US media is reporting that the Egyptian government has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of building a military wing in order to attack the security forces. According to a Time.com report:
February 9, 2014 Egyptian authorities have accused the ousted Muslim Brotherhood of building an insurrectionary military wing to stage attacks against security forces. The accusation comes as mass protests across the country wane but violent attacks increase.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said Sunday the alleged ’military wing’ is based in the city of Beni Suef, south of Cairo. It also named 12 people that belong to the alleged Brotherhood-led unit, reports the Associated Press.
Groups supporting the deposed president Mohammad Morsi have claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Cairo, using Molotov cocktails and homemade grenades against police vehicles and troop barracks in the city. Within the last month, major incidents have included a jihadist attack on an Egyptian military helicopter in Sinai and a deadly car bombing in Cairo. While an al-Qaeda inspired group has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, new groups believed to be Muslim Brotherhood supporters have turned to violence as well.
Both secular-minded groups and the Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have denounced the current military administration for intimidating opposition voices.
The regime, led by army chief and likely presidential candidate Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has systematically jailed journalists and opposition leaders and attacked demonstrators.”
The Muslim Brotherhood has denied the charges stating, “The group has not formed any military wings [for use]against the police and army; all our activities are devoted to peacefulness.’
The last time the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was known to have a military component was in the 1940’s, during the time of its founder Hassan Al-Banna. According to a BBC profile:
After Banna launched the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, branches were set up throughout the country – each running a mosque, a school and a sporting club – and its membership grew rapidly. By the late 1940s, the group is estimated to have had 500,000 members in Egypt, and its ideas had spread across the Arab world. At the same time, Banna created a paramilitary wing, the Special Apparatus, whose operatives joined the fight against British rule and engaged in a campaign of bombings and assassinations.The Egyptian government dissolved the group in late 1948 for attacking British and Jewish interests. Soon afterwards, the group was accused of assassinating Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Nuqrashi.