Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim (Photo: Ahram Online archive)
Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim claimed Saturday that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was behind past major attacks targeting police personnel in the country. Ibrahim gave names of several alleged perpetrators identified and arrested by security forces following the attacks, amid increased pressure on speeding up investigations into ongoing security breaches.
"The Muslim Brotherhood, with the support and funding from the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation, has mobilised extremist terrorist elements, including ones from Al-Qaeda organisation and the Gaza Strip, to carry out a series of terrorist attacks following the 30 June revolution," Ibrahim said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
Ibrahim went on to add that among the apprehended "terrorist cells" was an Al-Qaeda affiliated group, adding that some of its members allegedly took part in the two sit-ins supporting deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, which security forces forcibly dispersed in August.
He also announced that another 33-member "terrorist cell" was responsible for the assassination of Mohamed Mabrouk, a senior officer in the National Security apparatus who was in charge of investigating espionage charges against Morsi. Mabrouk was shot dead near his home this week.
Ibrahim also declared that the interior ministry had captured those responsible for the killing of 25 conscripts in the Sinai Peninsula 20 August, the highest rate of casualties in one incident across the uptake in militant attacks in the restive region.
Ibrahim also announced that the ministry arrested a three-member "terrorist cell" allegedly responsible for the failed attempt on his own life in September.
Back in mid-August, Ibrahim gave the green light to the raids by police to clear Islamist-led protest sites in Cairo and Giza that left hundreds dead and thousands injured.
Numerous police stations were attacked across the country in the immediate aftermath of the bloody crackdown on pro-Morsi sit-ins. More than 100 members of the security forces were killed in ensuing violence.
The restive Sinai Peninsula, bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, has witnessed a pronounced spike in militant attacks on police personnel and property following the crackdown on Morsi supporters.
The most recent attack targeted an army convoy carrying off-duty soldiers on the road between Al-Arish and Rafah on Wednesday, killing 11 and injuring 37.
Egypt's army previously announced it had killed around 100 militants, including foreign fighters, in operations against increased militancy in the region.
Egypt's elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, himself a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, was ousted by the military 3 July following mass protests against his rule.