Any government in which the Brotherhood has a greater role would be less supportive of U.S. interests, says David Schenker, a Middle East adviser in the Defense Department under President George W. Bush. Senior leaders of the Brotherhood have pledged to end Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, he says.
The organization has been a revolutionary opposition group in Egypt since its founding in the 1920s, opposing corruption and advocating a conservative form of Islam in government. It inspired al-Qaeda and the Iran-backed Palestinian group Hamas, which the State Department considers a terrorist group.
Over the years, radical elements of the Brotherhood have tried to initiate armed rebellion in Egypt. President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by a Brotherhood cell, leading to Mubarak’s rise and a crackdown on the group