CAIRO — A fugitive leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in a videotaped speech aired Tuesday denied accusations by the authorities and allied media that his group is waging a "terror" campaign.
Mohammed el-Beltagy's address was aired by Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, an affiliate of the Qatar-based TV station, as the group plans new demonstrations, defying a crippling security crackdown that has put most of its senior and midlevel leadership behind bars and reduced once-huge street protests to scattered gatherings of several hundred.
El-Beltagy is himself wanted on accusations of inciting violence and has been hunted by authorities for nearly three weeks.
In his 18-minute message, el-Beltagy said that authorities were trying to turn a "political crisis" into a security problem by accusing his group of orchestrating a terrorism campaign. Egypt's media, almost uniformly anti-Brotherhood after the closure of Islamist TV stations, have described the crackdown as a "war on terror."