The Trump administration has taken a major step in the right direction by designating several new groups as terrorist organizations. Two of these are splinter groups of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the other is an Iranian front group that operates in Gaza.
This allows us to use the full force of the US government and our allies to shut off their funding. It is a signature of the Administration’s recognition of our enemies and aggressiveness taking action against them.
The Egyptian government was forced to remove the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) from power in 2013 when it began to install an Islamist totalitarian state in Egypt. Since that time, they have been asking the U.S. for help dealing with the remaining elements of the MB’s extensive terrorism networks. The Brotherhood has publicly claimed to have stopped support for terrorism, but the Egyptian government knows better as the group is still conducting, supporting and financing terror attacks there.
Saudi Arabia, and UAE also support designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror organization. Support for the MB, and other terror groups like Hamas, has been part of their ongoing beef with Qatar. The Saudis and Emiratis have placed significant pressure on Qatar to stop funding terror and the Qataris have fought back using allies such as the Brookings Institute who they have given tens of millions of dollars.
Brookings produces pieces like this which deny that the MB is a terror group.
Though they have differing views on some of the group’s activities, American experts who study the Muslim Brotherhood unanimously oppose their designation as an FTO.
That is patently untrue and any legitimate fight against terrorism must include the group that is the godfather to almost every Islamist terror group. The Trump administration has taken a measured approach and is not giving a blanket designation to the whole group worldwide. They are identifying the worst affiliates and attacking the terror funding networks.
The Administration is also working with allies who now can see a clear divide between supporting the violent Islamist groups killing innocents in their global Jihad, and being responsible members of the world community. President Trump spoke to leaders of the Muslim world last year in Riyadh and while offering them help and friendship also made a very clear point about what they must do themselves
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.
We have seen the fruits of that speech as the new Saudi Crown Prince has made reform of the clerics and groups in that country who have promoted Islamist extremism a major priority. The Gulf States also inked a deal with the U.S. to work together against terror financing worldwide.
These are all positive steps and as important as it was to cut down the ISIS black flag and destroy their Caliphate, dismantling the global jihad requires much more of this type of financing and infrastructure destruction.