Just days after the Obama State Department played host to a delegation of leaders aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group has called for "a long, uncompromising jihad" in Egypt, the Washington Free Beacon reported Friday.
Earlier this week, State hosted a Brotherhood-linked delegation looking to mobilize support for the overthrow of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
One delegation member was Waleed Sharaby, a Brotherhood-linked judge. He posted on his Facebook page
a statement translated by the Free Beacon as saying: "Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone."
The Free Beacon reported that Sharaby flashed
the Islamic group’s four-finger Rabia symbol.
The delegation also included two other members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Participants at the State Department meeting included several department officials including a deputy assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor.
Just days after that meeting, the Brotherhood declared: "It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom."
The statement also emphasized the importance of preparing to engage in jihad and invoked the name of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.
The Free Beacon reported that the statement said al-Banna "prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers."
Experts said the timing is certain to be an embarrassment to the State Department and the Obama administration.
The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood "issued its call to jihad two days after its meeting at the State Department will be grist for endless anti-American conspiracy theories about a supposed partnership between Washington and the Brotherhood," said Eric Trager,
a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"The State Department should have foreseen what an embarrassment this would be," he added.
The Muslim Brotherhood's operatives "have been committing violent acts for a very long time," Trager told the Free Beacon.
Under President Mohammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood operative overthrown by al-Sisi in July 2013, "Muslim Brothers tortured prisoners outside the presidential palace," Trager said. "After Morsi's ouster, they have frequently attacked security forces and state property."
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