Egypt said on Monday that the Muslim Brotherhood has tasked members with collecting intelligence information and passing it to group leaders abroad, carrying out the supreme guide’s instructions.
A statement that was aired on state television and attributed to security apparatuses, said the orders to form the cell were issued by Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie among other leaders, in 2012, during the tenure of Brotherhood politician and former president Mohamed Mursi.
Several committees were formed, one of which was tasked with infiltrating networks to gather and pass along information on police and army personnel, ahead of targeting them.
Another committee was responsible for handing over any information gathered to the supreme guide’s office.
The cell’s tasks included passing the intelligence information to “some foreign bodies” and “airing false news” that harm state interests.
Brotherhood members with computer knowledge and experience in hacking were trained abroad to infiltrate the websites of some ministries and prominent figures, including police and military officers.
The purpose was to “broadcast this information” to disrupt vital state facilities and major projects.
All of the cell’s financial, logistical and technical needs were funded by foreign bodies, the statement said.
The people involved were arrested after taking legal procedures, the statement read. Additionally, their headquarters, which were used to carry out operations, were raided and a large number of the people involved were arrested.
Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the stringent wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.
Most of the group’s leaders have been placed behind bars and put on trial since July 2013, when Mursi was removed from power by the military following mass protests against his rule.