- The government of Egypt has countered leaders of the banned Islamic Brotherhood after it has received information that the group is suspected of setting up a military wing in the country. Egyptian officials say they fear that the group might spread terrorism ideas and acts in the country.
Cairo police launched a raid against the group and arrested several of its members, including its second-in-command, Khairat al-Shatir, one of the deputies to the Brotherhood leader, Muhammad Akef.
The banned group is also the largest opposition group in Egypt. The group had captured 88 of the 454 parliamentary seats at the 2005 elections, all standing as "independent candidates" as the Brotherhood was not allowed to present a list at the polls.
Its Secretary General, Mahmoud Ezzat, was detained for three months without trial last year. Two of the brotherhood's political officers - Essam al-Aryan and Muhammad Morsi - were detained for six months. They were asked to heave their freedom few days ago.
It is speculated that the number of arrested students suspected of rallying behind the Islamic Brotherhood is close to 180, French News Agency 'AFP' reported. Islamist students, who were dressed in black uniforms at the University of al-Azhar, were found in military-style march on Sunday before being rounded up with three professors.
Over the years, Egyptian officials have been putting the Islamic Brotherhood members under scrutiny. But the group now uses its parliamentary strength to sell its ideas. The group's parliamentarians asked the Minister of Culture to resign after he made comments that Egyptian women should not wear hijab. According to the group, the minister's comments were anti-Islamic.
In the 1980s, the Brotherhood was connected to terrorist attacks in Egypt after being able to build up a large and effective organisation. The Brotherhood has been one of the world's key Islamist groups, which has exported its members and ideas to a large part of the Muslim world. The Brotherhood has its roots in the days of British colonial rule and is the first Muslim nationalist movement to emerge is response to western imperialism.
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