Egypt's Brotherhood still operates secretively

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CAIRO — Recent statements by powerful figures in Egypt have generated suspicions that the Muslim Brotherhood might be running its own intelligence-gathering network outside of Egyptian government security agencies and official channels.

Such concerns dovetail the Brotherhood, which has a long history of operating clandestinely, to suspicion that it remains a shadowy group with operations that may overlap with the normal functions of a state.

The motive for setting up parallel operations could be rooted in the fact that many government bodies, such as security agencies and the judiciary, are still dominated by appointees of the ousted regime of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak or anti-Islamists with long-held suspicions of the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood emerged from Egypt’s 2011 uprising as the country’s dominant political group and Mohammed Morsi was elected president in June of last year as the group’s candidate. Allied with them are a conservative segment of the population that is passively inclined toward the ideas of Islam as a way of life.

Arrayed against them is a bloc that includes not only those who served under Mubarak but also moderate Muslims, liberals, secularists, women and Christians who account for about 10 percent of the population.

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