Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi speaks publicly of firsthand knowledge of a meeting where opponents allegedly plotted against him. A few months earlier, the most powerful man in his Muslim Brotherhood group, Khairat el-Shater, says he has access to recordings of former military rulers and electoral officials engineering his disqualification from last year’s presidential race.
In Egypt, those statements are seen by security officials, former members of the Islamist group and independent media as strong hints that the Brotherhood might be running its own intelligence-gathering network outside of 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.
Brotherhood supporters also demonstrated militia-like capabilities at anti-Morsi protests in December.
Another oft-heard charge comes from the Foreign Ministry, where officials complain that the president relies more on trusted Brotherhood advisers than those inside the ministry in formulating foreign policy.
The Brotherhood emerged from Egypt’s 2011 uprising as the country’s dominant political group and Morsi was elected president in June of last year as the group’s candidate.