Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy said on Monday that the military intelligence is the "third party" responsible for all the recent bloodshed. He also said that it is running the Interior Ministry.
In a television interview with Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr from Rabaa al-Adaweya, Beltagy said that "the military intelligence has been managing the political scene since 11 February 2011."
Beltagy claimed that he used to visit the Interior Ministry when he was a member of the Defense and National Security Committee of the dissolved parliament and reached that conclusion ever since former Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy was appointed. He said he continues to have the same impression with the current Interior Minister in power.
"The third party that perpetrated the massacres at Maspero, in Port Said, at the Cabinet of Ministers, and in Mohamed Mahmoud Street is the military intelligence," he claimed.
Speaking of the clashes that broke out at the Republican Guard House, in which dozens of Brotherhood supporters were killed, he said, "I called him [the Interior Minister] on the phone and told him about the deaths. I told him that there were snipers who killed more than 50 people and hurt hundreds of others. He knew nothing of it."
He added that the minister told him that anti-riot police were only armed with tear gas. Beltagy said that he held the minister responsible for the lost lives.
Beltagy also said that Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has taken “a step back” and now wants the police, rather than the army, to disperse the pro-Morsy sit-ins after he had earlier said that he needed the green light from Egyptians to go ahead with dismantling the protests.
Beltagy also blamed the military intelligence for water and power cuts across the country when Morsy was in power, adding that, oddly enough, all these problems suddenly ended after 3 July, following Morsy's ouster from power.
Beltagy said that Morsy made a mistake when he did not confront the deep state, thinking that constitutional legitimacy was sufficient to reform the country. Today, he added, the masses are aware that revolutionary legitimacy has to go hand in hand with constitutional legitimacy.
Beltagy praised "Morsy's perseverance," adding that the ousted President has been abducted and put in an undisclosed place and is being subjected to psychological, financial, and perhaps physical pressure. He also said that they are trying to get him to sign a resignation or to agree to the conduct of a referendum, but that he is refusing to succumb to the pressure.
He also said that dispersing the Rabaa al-Adaweya and al-Nahda protests would constitute an "international crime that would violate human rights," and he denied that there were weapons at the sit-in. He described accusations that the sit-in was not peaceful as “ridiculous” and said that it is well-known that the protesters in Tahrir are armed.
Beltagy said that the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in is close to the military intelligence and other military establishments, yet the protesters have not assaulted any of those buildings. "We have asked international rights delegations to come visit the site of the peaceful sit-in and we insist on those invitations. They should come see how bloody the attacks on this protest are, and see the attempts to intimidate the protesters by preventing the entry of medical supplies and food and the blowing up of drainage pipes."
Asked about the response of the protesters to plans to break up the protest, Beltagy said, "The people have the right to defend themselves peacefully. Nobody will abandon the square and the people here will only leave as dead bodies."
"They will not be able to dismantle the protest unless they carry out a massacre and this will mark the fall of the regime."
Asked why the Brotherhood rejected Al Azhar’s initiative to resolve the crisis, Beltagy described Al Azhar as a biased party that sided with the perpetrators of the coup. “We are open to any dialogue and ready for it — but on what basis?”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm