Egypt’s military-installed interim government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Morsi a “terrorist” organisation Wednesday, signalling a wider crackdown after blaming it for a deadly police station bombing claimed by jihadists.
A Muslim Brotherhood leader lambasted the “drastic” decision and vowed the movement would keep up its protests across Egypt, despite the move which is unprecedented for the 85-year-old movement.
The decision is likely to accelerate a crackdown on the movement that has killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, in street clashes and seen thousands imprisoned since Morsi’s overthrow by the military in July this year.
The announcement comes a day after a suicide car bombing of a police station killed 15 people, in an attack condemned by the Brotherhood and claimed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired group based in the restive Sinai Peninsula.
“All of Egypt was horrified by the ugly crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday morning, when it blew up the Daqhaleya police headquarters,” the cabinet said in a statement.
“The government has decided to declare the Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation,” it said, referring to terrorism clauses in the country’s penal code.
“Members who continue to belong to this group or organisation following the release of this statement will be punished according to the law,” said the statement.