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memri
February 20, 2015 No.
5972

Muslim Brotherhood Turn To Terrorism Against Al-Sisi Regime: Threats Of Attacks Against Foreign Diplomats, Workers In Egypt On Turkey-Based MB TV, Calls For Jihad And For Assassination Of Al-Sisi, Regime Heads

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has recently escalated its statements and activity against the Egyptian regime, to the extent of explicitly calling for using terrorism and violence against it, and even for assassinating President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi. These calls included an MB communique calling on movement activists to prepare for a lengthy and uncompromising jihad and to hunger for a martyr's death; clear incitement to violence on MB TV channels broadcasting from Turkey; and an ultimatum also on a Turkey-based MB channel, to foreign workers to leave Egypt by February 20, 2015 and to foreign diplomats by February 28, 2015 or else be targeted for attack.

Furthermore, there is an upsurge in reports of violent movements in Egypt that could be tied to the MB, the most prominent of which is the Revolutionary Retribution Movement. This movement, which emerged in advance of the fourth anniversary of Egypt's January 25 revolution and now has branches in provinces across Egypt, calls for armed revolution against the Al-Sisi regime and has taken credit for a large number of attacks and violent incidents in Egypt carried out in the last week of January 2015; Egyptian authorities have attributed these attacks to the MB. While the MB has denied any connection to the movement, pro-MB television channels and social media indicate the existence of such a link.

This report will review calls by the MB and other organizations for jihad and for assassinating President Al-Sisi, and MB threats to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt.

Turkey-Based MB TV Channel Threatens Terrorist Attacks Against Foreign Nationals And Diplomats

On January 29, 2015, a broadcaster on the Turkey-based MB-linked channel Rabea TV read out "Communiqu├® No. 7 From the Leadership of the Revolution Youth," which called on Arab and Western foreign nationals to leave Egypt immediately and stated that those who are not gone by February 11, 2015 could become a target of attacks by the revolutionary retribution movements. The statement also called on all foreign firms to finish their work in the country and leave by February 20, 2015, and on all diplomats and ambassadors to leave by February 28, 2015, lest they be targeted by the rebels. In addition, it notified all tourists planning on visiting Egypt to cancel their plans, claiming that they were currently unwelcome there. The statement urged countries that supported the "coup" to cease their support within a month at most, otherwise all their interests in the Middle East would be targeted.[1]

For a MEMRI TV video clip of excerpts of this statement, click below.

Clerics On Turkey-Based MB-Linked TV Channels Call For Assassinating Al-Sisi, Journalists Close To Him

On January 10, 2015, the cleric Salama 'Abd Al-Qawi received thunderous applause from the studio audience on a program on the Turkey-based MB-linked Rabea TV channel, when he said that it would not be at all bad if someone were to assassinate President Al-Sisi. He added that anyone who did so would be doing "a good deed" that brings him "closer to Allah," and that if he died in the process, he would be considered a martyr. He further said that this also applies to anyone who assassinates other "criminal leaders," because, he explained, this is a tenet of Islam.

Wagdi Ghoneim, a preacher close to the MB, appeared on the Turkey-based MB-linked Misr Alan TV on January 26, 2015, saying that anyone who produces the severed heads of journalists close to the Egyptian regime - journalists whom he called "dogs" and "Hell-dwellers" - would be rewarded by Allah. An analyst on the channel claimed that journalists who support the Al-Sisi regime are accessories to all the crimes that it commits, and that their punishment should be execution - which Al-Sisi and his gang also deserve.

For a MEMRI TV video clip of excerpts of this program, click below.

MB Communique: We Should Prepare Ourselves For Lengthy Jihad, Hunger For Martyr's Death

Another manifestation of the escalation of the MB's statements and violence is a communique posted on the movement's Arabic-language website on January 27, 2015. The communique, released against the backdrop of the upsurge in protests and violent incidents surrounding the fourth anniversary of the fall of the Mubarak regime, called on MB supporters to prepare for lengthy jihad and the use of force.

The heading of the communiqu├®, which is titled "Letter to the Revolutionary Ranks: Prepare," features the movement's emblem, in which the word "prepare" is situated between two crossed swords and refers to Koran 8:60: "Prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and other besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged."


The MB emblem

The communiqu├® reads: "My revolutionary brother and sister: Two crossed swords, and between them [the word] 'prepare,' and below them [the slogan] 'the voice of truth, power, and freedom' - this is the symbol of MB da'wa. All the elements of this symbol signify power: the two swords, the word 'prepare,' which is the symbol of power in the venerable Koran, and the three words written under the two swords, which also mean [power] - since 'truth' requires power to protect it, and 'freedom' is not given but rather taken by power. That is why the word 'power' appears between 'truth' and 'freedom.'

"The [MB's] founding imam [Hassan Al-Banna] diligently established [the MB's] Scouts [movement] which epitomizes [the values of] decency and discipline, and also [the MB's] 'special apparatus,' which is the most prominent representation of power. Imam Al-Banna established the jihad brigades, which he sent to Palestine to fight the oppressive Jews. The second [MB] general guide, Hassan Al-Hudaybi, reestablished the 'special apparatus' units to wage a war of attrition against the British occupiers.

"Imam Al-Banna said: 'We know that the first level of power is the power of faith, which is followed by the power of unity and commitment, and after that comes the power of force and weapons. A movement cannot be described as powerful unless it includes all these motifs. If [a movement] uses the power of force and weapons but its elements are not united, then its organization is destabilized, its faith is weak, and its fate will be doom and destruction.' In order for Allah to grant us victory, there is no way but to fulfill the conditions of victory, as expressed by [Allah's] words [in Koran 47:7]: 'Oh you who have believed, if you support Allah, He will support you and plant firmly your feet...'

"The process of preparing power means, first and foremost, [preparing] the emotional state or what is termed morale... Second, physical strength... Imam Al-Banna told the brothers: '...A nation well-versed in the craft of death, which knows how to die honorably - Allah will grant it a powerful life in this world and an eternal afterlife of peace. What is the lethargy that disgraced us if not the love of this world and the hatred of death[?] Therefore, prepare yourselves for a mighty act, yearn for death, and you will be granted life. Act for an honorable death and you will be fully successful. May Allah grant us and you the honor of dying a martyr's death for His sake.' [Al-Banna] said further: 'The MB will use active force [only] when no other means is effective, and when it is certain that it has prepared for it on the levels of faith and unity.'

"Everyone must realize that we are on the verge of a new stage, which will require the power hidden within us, in order to use it to bring back the ideas of jihad. We must prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and those who follow in our path for a lengthy, uncompromising jihad, in which we seek [to gain] the status of martyrs.

"'And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. [Koran 22:40]'"[2]

The Revolutionary Retribution Movement Takes Responsibility For A Series Of Attacks In Egypt

Egypt has in recent weeks seen the rise of new violent organizations, some of them linked to the MB, that call on Egypt to take vengeance against the Al-Sisi regime. These groups use names that aren't necessarily identified with the MB, such as Students Against the Coup, The Unnamed, The Free, The Popular Resistance, and the Revolutionary Retribution Movement. While MB representatives have denied that the movement is behind these new groups, there is evidence of a connection between them.

Particularly prominent is the Revolutionary Retribution Movement, which advocates violent struggle against the regime and uses firearms. It has stated that it aims are to wage all-out war against the Egyptian government and security forces, and has already taken responsibility for a series of attacks in cities throughout Egypt.

It should be mentioned that the movement's few official statements focus on highly secular discourse, and are not religious in nature. Its communiques speak in the name of the revolution, the people, or the popular struggle, and do not justify violence by citing the principle of jihad or Koranic verses. However, the movement calls the Egyptian regime "The Camp David Army" and implies that it is an agent of the West and Zionism.

"We've Had Our Fill Of Slogans About A Peaceful Revolution"; The Regime Understands Only The Language Of Bullets

A video clip tweeted by the Revolutionary Retribution Movement features two masked men armed with AK47 rifles, one of whom reads out a communiqu├® on behalf of the movement. The communiqu├® states that the current Egyptian regime is just a continuation of the Mubarak regime, and that the political situation in the country leads to bloodshed among the Egyptian people. It also stresses that the movement is not affiliated with any political stream and that it advocates armed revolution as the only possible option: "Today we inaugurate the Revolutionary Retribution Movement, which will serve as a new platform for sincere and genuine revolutionary action to purge the homeland of tyrants. We've had our fill of slogans about a peaceful revolution against an armed regime that understands only the language of bullets. Across the world, revolutions succeed only if they use force to protect themselves." The communiqu├® states further that "no criminal or bloodletter will escape being punished for his actions. The murderers can expect surprises from us. Revenge will come."[3]


Screenshot from the video

In a series of tweets on the anniversary of the revolution and on the following days, the movement took responsibility for attacks on security forces and government buildings in Cairo, Alexandria, Bani Swaif, Port Said, Faiyum and other Egyptian cities. The attacks involved gunfire, the planting of improvised bombs, or both.[4]

On January 29, 2015, the movement posted a communiqu├® taking responsibility for 32 attacks and promising further attacks. It said: "A new phase of genuine revolutionary action has begun in practice, [action] which terrifies the occupying Camp David army... The Revolutionary Retribution Movement hereby announces the [creation] of a division comprising 1,000 fighters who have placed their lives at the service of this homeland in order to end the occupation of the Camp David army and punish anyone involved in the killing of Egyptians. This, by attacking police and military targets and carrying out security ambushes in various provinces... Wait [and see] the sincere revolutionary action, far from the slogans and high-flown speeches, which knows only force and believes that the voice of the gun will drown out every other voice in the campaign to liberate the homeland and avenge the holy martyrs."[5]  

The Revolutionary Retribution Movement's MB Connection

MB spokesman Muhammad Muntasir denied any link between the MB and the Revolutionary Retribution and Popular Resistance movements, saying that it was the Al-Sisi regime that gave rise to them with its own actions.[6] In a phone interview with Al-Jazeera TV, Muntasir said: "The MB has no connection to any of these organizations. The coup [regime] created these organizations because every action has a reaction... It is the ones who kill people indiscriminately in the streets who created these organizations. The ones who rape women and girls in prisons created these organizations. The ones who are violent towards the Egyptian people and abuse it day and night created these organizations. Do not blame these organizations before blaming the regime that gave rise to them."[7]

Nevertheless, there are numerous indications that the MB is linked to the Revolutionary Retribution Movement.

As mentioned above, a January 29, 2015 communique on the Turkey-based MB Rabea TV called on foreign nationals to leave Egypt or else be targeted the revolutionary retribution movements. In addition, on the "Rabea Pulpit" program on that channel, the program's host, cleric and MB member Muhammad Al-Sagheer, hosted cleric Muhammad 'Abd Al-Maqsoud. In their discussion, the two praised Egyptian "revolutionaries" for advancing to the stage of "revolutionary retribution," which they said constituted "an essential turning point" in the struggle against the Egyptian regime, "turning the hand of retribution against anyone who dared to attack the revolution again and again," and taking vengeance against the "thugs" in the Egyptian security forces. The two clerics used Islamic law to justify the move to the new phase and portrayed attacks on Egyptian security forces and regime symbols as self-defense on the part of the "revolutionaries."[8]


Muhammad Al-Sagheer

A Facebook page called "Revolutionary Retribution," which was deleted a few days after it was created,[9] included a link to an eponymous website with a list of Egyptian officers and security forces personnel marked as targets for revenge because of their participation in the August 2013 dispersal of the MB sit-down strike at Rabi'a Al-'Adawiyya Square in Cairo.[10] It should be mentioned that the Revolutionary Retribution Movement had tweeted on Jan 25, 2015 that it had no accounts on any social network besides Twitter; its Twitter account (Twitter.com/el3qab) was opened January 23, 2015, two days before the January 25 anniversary of the revolution.


Screenshot of the Revolutionary Retribution Facebook page taken on February 8, 2015

Another Facebook page with a similar name, "The Egyptian Revolutionary Retribution," includes content associated with the MB, such as praise for ousted president Muhammad Mursi, photos of Egyptians giving the "Rabi'a sign" - that is, holding up four fingers - and links to other pages associated with the MB. In one post, the page's administrators praised the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the MB-affiliated  Hamas, as a model of how to educate youth on the values of jihad.


Images from the Egyptian Revolutionary Retribution Facebook page (January 25, 29, 2015)

Additionally, MB-affiliated clerics, as well as many MB supporters, praised the Revolutionary Retribution Movement. For instance, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Sagheer tweeted: "To the decisive Revolutionary Retribution movements: [Coptic businessman Naguib] Sawiris declared that it was he who was financially supporting the Tamarrud movement [which worked to topple the Mursi regime]. I hereby tell you that his property and institutions are a legitimate revolutionary target. Rebellion [Tamarrud] will encounter retribution."[11]

An MB supporter named Muhammad 'Adel tweeted: "The Revolutionary Retribution people attacked a Central Security force in Faisal, and there are injuries among the force. The slogan of the day is revolutionary retribution. May our Lord grant them victory."[12]

Following the death of dozens of Zamalek SC fans in rioting in Cairo on February 8, 2015, the pro-MB "Cars AntiCoup" tweeted: "Soccer fans should take vengeance in the form of popular resistance and revolutionary retribution in order to topple the coup [regime] before cheering on any team."[13]

The Revolutionary Retribution Movement is also considered an arm of the MB among the ranks of Salafi-jihadis. Abu 'Abeida Al-Gharib, an Egyptian Al-Qaeda activist in Syria, tweeted: "If my intuition is correct and the Egyptian MB is behind the Popular Resistance and Revolutionary Retribution movements in Egypt, then we are at the start of a revolution in the MB's ideology and methodology." In response to the tweet, another activist wrote on the same account that the movements did belong to the MB, and that the latter was using them as a bargaining chip to pressure the Egyptian regime.[14]

 
Endnotes:

[2] Ikhwanonline.com, January 27, 2015.

[3] Twitter.com/el3qab, January 23, 2015. The video is available at: Youtube.com/watch?v=VYsehmrrEPM. 

[4] Twitter.com/el3qab, January 25-29, 2015.

[5] Twitter.com/el3qab, January 29, 2015.

[6] The Popular Resistance took responsibility for a series of violent acts against security forces in several provinces in late January 2015, which authorities had attributed to the MB. Aljazeera.net, January 27, 2015.

[7] Facebook.com/M.B.SPOKESMAN1, January 27, 2015.

[8] YouTube.com/watch?v=4_GzIkt55aQ, January 30, 2015.

[9] Facebook.com/3KabCawry.

[10] 3kabcawry.at.ua, Jan 29, 2015.

[11] Twitter.com/drassagheer, January 25, 2015.

[12] Twitter.com/m7md_3adl, January 25, 2015.

[13] Twitter.com/4X4_SUV, February 13, 2015.

[14] Twitter.com/Abuabeida, February 8, 2015.