Egyptian Islamist leader issues warning from exile

Reuters reports: A leader of a hardline Egyptian Islamist group that fought the state in the 1990s warned that the army had driven the nation to the “edge of a precipice” since he fled the country after President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster in July.

The state and Islamists are old foes in Egypt, a strategic U.S. ally which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the Suez Canal. Egypt has been torn by the worst internal strife in its modern history since the army deposed the Islamist Mursi.

Assem Abdel Maged of the Gamaa Islamiya told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network he expected the situation in Egypt to deteriorate, saying protests “will be what breaks this coup”.

He is the first high profile Islamist who fled Egypt since Mursi’s ouster to speak publicly from abroad.

Abdel Maged said the military made a “major mistake” by siding with “religious, political, and social minorities”, an allusion to Christians and secular-minded Egyptians. The army deposed Mursi after mass protests against his rule on June 30.

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