CAIRO: The arrest of a new terror cell affiliated with Al-Takfir Wa Al-Hijra group is strange, given that the group never espoused violence, said Islamic groups expert Diaa Rashwan.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Sunday that the State Security Prosecutor’s Office began investigations with 25 people associated with the group who had been incarcerated since February.
They have been accused of attempting to revive the group and are also accused of attempting to bear arms, accusations which the defendants have denied.
Yet Rashwan said that the ideology of the group prevented it from carrying arms, because they liken themselves to the Muslims who lived in Mecca before the Hijra to Medina.
“They are fundamentalist in their ideology but have never been a violent group. They are not jihadist groups. They still exist now but in very small numbers, he said.
Rashwan added, “What they do is isolate themselves from society, and declare everybody else an apostate but their ideology is not to kill. Only once have they been involved in clashes when security forces conducted raids on their homes.
An interior ministry official told Daily News Egypt that they had no information on this particular cell but that it might have been possible that the arrests were conducted by the State Security branch.
Though State Security is part of the interior ministry , it is quasi-independent and has its own chain of command.
“They believe they exist in a Meccan society, Rashwan said, “and they are not violent because you cannot kill in Mecca.
Since the announcement of the existence of a terrorist cell affiliated to Hezbollah operating on Egyptian soil, as well as the attack on Al-Hussein mosque which led to the death of a French teenager in February, once again terrorist cells have come to the fore of the news cycle.
The interior ministry released a statement last May that they had discovered another terrorist cell comprising Egyptian and foreign members affiliated to Al-Qaeda. Others were supposedly affiliated with another group called the Islamic Palestinian Army.
They were arrested while in possession of weapons and ammunition and were allegedly planning further attacks according to the statement. Targets were reported to have been tourist sites and oil installations in Sinai.