of its members fled to Turkey after it was banned in Egypt.

What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

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