2 arrested for inciting violence via Facebook: Interior ministry

Adham Youssef
4 Min Read

The Ministry of Interior announced Sunday it arrested two suspects charged with administrating Facebook pages which “incite against the police” and “fabricate incidents”.

The pair were also charged with “claiming responsibility for acts of rioting and attacks on police personnel”.

The alleged operator of a page called “The Popular Resistance Brigades in Egypt” was monitored and arrested after claiming responsibility for attempting the assassination of several officers. They also claimed responsibility for: setting fire to post offices and trains; blocking high roads; attacking police vehicles and motorcycles; and spreading false news about assassinating a number of police personnel, the ministry added in a statement.

The Facebook page, which has now been removed, previously reported incidents where the alleged members of the group attacked police vehicles or personnel. The page’s rhetoric included threatening posts to police officers, which the page claiming to have been monitoring their manoeuvres. They claimed to have been publishing videos and pictures of officers on and off duty, and of masked men planting homemade bombs in front of police stations

Other pages by the name “Popular Resistance” claim executing similar strategies of militancy in different governorates, but there is no proof of coordination between the groups. The majority of the pages’ posts contain anti-government footages and pictures, ranging from anti-military chants to posts opposing the ministry of interior and the ministry of religious endowments.

The “Popular Resistance in Giza” page claimed responsibility Sunday night for the latest attack on policemen in Mohandessin in Giza, announcing that they killed one and injured two others.

“What you saw today is just a simple message,” the group said, warning of more violence to come.

Another group by the same name who claim to perform in Fayoum has been posting similar material. It published a statement last week claiming responsibility of torching fuel trucks of companies they accuse of “supporting the coup”.

“In response to crimes by the militias of Al-Sisi, including targeting innocent people,” the group claimed responsibility for targeting police patrols.

The Ministry of Interior also announced that it arrested a woman operating 26 Facebook pages and groups, where she “incited against the Ministry of Interior”. She has also been accused of calling upon young people to join the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) and its Egyptian affiliate, ‘State of Sinai’, formerly Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

The ministry posted the names of the pages the defendant is charged of administrating. Most of the pages carry Islamist tendencies, and claim to support former president Mohamed Morsi.

Some of the pages also sympathise with the Rabaa AlAdaweya sit-in and the Muslim Brotherhood. They call for the application of Islamic Sharia Law in the country, as well as the downfall of the current regime.

Since the forcible dispersal of the pro-Morsi encampments on August 2013, a number of anti-government militant groups have claimed responsibility of attacks against police personnel, judges, public institutions, and security facilities. Most of the groups use social media to claim the attacks, posting videos of either assassination attempts or bombings.

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