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JERUSALEM – The Muslim Brotherhood last week held a secret meeting in Egypt to coordinate the Islamic group’s rise to power in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, WND has learned.

Egyptian security officials told WND the meeting included Brotherhood members from Gaza, Syria, Jordan, Sudan and Egypt. The group discussed methods of gaining more influence in the respective countries.

The security officials said that Muslim Brotherhood members at the meeting identified militant Salafist organizations as a threat to the Brotherhood’s plan of taking power via elections.

The meeting followed the Brotherhood’s sweeping victory in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, taking 47 percent of the seats in the new assembly.

The confab took place as the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad faces an insurgency that is reportedly being coordinated in part by Muslim Brotherhood-allied groups.

In a related development, on Sunday, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal made his first official visit to Jordan since the kingdom expelled him more than a decade ago. He met with King Abdullah, who has traditionally been a U.S. ally opposed to Hamas.

The Meshaal-Abdullah meeting is being widely seen as a sign of the region’s major shift of power toward the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas.

The Hamas visit also reportedly gave a boost to Jordanian Islamists, who make up the country’s main opposition and have been at the forefront of street protests demanding sweeping political reforms that would likely result in the group’s rise to power in Jordan.

“There are forces that are not pleased with this visit and see themselves losing as a result,” said Zaki Bani Irsheid, a leader of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood.

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