We need a complete picture of Muslim Brotherhood's activities, Cameron warns as he orders MI6 probe into Egyptian radicals
- Review will look at the 'philosphy and activities' of the Muslim Brotherhood
- MI6 will assess whether organisation was behind recent attacks in Egypt
- MI5 will look into how many senior leaders of the body are based in the UK
- Concerns that London is being used as a hub for extremist activities
- Some leaders reported to be operating from a flat in Cricklewood
- The Brotherhood is Egypt’s oldest and largest Islamist organisation
- It's inspired similar movements with its political activism and charity work
David Cameron today vowed to 'challenge the extremist narrative' of some Islamic organisations as he ordered an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood to check whether it is planning attacks in the Middle East from Britain.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to establish a 'complete picture' of the group's 'philosophy and activities', with information being gathered by both MI5 and MI6.
The review was prompted by evidence received by the Government that Brotherhood leaders met in London last year to plot their response to events in Egypt.
Prime Minister David Cameron addressed reporters at a press conference alongside Italian PM Matteo Renzi
Speaking at a No 10 news conference, Mr Cameron said that the Government was committed to encouraging people away from the path of extremism.
'We want to challenge the extremist narrative that some Islamist organisations have put out,' he told reporters following talks with new Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.
'What I think is important about the Muslim Brotherhood is that we understand what this organisation is, what it stands for, what its beliefs are in terms of the path of extremism and violent extremism, what its connections are with other groups, what its presence is here in the United Kingdom. Our policies should be informed by a complete picture of that knowledge,' he said.
'It is an important piece of work because because we will only get our policy right if we fully understand the true nature of the organisation that we are dealing with.'
Handshake: David Cameron, pictured with Mohammed Morsi - the Brotherhood chief who was elected president of Egypt then deposed last year
It was reported last night that the probe will include assessments from MI6, the foreign intelligence service, into whether the body was behind a spate of recent attacks in Egypt.
The domestic intelligence service, MI5, will be asked to look into how many senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are based in the UK.
The inquiry will also look into claims that leaders of the organisation met in London late last year to decide its strategy.
There are concerns that the capital is being used as a hub for its extremist activities.
Mohammed Morsi, the Brotherhood chief who was elected president of Egypt then deposed last year, is in jail.
Following the army-led coup in Egypt, some Brotherhood leaders are reported to have fled to London, and may be co-ordinating their next move from a flat in the north-west suburb of Cricklewood.
The Prime Minister is understood to have come under pressure from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to ban the group, but this is unlikely to happen.
Last night a spokesman for No 10 said: ‘The Prime Minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Government’s policy towards the organisation.’
Unrest: Clashes have taken place in Cairo between riot police and those who support the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Mursi
As part of the review MI6 will look into allegations the group was responsible for the murder of three tourists on a bus in Egypt in February and a series of other recent attacks.
The Brotherhood is Egypt’s oldest and largest Islamist organisation and has inspired similar movements around the world with its political activism and charity work.
Officials have said it is ‘possible but unlikely’ that the organisation will join the list of groups proscribed because of their links to terrorism.
Last month 529 Brotherhood members were sentenced to death by a court in Cairo, as part of a crackdown on the group.
Mr Cameron asked Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to report on the Brotherhood’s ‘philosophy and values and alleged connections with extremism and violence’ by the end of July. Sir Kim Darroch, the National Security Adviser, has already started work on the report.
Egyptian relatives of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi cry sitting outside the courthouse in the southern province of Minya after 529 Brotherhood members were sentenced to death
Protests: The ruling is an escalation of Egypt's crackdown on supporters of Morsi, who was removed in July
Officials from the Senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office have previously resisted attempts to ban the organisation, arguing that to hinder a body that was largely moderate would only strengthen support of extreme Islamists.
BACKGROUND: WHAT IS EGYPT'S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD?
The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's oldest and most established Islamist group, founded at a time when they wanted to rid the country of British influence.
After success members began getting involved in the country's politics but its supporters have been forced underground for most of its existence since its birth in 1928.
The coup to remove Morse last year was, in their view, the latest in a long line of attempts to eradicate political Islam.
They have been further marginalised after the interim Egyptian government declared them a terrorist group and blamed them for a series of deadly attacks in the country.
Thousands of members have been arrested, hundreds sentenced to death and the organisations headquarters trashed and burned to the ground. Members have fled - including to Britain.
A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood said that it would co-operate with the Downing Street review. ‘It is a religious obligation for any Muslim Brotherhood member who lives whether in his homeland or any state to respect its system and laws,’ he told The Times.
Kwasi Kwarteng, a Tory MP and member of the Conservative Middle East Council , said that the West had been blindsided by the group’s sudden emergence.
‘I saw how they won elections in Egypt and essentially they ran Egypt very much in a partisan manner. They are quite loose, so they will say different things at different people at different times to seem moderate. They are great masters of disguise.
‘I think people in the West can get very deluded about the nature of the Brotherhood. Certainly three years ago we thought they were going to be just another political party.’
London became known as Londonistan ten years ago due to the number of Islamic hate preachers in the capital.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2593903/Cameron-orders-probe-Egyptian-radicals-Investigation-check-Muslim-Brotherhood-planning-attacks-Middle-East-Britain.html#ixzz2xiIRj5bl
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