CAIRO – 29 August 2020: Mahmoud Ezzat, the acting leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, got arrested on Friday during a security raid on an apartment in Cairo after having been on the run for seven years.
Despite misleading information regarding his whereabouts, security services were able to locate Ezzat, 76, who is also the head of the Brotherhood's International Organization.
The raid took place upon a warrant by the Supreme State Security Prosecution.
A statement by Egypt’s interior ministry has said several laptops and mobile phones with encryption software installed to secure communication with leaders and members of the banned group inside the country and abroad were found.
Ezzat was in charge of forming the Muslim Brotherhood’s armed wing and supervising major terrorist operations since 30 June 2013 until his arrest.
Ezzat joined the Brotherhood in the 1960s and spent time in prison during the rule of presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Hosni Mubarak.
He was imprisoned along with Supreme Guide Muhammad Badie from 1965 to 1974 and has been a member of the MB Guidance Office since 1981.
He is married to the daughter of former supreme guide Mahdi Akef.
Since 2013 he has been convicted in absentia on terrorism-related charges and twice sentenced to death.
Ezzat will now face retrial under the same charges.
He always refused public and media appearances and it was difficult to communicate with him, as he had to stay away from any means of communication.
Thinking that it was being monitored, which prompted him to use many mobile chips to escape from the security pursuit.
In August 2017, a Cairo criminal court accused Ezzat of planning attacks within Egypt from abroad and added his name to the country’s national terror list.*
“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.
It also charged him with supervising a deadly car blast outside the capital’s main cancer hospital in August 2019 which killed 20 people.
He also received two verdicts of death in the cases of spying for Hamas and Wadi al-Natroun Prison Break.