President Donald Trump is seeking to blacklist the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, a far-reaching step that would place the United States firmly on the side of its authoritarian allies in the Middle East.
‘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,’ said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
The Brotherhood, a nearly century-old Islamist movement born in Egypt with pockets of support across the Arab world, was designated a terrorist organization by Cairo after the military in 2013 ousted Mohamed Morsi, a democratically-elected president with roots in the movement.
Placing the Muslim Brotherhood on Washington’s list of foreign terrorist organizations would make it a crime for any American to assist the group and would ban from the United States its members, who are active in political parties in several countries.
Donald Trump hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – who has cracked down heavily on the Muslim Brotherhood – at the White House on April 9
The move comes three weeks after Trump welcomed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has cracked down heavily on the Muslim Brotherhood as well as other movements ranging from Islamic State extremists to secular activists.