CAIRO - Egyptian security forces arrested 11 people on suspicion of fabricating media content for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network, the interior ministry said Friday.
The suspects were allegedly found to be collaborating with members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to create content that included a documentary on Egypt's troubled North Sinai region in exchange for large sums of money, the ministry said in a statement.
It said the suspects aimed "to undermine national security and stability by producing fabricated media reports... on the country's internal situation to spread rumours".
The investigations were handed over to the Supreme State Security Prosecution, the ministry added.
Security forces have been battling a long-running Islamist insurgency in North Sinai, spearheaded by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.
The region is largely closed off to the media, except for rare visits supervised by the military.
Al Jazeera has in recent years been at the centre of a bitter political rift between Cairo and Doha since the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood and was backed by Qatar.
The Egyptian government sees the network as a mouthpiece for the Brotherhood. Al Jazeera's website has been blocked in Egypt since 2017 and is accessible only via VPNs.
Authorities have also jailed thousands of Morsi's Islamist supporters in a crackdown that swept up other liberal and secular activists, including popular bloggers, actors, singers and journalists.
In June 2017, Egypt - along with other Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - severed ties with Qatar over allegations that it supports "terrorist" groups, including the Brotherhood.