The international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood issued orders to gather funding for elements in Egypt to execute acts of sabotage, the interior ministry said on Saturday.
The national security sector discovered that the plan was to generate the needed money from alms committees that are controlled by Brotherhood elements, explained Hany Abdel-Latif, the ministry's spokesman.
He said – in a statement on the ministry's Facebook page – that Brotherhood members in charge of the alms committee in Al-Rahman Mosque in the rundown Giza district of Boulak Al-Dakrour were acting according to the plan.
Bahgat Ezzat, a science professor at Cairo University, and the head of the general assembly of the alms committee were seeking to embezzle the received donations and use the money to stir chaos in the country.
The plan was to call on citizens to protest, the ministry says, while most of the money will be spent to disrupt Cairo University, which like many other universities nationwide has witnessed ongoing student protests against the government.
Also, the money will be used to secure needed materials to make explosive devices and prepare placards and banners to be used in protest marches.
Ezzat and two other Cairo University professors – Ahmed Mahmoud, who's also in the science faculty, and Omar El-Shabrawy, from the pharmacy faculty – have been arrested. Large amounts of money were found with them.
Engineering student Abdel-Rahman Osama was also arrested. He possessed 38 forged identification cards for Alexandria University, where he's enrolled, the ministry's statement said.
Other suspects were arrested with dynamite and explosive materials as well as firearms.
Egypt's government has sustained a fierce crackdown against the Brotherhood since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Islamist group, amid protests against his removal and the ensuing violence.
Egypt has also been hit by a cluster of bomb attacks, which the government has blamed on the Brotherhood, who has denied involvement.