American Students Arrested in Egypt for Tossing Molotov Cocktails

The military in Egypt has been hard pressed to deal effectively with ongoing protests there, and has taken to laying the blame on foreign agitators, a case made stronger with the arrest of three American demonstrators.

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Update (10:52 a.m. EST): The Washington Post has confirmed the identities of the three students as Drexel University student Gregory Porter, Indiana University student Luke Gates, and Georgetown student Derrik Sweeney. All three are currently enrolled in the American University of Cairo. Sweeney reportedly worked as an intern for Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Missouri Republican. The Post also picked up this video from Egyptian television showing the students' arrest:

Original: The military in Egypt has laying the blame for recent protests on foreign agitators, a case made stronger with the arrest of three American demonstrators. The ongoing protests that have rocked Cairo's Tahrir Square for days now have claimed 33 lives as demonstrators resist the military's influence on the government ahead of Nov. 28 elections. On Tuesday, as protesters filled the square for a "million-man march," state television bolstered the military's claim that foreign elements were at work by displaying three American students arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails. The Washington Post reports:

Egypt’s military leaders seemed stumped on what to do next, as they blamed foreign hands for the unrest and called for dialogue to end the deepening political crisis.

The arrested Americans, accused of throwing flaming canisters and Molotov cocktails at Egyptian security forces, were held out as an example of such foreign interference.

According to a CNN report, the three young men were arrested in front of the Interior Ministry. "The three boys were throwing Molotov cocktails and had no passports on them when they were picked up," Adel Saeed, a spokesman for the office of Egypt's general prosecutor, told the network. The Post reports: "A video broadcast on state television showed the three Americans lined up against a wall, with identification cards from the American University in Cairo, credit cards and an Indiana driver’s license spread out on a table. Their names were not released." The U.S. embassy in Cairo said it was working with the Egyptian government to arrange the students' release.

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