Brotherhood using Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani fighters: Interior ministry

MENA, Sunday 6 Apr 2014

In statements to Egypt's state-run news agency, interior ministry spokesman says that terrorist attacks will increase in near future ahead of presidential elections

People and security officials walk and look as smoke rises from a tourist bus in the Red Sea resort town of Taba in the south Sinai (Photo: Reuters)

A spokesman for Egypt's interior ministry claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has been using mercenaries from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in all recent terrorist attacks in Egypt, according to state-run news agency MENA.

Hani Abdel-Latif also condemned the recent spate of violence and stressed that police forces have been taking all necessary efforts to protect Egyptians.

Abdel-Latif told MENA that police forces have been trying to eliminate "terrorism in all its forms" by freezing monetary funds and locating explosives through information from intelligence services.

He then added that there are two kinds of terrorism in Egypt. The first type, he said, are militant groups with fighters who have previously worked in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Such groups, he said, are the main ones held responsible for the bombing of a security directorate in Daqahliya governorate and all the attacks taking place in the Sinai Peninsula.

An explosion at a police headquarters in Daqahliya in December killed 15 and injured over 130 policemen and civilians. The attack was claimed by the Sinai-based Al-Qaeda offshoot, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. Police later released video testimonies from several primary suspects rounded up after the attack.

Abdel-Latif said that militant groups like Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, Al-Forqan and others are responsible for recent attacks targeting security personnel across the country – which have killed 252 police and 187 military personnel, according to a statement released last month from the foreign ministry.

Abdel-Latif explained that the role of such militant groups is to commit these attacks along with members of the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood is responsible for the second kind of terrorism in Egypt, he said, which consists of youth members from the Islamist group who are responsible for violence and unrest at the country's universities.

Egypt's universities have witnessed recurring clashes between security forces and students supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi since the start of the academic year in August.

Abdel-Latif said he expects terrorist attacks to increase in the near future, in an attempt to hinder the electoral process in the country's upcoming presidential elections.

"The Brotherhood are doing all they can to spread chaos all over the country and we all should be careful about this," said Abdel-Latif. 

The Brotherhood has consistently denied having any links to the attacks and has often condemned the violence.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members and supporters have been killed by security forces, most of which died in the violent dispersal of the main pro-Morsi protest camp in August.

The group was declared a terrorist organisation in December, following the Daqahliya bombing.


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