Mubarak Foes Unite Behind ElBaradei

... Including the controversial Muslim Brotherhood

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2011 2:55 PM CST

(Newser) – Egypt's vast protest movement is showing signs of converging behind a single leader: Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. Various opposition groups threw their support behind him today, none more significant than the controversial Muslim Brotherhood. ElBaradei addressed the throngs at a rally in downtown Cairo, despite the curfew that exists in name only, reports Reuters: "I ask of you patience, change is coming in the next few days," he said. "You have taken back your rights and what we have begun, cannot go back." In a separate interview with CNN, he said Mubarak could save the country by leaving immediately.

The development came as the military increased its presence in Cairo and elsewhere—including flyovers by fighter jets—but again took no steps against protesters. At one point, jubilant demonstrators lifted a captain in uniform onto their shoulders, notes the New York Times. The hated police remained AWOL, though the Interior Ministry said they'd be redeployed tomorrow. As for the closely watched Muslim Brotherhood, Leslie Gelb at the Daily Beast warns that any rise in power for the MB would be "calamitous for US security" given the group's support of "Hamas and other terrorist groups." And if it does gain control, "it's going to be almost impossible for the people to take it back," he warns. "Just look at Iran."

Egyptian Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei arrives to address the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday.
Egyptian Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei arrives to address the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei addresses the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday.
Egyptian Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei addresses the crowd at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, in a file photo.
The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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