Egypt official: Muslim Brotherhood backs unrest

Last Updated: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 11:22

Cairo: Egypt`s interior minister said on Saturday his forces have foiled several attempted terror attacks and arrested militant leaders, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of mobilising and financing some of them to cause unrest.

Mohammed Ibrahim`s comments were the first detailed account offered by a senior Egyptian official to back claims that the Brotherhood, the group of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, is responsible for attacks against security, government institutions and the country`s Coptic minority. However, he didn`t provide proof to back up his claims.

The wave of violence intensified after the government carried out a bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters that killed hundreds in August.

"The security forces, in coordination and cooperation with the armed forces, has faced in the past period one of the most dangerous waves of terror witnessed by the nation that aimed to spread chaos and instability," Ibrahim told journalists. "The Muslim Brotherhood, in cooperation and with finances from the international branch of the group, has mobilsed a number of terrorist extremist elements ... And spurred them to carry out villainous terrorist act to terrorize" Egyptians.

Ibrahim accused the Brotherhood of enlisting the help of militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Palestinian extremist groups operating in the Gaza Strip following the popular protests against Morsi that started on June 30. The military forced Morsi out of office days later.

The Brotherhood repeatedly has denied government claims that it uses or condones violence. Instead, they accuse the government of trying to stymie the group as part of its crackdown against it.

The Brotherhood offered no immediate reaction today to the minister`s claims.

Ibrahim said five senior militants were detained from two pro-Morsi sit-ins which authorities broke up violently in August, including senior members of Islamic Jihad and Gamaa Islamiyya.

The two groups were responsible for some of the worst attacks in Egypt in the 1980s and 1990s, but many of their leaders have since given up violence and formed political parties after the ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The groups were allies of Morsi and the Brotherhood.

First Published: Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 11:22
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