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'FTR' update: Will the U.S. follow Britain’s lead and investigate the Muslim Brotherhood?


For the Record's 2013 episode "Civilization Jihad" reported on the Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers who have achieved positions of influence in the U.S. government. Now, U.S. ally Great Britain may soon crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood, based on findings from a review of the organization ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron. Will the U.S. follow suit?

“The prime minister commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy, activities and impact on our national interests, at home and abroad, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of the government’s policy towards the organization,” a British Embassy representative told TheBlaze. “It will draw on views from our posts in the Middle East; our security agencies; independent experts; and views from governments in the Middle East.”

The full review “looked at the organization’s philosophy and values, its policies, its track record both in and out of government, and its connections and alleged connections with extremism,” the representative said. “It also looked at the organization and activities of the [Muslim Brotherhood] in the U.K., and consider how they impact on our national security and foreign policy, including our important relationships with states in the Middle East.”

The results of the review will “be available sometime in the autumn,” the representative said, and that “work is underway across government to consider the implications of its findings.”

The U.K. Telegraph reported the British crackdown “will stop short of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood” but will likely include “investigations into charities that are effectively 'fronts' for the Brotherhood; inquiries into funding of the organization and links to jihadi groups abroad; [and] banning clerics linked to the group from countries such as Qatar and Turkey from coming to Britain for rallies and conferences.”

A State Department representative did not comment on the forthcoming report from Britain, telling TheBlaze, “I don’t have a comment on the [British] report or anything new on the Muslim Brotherhood … I’m sure you’re aware, the United States has not designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.”

In fact, the Obama administration has openly supported Muslim Brotherhood leadership. In 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went so far as to give kudos to the face of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, then-President Mohammed Morsi.

“I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence,” Clinton said in a speech in Cairo.

While official U.S. relations with the Muslim Brotherhood have cooled since Morsi was removed from office in July 2013, the Obama administration continues to label the group as one of many political parties in the region.

The State Department gave no indication that the U.S. will follow the U.K.’s lead and conduct a formal review. But the British Embassy emphasized that the report could change national policy with regard to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that move could put pressure on Obama to follow suit.

“We have been clear from the start that the purpose of this review is to produce an internal report to the Prime Minister to inform government policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood,” the British Embassy spokesperson said.

Elizabeth Kreft contributed to this report.

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