Newly arrested Brotherhood member accused of collaborating with US, Norway

Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Nov 2014

Arrested Thursday in Menoufiya in the Nile Delta, the latest high profile Muslim Brotherhood figure stands charged with espionage, including for Norway

Mohammed Ali Bishr
In this Monday, July 19, 2013 file photo, Mohammed Ali Bishr, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership council, meets with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and other Muslim Brotherhood members in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed Ali Bishr, the latest prominent figure to be arrested from the Islamist group, has been officially accused of collaborating with the United States and Norway.

On Thursday, Bishr was detained for 15 days on spying charges. The High State Security Prosecution on Saturday specified the countries he is accused of collaborating with.

Many Islamist figures have been accused of collaborating with the US, which many accuse of being involved in the turmoil Egypt has witnessed the past four years. Norway, however, is a country that was barely referred to while speaking of the Egyptian scene.

The prosecution says the charges made were based on recordings of Bishr, which he would be summoned to hear and comment on during questioning Monday.

Bishr negotiated with the interim government following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, in July 2013. He was arrested in the early hours of Thursday in the governorate of Menoufiya, in the Nile Delta, at his home.

He was the former local development minister in Morsi’s government before he became one of a Brotherhood team that held talks with EU delegations that were attempting to mediate between Islamists and the post-3 July government.

Last year, Bishr was placed on travel ban.

Morsi, along with most senior Brotherhood figures, faces trial on a number of charges, including incitement to murder and treason, while the Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organisation by Egypt's government, as well as in some other countries.

Following the ouster of Morsi, which came in the wake of nationwide protest against his rule and the Muslim Brotherhood, numerous protests and ensuing deadly clashes have been witnessed across Egypt.

A security crackdown on Islamist froces decreased violence in recent months, but bomb attacks are still often reported.

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