US media is reporting on claims by the Egyptian government that members of the Muslim Brotherhood were responsible for the assassination last summer of Egypt’s top prosecutor, According to a New York Times report, the Egyptians also assert that training for the killing was provided by Hamas:
CAIRO — Egypt said Sunday that members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, trained by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, carried out the bombing in Cairo that killed Egypt’s top prosecutor last summer.
Egypt’s interior minister, Maj. Gen. Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar, described at a news conference a plot to kill the prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, that he linked to exiled Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Turkey and a Hamas training camp in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas denied the charges on Sunday. In June, at the time of the bombing, the Muslim Brotherhood denied any involvement in the killing of the prosecutor.
‘These statements are untrue and do not bode well for ongoing efforts to develop ties between Hamas and Cairo,’ Samy Abu Zahri, a Hamas spokesman, said in a statement.
Mr. Barakat, who spearheaded the prosecution and mass trials of thousands of Islamists, was killed when a car bomb containing more than 175 pounds of explosives was detonated as his vehicle drove through a Cairo suburb on June 29.
Mr. Barakat was the most senior official to be killed in Egypt in 25 years. The assassination prompted President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to introduce an antiterrorism law that expanded the powers of Egypt’s security forces and restricted civil liberties.
The killing was part of a wave of attacks against government officials and the security forces that followed the military’s ouster of the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.
After the removal of Mr. Morsi, the government outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, killed hundreds of its supporters at a demonstration in Cairo and jailed thousands more. Many Muslim Brotherhood leaders fled into exile in Turkey.
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The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the Global Muslim Brotherhood.