While President Barack Obama’s administration has stopped short of condemning the July 3 military takeover, it has called on Egyptian leaders to pursue “a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups,” including “avoiding any arbitrary arrests of Mursi and his supporters,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said July 4 in a statement.

The administration has urged the Egyptian military to stop using heavy-handed tactics, according to two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified commenting on private communications. They said the administration is concerned that some in the military may want to provoke the Islamists to violence and provide a rationale for crushing the movement once and for all.

Such a move would fail and probably prompt a shift to al-Qaeda type terrorist tactics by extremists in the Islamist movement in Egypt and elsewhere, the U.S. officials said…

While the Brotherhood hasn’t used violence in a long while, “some of their allies — Salafi or jihadi groups — could turn to violence” more readily, Dunne said in an interview.