Authorities arrest members of the Helwan Brigades
Helwan Brigades - Photo courtesy of youtube video

CAIRO: State security has launched a crackdown on what it is calling a new jihadist cell in Cairo and Giza, which is calling itself the Helwan Brigades, a Ministry of Interior source told Youm7.

A video published by the group Aug. 14 showed a dozen masked youth holding automatic weapons. One of them, Magdy Fonia, kept threatening and inciting against police and army forces, saying that the police were torturing citizens assisted by the army and they have killed protesters in peaceful marches.

The video was released a few hours after the killing of a police officer in Helwan and the injury of another. However, the Helwan Brigades were not accused of targeting the victims, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

The source told Youm7 that security arrested five new members of the group Tuesday and they are being interrogated by the National Security Agency.

He added that Fonia was among the arrested members and that security had managed to identify 20 other suspects.

Ministry of Interior deputy Maj. Gen. Sayed Shafiq told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the crackdown on the Helwan Brigades lasted for seven days in seven different governorates and that security is still pursuing eight of the men in the video.

Additional reporting by Ahmed Marie.

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