I wonder if he’ll be getting another congratulatory call from Obama for this.
President-elect Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood pre-empted the military’s choreographed swearing-in ceremony by taking an oath of office a day early on Friday, in a televised speech to tens of thousands of supporters in Tahrir Square.
But a promise Mr. Morsi made as part of his speech may provoke Washington: to work for the release of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian-born militant Islamist convicted after the 1993 World Trade Center attack of plotting to bomb several New York City landmarks.
Mr. Morsi referred briefly to Mr. Abdel Rahman in an almost offhand aside in the context of a vow to free Egyptian civilians imprisoned here after military trials under the rule of the generals. “I see signs for Omar Abdel Rahman and detainees’ pictures,” he said. “It is my duty and I will make all efforts to have them free, including Omar Abdel Rahman.”
A Brotherhood spokesman said later that Mr. Morsi intended to ask federal officials in the United States to have Mr. Abdel Rahman extradited to Egypt on humanitarian grounds. He was not seeking to have Mr. Abdel Rahman’s convictions overturned or calling him a political prisoner.
An Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, shrugged it all off as empty talk, saying, “There is zero chance this happens.”
Why don’t I believe them?
Morsi, naturally, is a 9/11 Truther.
In an interview with Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center, Mr. Morsi once said he harbored suspicions that unknown hands might have played a role in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
“When you come and tell me that the plane hit the tower like a knife in butter, then you are insulting us,” Mr. Morsi said, according to an article Mr. Hamid wrote in Foreign Policy magazine. “How did the plane cut through the steel like this? Something must have happened from the inside.”