Washington-U.S. officials from Donald Trump’s team uncovered on Friday that his administration is currently studying the possibility of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
Reuters news agency quoted on Friday a Trump transition advisor, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, as saying: “I know it has been discussed. I’m in favor of it.”
A faction led by Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, wants to add the Brotherhood to the State Department and U.S. Treasury lists of foreign terrorist organizations, the sources said.
The advisor said Flynn’s team discussed adding the group to the U.S. list of terrorist groups but said it was ultimately unclear when or even if the administration ultimately would go ahead with such a move.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was designated as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government in 2013. It is also listed as a terrorist group in other countries, including the UAE.
The White House has still not commented on the issue.
It is expected for such decision, if taken, to have repercussions on regional issues and the relations of the U.S. with its Middle Eastern and North African allies, mainly Turkey which is led by the Islamist-rooted AKP Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda Party has also participated in democratic elections.
Before uncovering the U.S. administration’s tendency towards listing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, three senators, including Senator Ted Cruz, introduced this month a legislation to add the Brotherhood to the blacklist.
The new development also comes after Trump asserted in a television interview with Fox News his determination to boost relations with the regime of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and expressed his support for Cairo’s steps to fight extremism.
By law, a group designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) may seek judicial review of the designation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not later than 30 days after the designation is published in the Federal Register.