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Matthew Levitt @Levitt_Matt
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Thread --> New Palestinian and Egyptian Designations Highlight Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood - @WashInstitute
2. Accused of destabilizing activities such as undermining the peace process, targeting high-level Egyptian officials, and smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip, the designees include Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Harakat al-Sabirin, Liwa al-Thawra, and Harakat Sawad Misr
3. Despite tensions over Syria, ties w/Tehran quickly recovered under Haniyeh's tenure, esp after he sent a Hamas delegation to Iran last year.
4. Earlier this month, IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot stated that Iran's annual funding for Hamas and other Gaza militant groups has increased to $100m
5. Along with Haniyeh's outreach to Iran, the State Department also highlighted his "close links" with the Hamas military wing and his reported involvement "in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens."
6. Al-Sabirin reportedly receives $10 million per year from Tehran. The group was founded by former Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Hisham Salem, who has been the target of several assassination attempts, including by Palestinian Salafi-jihadist groups.
7. Little info is out there on al-Sabirin, with the exception of @EhudYaariJLM piece in @ForeignAffairson Replacing Hamas: Iran's New Proxy Militia in Gaza… @WashInstitute
8. @EricTrager18: since Morsi was ousted in 2013, low-profile militant groups proliferated in Egypt. Although they cannot be linked definitively to the MB's notoriously rigid chain of command, they openly espouse the MB's ideology and narrative…
9. Hasm emerged in July 2016 after taking responsibility for the deadly attack on Egyptian police officer Mahmoud Abdul Hamid. Most recently, it took responsibility for the September 2017 bombing of Myanmar's embassy in Cairo.
10. One month after Hasm emerged, Liwa al-Thawra announced its formation on social media. Like Hasm, its attacks have predominantly targeted Egyptian security and government personnel, including the assassination of high-ranking army officer Maj. Adel Ragaai in October 2016.
11. Hasm and the Brotherhood both claimed a July 2017 attack on security forces as their own. More broadly, MB members have likely joined well-trained militant groups such as Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra, all the while calling for attacks against foreign and Egyptian civilians.
12. Tellingly, Hasm and Liwa al-Thawra's actions and rhetoric strongly resemble those of late Brotherhood hardliner Mohamed Kamal, and "the social media pages that publicize their attacks often promote Brotherhood slogans and historical figures."…
13. Targeting ppl/groups doing things like undermining the peace process, targeting high-level Egyptian officials, & smuggling weapons into Gaza, the designations touch on 2 issues of particular interest to the Trump admin: Iranian sponsorship of terrorism & MB-inspired violence
14. Interesting that Haniyeh designated by @StateDeptCT & not @USTreasury-bc of his links to terror ops vice just $$; that said, Haniyeh was also subject to Treasury financial restrictions since 2006 election…
15. @StateDept designations framed as denying entities resources 4 terror activities, but none likely hold property subject to U.S. jurisdiction so actions are more abt shoring up key regional allies who share US concerns re Iranian terror sponsorship & MB-inspired violence
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