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Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood funding new militias with Cairo as primary target

Special to WorldTribune.com

CAIRO — Egypt has reported another insurgency network that targeted the nation’s capital.

Officials said security agencies were targeting the so-called Helwan Brigades, believed linked to the ousted Muslim Brotherhood. They said Helwan was operating around the sprawling southern Cairo neighborhood.

Still from the Helwan Brigades video released on Aug. 14.   /alarabalaan

Still from a Helwan Brigades video released on Aug. 14. /alarabalaan

“They appear to have the support of much larger terrorist networks,” an official said.

On Aug. 20, the Interior Ministry reported a crackdown on Helwan. The ministry said 13 suspected members were arrested after Helwan threatened to attack police in Cairo.

Helwan, like other insurgency militias, has released a video that showed purported members and weapons. In the video, 12 masked fighters warned of attacks on police in southern Cairo.

“Police will investigate the video and find those responsible,” Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said.

Cairo has become the leading target of insurgency groups. They included Ansar Beit Maqdis and a purported spinoff, Ajnad Misr, the latter which claimed responsibility for bombings throughout the capital. On Aug. 20, officials reported the arrest of 150 Brotherhood operatives, some of whom were later believed to represent Helwan.

Officials have asserted that the Brotherhood was helping finance a series of militias, including Ansar and Ajnad. They said much of the weapons for the militias were believed to have been smuggled from neighboring Libya and Sudan.

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