CAIRO — Egyptian police arrested the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood's chief strategist and at least 140 supporters Thursday in a crackdown after a protest by uniformed students raised fears that the Islamist political group was creating a military wing.
The Interior Ministry announced the arrests, accusing the organization of recruiting students at Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt's foremost Islamic institute, and providing them with combat training, knives and chains.
The strategist, Mohammed Khayrat Shater, 55, was taken from his home early Thursday, security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Security officials did not confirm the arrests of the scores of student supporters, including Shater's son-in-law. Shater joined the organization in 1974 and has been imprisoned four times, for a total of seven years behind bars, on charges related to his membership in the group.