Egyptian military looking for 'reasonable' way out of crisis: Source
Sources tell Ahram Online that army believes protests against 'terrorism' on Friday will be bigger than 30 June protests
Dina Ezzat, Thursday 25 Jul 2013
Army officer calms anti-Morsi protesters during clashes with supporters on 22 July (Photo: Mohamed Saad)
A highly informed official source has told Ahram Online that "all state bodies, not excluding the military" are willing to find a "reasonable" way out of the current political crisis of "the last few months."
Following mass nationwide demonstrations on 30 June, president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted by the military on 3 July, and a new transitional roadmap put in place.
Speaking on strict conditions of anonymity, the source said that "pressure has been accumulating and things have to come to an end." He explained that pressure includes what he qualified as "instigated terror attacks" on military and civilian targets at Sinai.
"The state is confident of Muslim Brotherhood involvement in instigating the terror in Sinai. Things have to be checked there; you cannot just sit and watch," he added.
The same source said that "pressure" also includes what he qualified as "solid intelligence information of Muslim Brotherhood appeal to foreign bodies to intervene one way or the other to free the arrested Muslim Brotherhood leadership, including Morsi himself who is under house arrest, and to get them to leave the country with their families and their money."
He also suggested that there is "compelling evidence" that the Muslim Brotherhood are seeking the help of Islamist groups outside Egypt to "facilitate operations in Egypt; this especially includes Sinai."
Sources have been telling Ahram Online over the past weeks that several attempts to start a negotiation process between the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood – many of whom have been arrested on charges of inciting violence – have failed to make a breakthrough due to the "tough positions taken by both sides: state leadership, including the army, and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership."
According to one source who is close to mediators, following a speech by military head General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday afternoon where he demanded that Egyptians protest "terrorism" on Friday to provide the military with "a public mandate to face up to terror," the Muslim Brotherhood leadership seemed "less intransigent." "I think they realised that the army has big enough public support to start mass arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members and other Islamists involved in the incitement and execution of violence."
The highly informed official source for his part said that "Minister El-Sisi would not have made such an appeal had he not been fully confident that he would receive exactly the kind of enormous support he expects; he has solid information about unprecedented public anger with the Muslim Brotherhood."
In the words of a military source, the expectation is that "the demonstrations on Friday will be as big almost as those of 30 June." The same source denied speculation suggesting that following the Friday demonstrations the army and police would act to force an end to the Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins at Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque and in Al-Nahda Square in Giza. "This is not the point of the statement of the minister," he said.
Since the ouster of Morsi on 3 July, Muslim Brotherhood members have been holding sit-ins and demonstrations to demand the reinstatement of Morsi who they argue is the legitimate president.
Speaking to Ahram Online on Wednesday afternoon, a leading member of the Brotherhood said: "We know that Morsi is not coming back as president but we want guarantees that we will not all be thrown back into prison."
The Islamist organisation has faced periods of state persecution at several points in its almost-ninety year history, and some of its leaders spent many years in prison on political charges.
"If we have to choose between fighting and dying on the street and going to prison, why should anybody think we would want to go to prison?" The Muslim Brotherhood leader said.