The Egyptian state prosecutor has ordered the detention of ousted former president Mohammed Morsi for 15 days pending an investigation into a variety of accusations against him, according to a report by state news agency MENA on 26 July.
The main allegation facing Morsi is that he conspired with Palestinian militant group Hamas to carry out acts of violence in Egypt, as well as a number of jailbreaks – including his own – of dozens of Muslim Brotherhood officials during the revolution that toppled his predecessor Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. The state also accuses Morsi of collusion in the killing of prisoners and officers as well as kidnapping soldiers, according to MENA.
The announcement came just hours before a series of scheduled protests for and against Morsi on 26 July, and exerts still more pressure on an already fragile political scene.
The Muslim Brotherhood denies all collaboration with Hamas, and claims to have been aided in the jailbreaks by locals, not foreigners. The Brotherhood condemns the continued detention of the democratically-elected Morsi, who hasn't been seen in public since he was unseated by the military on 3 July.
The Brotherhood says the current situation in Egypt signals a return to the Mubarak era, and they reject the transition plan ushered in by interim president Adly Mansour who suspended the constitution and is preparing for fresh parliamentary and presidential elections. Supporters of Morsi, who is detained at an undisclosed location, say they will protest until the Islamist former president is reinstated.
Since Morsi was ousted on 3 July, authorities have closed Islamist television stations and arrested Brotherhood leaders and members. On 24 July the army chief General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called for Egyptians to take to the streets to "give me, the army and police a mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism." Some analysts view Sisi's statement as signifying the arrival of an increased crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Over 100 people have died in clashes in Egypt since Morsi was ousted on 3 July.
Meanwhile Washington has halted the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets destined for the Egyptian military. The US has not yet decided whether to classify Morsi's overthrow as a "coup", a term that would constitute a cut-off in US assistance.
However the Obama administration has not suggested that halting the delivery of the fighter jets signals a shift in broader US policy on aid to Egypt