Egypt's military-backed interim government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, a dramatic escalation that gives authorities more power in cracking down on them. Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education, read out the Cabinet statement after a long meeting today. Eissa said: "The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization."
Eissa added that the implications of the declaration punish those who belong to the group, financing it and those promoting the group's activities. The Brotherhood is the group that ousted President Mohamed Morsi belongs to and which has waged near-daily protests since a July 3 popularly backed military coup toppled his government. Authorities blamed the Brotherhood for militant attacks now striking Egypt, a claim the Brotherhood repeatedly has denied. A court had earlier banned the group. (Read more Egypt stories.)