Morsi, in brief, preempted the impending military coup d’état against him. Tarek al-Zomor, a leading jihadist and Morsi supporter, acknowledged that “choosing Sissi to replace Tantawi was to stop a coup,” publicly acknowledging Morsi’s urgent need to act before August 24. Hamdi Kandil, one of Egypt’s most prominent journalists, rightly characterized Morsi’s act as “a civilian coup.”

How did Morsi pull it off? How did the lamb slaughter the butcher? Why did so many analysts not see this coming?

They missed one hidden factor: Brotherhood-oriented military officers turn out to have been far more numerous and powerful than previously realized. Those officers both knew about the August 24 plot plan and helped Morsi to beat it. If it was long apparent that some officers had an outlook sympathetic to the Brotherhood, the extent of their network has only just been revealed in the three months since the coup.