Egyptian authorities have detained Mahmoud Ezzat, the acting supreme leader of the terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood, at a hideout in eastern Cairo, in the most important Brotherhood arrest in recent years. In a statement on Friday, Egypt's inte...
africa, egypt, crime, terrorism
Egyptian authorities have detained Mahmoud Ezzat, the acting supreme leader of the terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood, at a hideout in eastern Cairo, in the most important Brotherhood arrest in recent years. In a statement on Friday, Egypt's interior ministry said the fugitive group leader, who is also the head of the Brotherhood's International Organization, was arrested following intelligence that he was hiding at a flat in New Cairo's Fifth Settlement neighbourhood.
They said Ezzat used the apartment as his new hideout, "to deceive authorities, amid rumors spread by leaders of the Brotherhood about him being abroad."
The leader was arrested following a Supreme State Security Prosecution warrant search, the statement said, adding that several open-source laptops and cell phones were found to secure contact with leaders and members of the banned group within and outside the country.
According to the paper, from 30 June 2013 until his arrest, Ezzat was in charge of forming the "armed wing" of the Brotherhood and the overseer of major terrorist operations.
“Operations supervised by Ezzat include the assassination of former general prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015, policeman Wael Tahoun in 2015, top-ranked army officer Adel Ragei in 2016, and the attempted assassination of the general prosecutor’s former aide Zakaria Abdel-Azim in 2016,” the statement said.
In August 2019, it also charged him with supervising a deadly car blast outside the largest cancer hospital in the capital that killed 20 people.
Ezzat was also responsible for "cyber-attacks that manipulate [spread] rumors and false news to stir up chaos and divide public opinion," the statement said, adding that he directed the "movement of the group 's assets and assets to activities from dubious foreign organizations via the group's leaders abroad."
Ezzat, 76, has been in the ranks of the Brotherhood since the 1960s and in 1981 was named a member of the Guidance Bureau of the organization, or its Executive Board. He was previously imprisoned for his advocacy and association with the party for many years.
In August 2013, after the arrest of Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, who obtained a fourth final life sentence in July on charges relating to abuse, he was elected acting leader of the party, totalling 100 years.
Since that date Ezzat's whereabouts had been unknown.
He was given multiple absentia sentences, including life imprisonment and death penalty, during mass trials of the leading members of the Brotherhood on charges of spying with the Palestinian Hamas party and other violent crimes.
Under Egyptian law, cases in absentia have to be re-tried after the defendant has been apprehended.