The Egyptian military-backed government on Wednesday declared the Islamist political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist group, underscoring a reversal of fortune for the party that rode the Arab Spring to electoral victories before being flushed out by security forces in July.
Hossam Eissa, the minister of Higher Education, said in a statement that, "The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization," according to The Associated Press.
The military-backed government that forced former president and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi out of office in a coup has led a violent crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters in recent months. It blames the party for recent attacks in the world's most populous Arab nation -- the Muslim Brotherhood has denied involvement.
President Obama has largely avoided weighing in on the events in Egypt, saying that the citizens there can decide who should lead the nation. However, the administration has continued to support sending aid to Egypt, despite a split among lawmakers on the issue.
Wednesday's news served to highlight the escalating situation in Egypt, which has pitted the military against Muslim Brotherhood supporters in a spate of deadly clashes.
The Muslim Brotherhood, with Morsi at the helm, employed an increasingly majoritarian and Islamist style of governance that was out-of-step with the largely secular country. Revolts started in June, rocking the government and ending with its downfall as military forces supplanted the Muslim Brotherhood.
For decades, Egyptian security forces kept a tight control in the nation at the behest of former long-term President Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in February 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood, which had been banned from holding office for decades, swept the ensuing elections in part by striking a populist tone and by framing itself as the antithesis to the secret security apparatus associated with Mubarak's regime.