Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Muslim Brotherhood are no longer capable of carrying out large-scale protests on the Egyptian street, a senior Egyptian Interior Ministry official said.
Head of the Interior Ministry’s Public Relations and Media Department, Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Osman, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The capability of the Muslim Brotherhood to gather [on the street] and protest has completely ended, however their disruptive acts are ongoing, particularly related to vital institutions in order to spread panic and fear among citizens.”
“The Ministry is set to announce the foiling of a large operation by terrorists to destroy the electricity grid in a number of provinces,” he added.
Cairo designated the Islamist group as a terrorist organization in December 2013, just months after Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Mursi had been ousted.
Osman’s comments come after the Brotherhood called for nationwide protests on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of the clearing of the pro-Mursi Rabaa Al-Adawiyah protests during which hundreds of people were killed. A heavy police presence meant that only hundreds of Brotherhood supporters took to the streets in Cairo, rather than the thousands expected. At least four people were reported killed in clashes between the Brotherhood supporters and police in Cairo as protesters sought to block highways and roads.
The Interior Ministry official said that the Brotherhood’s calls for widespread protests on Wednesday failed for two factors; the presence of security forces on the street and the increasing unpopularity of the Islamist group.