A prominent Egyptian editor and former member of parliament on Sunday clarified that he is opposed to violence just days after he threatened Americans would be “slaughtered in their homes” if the life of the country’s military chief was threatened.
During a debate last week on a popular program on Egypt’s CBC TV, former lawmaker Mustafa Bakri said he was “100 percent sure” that there was a plot being concocted domestically and overseas – led by the U.S. – to assassinate Egypt’s military chief General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.
If it were to be carried out, there would be “a revolution of massacring Americans in the streets,” he said, adding, “[President Barack] Obama personally will be held accountable, and we will slaughter the criminals and the traitors here in their homes.”
According to a transcript of the interview translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Bakri said: “Let this serve as a warning to all. We shall enter their homes and massacre them one by one. We will not allow such a crime to be committed against a man whom we believe has saved this country. This warning is directed to all – from Obama to his lowliest collaborator from the terrorist organization [i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood] here.”
“We have 90 million ticking bombs,” Bakri said. “If anything happens to General Al-Sisi, no American will be left on the face of the Earth – not in Egypt, nor anywhere else. We shall not keep silent.”
On Sunday, Bakri took back his strong remarks. The Egyptian government distributed a statement issued by him which read, “I am opposed to any violence, including any violence against US citizens, and I would like to make it clear that we have no enmity with or hostility toward the American people at all.”
“The intention of my comments was to highlight Egyptian independence, and our adamant refusal to allow any outside party, be that the US or any other party, to interfere in internal Egyptian affairs,” Bakri added.
The Associated Press noted, “Bakry’s threat is indicative of the widespread belief promoted by Egyptian media that the U.S. government and President Barack Obama are involved in a conspiracy to destabilize Egypt.”
During the interview, he also accused the U.S. of being behind “the same scenario” which according to him led to the assassination of Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto.
Since former President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power in July, “the U.S. government, and Obama have been widely criticized in pro-military media for supporting Morsi and the group from which he hails, the Muslim Brotherhood,” the AP reported.
“Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, al-Ahram, has several times in recent months used its front page to air claims that the US government has joined forces with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to divide up Egypt into smaller countries, and to spread chaos within its borders,” wrote Britain’s the Guardian.
Even as anti-American conspiracy theories abound, Congress approved a spending bill last Tuesday which would restore the $1.5 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt on condition that its government takes steps toward democratic reform.
Here is an excerpt of Bakri’s interview on CBC TV courtesy of MEMRI: