UK PM David Cameron orders probe of Muslim Brotherhood after group’s leaders flee Egypt crackdown

Then Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks to reporters at the presidential palace in Cairo, July 13, 2012. AP

LONDON -- British Prime Minister David Cameron has told the country's intelligence agencies to investigate the Muslim Brotherhood, amid reports the group is using London as a base to plan militant activities after a crackdown in Egypt.

Cameron's office said Tuesday that "the prime minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government's policy towards the organization."

Downing Street said the inquiry would look into the group's alleged links to violent extremism.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi was ousted as Egypt's president last year, and Egypt has declared it a terrorist organization. The group says it is a peaceful charitable and political organization, but opponents accuse it of orchestrating a wave of deadly attacks on Egyptian police and military.

Among the questions for Britain's investigation is whether the group was behind a bomb attack on a tourist bus in the Sinai peninsula that killed three South Koreans and the Egyptian driver.

Britain's investigation will be led by John Jenkins, Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia - a country that has joined Egypt in declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

The Brotherhood has long had a presence in Britain, but the government is investigating whether its ranks have been swelled by members fleeing Egypt.

The organization did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

In January, The Telegraph reported that after most of the Brotherhood's senior leaders were arrested, some fled to London in an effort to rebuild their organization away from interference by Egypt's new military leaders, opening an office in the suburb of Cricklewood.

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