Egypt names Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group

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SummaryThe 85-year-old Muslim Brotherhood is still Egypt's most organized political group.

comes after another sweeping decision Tuesday aimed at draining the Brotherhood's finances by freezing the funds of more than 1,000 non-government organizations with links to the group and putting more than 100 schools run by the group under government supervision. That directly attacks the grassroots strength of the Brotherhood, where it has much of its power in Egyptian life.

Eissa said Wednesday's decision means that those who "participate in the group's activities, in the organization or promotion verbally or by writing or by any other means or financing its activities" will be facing punishment according to the law.

"It's not possible for Egypt the state nor Egypt the people to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism," Eissa said.

He also said that the government had notified other Arab countries about its decision. The Brotherhood has organizations and political parties in other nations in the region. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said a regional agreement for combatting terrorism requires Arab countries to hand over those wanted by Egypt.

Ahmed el-Borai, the minister of social solidarity, told reporters that the decision means that demonstrations by the group will also be banned. He said that members who abandon their membership and withdraw from the group "will be pardoned."

The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, renounced violence in the late 1970s. Since rising to power after Mubarak's ouster, the Brotherhood had faced growing public anger over what critics said was its attempt to monopolize power, enshrine Islamic laws in the country's legislation and allying with some of the country's more radical Islamist groups.

The military-backed government has blamed the group for a surge in violence particularly against security forces after Morsi' ouster, accusing it of seeking to destabilize the country to undermine the new authorities and its political plan to hold elections.

Security forces already have cranked up the pressure on the Brotherhood since July, arresting thousands of its members, including its top leadership, and cracking down on protests that often have turned violent, leaving hundreds killed.

Last week, prosecutors referred Morsi and other top Brotherhood leaders to trial on charges of conspiring with Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah, Iran and other militant groups and orchestrating the Sinai insurgency to avenge his ouster. Morsi supporters and rights groups have called the accusations implausible.

It's not yet clear what steps the government will take following the declaration. Rifaat Laqoushah, a political analyst, called the declaration "procedural" and could be overturned by the courts.

"The government should present

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