A few hours after a massive explosion at Egyptian security forces headquarters in Daqahliya province, north of Cairo, it is difficult to determine the identity of those behind the terror attack.
The bombing left 12 people dead and over 100 wounded according to state media reports, and was followed by the Muslim Brotherhood being labeled a “terror organization” by Cairo.
However, the Islamist movement itself released a statement condemning the blast.
Egypt, splintered and bloodied after years of unrest, has a number of groups who would want to carry out such an attack, but it is doubtful if the Muslim Brotherhood is among them.
If the movement has a connection to this attack it will have serious implications both in terms of its legal standing and in damaging the way it is seen on the Egyptian street.
Thus it is likely that somebody in Cairo was eager to pin the bombing on the Brotherhood, seeking to exploit the created momentum — public anger against those who attacked security forces — and channel it to erode the status of the group.
The Egyptian government’s declaration that the movement is a terror organization does not itself have dramatic implications on the ground. As it is, for months since the second revolution in Egypt there has been an intense hunt on for Muslim Brotherhood members and leadership, and thousands have been arrested by Egyptian security forces.
It may be that now it will be easier for the Egyptian courts to impose heavy penalties on them, but nothing beyond that.
The most important implication of this announcement (which the prime minister himself refused to deal with), is a widening internal Egyptian rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and the new military government.
While in Tunisia it seems that a combination of secular and religious forces is attempting to find a solution to the state’s problems, it looks like in Egypt the war between the camps is worsening, so it is doubtful that the army will succeed in bringing a better future for Egypt.