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Muslim Brotherhood Declared a Terrorist Organization

Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Egypt’s interim government on Wednesday labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, the strongest signal yet that it will not try to work with the Islamist group that once had brief control of the country.

The declaration means that the government can take action against anyone belonging to, promoting or financing the Brotherhood.

Since the beginning of July, the Brotherhood’s supporters have demanded reinstatement of former President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by Egypt’s powerful military for failing to deal with economic and social problems.

Morsi and thousands of Brotherhood members remain under arrest and the interim government has clamped down on virtually all protests while dismantling TV and newspapers sympathetic to Morsi’s cause and banning the Brotherhood from operating.

What spurred the decision to declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization was an attack earlier this week by an al Qaeda-inspired group on a police headquarters in the Nile Delta town of Mansoura that left at least 15 people dead, most of them cops.

That the group, called Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, seems to have no link to the Brotherhood seemed to matter little to the interim government, which will hold a constitutional referendum next month in the run-up to elections to pick a new president and parliament.

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