German intelligence detected 'suspicious behavior' by the Muslim Brotherhood: Egyptian ambassador

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Jun 2017

The Islamist group is now viewed with more suspicion in Germany, possibly linked to terror attacks, according to Ambassador Badr Abdelatty

German intelligence officials have detected "suspicious behaviour" by the Muslim Brotherhood in eastern Berlin, Egypt’s ambassador to Germany Badr Abdelatty told state-run news agency MENA on Sunday.

The ambassador made the comments on Sunday, one day ahead of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's planned visit to Berlin for a conference on investment in African nations.

Abdelatty, who was Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman before taking his post in Berlin, said that a German security report has revealed recent suspicious actions on the part of the Brotherhood in Germany, including the construction of mosques in areas with few Muslims.

The ambassador did not release any more details regarding the claims made in the German intelligence report, although he did say that German officials have become more wary of the Muslim Brotherhood of late.

“The German side became increasingly convinced that all extremist groups in the name of religion hail from the [Muslim] Brotherhood,” MENA quoted Abdelatty as saying.

The ambassador added that German officials used to view the Brotherhood as a political group that should be integrated into political life and party politics.

However, the Germans now view the Brotherhood as an extremist group, he said.

This shift, according to Abdelatty, has resulted from groups related to the Brotherhood, such as Hasm, taking responsiblity for various terrorist attacks.

“This provided compelling evidence of the Brotherhood’s links with violence and terrorism, evidence that some Western capitals were requesting,” he said.

In February, German security official Gordian Meyer-Plath was quoted in media reports as saying the Muslim Brotherhood still wants to apply Sharia law in Germany while gaining control of the nation's mosques.

As of Sunday afternoon, Germany had not made any public comment in response to Abdelatty's remarks.

In December 2013, following the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, blaming the group for a number of deadly attacks on security forces.

Since then, many Brotherhood members have been handed prison sentences on charges ranging from illegal protests to incitement against the government and carrying out terrorist attacks.

President El-Sisi is visiting Germany on Sunday for the G20 Africa Partnership conference, sponsored by the German presidency, part of efforts to promote investment in African countries.

During his visit, El-Sisi is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on political and economic relations, security and regional issues and bilateral trade.

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