CAIRO: Authorities charged two leaders of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, two Sinai Bedouins and a Palestinian with plotting a terrorist attack with Hamas, a security official said Sunday.
Brotherhood leaders Abdel-Hai Al-Faramawy, a professor at Al-Azhar university, and Mohamed Wahdan were charged with paying the equivalent of $3,600 to two Bedouins to buy 30 jerry cans of fuel, spare parts and a remote control for an unmanned aircraft.
Al-Faramawy denied the charges, while Hamas said the reports were completely false.
The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said Hamas was planning to build the unmanned aircraft but it was not clear how the aircraft was going to be used or who would be targeted. Media reports suggest that everyone from US and Israeli interests to rival Palestinian factions were to be hit.
Hamas does not possess any aircraft, but it has in the past attempted to load remote-controlled airplanes with explosives for attacks on Israeli targets.
These attempts have never succeeded.
According to the police report, the Palestinian charged was a member of Hamas and was to collect the material purchased by the Bedouin using Brotherhood money and use it in the attack.
The police first arrested the Bedouin in early April and he then led them to the second Bedouin, the Palestinian and the Brotherhood leaders.
Hamas spokesman Sami Zuhri dismissed the alleged plot and the media reports about it, describing them as part of a campaign against the organization.
“We condemn this fabrication and attempt to use Hamas as part of the internal conflict between some elements in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, he told The Associated Press. “Hamas has nothing to do with Egypt, and this report is completely false.
Al-Faramawy s lawyer, Jamal Tageddin, rejected the charges in statements on the movement s website. He described them as “lies aimed at defaming the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and distracting people from the unjust military rulings passed against Muslim Brotherhood members.
A military court on April 15 convicted the group s chief strategist, Khayrat El-Shater, and its prominent financier, Hassan Malek, of money laundering and sentenced them to seven years in prison.
More than 800 members of the movement, the country s most powerful opposition force, have been detained so far this year, in an effort to thwart its influence as an aging President Hosni Mubarak enters his 27th year in power.
The Brotherhood has officially rejected violence and says it only seeks to gain power through political means.