(AA) – A leading member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has dismissed recent allegations by the Egyptian government that his Islamist group has forged an alliance with a militant group in the Sinai Peninsula.
“The Interior Ministry is trying to blame the Muslim Brotherhood for its own security failures,” Mohamed Soudan, a leading member of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, told The Anadolu by phone from London.
“The Interior Ministry has failed to resist violent responses to its own violence against Egyptians,” he said.
On Wednesday, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said that it had dealt a “preemptive blow” to a group of Muslim Brotherhood members who were about to stage attacks in collaboration with the Sinai-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group and Al-Qaeda.
The ministry said that the Brotherhood had planned to carry out armed attacks against police, army and media facilities in cooperation with the two militant groups.
It also said that police had arrested 21 group members and that the latter had confessed to having committed 38 “terrorist” attacks in the past.
Soudan, for his part, denied all allegations in the Interior Ministry’s statement.
“The Brotherhood’s adherence to peaceful activism against the military coup has not and will not change,” Soudan said, referring to the military’s ouster of elected president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013.
“We have not and will not form any alliances with armed groups.”
Soudan went on to say that the confessions allegedly extracted from the detained Brotherhood members “could easily have been made under duress amid unprecedented torture” inside Egyptian prisons.
Egypt has been dogged by instability since Morsi’s ouster by the military in mid-2013.
Egyptian authorities have launched a relentless crackdown on dissent which has largely targeted Islamist supporters of Morsi, leaving hundreds dead and thousands thrown behind bars.
The government accuses Morsi supporters, specifically the Brotherhood, of carrying out numerous deadly attacks on security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula and other parts of Egypt.
The Brotherhood, which was designated a “terrorist organization” by the Egyptian government in late 2013, emphatically denies the allegations, saying it is committed to purely peaceful modes of activism.