Relatives and families of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi react in front of the court in Minya, south of Cairo, after hearing the sentence handed to Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and other Brotherhood supporters April 28, 2014.
(Reuters) – An Egyptian court sentenced the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters to death on Monday, intensifying a crackdown on the movement that could trigger protests and political violence ahead of an election next month.
In another case signaling growing intolerance of dissent by military-backed authorities, a pro-democracy movement that helped ignite the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 was banned by court order, judicial sources said.
The death sentence passed on Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s general guide, will infuriate members of the group which has been the target of raids, arrests and bans since the army forced President Mohamed Mursi from power in July.
Read More Here; http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/28/us-egypt-brotherhood-idUSBREA3R0J420140428
Over 500 members of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to death last week in the small Egyptian city of Minya. But what really happened? A visit to the town reveals the vast divide in Egyptian society.
It is 10 p.m. Both windows in lawyer Hussein Ali Tamam’s office, located on the first floor of a building on Saa Square, are open. A warm evening breeze is ruffling the papers on his desk, where Tamam is sitting behind a pile of books and file folders. Tamam, a gangly 46-year-old, is considered to be one of the most experienced defense attorneys in Minya, a town on the Nile River in Egypt. But he looks stressed as he alternately reads, writes and smokes. Mostly, though, he is trying to calm himself down. He just suffered the largest defeat of his life.
Tamam heads up a team of attorneys that represented around 100 of the 529 defendants in the “Minya trial.” Last week, every single one of them was sentenced to death, a collective penalty handed down after just one-and-a-half days. It is an Egyptian record.
Among those sentenced, several lawyers have said independently of one-another, were at least four minors who, according to Egyptian law, should have been tried in separate proceedings. It is also said that three dead men were among those sentenced to death.
Tamam points to a pile of papers that is at least 15 centimeters (6 inches) high. “That there is a quarter of the indictment. It is 3,500 pages in total, 14,000 appendices in four parcels. And do you know when exactly I was given these parcels? A quarter of an hour before the trial started. I ask you: What is happening in this country right now?”
He removes his black eyeglasses and rubs his eyes. “I will work through the night tonight and tomorrow morning I will meet with my colleagues,” he says. “We need to find a new strategy.”
Read More Here; Egyptian Death Sentences Reveal Deep Societal Rift
Order signals increase in measures to crackdown on Sinai terror; Hamas condemns ruling as “targeting the Palestinian cause.”
Palestinian members of Hamas’s al-Qassam brigades. Photo: REUTERS
CAIRO – An Egyptian court on Tuesday banned all activities of Hamas in Egypt, a judge said, in another sign that security forces plan to squeeze the Palestinian militant group that runs the neighboring Gaza Strip.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s army-backed government and has faced a security crackdown since the military ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Morsi, from the presidency last July.
“The court has ordered the banning of Hamas work and activities in Egypt,” the judge, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters.
Egyptian authorities see Hamas a major security threat, accusing the group of supporting al-Qaida-inspired Islamist insurgents in the Sinai peninsula, allegations it denies.
The court also ordered the closure of Hamas offices in Egypt, one of the judges overseeing the case told Reuters.
Hamas condemned the ruling, saying it targeted the Palestinian cause.
Photo by: Hassan Ammar El-Sissi
CAIRO — Monday’s surprise resignation of Egypt’s prime minister and Cabinet is widely seen as a ploy to allow Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a popular military chief, to run for president in April in hopes of stabilizing the Arab world’s most populous nation.
But analysts say it also is viewed as a failure of the interim government that was set up two weeks after the military’s ouster of democratically elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
“The government failed the test. It was an incompetent Cabinet that failed to deal with Egypt’s social, economic and political crises,” said Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“We will soon see [Field Marshal el-Sissi] making a presidential bid, but the timing of the resignation is important. The resignation of the whole Cabinet makes it seem like it is not just about him,” Mr. Gerges said.
Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi’s televised announcement Monday leaves his Cabinet in place as a caretaker government until the president names a prime minister to form new Cabinet. In Egypt, the prime minister is more of a manager and does not set policies, which are the domain of the more powerful president.
Click here to watch: Heavy Clashes Erupt on Israeli Border During Rebel Offensive
An explosion on a tourist bus in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula killed three Koreans and the Egyptian driver on Sunday, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said, an apparent turning point in an Islamist insurgency that has gained pace since an army takeover in July. Fourteen other Koreans were injured in the blast. The ministry said the bus was traveling from St. Catherine’s Monastery, a popular tourist destination in the south Sinai, to nearby Israel when it was attacked. It did not state the cause of the blast. But two security sources said an explosive device planted either inside or near the bus was used. Al-Qaida-inspired Islamist militants based in the largely lawless Sinai have stepped up attacks on security forces since army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July.
If militants were behind Sunday’s attack, that would mark a shift in strategy to targeting tourists and economic targets and not just Egyptian police and soldiers. State television showed a photograph of the bus. Its windows were blown out and the roof had been partially torn off. Plumes of black smoke billowed from the site of the explosion on a palm tree-lined boulevard. Egypt has been rocked by political turmoil and violence since the downfall of Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, in July, after mass protests against him. Since he was deposed, Islamist militants based in the largely desolate Sinai near Israel have stepped up attacks on security forces, killing hundreds. Morsi appeared in court on Sunday on charges of conspiring with foreign groups to commit terrorist acts in Egypt.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Read More Here: Blast Caught on Tape- Tourist bus in Egypt’s Sinai explodes en route to Israel
The Taba border crossing (archival image).
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90
A tourist bus standing about 50 meters south of the Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt, on the Egyptian side, exploded Sunday afternoon. Israeli EMT ambulances from the nearby city of Eilat have rushed to the scene of the explosion, which was initially declared by MDA to be a mass casualty event. Al Ahram quotes Security sources who say that 4 Korean tourists are dead and at least 14 others injured (down from an originally estimated 27 injured), of different nationalities, who were on the bus when it exploded. There were 30 tourists on the bus.
Read More Here: 5 Dead, 14 Injured as Tourist Bus Hit by Missile Near Eilat
Feb 13, 2014 06:32 pm | Robert Spencer
For Islamic supremacists, there is no greater insult, since the Qur’an designates the Jews as “the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers” (5:82) and describes them as accursed, scheming against Allah and the Muslims, and never to be trusted or befriended (cf. Qur’an 5:51). Thus the hatred that these Muslim Brotherhood […]