The government is to launch an immediate investigation into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation in the UK.
It is thought the probe will look into the Brotherhood’s involvement in the killing of three tourists in Egypt in February and its planning of terrorist attacks from Britain.
The authorities in Egypt and Saudi Arabia claim that London has become a major base of operations for the organisation and have called on the British government to ban the Egyptian-Islamist group.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned in Egypt for much of its history, but emerged as a leading political force after the Arab Spring and the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
It was subsequently reclassified as a terrorist group by Egypt’s current military-controlled government and former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamad Morsi is now in prison facing charges for treason.
Some British officials say that it is unlikely the group will be banned in the UK, telling the Guardian that the Brotherhood is a “large and disparate organisation that takes different forms in different countries”.
But Sir Richard Dearlove, a former head of MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence service, described the Brotherhood as “at heart a terrorist organisation”.