Egyptian authorities arrested on Tuesday 54 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group over charges of planning to carry out hostile actions against state institutions on the anniversary of the January 25 revolution.
In a statement, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said it obtained information that the leaders of the fugitive organisation abroad plan anti-state violent acts to create chaos in the country during January and February.
This coincided with the anniversary of January 25 revolution, a popular uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.
They planned acts of sabotage in an attempt to spread chaos and terrorise citizens with the goal of undermining the country’s national security and interests, the ministry said in the statement.
“The leaders of the organisation have formed an entity through the Internet that included members of the Muslim Brotherhood and a group of hostile elements, holding several meetings outside the country through the Internet.’’
According to the statement, they are to agree on the steps to implement their scheme, which is funded by a group of economic entities affiliated with the terrorist organisation inside Egypt.
The ministry alleged that the terrorist unit was led by a number of Brotherhood leaders, most notably Yasser al-Omda, a Brotherhood leader based in Turkey.
Al-Omda recruited a number of members through the Internet and linked them with other Brotherhood cadres, who planned with them to carry out mass demonstrations accompanied by violence.
“The elements were divided into groups; each group was assigned to carry out these duties in different provinces across the country,” the statement read.
Amounts of money and vandalism and arson tools used in riots were found in the possession of the arrested, according to the statement.
Since the army-led ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule, thousands of his loyalists have been jailed or facing trials over accusations of inciting terror, espionage and murder.
Mr Morsi himself along with the Brotherhood prominent figures has received sentences varying from death to life sentences in cases related to the killing of protesters and spying for foreign countries.
Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has been facing a wave of terror attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers as well as civilians.
A Sinai-based militant group affiliated with the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in Egypt over the past few years.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian forces have killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested thousands of suspects during the country’s anti-terror war.
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