U.S.: Egypt Islamists' impact on peace with Israel unclear
Top U.S. intelligence official tells Senate he assesses Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is not in favor of peace treaty with Israel and they were being watched closely.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood probably does not favor its country's peace treaty with Israel, but its views are not uniform and it will be only one voice in Egypt's emerging political lineup, the top U.S. intelligence official told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
"I would assess that they are not in favor of the treaty," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, adding that the U.S. intelligence community knows very little about the Muslim Brotherhood's views on the Israel peace treaty and Palestinian weapon smuggling into Gaza from Egypt.
The Muslim Brotherhood is "only one voice in the emerging political milieu" of Egypt following last week's ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, said Clapper.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is a large, heterogenous global organization whose agenda and impact differ from country to country," he told the committee.
"It also has different factions, including a conservative wing whose interpretation of Islam runs counter to broad electoral participation and a younger, more liberal wing who is more inclined to work through a secular political process," said Clapper.
Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta told the hearing the agency was closely watching the Muslim Brotherhood as the political situation in Egypt takes shape.
"It is clear that within the Muslim brotherhood there are extremist elements that we have to pay attention to and that's something we watch very closely to make sure that they are not able to exert their influence on the directions of governments in that region," said Panetta.
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