TEL AVIV – The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is contemplating whether to launch a protracted “armed struggle” targeting the county’s political opposition and military, a top Egyptian security official told WND.

The official said Muslim Brotherhood leaders are discussing how to implement a long-term civil war so the opposition does not enjoy stability if the Brotherhood is unable to return to power.

According to the official, Qatar and Turkey are mediating between the Muslim Brotherhood and the international community. If those efforts to find a political solution fail, the Brotherhood could target not only the official opposition but also minority civilians, including Christians.

Already yesterday, churches around the country have been attacked and torched amid larger, country-wide violence that ensued after the Egyptian military cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood protests.

With more than 500 people dead and more than 1,400 injured in the crackdown, President Obama is facing increasing criticism for what is being called an “incoherent” policy toward Egypt.

Obama spoke out against the military’s violent response, canceling upcoming joint military exercises. But he has refused to label Morsi’s ouster a coup, which means that legally the U.S. can continue to send $1.5 billion in annual aid to the Egyptian government.

“While President Obama ‘condemns the violence in Egypt,’ his administration continues to send billions of taxpayer dollars to help pay for it,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in a statement Thursday, Fox News reported.

In brief remarks to reporters today at his vacation home in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama said his administration is not taking sides in the confrontation, insisting that the U.S. “cannot determine the future of Egypt.”

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Coptic Christians say supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have carried out attacks against churches in at least four parts of the country this week. Tensions with the Muslim majority are higher than for many decades, they say.

Among several casualties was a teenage girl who was reportedly shot dead leaving a Bible class in Cairo. Since Wednesday, at least nine churches have been burned, and community leaders say the number of arson attacks could be as high as 20, the London Guardian reported.

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