Clapper downplays criticism that US intel services missed warning signs of turmoil in Egypt

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Washington, Feb 11 (ANI): US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has rejected criticisms American intelligence services had failed to warn Egypt about the political unrest against President Hosni Mubarak's rule.

Addressing the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper has said that US intelligence services had done "yeoman's work" on Egypt, the BBC reports.

He also insisted that the US Intelligence had had been identifying political and economic grievances "for decades" that threatened President Hosni Mubarak's rule, adding that the massive unrest in Cairo would have a "long-lasting impact" on North Africa and the Middle East.

Earlier, the Obama administration had corrected its own intelligence chief after he claimed that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular."

Clapper had reportedly told the US Congress that the organization had "pursued social ends" and a "betterment of the political order," and downplayed its religious underpinnings.

"The term 'Muslim Brotherhood' ... is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Clapper said. (ANI)

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