Saturday,25 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1280, (28 January - 3 February 2016)
Saturday,25 November, 2017
Issue 1280, (28 January - 3 February 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Brotherhood plans exposed

The Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy to seize control of the state was at the centre of a press conference held on the eve of the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, writes Amany Maged

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Ahead of the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, and as part of the government’s efforts to highlight the dangers posed by the Muslim Brotherhood, a committee charged with auditing and administering the terrorist organisation’s confiscated assets revealed new details of the group’s plans to seize control of the state by appointing members to key positions in government agencies.

In a press conference on Sunday 24 January, committee head Ezzet Khamis said committee members had unearthed documents in the office of the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide outlining the group’s strategy to deal with protest marches on 30 June 2013. In addition to taking precautions to protect Muslim Brotherhood buildings, the document recommended that warnings be issued to those who might take part in the demonstrations.

One report found at the office discussed ways to create pressure groups, along the lines of the Ultras and Black Block, which could then be used to force protestors off the streets. It also recommended using media and sporting celebrities to support the Brotherhood’s agenda.

Thousands of documents were found detailing schemes to consolidate Brotherhood control over government institutions. They included lists of names of members of sleeping cells loyal to the Brotherhood in a host of government agencies, as well as officials the Brotherhood intended to replace with its own loyalists.

Evidence was uncovered of the widespread leaking of government documents, said Khamis, including papers relating to national security that Mohamed Morsi handed to the Supreme Guide.

At the press conference, Khamis disclosed that the Muslim Brotherhood had attempted to cement ties between Egypt and Iran by promoting acceptance of a $10 billion deposit from Iran at Egypt’s Central Bank.

The committee, he said, is in possession of a document, handwritten by Mohamed Morsi’s secretary, suggesting ways to promote a rapprochement with Iran. The document was apparently handed to the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

The Muslim Brotherhood also leaked documents related to US funding of civil society organisations. Plans were also afoot to create a new security body answerable to the president and to infiltrate existing security agencies with officers sympathetic to the Brotherhood.

Muslim Brotherhood plans to reduce the age of compulsory retirement for judges were drawn up to force unsympathetic judges out of their jobs, said Khamis. The blockade of the Supreme Constitutional Court was also carefully planned: the committee uncovered orders from the office of the Supreme Guide directing the sit-in in front of the court and dividing the protestors into shifts to maintain the blockade.

According to Khamis, sit-ins in front of the Ittihadiya Palace and demonstrations in front of the Defence Ministry and the US Embassy were organised by the Brotherhood to provide cover for the blockade of the Supreme Court. Khamis also accused the Brotherhood of exploiting the decision by some independent newspapers not to publish to produce extra copies of the FJP’s newspaper.

Khamis underlined that the committee’s decisions were judicial rather than administrative. Papers found in the Brotherhood’s headquarters proved that that organisation was planning to amend regulations governing the judiciary and wanted to replace the public prosecutor.

The papers contain recommendations from the FJP’s political communications secretariat that the sit-in in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court be prolonged and rumours be spread that Morsi was considering dissolving the court.

The press conference, held at the headquarters of the State Information Service on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, attracted little public interest. There was little new information regarding attempts to “Brotherhoodise” the state and eliminate judges deemed antagonistic to the Brotherhood’s agenda, issues that have already been subjected to lengthy analyses and commentary.

The financial details provided during the press conference were a little more intriguing. Khamis said his committee had seized control of the assets of 1,370 Brotherhood members. Bank accounts containing a total of LE154,758,000, $2,199,135, 135,000 euros and 9,000 sterling pounds had been frozen and a total of 460 cars and 318 acres of land confiscated.

The committee has also impounded the assets of Muslim Brotherhood-controlled societies, including bank deposits totalling LE20,087,000. Almost 100 Brotherhood-run affiliated schools have been sequestered, with combined assets of LE283,300,000, while the value of hospitals and medical centres placed under confiscation is estimated at LE111,183,000.

Of 62 Muslim Brotherhood companies sequestered, three were subsequently released. Those that remain under confiscation have an estimated worth of $17,402,000. They exclude currency exchange shops, 17 of which, with combined assets of LE 81,902,000, have been confiscated.

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