Britain orders probe into Muslim Brotherhood
The investigation ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron is being led by Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Britain has ordered an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood over concerns that the group is planning radical activities in Britain, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street office revealed Tuesday.
The review is being led by Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Jenkins, according to Agence France-Presse.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government's policy towards the organization."
The announcement confirmed a report in the Times newspaper that said he had asked intelligence agencies to gather information on the "philosophy and activities" of the Brotherhood and its potential threat to the UK.
According to the newspaper, Brotherhood leaders had met in London last year to decide their response to the Egypt crisis, triggered when one of its leading members, Mohammad Mursi, was unseated as president
The group has since been blamed by Cairo for orchestrating a campaign of violence.
According to Abdallah Hamoud, an Egyptian political analyst based in London, the group works "among British Muslims in order to mobilize pressure against the government to take measures against the interim government in Cairo.
"The Muslim Brotherhood organization in the UK is planning to bring about some kind of radicalization effect among British Muslims," he said, adding that "the British government is starting to feel the impact of this, particularly after news is rife of British Muslims participating in the war in Syria, threatening Britain's national security."
"To have London as a hub for Islamists will take the scene back to the early 1990s where the breeding, long-term effect of radicals didn't initially pose an immediate threat, but later did."
Meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in London, Ibrahim Munir, declined to comment on the group's situation when contacted by Al Arabiya News on Tuesday.
However, sources close to the Brotherhood's UK branch said they were "willing to cooperate with the investigation" as this is the "only way they can feel reassured and protected."
The group is under pressure in Egypt where last week, former defense minister and army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the military-backed overthrow of Mursi in July, announced his presidential bid, in a move expected by many Egyptians.
Soon after Mursi’s ouster, the military-backed interim government quashed the Muslim Brotherhood movement, arresting many of its members and senior members
A London base?
In January, The Telegraph reported that a cramped flat above a disused kebab shop in a north London suburb became an unlikely base for the Muslim Brotherhood’s fightback against Egypt’s interim government.
The London office, in the suburb of Cricklewood, is run by the relatives of two of Mursi’s arrested aides. One of the relatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they viewed London as a “safe city” and “the capital of a free democracy that values human rights and social justice,” in an interview with The Telegraph.
Another said: “We look forward to seeing those values brought back into Egypt once our democracy is restored and our freedom from dictatorship and repression won.”
Mounir, a leading official in the organization’s international wing, who is also based at its London office, issued a defiant warning to the interim government in the report.
“All military coups must come to an end,” he said, speaking exclusively to The Telegraph. “Look at Chile or Pakistan.”
Mounir went on to admit that the Brotherhood’s Egyptian operations had been severely hampered, but added that the group had faced a similar situation under former leaders Hosni Mubarak and Gamal Abdel Nasser.
“We have been used to this [repression] for the 60 years, and we can still function, albeit in a different way to before,” he said