PARIS – Security forces shot dead a man who seized a soldier’s gun at Paris Orly airport in France on Saturday soon after the same man shot and wounded a police officer during a routine police check, the interior minister said.
The man was known to police and intelligence services, Interior Minister Bruno le Roux told reporters. A police source described him as a radicalized Muslim but did not identify him by name.
The anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.
The busy Orly airport south of Paris was evacuated and security forces swept the area for bombs to make sure the dead man was not wearing an explosive belt, but nothing was found, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters.
“The man succeeded in seizing the weapon of a soldier. He was quickly neutralized by the security forces,” Brandet said.
Noone else was injured at the airport.
Flights were suspended from both terminals of the airport and some flights were diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport north of the capital, airport operator ADP said.
Earlier, a police officer was shot and wounded by the same man during a routine traffic check in Stains, north of Paris.
The incidents came five weeks before France holds presidential elections in which national security is a key issue.
The country remains on high alert after attacks by Islamic State militants killed scores of people in the last two years -including coordinated bombings and shootings in Paris in November 2015 in which 130 people were killed. A state of emergency is in place until at least the end of July.
The attacks would have no impact on a trip to Paris by Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, and his wife Kate, who are due to end a two-day visit to the French capital on Saturday, a British spokesman said.
The soldier whose gun the man tried to seize was a member of the army’s “Sentinelle” operation responsible for patrolling airports and other key sites since January 2015 when Islamist attackers killed 12 people at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. It was reinforced after the Paris attacks.
Around 3,000 passengers were evacuated from the airport, the second busiest in the country.
In March 2016, Islamic State claimed responsibility for suicide bomb attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital which killed 35 people, including three suicide bombers.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AFP) — Twin bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims on Saturday killed 46 people in Damascus, most of them Iraqis, a monitoring group said, in one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital.
There have been periodic bomb attacks in Damascus, but the stronghold of the regime of President Bashar Assad has been largely spared the destruction faced by other major cities in six years of civil war.
A roadside bomb detonated as a bus passed and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Bab al-Saghir area, which houses several Shiite mausoleums that draw pilgrims from around the world, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“There are also dozens of people wounded, some of them in a serious condition,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
State television said there were 40 dead and 120 wounded after “terrorists detonated two bombs.”
It broadcast footage of several white buses with their windows shattered, some of them heavily charred.
Shoes, glasses and wheelchairs laid scattered on the ground covered in blood.
Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Shaar said the attack targeted “pilgrims of various Arab nationalities.”
“The sole aim was to kill,” he said.
The Iraqi foreign ministry said around 40 of its nationals were among the dead and 120 among the wounded.
There was no immediate claim for the attack.
Shiite shrines are a frequent target of attack for Sunni extremists of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group (IS), not only in Syria but also in neighboring Iraq.
The Sayeda Zeinab mausoleum to the south of Damascus, Syria’s most visited Shiite pilgrimage site, has been hit by several deadly bombings during the six-year-old civil war.
Twin suicide bombings in the high-security Kafr Sousa district of the capital in January killed 10 people, eight of them soldiers.
That attack was claimed by former al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front which said that it had targeted Russian military advisers working with the Syrian army.
It was widely seen as an attempt to disrupt UN-brokered peace talks that took place the following month which to the anger of Fateh al-Sham were supported by its former Islamist rebel ally Ahrar al-Sham.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has called a new round of talks for March 23.
Fateh al-Sham has been repeatedly bombed in its northwestern stronghold this year, not only by the Syrian army and its Russian ally but also by a US-led coalition battling IS in both Syria and Iraq.
The rift over the UN-brokered talks between the rebels and the government has also seen deadly clashes between the jihadists and their former Islamist rebel allies.
The two groups had together seized virtually all of the northwestern province of Idlib but are now vying for territorial control.
Bomb attacks are rare in Damascus. The Syrian capital is sometimes the target of shelling by rebel groups who hold areas on the outskirts.
On December 16 a seven-year-old girl wearing an explosive belt blew herself up outside a police station in Midan district, wounding three police officers.
Two blasts near state security agencies in Kafr Sousa in December 2011 killed more than 40 people and wounded more than 150, the Syrian government said at the time.
Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the politician who previously accused the U.S. of arming ISIS, is still calling on the U.S. government to stop its disastrous regime change policies in the Middle East.
According to a press release made public on Tuesday, Gabbard has again called for the U.S. to stop aiding terrorists like al-Qaeda and ISIS. Gabbard’s guest at the presidential address to Congress, a Kurdish refugee activist, also called for an end to the U.S. policy of “regime change in Syria.”
“In the face of unimaginable heartbreak, Tima has been a voice for the voiceless, a champion for refugees worldwide, and a strong advocate for ending the regime change war in Syria. I am honored to welcome her to Washington tonight as we raise our voices to call on our nation’s leaders to end the counterproductive regime change war in Syria that has caused great human suffering, refugees, loss of life, and devastation. We urge leaders in Congress to pass the Stop Arming Terrorists Act and end our destructive policy of using American taxpayer dollars to provide direct and indirect support to armed militants allied with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, who are fighting to overthrow the Syrian government.”
Gabbard also reportedly told Russian state-owned news station RT:
For years, our government has been providing both direct and indirect support to these armed militant groups, who are working directly with or under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, all in their effort and fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”
According to the press release, Kurdi said the following:
I am proud to stand with Tulsi and support her work to end regime change war in Syria. My people have suffered for more than six years—enough is enough. Tulsi understands that arming the so-called “rebels” in Syria has only led to more bloodshed, more suffering, and created more refugees. A military solution in Syria is not the answer. I hope that President Trump will stop arming terrorists and commit to a political solution in Syria—it is the only way to restore peace.”
Gabbard came under fire earlier this year when she took a secretive trip to Syria and met with President Assad, as well as a number of other people on the ground. The fact that her proposed policies have the backing of the relative of the drowned Syrian refugee — whose images the media exploited in 2015 to advance the western narrative against Assad — should speak volumes about the efficacy of Gabbard’s approach. Despite this, the media hardly pays heed to Gabbard’s ideas.
In 2014, PBS ran a report in which they interviewed Syrian rebels who had been trained by the CIA at a camp in Qatar. According to one of the fighters:
They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road…They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.” [emphasis added]
The latter emboldened section is a blatant war crime and is also the standard operating procedure for ISIS. Regardless of the banner these rebels operate under, this is a terrorist tactic, and it is ultimately what American taxpayer dollars have been doing in Syria.
SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North Korea warned Saturday the US will “pay dearly” if it puts Pyongyang on a terror list over the killing of its leader’s half-brother, as a suspect in the murder claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy.
Kim Jong-Nam, 45, was poisoned in Malaysia last month with VX, a nerve agent so deadly that it is classed as a weapon of mass destruction.
The dramatic killing at Kuala Lumpur airport prompted an international probe, lurid stories of North Korea’s Cold War-style tradecraft and a bitter war of words between Malaysia and Pyongyang.
South Korean and Japanese media, citing diplomatic sources, have since reported that the US has been mulling placing the North back on its terror list, which includes Iran and Syria.
“The US will keenly realize how dearly it has to pay for its groundless accusations against the dignified” North if it puts it back on the terror list, the regime’s foreign ministry spokesman told state-run newswire KCNA.
The spokesman maintained that Pyongyang opposed “all forms of terrorism” and accused the US of trying to tarnish its reputation.
South Korea has blamed the North for the murder, citing what they say was a standing order from leader Kim Jong-Un to kill his exiled half-brother who may have been seen as a potential rival.
However, the only North Korean arrested over the assassination on Saturday denounced Malaysia’s probe into the murder as “a conspiracy to impair the dignity of the Republic (North Korea).”
Ri Jong-Chol, who was released and deported Friday due to lack of evidence, said that police had offered him a comfortable life in Malaysia in return for a false confession.
“But no way. No matter how good a life it could be, it is still not as good as my own motherland. How could I forget the motherland that raised me and fed me to this point?” he said to media in Beijing.
Airline employee wanted
Ri’s release came days after two women — one Vietnamese and one Indonesian — were charged with murdering Kim Jong-Nam.
Airport CCTV footage showed the women approaching the heavyset 45-year-old and apparently smearing his face with a cloth.
Police say he suffered a seizure and died less than 20 minutes later. Swabs of the dead man’s face revealed traces of VX nerve agent.
On Friday police issued an arrest warrant for a North Korean airline employee, Kim Uk Il, 37, in connection with the murder.
They also requested that Hyon Kwang Song, second secretary at the North Korean embassy, assist the probe.
Both are believed to be in Malaysia. Four others are thought to have fled to Pyongyang on the day of the assassination.
North Korea, which has not acknowledged the dead man’s identity, has vehemently protested the investigation, saying Malaysia is in cahoots with its enemies.
In response, Malaysia has cancelled a rare visa-free travel deal with North Korea — a key conduit to the outside world — and recalled its envoy to Pyongyang.
The nuclear-armed North was first designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the US in 1987 when its agents bombed a South Korean plane killing all 115 on board.
But it was taken off the list in 2008 after Pyongyang took steps toward freezing its nuclear facilities.
However, since then the North has resumed its activities, conducting four atomic tests and numerous missile tests despite the fact that they are banned under several UN Security Council resolutions.
AMMAN — Jordan hanged 15 death row prisoners at dawn on Saturday, its information minister said, in a further break with the moratorium on executions it had observed between 2006 and 2014.
Ten of those put to death had been convicted of terrorism offences and five of “heinous” crimes including rape, Mahmud al-Momani told the official Petra news agency.
All of those hanged were Jordanians and they were hanged in Suaga prison south of the capital Amman.
King Abdullah II had said in 2005 that Jordan aimed to become the first Middle Eastern country to halt executions in line with most European countries.
Courts continued to hand down death sentences but they were not carried out.
But public opinion blamed a rise in crime on the policy and in December 2014 Jordan hanged 11 men convicted of murder, drawing criticism from human rights groups.
Opinion hardened after the murder by the Islamic State group of captured Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh whose plane had crashed in a jihadist-held region of Syria in December 2014 while serving with a US-led coalition.
Grisly footage posted in February the following year of him being burnt alive in a cage outraged the public.
Swiftly afterwards, Jordan hanged two people convicted of terrorism offences, one of them Sajida al-Rishawi.
She had taken part in a 2005 suicide attack on luxury hotels in Amman organised by IS’s forebear, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but her explosives failed to detonate.
Yesterday I covered an urgent request that was placed by the United States Air Force to obtain drone killing technology that could be used against ISIS’ newly formed “Unmanned Aircraft of the Mujahideen.” The result of this urgency was a $15.6 million no-bid contract with an Israeli company to develop portable systems to combat small drones that are alleged to be in use and under rapid development by ISIS and other terror groups in the region.
Although it’s merely one day later, the “urgency” has become nearly breathless, as today the Pentagon’s counterterrorism chief, Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata, is warning that since terrorists have demonstrated a clear intention to use drones, the next step would be to launch drone swarms.
“What could you do with a swarm of weaponized unmanned aerial systems?” asked Nagata. “We need to remember that aerial vehicles are not the only rapidly growing capability when it comes to robotics. Ask yourself what could a robot the size of a penny that can cut through computer cables do to a command control room?”
Good questions, and (if legitimate) probably should have been asked when the U.S. launched the global drone arms race to begin with and started killing people with them.
“I believe that is only a harbinger of what is coming as this technology grows in both capability, availability and costs continue to drop,” he said. “The question is no longer will somebody be able to do such things some day? Or how do we stop this from happening in the future? I would argue this is something we need to be asking ourselves right now.”
The warning comes in tandem with “Hard Kill” – a three-phase challenge for defense contractors to demonstrate their wares – which, as Defense One states, is “a bit like American Idol for drone killing.”
In reality, we are witnessing the real-time feedback loop of problem-reaction-solution that ensures war without end. And it doesn’t even have to make sense. We are being told to believe that drones like the one pictured below are a threat to the highest-tech military in the world and that somehow this thing will progress through phases of development to become what you will see in the video below the image.
I expect to see a flurry of more stories like these about urgent exotic weapons projects as Trump announces a historic 9% increase in the military’s budget.
President Donald Trump is seeking what he called a “historic” 9 percent increase in military spending, even as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world’s strongest military power.Trump will ask Congress to boost Pentagon spending in the next fiscal year by $54 billion in his first budget proposal and slash the same amount from non-defense spending, including a large reduction in foreign aid, a White House budget official said on Monday.
There’s really not much more to say, other than to hope this is just a wishful thinking money grab during the reign of a new American president who continues to publicly commit to massive military expansion. Because if people at the highest level of counter-terrorism truly believe this is an imminent threat to humanity, then we might be in more trouble than we can imagine.
After rightly rejecting the new draft Constitution for Syria submitted by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is wisely rejecting the Trump administration concept of the implementation of “safe zones” inside Syria. In the first interview with Western media since the election of Donald Trump, Assad decried the plan as a bad idea that would have no real ability to protect civilians or end the Syrian crisis.
When asked by the interviewer about Trump’s statement that he would “absolutely” create “safe zones” in Syria “for the Syrian people,” Assad responded by saying,
But actually, it won’t [protect civilians], it won’t. Safe zones for the Syrians could only happen when you have stability and security, where you don’t have terrorists, where you don’t have [the] flow and support of those terrorists by the neighboring countries or by Western countries. This is where you can have a natural safe zone, which is our country. They don’t need safe zones at all. It’s not a realistic idea at all.
When the interviewer pressed Assad on the fact that so many Syrians were displaced and thus “How can you oppose safe zones?” Assad pointed directly at the root of the problem. He stated,
The first thing you have to ask: why were they displaced? If you don’t answer that question, you cannot answer the rest. They were displaced for two reasons: first of all, the terrorist acts and the support from the outside. Second, the [U.S.] embargo on Syria. Many people didn’t only leave Syria because of the security issues. As you can see, Damascus is safe today, it’s nearly normal life, not completely.
But they don’t find a way for life in Syria, so they have to travel abroad in order to find their living. So, if you lift the embargo, and if you stop supporting the terrorists … I’m talking about everyone who supported terrorists, including the United States during Obama’s administration. If you stop all these acts, most of those people will go back to their country.
Indeed. In this short interview clip, Assad echoed the same sentiment and solutions that I and many other Syrian researchers and analysts have been saying from the beginning of the crisis; i.e. if America wants to stop terrorism in Syria, it need only stop funding it, supporting it, and directing it. It’s that simple. The U.S. could also call on its allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, U.K., France, Qatar, and Israel to do the same. It could work with Russia to eliminate the remnants of terrorist forces and it could provide information and coordinates to both Syria and Russia on the whereabouts of terrorists and terrorist forces.
We should call on the Trump administration to immediately end any and all support for armed groups in Syria, to press America’s allies to stop supporting terrorists, immediately begin rapprochement with Russia and Syria, and look toward the future of investment in rebuilding Syria as a country as well as immediately ending the sanctions currently in place against the Syrian people.
BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview released on Friday that the United States is welcome to join the battle against “terrorists” in Syria — as long as it is in cooperation with his government and respects the country’s sovereignty.
Speaking with Yahoo News, Assad said he has not had any communication — direct or indirect — with President Donald Trump or any official form the new U.S. administration.
But the Syrian leader appeared to make a gesture to the new U.S. president in the interview, saying he welcomes Trump’s declaration that he will make it a priority to fight terrorism — a goal Assad said he also shares.
However, Assad’s government has labelled all armed opposition to his rule — including the U.S.-backed rebels — as “terrorists.”
“We agree about this priority,” Assad said of Trump. “That’s our position in Syria, the priority is to fight terrorism.”
Syria’s six-year civil war has killed more than 300,000 people and displaced half the country’s population. The country is shattered and the chaos has enabled the rise of the Islamic State group, which in a 2014 blitz seized a third of both Syria and neighboring Iraq. The extremist group, responsible also for several deadly attacks around the world, has declared an Islamic caliphate on the territory it controls.
Assad also told Yahoo News that his country would welcome U.S. “participation” in the fight against terrorism but it has to be in cooperation with the Syrian government.
Assad’s comment ignored the U.S.-led international coalition, which has been targeting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria with airstrikes since September 2014. The U.S. also has advisers in Syria along with predominantly Kurdish fighters north of the country who are fighting against the Islamic State.
“If you want to start genuinely, as United States … it must be through the Syrian government,” Assad said. “We are here, we are the Syrians, we own this country as Syrians, nobody else, nobody would understand it like us.”
“So, you cannot defeat the terrorism without cooperation with the people and the government” of Syria, he added.
The Syrian government has always blamed the U.S. for backing opposition fighters trying to remove Assad from power. The rebels formed a serious threat to the Syrian leader until 2015, when Russia joined Syria’s war backing Assad’s forces and turned the balance of power in his favor.
“We invited the Russians, and the Russians were genuine regarding this issue. If the Americans are genuine, of course they are welcome, like any other country that wants to defeat and to fight with the terrorists. Of course, with no hesitation we can say that,” Assad said in English.
But when asked if he wants American troops to come to Syria to help with the fight against the Islamic State group, Assad said that sending troops is not enough — a genuine political position on respecting Syria’s sovereignty and unity is also needed.
“All these factors would lead to trust, where you can send your troops. That’s what happened with the Russians; they didn’t only send their troops,” Assad added.
Assad would not comment on Trump’s move to bar Syrian refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., calling it an “American sovereignty” issue.
But he appeared to offer some veiled support at last, saying that there are “definitely terrorists” among the millions of Syrians seeking refuge in the West, though it doesn’t have to be a “significant” number.
Excerpts of Assad’s comments were aired on Thursday while the full interview with Yahoo News ran on Friday.
The Syrian president also blasted a report released this week by Amnesty International in which the group said as many as 13,000 prisoners were hanged in over four years in one of Syria’s prisons and later buried in mass graves.
“It’s always biased and politicized, and it’s a shame for such an organization to publish a report without a shred of evidence,” Assad said.
He also rejected an initiative that calls for creating “safe zones” in Syria for refugees, an idea also been floated by Trump as a substitute for resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere.
“Safe zones for Syrians could only happen when you have stability and security,” Assad said. “It’s much more practical and less costly to have stability than to create safe zones. It’s not a realistic idea at all.”
In other developments Friday, the Kremlin said that Russia and Turkey have agreed to improve coordination in Syria to prevent further friendly fire incidents after a Russian airstrike killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded 11 the day before.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the accidental strike near the town of al-Bab in northern Syria prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss better cooperation in fighting the Islamic State group in the area. In a signal that the incident hasn’t hurt a Russia-Turkey rapprochement, Peskov said that Erdogan is set to visit Russia next month.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the Turkish casualties on Thursday were the result of “faulty coordination” in Syria and showed “there is a need for a much closer coordination.”
WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Friday to order new security measures by next week intended to stop terrorists from entering the United States, even as aides debated whether to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate his original travel ban that has now been blocked by lower courts.
A day after a three-judge panel rebuffed him, Mr. Trump said he might sign “a brand new order” as early as Monday that would be aimed at accomplishing the same purpose but, presumably, with a stronger legal basis. While he vowed to keep fighting for the original order in court, he indicated that he would not wait for the process to play out to take action.
“We will win that battle,” he told reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Florida for a weekend golf outing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Yet noting that it most likely would not happen quickly, he also raised the possibility of “a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.”
Asked if he would do that, Mr. Trump said, “We need speed for reasons of security, so it very well could be.”
The president’s pivot represented a short-term tactical retreat even as he insisted that he would prevail in the long run. The battle over his order, which suspended refugee flows and temporarily blocked visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries, has come to define Mr. Trump’s young presidency both at home and abroad, and has tested his capacity to impose his will on a political and legal system that he has vowed to master but that has resisted his demands.
Mr. Trump typically prefers a fight, but drafting a new travel order would acknowledge that sometimes a president must find other ways to proceed. Asked to describe what he had in mind for a new executive order, he said: “We’re going to have very, very strong vetting. I call it extreme vetting, and we’re going very strong on security. We are going to have people coming to our country that want to be here for good reason.”
White House officials denied news reports that the president would not appeal the case to the Supreme Court. “All options remain on the table,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said by email late Friday.
A new version of the executive order would amount to a tacit admission that the administration would not be able to quickly or easily overturn the decision issued on Thursday by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Even some conservative lawyers allied with the White House said there was little chance of prevailing right away with the Supreme Court, which is divided along ideological lines with a seat vacant.
Emboldened by the appeals court, Democrats attacked Mr. Trump for trying to subvert American values.
“I promise you, we will fight back,” Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in his party’s weekly radio and internet address. “We will resist. We will resist on behalf of what is American. And we will resist on behalf of the immigrants who came here in the past and who will come here in the future.”
Mr. Trump has other ways to soldier on. The Ninth Circuit decision left in place a temporary restraining order blocking the travel order, but did not rule on the underlying constitutional or legal issues of the case. The president could ask the full Ninth Circuit to hear an appeal on the restraining order, or he could return to the lower courts for a battle over the merits, which would take longer to conclude.
The administration was still fighting battles in other courts across the nation. Lawyers for the Justice Department were back in court in Alexandria, Va., outside the nation’s capital, arguing against a preliminary injunction that would halt the travel ban from being enforced nationwide.
Given multiple challenges, the idea of starting over appealed to the White House.
Edward Whelan, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and an advocate of Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, wrote on Twitter that it was “utterly crazy” to expect the justices to overturn Thursday’s ruling. As a result, Mr. Whelan wrote, it would be better to develop a “sensible” executive order and unveil it “with clear expectations” for carrying it out.
The original executive order issued last month barred refugees from anywhere in the world from entering the United States for 120 days and refugees from Syria indefinitely. It also cut off visitors for 90 days from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Mr. Trump said he needed time to tighten screening procedures.
White House officials could draft a new order that would address some of the concerns raised by the judges. A new order, for instance, could explicitly state that it did not apply to permanent legal residents holding green cards. After some initial crossed signals, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security have said Mr. Trump’s original ban does not affect green card holders, but the appeals court judges pointed out that was not in the text of the order.
The White House could also narrow the categories of people affected, or change the list of countries targeted. And it could take out provisions intended to give preference to religious minorities, which in Muslim countries would refer to Christians, among others. Mr. Trump said in a television interview that he wanted to give preference to Christian refugees, but the judges expressed concern about a religious rule that could be discriminatory.
Mr. Trump has also argued that the restrictions were necessary to stop terrorists from entering the United States, citing attacks in Europe over the past year. As the United States has struggled with terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, no one has been killed in a terrorist attack on American soil by anyone from one of those seven countries — a point noted by the judges — although some would-be attackers from them have been thwarted. The White House could try to offer a stronger rationale for why a temporary ban would actually stop terrorism.
In his weekly address, Mr. Trump told Americans he was “committed to your security” and would not be deterred by criticism of his order. “We will not allow our generous system of immigration to be turned against us as a tool for terrorism and truly bad people,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s attacks on the judiciary have drawn criticism. He initially called a federal district judge in Seattle who first blocked his executive order a “so-called judge” and said Americans should blame the judge if there were a terrorist attack. When the appeals court took up the case, he said a “bad high school student” would uphold the order.
Mr. Trump started Friday with another attack on the appeals court ruling, calling it “a disgraceful decision.”
But for much of the rest of the day, he avoided the incendiary language he has been using. At a White House news conference with Mr. Abe before flying to Florida, he said he would fight in court, but did not address the judges.
Mr. Trump suggested that he had learned more about the threat of terrorism from intelligence briefings since he took office.
“While I’ve been president, which is just for a very short period of time, I’ve learned tremendous things that you could only learn, frankly, if you were in a certain position, namely president,” he said. “And there are tremendous threats to our country. We will not allow that to happen. I can tell you that right now. We will not allow that to happen.”
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s advisers are debating an order intended to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, targeting the oldest and perhaps most influential Islamist group in the Middle East.
A political and social organization with millions of followers, the Brotherhood officially renounced violence decades ago and won elections in Egypt after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Affiliated groups have joined the political systems in places like Tunisia and Turkey, and President Barack Obama long resisted pressure to declare it a terrorist organization.
But the Brotherhood calls for a society governed by Islamic law, and some of its former members and offshoots — most notably Hamas, the Palestinian group whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel — have been tied to attacks. Some advisers to Mr. Trump have viewed the Brotherhood for years as a radical faction secretly infiltrating the United States to promote Shariah law. They see the order as an opportunity to finally take action against it.
Officially designating the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization would roil American relations in the Middle East. The leaders of some American allies — like Egypt, where the military forced the Brotherhood from power in 2013, and the United Arab Emirates — have pressed Mr. Trump to do so to quash internal enemies, but the group remains a pillar of society in parts of the region.
The proposal to declare it a terrorist organization has been paired with a plan to similarly designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to current and former officials briefed on the deliberations. Leaders of the corps and its Quds Force unit have already been put on a government terrorist list, but Republicans have advocated adding the corps itself to send a message to Iran.
The Iran part of the plan has strong support within the White House, but momentum behind the Muslim Brotherhood proposal seems to have slowed in recent days amid objections from career officials at the State Department and the National Security Council, who argue that there is no legal basis for it and that it could alienate allies in the region. Former officials said that they had been told the order would be signed on Monday, but that it had now been put off at least until next week.
The delay may reflect a broader desire by the White House to take more time with executive actions after the chaos associated with hastily issued orders, like the temporary ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. But it also underscored the complex dynamics involving the Muslim Brotherhood, whose chapters have only loose relationships across national lines.
Critics said they feared that Mr. Trump’s team wanted to create a legal justification to crack down on Muslim charities, mosques and other groups in the United States. A terrorist designation would freeze assets, block visas and ban financial interactions.
“This would signal they are more interested in provoking conflict with an imaginary fifth column of Muslims in the U.S. than in preserving our relationships with counterterrorism partners like Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco, or with fighting actual terrorism,” said Tom Malinowski, an assistant secretary of state under Mr. Obama.
The Brotherhood has long been a source of alarm on the right, especially at Breitbart News, whose chairman, Stephen K. Bannon, is now Mr. Trump’s chief White House strategist. A 2007 summary for a film Mr. Bannon proposed making on radical Islam in America, obtained by The Washington Post, called the Brotherhood “the foundation of modern terrorism.”
Sebastian Gorka and Katharine Gorka, two Breitbart contributors who have long warned of Muslim extremists in the United States, also joined the new administration. Mr. Gorka is a deputy national security assistant, while Ms. Gorka is working at the Department of Homeland Security.
Frank Gaffney Jr., founder of the Center for Security Policy, who once asserted that Mr. Obama might secretly be a Muslim, urged Mr. Trump on Breitbart’s radio show last week to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. He has argued that the Brotherhood’s philosophy mirrors that of groups that are already on the list.
“The goals of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Mr. Gaffney said in a recent interview with The New York Times, are “exactly the same as the Islamic State, exactly the same as the Taliban, exactly the same as, you know, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Nusra Front, on and on, Al Shabab. It’s about Islamic supremacism. It’s about achieving the end state that is their due.”
Some congressional Republicans reintroduced legislation last month calling on the State Department to designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization or explain why it would not. “It’s time to call the enemy by its name,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who sponsored the measure with Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, wrote on Twitter.
Among those objecting is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which describes itself as the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the United States. Mr. Gaffney and others have accused it of being a front for the Brotherhood, which the council denies. It said such an order by Mr. Trump would be a brazen attempt to repress Muslims.
“We believe it is just a smoke screen for a witch hunt targeting the civil rights of American Muslims,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the council. He said that, given what he called false attempts to link Muslim Americans to the Brotherhood, a terrorist designation would “inevitably be used in a political campaign to attack those same groups and individuals, to marginalize the American Muslim community and to demonize Islam.”
It is unclear what form a presidential order would take. Presumably, Mr. Trump could direct Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to review whether the Brotherhood should be designated. At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Tillerson grouped the Brotherhood and Al Qaeda together as “agents of radical Islam.”
But officials may try to narrow the scope of such an order to avoid affecting Brotherhood affiliates outside Egypt, or they may shelve the order in favor of waiting for legislation from Congress.
Founded in 1928 in Egypt, the Brotherhood used violence for decades in pursuit of its Islamist goals, but officially renounced it in the 1970s and embraced democracy as its means.
In recent years, offshoots have joined the political system, including Ennahda, a party that belongs to the governing coalition in Tunisia and has eschewed extremism. Even in Turkey, a NATO ally, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party has long supported the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Brotherhood’s most successful period ended in 2013, when President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, who had succeeded Mr. Mubarak, alienated other sectors of society and, after protests, was removed by the military. The general who took over, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has cracked down on the Brotherhood and lobbied the United States to designate it as a terrorist organization
From 2013 through mid-2015, a former American official said, every interaction with Egyptian leaders included pressure on the issue. At one point, a senior Egyptian intelligence official personally brought a dossier to Secretary of State John Kerry, though it had no new information, according to the former American official. The State Department decided the Brotherhood did not meet the legal requirements for the designation because there was no evidence that its leaders had systematically ordered terrorist attacks.
A similar review released by Britain in 2015 found that the Brotherhood “selectively used violence and sometimes terror in pursuit of their institutional goals,” and that it emphasized engagement in English but jihad in Arabic. Its leaders have defended Hamas’s attacks on Israel and justified attacks on American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the review said. But it did not recommend that it be designated as a terrorist organization, either.
In his short time in office, Mr. Trump has already come under pressure from Arab allies eager for such a designation. He had phone conversations with Mr. Sisi; Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi; and King Salman of Saudi Arabia. But he also spoke with Mr. Erdogan on Tuesday.
A top Arab official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity according to diplomatic protocol, declined to discuss what was said on the calls, but added, “It’s safe to assume since U.A.E., Saudi and Egypt have all designated the M.B. as a terrorist organization, that decision would be welcome by those countries and several others in the region.”