File photo of Police forces walk in front of the Interior Ministry headquarters in Cairo. (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian police arrested a number of people who confessed to “plotting terrorist attacks against security forces and government figures,” most notably the assassination attempt on the top prosecutor's assistant in late September, the interior ministry announced on Friday.
The ministry said that some of those arrested claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt against Egypt's former leading Muslim cleric Ali Gomaa in August.
In a statement on its official Facebook page, the ministry said that its intelligence work has revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood is forming new “terrorist entities” such as Haraket Thowar Misr, Hasm and Lowaa El-Thawra, and uses these groups “as a media front” to take the blame for the Brotherhood’s violent attacks.
The statement also said that evidence showed that a Muslim Brotherhood member was part of those responsible for the assassination of the country's top prosecutor Hisham Barakat in June 2015.
The interior minister previously accused the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in exile in Turkey and the group's Palestinian offshoot Hamas as being behind the assassination of Barakat.
"Security forces have also seized arms and explosives and located hiding places used for militant training, storing supplies and manufacturing explosive devices," the statement said.
Egypt’s then-top prosecutor Barakat died in a Cairo bomb attack in June 2015; the only successful assassination attempt against a state official since an upswing in militant violence following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
One of the little-known new militant groups, Hasm, had previously claimed responsibly for the aforementioned attacks.
The Muslim Brotherhood was officially designated a terrorist organisation by the government in December 2013 following several deadly attacks on security personnel.
Attacks against Egypt's security forces have become common in recent years but are mostly concentrated in North Sinai, where Egypt's army and police are battling an entrenched Islamist insurgency.