Egypt’s security forces have arrested Mahmoud Ezzat, the Acting Supreme Guide of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group, designated in Egypt as a terrorist group and consequently banned by law. Despite rumours that he was outside the country, Mr Ezzat was caught at an apartment in al-Tagammu al-Khamis (Fifth Settlement), a district in the east Cairo satellite town of New Cairo.
The Ministry of Interior issued a statement declaring that, in keeping with its efforts to stand against hostile plans that aim to debilitate Egypt’s security and stability, and undermine the country’s capacity, it has been tracking the leaders of the banned MB movement, and those in charge of managing it inside and outside Egypt.
“It came to the attention of the National Security sector that MB leader Mahmoud Ezzat had taken an apartment in the Fifth Settlement in New Cairo as a hideout, even as deceptive rumours were circulated by the Brotherhood that he was outside the country.”
Mr Ezzat, 76, has been in the Brotherhood ranks since the 1960s and was named a member of the group’s Guidance Bureau in 1981. He was previously detained for affiliation with the group and responsibility for vicious acts on its behalf.
He was named the group’s acting leader in August 2013 following the arrest of Supreme Guide Muhammad Badie, and his whereabouts were since kept secret by the MB. As for Mr Badie, he received a fourth final life sentence in July 2020 on violence-related charges, totalling 100 years.
Mr Ezzat was in charge of the MB’s “armed wing” and supervised major terrorist operations since 30 June 2013 until his arrest. He was handed several sentences in absentia, including life imprisonment and the death penalty, during mass trials of MB leading members on charges of espionage with Palestinian group Hamas and other violence-related crimes. Under Egyptian law, in absentia convictions must be re-tried once the defendant is apprehended.
For history of the MB:
30 August 2020