That’s progress considering that not too long ago, Cameron was considering going to war in Syria for the Brotherhood.
David Cameron has ordered an urgent investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood amid fears that the Islamist organisation is planning extremist activities from Britain.
The review will include an assessment by MI6, the foreign intelligence service, of claims that the group was behind the murder of three tourists on a bus in Egypt in February and a spate of other recent attacks.
MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, will also be asked to investigate how many senior leaders are based in this country after last year’s military coup in Egypt, which deposed Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was elected president.
Now officials say it is “possible but unlikely” that the organisation will join the list of groups banned in Britain because of their links with terrorism.
Mr Cameron ordered an urgent review after concluding that not enough was known about the group’s make-up and aims. He has asked Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to report on its “philosophy and values and alleged connections with extremism and violence” by the end of July. Initial work by Sir Kim Darroch, the National Security Adviser, has already started.
This is probably yet another theatrical effort to show that Cameron is serious about Islamic terrorism and immigration, but I don’t imagine that this will even lead to a single Muslim Brotherhood leader booted out of the country.
It does however suggest that Cameron is being a bit more responsive to changing winds in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The UK government, for all its flaws, does pay attention to what happens in the Middle East, while the US government just picks up a few articles containing the collective political wisdom on the Middle East from 25 years ago and moves ahead with whatever they say.
US diplomats still can’t cope with the fall of Morsi. The UK seems to be translating that set of events domestically.