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CairoThe Egyptian authorities have arrested 11 people on suspicion of fabricating media content for the Al-Jazeera Network in Qatar, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.
The statement revealed that the suspects were cooperating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood to produce content that includes documentary information about the troubled North Sinai region for money.
The statement said that the suspects wanted to “implement their plan, which aims to undermine the security of the homeland and undermine its stability, through the production and preparation of fabricated media reports and programs, in exchange for huge financial sums.”
He added that the reports “include a projection of the country’s internal conditions, the promotion of rumors, and incitement against state institutions, to be broadcast by Al-Jazeera.”
The Interior Ministry statement indicated that the Supreme State Security Prosecution has launched investigations.
The Egyptian armed forces are facing a radical Islamic rebellion in North Sinai led by a local group linked to the Islamic State.
The area is largely closed to the media, except for rare visits under the supervision of the army.
In recent years, Al-Jazeera has been at the center of an acute political confrontation between Cairo and Doha since the military overthrew 2013 President Mohamed Morsi, who came from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood and supported Qatar.
The Egyptian government sees Al-Jazeera as an official spokesman for the Brotherhood, and the authorities are blocking the site of the channel in Egypt, which can only be accessed by a virtual private network “in my network.”
The authorities imprisoned thousands of Islamist supporters of Morsi in a campaign that extended to include liberal and secular activists, including bloggers, actors, singers, and famous journalists.
In June 2017, Egypt and other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut ties with Qatar due to allegations that they support “terrorist” groups.