U.S. media is reporting that the U.S. intelligence reports indicate that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government has recently permitted Muslim Brotherhood members and “hardline jihadists” to join Egypt’s military academy for the first time. According to a Washington Post report, U.S. intelligence agencies are also investigating reports that Egyptian President Morsi has concluded a secret agreement with Hamas:
Friday, March 29, 2013 Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated government recently allowed members of the Brotherhood and hardline jihadists to join Egypt’s military academy for the first time as part of what U.S. officials say is a covert effort to impose Islamist rule in the key Middle East state. According to U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, the government of President Mohamed Morsi is covertly taking steps to take control over the pro-Western military and the police forces as part of a campaign to solidify Islamist control. Egypt for decades had banned the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups from both the military and police academies after Islamic terrorists in the military assassinated Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat in 1981. The Egyptian military also for decades has maintained close ties to the U.S. military. Analysts in the U.S. intelligence community and the military are viewing the introduction of Islamists into the national military academy, disclosed last week, with concern. Muslim Brotherhood members and hardline Salafi groups are regarded as dedicated first to jihad, or holy war, and other Islamist principles rather than to the country. ‘Any opening of the Egyptian military to Islamist elements would be a big and complicated change,’ said one U.S. official. ‘It’s not clear how it would be managed or how well the rank and file would absorb it.’ Disclosure that the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamists are now being admitted to the military academy was made public March 19 in Egyptian news reports. The head of the military academy, Ismat Murad, told reporters the new batch of Islamist students included the nephew of Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. Meanwhile, U.S. officials said intelligence agencies are investigating reports that Morsi recently concluded a secret agreement with the Palestinian terror group Hamas, another disturbing sign the Egyptian government is shifting away from its former pro-Western stance and toward radical Islam. There are concerns the agreement involves collusion between the Muslim Brotherhood and a plan to settle Palestinians in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.