Prosecutor General Talaat Abdullah has ordered the arrest of all suspected Black Bloc activists. Abdullah’s office has proof the Black Bloc is carrying out “terrorist activities”, according to state-owned MENA.
MENA did not provide additional information as to what sorts of terrorist activities have been carried out, nor what kind of proof is available. Nevertheless Abdullah’s spokesperson Hassan Yassin said the group has conducted acts of sabotage, destruction and intimidation which are punishable by the penal code.
The police have been instructed to arrest people wearing black clothing and balaclavas. Yassin said the prosecutor general urges anyone with information about the group to come forward.
The Black Bloc first appeared last Thursday, as groups of people dressed in black with their faces covered descended on Tahrir. Those present announced they would oppose the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsy with force if necessary. The Brotherhood, several other Islamist parties and the government have attributed recent violence to the Black Bloc.
The Black Bloc is not a movement or a group, but rather a protest tactic that emerged as a response to increased use of police force in Germany in the 1980s. By concealing their faces and wearing black protesters maintain anonymity while their uniform appearance gives the impression of unity.