President Donald Trump and his administration are reportedly pushing to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
The New York Times first reported the news on Tuesday, citing officials familiar with the matter.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that a plan is “working its way through the internal process,” the Times and CNN reported.
The White House is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization https://t.co/J2HWU9ef5h
— CNN (@CNN) April 30, 2019
“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,” she said.
The move reportedly comes at the urging of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who asked Trump to do so during a visit to the White House earlier this month. Trump “responded affirmatively,” reports said. The move would benefit el-Sisi, who opposes the Brotherhood and designated it a terrorist group years ago.
“If President Trump designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist org, it will be the biggest hit to the global Islamist movement. MB has the most organized network of institutions, politicians & banks. This will shake their empire. Do it. ASAP,” tweeted Imam Mohamad Tawhidi.
If President Trump designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist org, it will be the biggest hit to the global Islamist movement. MB has the most organized network of institutions, politicians & banks. This will shake their empire. Do it. Asap.
— Imam Mohamad Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) April 30, 2019
The White House has now reportedly “directed national security and diplomatic officials to find a way to place sanctions on the group,” the Times said.
The Obama Administration had reportedly refused to designate the Brother an FTO, the Times noted.
The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. There was later a secret armed faction of the group that fought colonial rule by the British in 1940s, but the group later embraced “electoral democracy,” according to the Times.
However, some current offshoots and ex-members have engaged in terroristic acts, the Times pointed out.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Ergodan supports the Brotherhood, and it is speculated that were the U.S. to designate the group a terrorist organization, the move would heighten tensions with Turkey.
Trump earlier this month designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard an FTO. The unprecedented move was the first time the U.S. has ever named a part of another government an FTO.
The move came as the United States continues to put pressure on Iran for its terroristic behavior, whether in act or by funding terrorism worldwide. The U.S. has been putting economic and political pressure on Iran.