Thirteen officials from Egypt's banned opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, have been formally charged with terrorism and money laundering in Cairo. According to the Arab daily, al-Hayat, the leaders have been accused of running "secret training camps called 'jihadist camps' where they trained groups of students in armed combat".
The most important member of the group, Osama Nasr, has been accused of "having supported an illegal group that uses terrorism to achieve its aims and publishes brochures and and books to spread its ideological message, recycling money obtained from terrorism".
Prosecutors claim that the accused hid their training camps behind the guise of so called "sports camps" and young recruits were taught how to use arms before being sent to "war zones" to show their solidarity for besieged Gazans their and opposition to Israel's recent military offensive.
The leaders were arrested last week in Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in the north.
The were reportedly detained for 15 days on charges of "belonging to a banned group, calling for demonstrations and possessing documents seeking to spread the (Brotherhood) ideology".
The organisation's number two, Mohammed Habib, accused the government in a statement of seeking to "prevent the brotherhood from having a role in Egyptian political life."
The organisation, founded in 1928, was officially banned in 1954. Using sympathisers running as independents, the group won one-fifth of seats in the 2005 parliamentary elections.
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