Thursday, 25 May 2017
Egypt blocks Al Jazeera and 20 other websites for "supporting terrorism"
Egypt has banned 21 websites including Al Jazeera television for “supporting terrorism”. The state news agency MENA and security sources made this known on Wednesday. All the banned websites are currently inaccessible in Egypt. Egypt-focused websites hosted abroad such as Masr Al Arabiya, which describes itself as progressive and has no Islamist or Qatari affiliations, was also affected by the ban. An official from the National Telecom Regulatory Authority could not confirm or deny the news, but said:
"So what if it is true? It should not be a problem.”
MENA cited a senior security source as saying the websites were blocked because they supported terrorism and that a legal action would be taken against those websites.
“A senior security source said 21 websites have been blocked inside Egypt for having content that supports terrorism and extremism as well (as) publishing lies,” MENA said.
Two security sources told Reuters the websites were blocked for being affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood or for being funded by Qatar. Cairo accuses Qatar of supporting the Brotherhood, which was ousted from power in Egypt in 2013 when the military removed elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his rule. The block follows similar actions taken earlier on Wednesday by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who got into a war of words with Qatar and blocked Al Jazeera and other websites. Qatar said hackers had posted fake remarks by its emir against U.S. foreign policy but the Saudi and UAE state-run media reported the comments anyway.