Acting Brotherhood General Guide's Arrest a Major Blow to the Group


by Hany Ghoraba

Egypt's arrest of a long-sought Muslim Brotherhood leader Aug. 28 is sure to create new challenges for the Islamist group. Acting General Guide Mahmoud Ezzat, 76, was arrested Aug. 28 after years in hiding.

Egyptian police found him in his hideout apartment in a posh district in New Cairo. Police confiscated a number of computer devices, cellular phones with encrypted programs, and documents which include plans for terrorist attacks, Egypt's Ministry of Interior said in a press statement. The statement described Ezzat as "responsible for handling the organization's (MB) funds and providing it with financial support as well as financing all its activities."

The charges claim he masterminded terrorist attacks after the June 2013 revolution forced the Muslim Brotherhood-led government from power.

Ezzat became the Brotherhood's acting leader after General Guide Mohamed Badie was arrested and indicted in several terrorism cases. Badie is serving a life sentence.

For Egyptian security, Ezzat's fall generates a wealth of information on the whereabouts of the Brotherhood's splinter cells, such as Hasm and Liwa Al Thawra, both of which the United States designated as terrorist organizations. Hasm has carried out 14 terrorist attacks in Egypt and more than 304 suspected members have been arrested and sent to military courts. Liwa Al Thawra was involved in several assassinations of police and army officers.


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