An Egyptian court has banned the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt state TV announced today. The ruling, which can be appealed, opens the door for authorities to track down the group's elaborate network of social services, dealing a deadly blow to its pillars of grassroots support.
The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence. But after the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly, formed a political party and rose to power in a string of post-Mubarak elections. In March, it registered as a recognized non-governmental organization. (Read more Muslim Brotherhood stories.)