US political forces not considering MB as ‘terrorist’ organization: commentators
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: After the United States officially designated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as a “terrorist” organization, political commentators said it is not likely that the move is a preliminary step to blacklisting the Muslim Brotherhood, reported Youm7.

Foad El- Dawalibi, co-founder of Gamaa Islamiyya, said that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood but claims it receives a support from the Brotherhood.

Dawalibi said that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is a takfiri group. He told Youm7 that the group is used by the Muslim Brotherhood as a tool against police and army, adding that the “Brotherhood uses all terrorist groups against the state to maintain control over the country.”

Sameh Rashed, a political expert, said that most of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’ members came from Palestine, and there is no official connection between them and the Brotherhood that may push the U.S. administration to consider the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Rashed said that the U.S. decision was made in the interest of Egypt, and puts new restrictions on Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Rashed also claimed that the U.S will force Hamas to prosecute members of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, as it is claimed that the majority of its members come from Palestine.

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday it has designated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Egypt-based group that has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks on Egyptian security forces and foreign tourists in Sinai as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

“Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is primarily a local group that is not formally linked to Al-Qaeda, but shares some of its ideology,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

Additional reporting by Kamel Kamel and Ahmed Arafa.

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