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Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Embraces Social Chaos

COMMENT: Shortly before being disqualified as a candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Muslim Brotherhood luminary Khairat el-Shater expressed intent to reject an emergency IMF loan to Egypt.

One consideration this brings to mind is what the result of that rejection will be and what the Brotherhood seeks to gain from that gambit. It also makes us wonder what other Muslim Brotherhood (and “former” Brotherhood) candidates will do on this issue. Perhaps “Terrafractyl” can enlighten us on this point.

As noted in this column, Egypt is in dire economic straits and, the obvious warts and blemishes of the IMF aside, exacerbating the grave economic plight of that society can not be good for the Egyptian people.

The author notes the Nazi heritage of the Muslim Brotherhood and theorizes that the Ikhwan’s extensive social services network will win the organization massive and enthusiastic support in the social maelstrom that figures to result from an economic collapse.

In this regard, rejection of the IMF loan may be seen against the background of the effect of chancellor Bruening’s deflationary policies (the “austerity” embraced by Merkel, Romney and others) on the German people. That austerity was the engine that drove the German electorate into the arms of Hitler. 

In our For The Record series about the “Muslim Brotherhood Spring”–FTR #’s 733 through 739–we expressed the thought that, in the absence of any real progress on the economic front, the Ikwhan’s agenda would be “let ’em eat Jews (Israelis).”  One wonders if economic collapse and resulting social chaos will bring about that sort of phenomenon in Egypt

From the beginning, the possibility of any real economic progress in a country in which 56% of the women and 33% of the men are illiterate seemed like a reach.

It seems like rejecting the IMF loan will only make a bad situation worse.

“Muslim Brotherhood Chooses Chaos” by “Spengler”; Asia Times; 5/11/2012.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood signaled its intent on Sunday to push the country into economic chaos. With liquid foreign exchange reserves barely equal to two months’ imports and panic spreading through the Egyptian economy, the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater warned that it would block a US$3 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unless the military government ceded power.

“We told them [the government], you have two choices. Either postpone this issue of borrowing and come up with any other way of dealing with it without our approval, or speed up the formation of a government,” Khairat al-Shater said in a Reuters interview. [1]

The news service added that al-Shater “said he realized the country’s finances were precarious and a severe crunch could come by early to mid-May as the end of the fiscal year approached, but that this was the government’s problem to resolve”.

Last week, Egypt’s central bank reported that total reserves had fallen to $15 billion, but – more importantly – liquid foreign exchange reserves had fallen to only $9 billion, equivalent to just two months’ imports. Foreign exchange futures markets expect the Egyptian pound to lose half its value during the next year, and Egyptians have responded by hoarding diesel fuel, propane gas and other necessities.

With half of Egypt’s population living on $2 a day or less, the expected devaluation would push a significant part of the population below minimum nutrition levels, and balloon the government’s deficit as the cost of subsidizing imported necessities rose. Egypt imports half its caloric consumption.

The IMF loan was a stop gap to delay devaluation, but the Muslim Brotherhood’s al-Shater made clear that Egypt’s dominant political party would spike it. “It is not logical that I approve a loan that the transitional government would take for two or three months, then demand that I, as a permanent government, repay,” Shater told Reuters.” I have to agree to a loan, somebody else gets to spend it, then I have to pay it back? That is unjust.”

As Egypt headed towards chaotic breakdown, Western observers asked how its economy might be stabilized. This appears to have been the wrong question to begin with, for the Muslim Brotherhood will not allow the West to stabilize Egypt’s financial position. The right question is: who will benefit from the chaos?

At this writing, the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be the winner by default, for no other actor has the courage and cold blood to exploit the emerging crisis. America, by contrast, is locked into the defense of a deteriorating fixed position. And Egypt’s military leaders are more concerned with feathering their nests in exile, like the Iranian generals in 1979.

The Brotherhood believes that widespread hunger will strengthen its political position, and is probably correct to believe this. As the central government’s corrupt and rickety system of subsidies collapses, local Islamist organizations will take control of food distribution and establish a virtual dictatorship on the streets.

American analysts mistook the protestors of Tahrir Square for revolutionaries. The Muslim Brotherhood now reveals itself to be a revolutionary organization on the Leninist or Nazi model. . . .

. . .  As a revolutionary organization that rose under the influence of Nazi Germany’s wartime foreign ministry, the Brotherhood has no qualms about exacerbating Egypt’s economic misery if it furthers its agenda. Paul Berman’s 2010 book The Flight of the Intellectuals summarized exhaustive academic research into wartime archives showing that the Brotherhood was shaped by Nazi ideology. Berman’s report evoked outrage, but has stood up well to its critics. [3] The New Republic essay that formed the core of Berman’s book is available. . . .


8 comments for “Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Embraces Social Chaos”

  1. I just finished Paul Berman’s book. He is an exceptionally fluid writer.
    The historical links between the Third Reich and the Muslim Brotherhood (particularly their combined propaganda efforts) are synopsized and recounted in very readable language. He cogently argues for doubt regarding the MB and their legitimate claim to any true modernity or Enlightenment principles. And here, in this post, we see more evidence of the same.

    A must read for all spifirelisters. Thanks for the recommendation, Dave.

    Posted by GrumpusRex | May 5, 2012, 7:53 pm
  2. One thing is becoming clear in Egypt’s IMF loan negotiation: Egypt’s ability to finance its global imports is getting close to running out and that’s proving to be a tempting political football. Egyptian tourism has collapsed in the last year and that was a huge source of foreign cash on top of everything else that’s sent the country’s finances into turmoil. With tourism imploding and cash running out, the IMF loans are the main thing standing between the Egyptian poor and hunger. That’s becuse Egypt is going be forced to do what non-eurozone countries do when they run out of cash and have to keep paying the bills: devalue their currency (In the eurozone, the countries undergo “internal devaluation”). Egypt currently artificially props up their pound against the dollar, so if there is some sort of devaluation that takes plans in the midst of panic it could be a rough one (there’s an estimate of a 50% drop of the egyptian pound against the dollar in one of the articles below). And with with something like half of Egypt’s population living on less than $2 a day, a currency devaluation on that scale risks an extreme social catastrophe.

    It sounds like all parties involved agree that the IMF loan at hand for $3.2 billion is going to have to happen SOMEHOW for Egypt to avoid choas so it’s just a matter of HOW the loan is works out and WHEN it happens. And, it appears, WHO signs off on the deal and gets and WHO decide HOW the money is spent. The argument that al-Shater was making (before his expulsion from the race) was “since the loan money will be lent out now but the Muslim Brotherhood won’t come to power for several months, why should the MB-dominated assembly agree to a loan package where the future MB government has the liabilities to pay back the money but a the current army-run intermin government gets to decide how the money is spent”. So, according to al-Shater, unless an argreement is worked out with the army to allow the MB to assume power at an earlier date OR the terms of the loan is worked out so that the MB will have a greater say over how the billions are spent, the MB is going to use its votes in the assembly to block the economic package. As the article below points out, these were demands that almost certainly wouldn’t be met, and if there’s a disorderly devaluation (say, from conflicting erupting in the Middle East before the aid package is finalized), the potential for political chaos and violence is real. So this is one hell of a game of chicken the MB has been playing:

    Analysis: Egypt’s Brotherhood raises stakes by excluding IMF
    By Patrick Werr

    CAIRO | Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:45pm EDT

    (Reuters) – In all but ruling out an early agreement on an IMF loan, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has dramatically raised the stakes in its struggle with the army-led administration for control of a country still reeling from a year of political turmoil.

    The Brotherhood’s candidate for president, Khairat al-Shater, said this week the group would not accept an International Monetary Fund loan unless its terms were changed or a new government was formed to monitor how it is spent, demands that almost certainly won’t be met.

    Even without a loan before the presidential election in May and June, whoever comes to power will be forced, sooner or later, to impose hugely unpopular taxes and cuts in government spending to reduce budget and balance of payments deficits inflated by a year of political and economic turmoil.

    But any delay in securing a loan brings closer the prospect of a fully fledged fiscal crisis that would mean a jump in consumer prices and interest rates, a sharp devaluation and huge pressure on banks.

    It’s a game of brinkmanship in which the Brotherhood might be first to yield to avoid inheriting an economy in tatters, fearing it will end up taking the blame for painful measures that the current government has repeatedly delayed.

    The country’s transition to civilian rule will culminate at the end of June, when the military hands power to a newly elected president for whom the economy will be a top priority.

    Barring shocks, the country should have a big enough financial cushion to see it through for at least three months, until an elected government is installed with a popular mandate to push through an IMF agreement.

    The IMF, however, has demanded broad political support before it signs any agreement, in particular from the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party won nearly half the seats in the new parliament.

    Shater said he was not opposed to a deal in principle, but only to the plan to disburse part of it while the army-backed transitional government remained in power.

    He said the Brotherhood might accept an IMF deal if the loan’s first installment was reduced to $500 million from the current plan of paying out more than $1 billion immediately upon signing.


    Economists say the central bank still has enough foreign reserves to hold on well past the presidential election without having to devalue the pound.

    “Capital flight has already taken place, and that’s going to leave the central bank having to cover a shortfall of around $600-750 million a month from here on,” said Williams, who estimated the government could hold out for another six months.

    But other economists warn that an outbreak of political violence could provoke capital flight and disrupt tourism, which has yet to recover since last year’s uprising. Similarly, a spike in oil prices could drive up the cost of imported fuel.

    Any resulting drain on dollars could exhaust the ability of the central bank to defend the pound, which it has allowed to weaken by only 3.5 percent against the U.S. dollar since the uprising.

    “Failure to secure help from the IMF would make a disorderly devaluation more likely. In this scenario, the pound could overshoot, falling by perhaps 50 percent or more against the U.S. dollar,” Said Hirsh of Capital Economics wrote in an April 5 research note.

    “The costs to the economy would be severe. This is likely to lead to a spike in inflation, sharp hikes in interest rates, a potential banking crisis and rapid fall in asset prices.”

    So this next 3-6 months is going to be an especially vulnerable period for Egypt because that financial cushion that it had last year, when the revolution was just beginning, is now almost officially out. It’s also likely to be a period of endless IMF-dictates for austerity…and period when Egyptian nationalism is allowed to manifest itself for the first time in decades. AND, as the article above indicates, everyone agrees that, sooner or later, Egypt is going to implement a series of painful tax hikes and spending cuts. So the MB has to know that it’s the only political group that will be forced to implement and “own” whatever future reforms pop up. Unless, of course, things get really bad. So bad that economy the falls apart in a way that doesn’t leave the MB as the default culprit. It’s the “things get really bad for Egypt, but good for the MB” scenario that’s looking like the scariest possibility right now, so any further indication that the MB is intent on fomenting an out of control situation is something to watch for between now and whenever the inevitable “reforms” get officially passed. The more chaotic the situation when those reforms get passed, the better the situation for the MB.

    As this article from yesterday indicates, there’s been pretty much no progress on the loan issue even after the MB was handed the presidency by the ejection of the candidates. Yeah, al-Shater was ejected too, but his replacement, Muhammed Mursi, should overwhelm the competition now that the other Islamist candidates are out too and can’t split the Islamist vote. So the MB knows unambigously that they’ll be holding the reigns of power in a few months. They also know that the IMF will be pushing for austerity madness economic reforms that could be exceptionally painful for the Egyptian people. So we all know that somehow this situation is going to have to change:

    Cairo reapplies for IMF debt-aid

    Published May 6th, 2012 – 10:49 GMT via SyndiGate.info

    A series of blows to a final agreement with the IMF have raised fresh concerns about whether Egypt can sustain its fiscal situation much longer. Last month, the parliament rejected the government’s new economic plan, the key to the country’s request for the $3.2bn loan. Only six of 365 members of the assembly, which is dominated by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, voted in favour of the plan.

    The IMF has said repeatedly in recent weeks that it will back only a recovery plan that has “broad political support”, meaning that to grant the loan it needs the approval of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the majority political party in parliament. A member of the party is one of three front runners in the upcoming presidential election.

    Egypt’s international reserves have fallen to a dangerously low level, about $15.1bn at the end of March, and the current account deficit widened to $8bn in the six months to the end of December.

    Now, in the midst of a political uprising that shows no signs of waning, various parts of the Egyptian government are being forced to reassess decades-long spending patterns that have driven the country’s budget deficit higher.

    Reforms are key to boosting the nation’s economic prospects but are also important for helping the interim government and political forces gain wider acceptance from foreign investors and potential donors as a messy transition is under way.

    But economists say that without agreement on the IMF loan, the Egyptian pound will fall as much as 15 per cent over the next few months and the absence of an IMF loan would leave the nation with little external financing.

    Saudi Arabia has been the only country since last year not to wait for the IMF deal to start disbursing loans. The kingdom has so far given Egypt $500m out of almost $4bn of aid pledged after last year’s popular revolt that drove Hosni Mubarak from the presidency. But recent tensions between the two countries now threaten the flow of Saudi aid.

    That last paragraph about the recent Egyptian strains with Israel and Saudi Arabia is particularly interesting. Other than the US these are perhaps the two most expensive countries Egypt could have strains with even during economic good times. But as the above article points out, the Saudis are the one government contining making loans to Egypt in spite of the IMF halt. $4 billion dollars, even more than the entire IMF loan. So this is a particularly high-risk pair of tiffs for the Egyptian government to pe engaged in during a time like this and it’s notable that the MB is leading that popular anti-Saudi/Israeli backlashes:

    Egypt’s Popular Anger Shifts to Israel and Saudi Arabia
    By Nicholas Noe & Walid Raad Apr 30, 2012 3:35 PM GMT-0500

    Egyptians are angry, say Arab commentators, and it’s not just because of unemployment, deteriorating security or the continued de-facto rule of the military.

    Their ire is also very much connected to foreign policy, and specifically to the ties with two countries that have loomed so large in Egypt’s modern history: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    Both states took a beating in the Egyptian media this past week: Israel, over a controversial gas deal with Egypt that has been suspended, and Saudi Arabia over its arrest of a prominent Egyptian human-rights campaigner who was performing a religious pilgrimage.

    In each case, Egyptian generals and their unelected allies in government have been forced to try to tame the conflicts, which are being fueled by a wide popular movement — strongly backed by elected political parties including the Muslim Brotherhood — to reassert Egypt’s dignity and prestige in the region.

    The annulment of the contract leads to “the achievement of a definite popular wish to stop the exportation of gas to the Zionist entity,” wrote the columnist Wagdi Zeineddin in Al-Wafd, the Cairo-based newspaper of the liberal Al-Wafd party.

    The deal to deliver Egyptian natural gas to the Israel Electric Corp. was signed in 2008 under ousted President Hosni Mubarak and accounts for 40 percent of Israel’s annual natural-gas usage.

    Equally delighted by the Egyptian decision, the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds wrote in an editorial that it signals changes that go well “beyond gas.”

    “The issue has another aspect, deeply related to politics in light of the radical change taking place in Egypt since the fall of Mubarak and his regime,” it wrote.

    Even though the armed forces council is keen to “calm its foreign fronts until the situation is stabilized at home,” sooner or later “change will come, and Egyptian-Israeli relations will no longer be as calm they used to be in the days of Mubarak.”

    This could have positive consequences for the Palestinian struggle, the paper said, as Israel will want to end its occupation of Palestinian lands sooner to avoid provoking the wrath of the growing “revolutionary forces and Islamic trends” in surrounding states.

    This past week, however, there were raucous protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Cairo – it was eventually closed and the ambassador was withdrawn – which was accompanied by a graffiti and social-media campaign disparaging the Saudi king directly. Pundits chimed in to say they are fed up with how the Saudis treat Egyptian workers and how they treat Egyptians in Egypt.

    The cause of the indignation was the arrest of the Egyptian lawyer Ahmed el-Gizawi upon his arrival in Saudi Arabia on April 17. The Saudi authorities eventually claimed Gizawi had been found with more than 20,000 Xanax pills hidden in his luggage, a grave offense.

    Considering the critical role the Saudi monarchy played in MB’s international branches following Nasser’s crackdowns(and all the other jihad-financing from the Saudi royals over the decades) it’s a little historically ironic that it’s the Saudis are now apparentlc freaking out over the possibility of MB-style religiosity becoming a competitive alternative Sunni movement in the region. And yet that’s what seems to be happening:

    Rise of Muslim Brotherhood frays Saudi-Egypt ties

    By Angus McDowall

    LONDON | Tue May 1, 2012 11:43am EDT

    (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia frets that Egypt, its strongest Arab ally and a major recipient of Saudi funding, is falling under what it sees as the baleful influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Riyadh recalled its ambassador from Cairo at the weekend in a spat that underlines the misgivings of the robed princes who rule the world’s top oil exporter and who have watched Egypt’s revolution and its often chaotic aftermath with alarm.

    They fear that political uncertainty in Egypt, which votes in a presidential election this month, may undermine a decades-old strategic bond between the two pro-U.S. Arab allies, a bond already shaken when Egyptians toppled their ruler last year.

    “The Saudis viewed the ouster of (President) Hosni Mubarak as a very negative development,” said Robert Jordan, the U.S. ambassador in Riyadh from 2001-03.

    “They’re concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood and the uncertainty of the leadership. And they’re very sensitive at any hint that that movement could spread to Saudi or other Gulf countries.”

    Riyadh’s recall for consultations of Ambassador Ahmed Kattan after protests outside the Saudi embassy against the arrest of an Egyptian lawyer in the kingdom may prove fleeting.

    Egypt seems keen to have Kattan back, judging by government statements and reports in state-owned newspapers of Egyptians waving Saudi flags at the embassy calling for his return.

    It was street protests outside the Saudi embassy last week that caused umbrage in Riyadh. Crowds were protesting at the arrest of Egyptian lawyer Ahmed El-Gezawi by Saudi authorities.

    Egyptian activists said he had been detained for speaking out against ill-treatment of Egyptians in the kingdom. The Saudi authorities said he had been smuggling drugs.

    Even if the diplomatic quarrel is smoothed over, it reflects the new fragility of a once-solid alliance between the most populous Arab nation and the richest.

    Saudi Arabia last month agreed to grant Cairo $2.7 billion in aid – and has given no public sign so far of reconsidering this pledge – but it fears Egypt’s political evolution will amplify the Brotherhood’s regional clout while diminishing Saudi influence, said an Egyptian official who asked not to be named.

    The Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia share Sunni Muslim values, but Riyadh regards the movement as an ideological competitor with an aggressively activist political doctrine that might destabilize allies and foment discord inside the kingdom.

    “Withdrawing the ambassador was a way of reminding Egyptians that Saudi security concerns have to be respected,” said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center.

    “The Brotherhood hasn’t really gone out of its way to reassure Saudi Arabia about regional security interests.”

    “If Egypt can’t sustain its financial system there could be a power vacuum and the sort of situation that al Qaeda might exploit. The Saudis have an interest in maintaining the viability of Egypt’s economy,” said Jordan.

    For its part, the Muslim Brotherhood knows Egypt has no credible donors that could substitute for Saudi Arabia, said Daniel Kurtzer, U.S. ambassador to Egypt from 1997-2001.

    “I don’t think the leadership of any of the Egyptian factions – the military, civil society, the Islamists – would want to change things. The problem is where the street takes Egyptian policy,” he said.

    Jamal Khashoggi, an influential Saudi commentator and former newspaper editor, said Riyadh was watching Egypt’s transition.

    “It’s waiting for Egypt to settle and for a leadership to emerge before we start rebuilding the strategic alliance we have with them,” he said.

    So, to summarize, we have a situation where Egypt is rapidly running out of its currency reserves – reserves it needs to buy grain on the international markets just to feed itself – and all this is happening right at a time when the MB and military are locked in an uneasy power struggle. That power struggle, in turn, appears to now include the government approval of an IMF loan package that is required to avoid complete choas in a few months after the currency reserves run out. AND not only is this IMF loan package tussle a fight over who gets to disburse the billions in loans (a fight for the political spoils) but it’s also apparently a fight over who gets blamed for the inevitable tax hikes and spending cuts that the next government is going to HAVE to pass in order to please the IMF(because the loan comes with stings attached). The IMF is demanding that Egypt’s government provides broad support for the loan package and that means the MB HAS to approve of the deal. But so far the MB appears to be uninterested in approving the loan package unless the military hands over complete power in advance or changes the loan terms to give the MB greater control of the spoils. And, to top it all off, the MB is leading the political charges against two of Egypt’s biggest trading partners, one that could create a major military headache and the other that effictivly bankrupt the country overnight. It does indeed look like the MB is betting on chaos.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 7, 2012, 7:37 pm
  3. @Pterrafractyl: I don’t think I could have put it better. Bravo. =)

    Posted by Steve L. | May 7, 2012, 11:08 pm
  4. […] Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Embraces Social Chaos […]

    Posted by Miscellaneous articles for – Articles divers pour 05-08-2012 | Lys-d'Or | May 8, 2012, 11:30 am
  5. @Pterrafractyl: Great research. One thing is certain. When the country will collapse, we can be sure it will, there will be chaos. People will turn to each other to blame and you can be sure Christians and Jews will be slaughtered to the last ones. It’s already started thoughout North Africa and the Middle East.

    On another matter, the fact that there is an anger shift from Mubarak and his regime toward Israel and Saudi Arabia could mean an Iranian influence. The reports I get from some Jewish friends is that Iran would bomb Israel and Saudi Arabia if they were to have a nuclear bomb and make the decision to act. This sudden shift in anger suggests that Iran may be involved in the development of the political situation on the ground, for the so-called Arab Spring there.

    Posted by Claude | May 8, 2012, 10:46 pm
  6. @Claude: Not so sure about Saudi, TBH. After all, they too, are under the control of radical Islamist fascists just like Iran. And perhaps the Iranian gov’t may indeed be assisting with the hijacking of the Arab Spring movement…..only time will tell, I guess.

    Posted by Steve L. | May 9, 2012, 8:05 pm
  7. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-17/news/sns-rt-us-egypt-election-brotherhoodbre84g1iv-20120517_1_egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood-abdel-moneim-abol-fotouh-human-chain

    Egypt Brotherhood forms human chain for candidate
    May 17, 2012|Reuters

    CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood organized a 760-km (470-mile)-long human chain of supporters across the country on Thursday to back the group’s presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi in a show of strength ahead of next week’s historic vote.

    From Cairo to Aswan, members of the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), held posters of Mohamed Mursi, the Brotherhood’s alternative choice to the group’s initial candidate Khairat Shater, who was disqualified over a military court conviction.

    Posted by Vanfield | May 18, 2012, 4:03 pm
  8. http://www.debka.com/article/23189/Egypt%E2%80%99s-Muslim-Brotherhood-goes-underground-hides-command-structure-in-Gaza-

    Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood goes underground, hides command structure in Gaza
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 11, 2013, 6:27 PM (IDT)
    Tags: Egypt’s military coup, Muslim Brotherhood, Gaza, Israel, Sinai, Al Qaeda,

    On July 22, debkafile revealed that a group of six Muslim Brotherhood officials escaped from Egypt after the July 3 overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in a military coup and smuggled themselves into the Gaza Strip to lead an uprising against the military. The group was headed by Mahmud Izzat Ibrahim, known as the Brotherhood’s “iron man” and fourth in rank in its hierarchy after Supreme Guide Muhammed Badie.

    The fugitives set up a command post at the Gaza Beach Hotel for operations against Egyptian military and security targets in collaboration with Hamas and armed Al Qaeda-linked Salafist Bedouin in Sinai. The group planned their revolt to spread quickly out from Sinai to Egypt proper and topple the interim rulers in Cairo.
    Western intelligence agencies following the inner workings of the Muslim Brotherhood have since discovered that the Brotherhood’s plans are a good deal more high-powered than first thought.

    According to debkafile’s intelligence sources, the movement never dismantled its clandestine paramilitary underground. Its hidden commanders manipulated front politicians from the shadows under three Egyptian presidents and continued to do so after the Brotherhood was elected to power in Cairo in 2012.
    At all times since then, the Brothers stood ready to step in should their Freedom and Justice Party leaders be ousted and sent back to prison. “Supreme Guide,” Mohammed Badie was therefore no more than an obedient front for the Muslim Brotherhood’s real leader, who was until now Mr. X.
    It now transpires that he is none other than Mahmoud Izzat Ibrahim, who is firmly at the helm and running the show both in Sinai and Cairo from the Gaza Beach Hotel, under the auspices of the Palestinian Hamas rulers.
    He plans to confront with violence every action ordered against the Brotherhood by Defense Minister, Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

    While conducting a war of terror against military targets in Sinai, Izzat Ibrahim’s orders keep thousands of followers maintaining their sit-in protests in Cairo for their president’s reinstatement. They are determined to leave the military no option but to use force to disperse them.
    Ibrahim’s goal is to lead his movement into a bloody confrontation with the military.
    Gen. El-Sisi, for his part, knows that the Brotherhood’s underground command center in the Gaza Beach Hotel must be destroyed in order to beat its war of resistance.

    For effective action in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian military needs help from Israel’s Defense Forces, just as the IDF needs the Egyptian army to counteract the al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists in Sinai who are dedicated to attacking Israel as well as Egypt.

    This tacit interdependence and the interchanges against a shared enemy shot into prominence over two incidents. The first was the two-hour closure Thursday, Aug. 8 of Eilat airport at Israel’s southernmost tip, following an Egyptian intelligence tip-off over a missile threat from Sinai. Then Friday, Aug. 9, foreign sources reported that two missiles fired by an Israeli drone in North Sinai destroyed a missile launcher and killed four or five terrorists at Ajarah.
    Israel never confirmed this attack. The impression it made was quickly overlaid with conflicting reports. Egyptian officials initially attributed the Israeli drone attack to intelligence cooperation between the two armies. An Al-Qaeda group in Sinai, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, accused Israel of killing four of its members by a drone strike and vowed vengeance. debkafile reported that the attack may not have been conducted by Israel but Egyptian authorities, which preferred to disavow an operation carried out on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.
    Finally, Sunday, the Egyptian military reported that its operation against armed groups in the Sinai believed to have been plotting attacks on security forces and other targets was ongoing. At least seven people were killed over night and six arrested in a raid.
    The Egyptian military statement went on to report that the raid followed an air strike by the Egyptian military on Friday, which saw at least four people killed. The assault on Saturday happened when Apache helicopters hit areas south of Sheikh Zuwaid in north Sinai, according to Egyptian state media.

    Israel’s Defense minister commented: “The Egyptian army is fighting first and foremost to defend Egyptian citizens and sovereignty. We will not let rumors and speculation impair the peace relations between our countries.”

    Posted by Vanfield | August 12, 2013, 9:10 am

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