Monday, April 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Egypt hikes assault on Muslim Brotherhood

CAIRO — Egypt’s security authorities launched a sweep of arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members on Thursday and warned that holding a leadership post in the group could now be grounds for the death penalty after it was officially declared a terrorist organization, stepping up the government’s confrontation with its top political nemesis.

The announcement came as a bomb exploded in a busy intersection in Cairo Thursday morning, hitting a bus and wounding five people. Though small, the blast raised fears that a campaign of violence by Islamic militants that for months has targeted police and the military could turn to civilians in retaliation for the stepped up crackdown.

The terrorist labeling of the Brotherhood – an unprecedented step even during past decades when the group was banned – takes to a new level the government’s moves to crush the group, which rode on elections to dominate Egypt’s politics the past three years until the military removed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July after massive protests against him.

The Brotherhood vowed to “qualitatively” escalate its protests against the new military-backed interim government, whose authority it rejects. The group has struggled to bring numbers into the streets in past months under a crackdown that has already killed hundreds of its members and put thousands more in prison, including Morsi and other top leaders – and there was little sign of any protests on Thursday.

The moves – all playing out before the backdrop of increasing violence by al-Qaida-inspired militants –raise the potential for greater turmoil as the country nears a key Jan. 14-15 referendum on a revised constitution, a milestone in the post-Morsi political transition. The government is pushing for overwhelming passage of the new document, while the Brotherhood vows to stop it with protests.

Ahmed Imam, spokesman for the Strong Egypt Party founded by ex-Brotherhood member Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, warned that the terrorism label “leaves the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters only one choice, which is violence.”

Both sides are showing “a great deal of stupidity,” he said, blaming the Brotherhood for failing to firmly distance itself from militant violence and the government for closing doors to reconciliation.

Speaking to military graduates Thursday, military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the man who removed Morsi and is now Egypt’s most powerful figure, vowed the country will “stand steadfast in confronting terrorism.”

“Don’t let any of the incidents happening now affect the will of Egyptians. Never,” he said. “Anyone harms you will be wiped from the face of Earth.”

In past months, authorities have used penal code’s various legal justifications for arresting Morsi supporters, from inciting violence to blocking roads. But Wednesday’s terror designation means the Brotherhood’s hundreds of thousands of members can be arrested for simple membership under a tough, years-old anti-terrorism law that outlines death penalties or long prison sentences for some crimes. The government says it will leave leeway for those who renounce the group’s ideology and membership, but didn’t explain how since members don’t carry IDs to prove they belong.

The government said it urged other Arab governments to take similar steps under a 1998 regional anti-terrorism treaty, to increase pressure on Brotherhood branches, especially in Gulf countries already known for longtime enmity to the group.

Police on Thursday arrested 16 Brotherhood members in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya on charges of belonging to a terrorist group, the state news agency MENA said. Another 54 were arrested on accusations they attacked police stations or incited violence.

Private TV networks also aired the number for a hotline for people to report “members of the terrorist Brotherhood” to the National Security Agency – raising the possibility of citizens turning on citizens and increasing the group’s isolation.

Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif said the security forces now had an even freer hand to move against Brotherhood protests. “Things are totally different now,” he told state TV. He said police “won’t be restricted” by provisions in a recent anti-protest law that proscribed gradual steps against protests, starting with verbal warnings, water cannons and tear gas before turning to heavier methods.

Under the anti-terrorism law, those who participate in Brotherhood protests could face up to five years in prison, and “those leading this group (the Brotherhood) could be punished by the death penalty,” he said.

In other steps, the Brotherhood’s daily newspaper, Freedom and Justice, was suspended after security forces confiscated Thursday’s edition.

To drain the group’s resources, the government froze funds of more than 1,000 non-government organizations and charities linked to the Brotherhood and put more than 100 schools run by the group under government supervision. That directly attacks the grassroots network that gave the Brotherhood much of its strength in Egyptian society. The group is involved in a wide array of charities, providing cheap or free food, clothing and medical care to poor Egyptians.

The Brotherhood lashed out at the move, using a sectarian tone. It said the freezing of the funds aims to “fight Islam” and opens the door for “Christian groups to draw poor Muslims away from their religion” by stepping in with charity.

Since Morsi’s ouster, suicide bombings, ambushes and drive-by shootings by suspected Islamic militants have escalated. They have mainly targeted security forces and troops in the Sinai Peninsula, but they have also spread to Cairo and other parts of the country. The deadliest bombing yet came on Tuesday, when a suicide car bomber hit a security headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, killing 16 people, almost all policemen.

With the terrorism label, the government is accusing the Brotherhood of being behind the militant campaign – as well as pervious violence dating back to the 1940s – though authorities have offered no proof. The group denies the accusations.

The homemade bomb in Thursday’s blast in Cairo appeared intended to cause panic rather than casualties, the Interior Ministry’s top explosives expert Gen. Alaa Abdel-Zaher told private CBC television.

The bomb, planted in a busy intersection near schools in Cairo’s eastern district of Nasr City, went off at 9 a.m. It shattered windows on a passing public bus, and flying glass injured five people, one of them seriously, the Interior Ministry said.

Another remote-control bomb, attached to a nearby billboard, was discovered and defused, apparently intended to hit security forces who responded to the first, state TV reported.

Islamic militant groups have claimed responsibility for the bombings and shootings. The most prominent militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, announced it carried out Tuesday’s suicide bombing in Mansoura to avenge the “shedding of innocent Muslim blood” by the “apostate regime.”

So far, there is no solid evidence that al-Qaida inspired group is connected to the Brotherhood. During his year-long presidency, Morsi allied with hardline Islamists and held mediated talks with militants in Sinai to negotiate a truce.

Last week, a new trial of the ousted leader and more than 30 others was announced on charges of conspiring with terrorist groups before, during and after Morsi’s presidency.

In a statement late Wednesday, the Brotherhood-led alliance vowed to escalate protests, saying, “Today we are at the doorstep of a turning point in the revolutionary escalation after the coup leaders insisted on terrorism and violence.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Rodriguez musicians win big in Reno

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
 
Hundreds turn out for Kroc Easter Egg hunt

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

Jelly Belly artist finds her work sweet

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Heroes for Hire event goes haywire

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

Center offers baby mammal care class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police arrest 6 in alcohol sting

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

4-H Paper Clover Campaign starts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
9th Annual Peace Summit on calendar

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Tour past, present, future in Mountain View

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Best of the best compete at dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Event allows for safe medication disposal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Kids Fishing Derby to take place Saturday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Church offers document shredding

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Suisun City to host 3rd annual MS walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Club plans home garden tour in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Local government meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello to host mushroom class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Silent movie night set in Rio Vista

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Street-sweeping dealership comes to Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

Networking event at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
North Bay Pediatrics marks anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

Firm facilitates building lease in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
Weather for Monday, April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Bid, Dick, bid: ‘Dick and Jane’ artworks for sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bee colonies damaged after almond pollination

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at age 43

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sleeping girl killed after car drives into home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Recreation areas reopening after Yosemite fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Nurse in critical condition after stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Transcript of SKorea ship sinking: ‘We can’t move’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Why Hillary? The public awaits her answer

By Ann McFeatters | From Page: A8

 
Local voices, important choices

By Rod Keck | From Page: A8

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon for April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Legislature critic is selective

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Knowledge, religion and the hard work of faith

By Cynthia M. Allen | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History for April 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My friend’s wife drinks too much, verbally abuses her husband

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for April 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes for April 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
‘Capt. America’ tops box office for third week

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

TVGrid April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

 
Sharks take 2-0 series lead with 7-2 win vs. Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Chavez gets 1st win, A’s complete sweep of Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NBA: Refs missed foul call in Warriors-Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Posey, Lincecum lead Giants to 4-3 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Young Clippers try to mature against Warriors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Westwood wins Malaysian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimenez closes with 67 to win Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kuchar rallies from 4 back to win RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep baseball: Pair of 10-run innings powers Vikings to win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Prizefighter Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Red Sox remember Boston Marathon victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Duncan scores 27 points, Spurs beat Mavs 90-85

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nene dominates, Wizards rally past Bulls, 102-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Aldridge leads Portland over Houston 122-120 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Business

 
.

Obituaries

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
.

Comics

Pickles April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard Of Id April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7