Wed, 16 Sep 2020 - 12:18 GMT
CAIRO – 16 September 2020: The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood seems to suffer internal rifts after announcing ousting Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Hussein, over accusations of being involved in looting the group’s money donations.
Several Muslim Brotherhood leaders criticized Hussein’s actions and described it as “crimes”, including former leader Mohy Issa who wrote on his Facebook account that the secretary general is involved in “robbery, looting and moral crimes within the group”.
Mahmoud Hussein, who is currently based in Turkey, was said to be replaced with Muslim Brotherhood leader Helmy al-Gazzar.
Another Muslim Brotherhood prominent leader Essam Tlima wrote an article on arabia 21 website earlier this week, saying that his group has recently been facing strong crises more than ever before. He affirmed that the Brotherhood's history never witnessed such internal rifts.
“First, and before talking about this, I would like to mention a historical event related to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership crisis and how the group dealt with it,” Tlima wrote, adding that shedding light on this historical part would make the readers more aware of “how the Muslim Brotherhood members do not know any more what they stand for or follow.”
Entitled “Who is the new Muslim Brotherhood acting Supreme Guide?”, the article reviewed the internal rifts that happened within the group to elect a successor for Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood group.
He noted that they differed at the time on two leaders, and then agreed that Hasan al-Hudaybi would succeed Banna, for reasons related to improving the group's image before the Egyptian people.
However, nowadays “the group has leaders who can not agree on anything anymore; they only search for more trouble and lose one more thing every day, including the group’s image, relations and international sympathy,” the article stated.
An audio leakage of another Muslim Brotherhood leader called Amir Bassam, affirmed that the outlawed group is suffering and that the members started to "lose trust in each other.”
“When we were at the session and we all listened to Mahmoud Hussein saying that he actually took the money along with two other members and bought homes and other things for themselves, I lost my faith in everyone listening to these confessions and did not talk or comment on any thing,” Bassam said in the audio that was aired by Extra news channel, Tuesday.
“He affirmed the rumors; he said that he took the money,and claimed at the same time that the group still needs a lot of donations and asked us to give him even more money,” Bassam added, stressing that this is something he cannot accept or understand.
“I don’t want to be with them anymore and don’t consider them my leaders,” Bassam affirmed in the audio.
On August 28, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior arrested the acting guide of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, Mahmoud Ezzat.
Ezzat, 76, was hiding in an apartment in the Fifth District in Cairo, despite the rumors that claimed he was outside Egypt. The security forces raided the apartment, upon a warrant of arrest from the prosecution.
The police confiscated a laptop and a number of mobile phones that have coded applications to enable him communicate with the MB members. This is in addition to seizing a number of documents about sabotaging plans against the country.
The terrorist leader was responsible for establishing the armed wing of the terrorist Brotherhood and was also the supervisor of sabotage operations committed by the organization members after June 30, 2013 revolution.
He has been accused of assassinating former Attorney-General Hisham Barakat, and injuring nine other civilians in the same incident in 2015. He was also accused of killing Brigadier General Wael Tahoun outside his house in Ain Shams district in 2015, and killing Major General Adel Rajai outside his home in Obour City in 2016. Ezzat was further charged with attempting to assassinate former Assistant Attorney General Judge Zakaria Abdel Aziz in 2016.
Moreover, the defendant faces charges of involvement in a car bombing incident outside the Oncology Institute in August 2019, which claimed the lives of 20 civilians and injured 47 others. He was also charged with cyberwar that was launched by the group members on social media platforms in order to create chaos in the society and financing the group members to carry out terrorist attacks.
The Ministry of Interior listed the verdicts that had been issued in absentia against Ezzat. He received two verdicts of death in the cases of spying for Hamas and Wadi al-Natroun Prison Break. He also got two sentences of life imprisonment (50 years in total) for charges of inciting violence and killing, in the cases dubbed in media as “the incidents of the guidance office” and “Minya violent incidents.”
History of violence
In February, the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, a non-governmental organization, issued a report on Muslim Brotherhood history and activity in Egypt clarifying that the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group is behind establishing 13 armed movements that carried out terrorist attacks in Egypt between 2013 and 2019.
The forum described the group as the “reference group for all violent terrorist organizations in the Middle East,” and that it “adopts a discourse that incites violence, racism, hatred and exclusion of women and (people) of other religions.”
Among those 13 groups is an organization known as Ansar Al-Sharia Brigades in Egypt, hosting Muslim Brotherhood fugitives who fled Wadi Al-Naturn prison in Beheira, north of Cairo, in 2011, according to the report.
The report mentioned the names of many other groups and gave a detailed explanation of the notorious charges they face, but failed to provide a clear proof that they all belong to the Muslim Brotherhood group, which has been labeled a terrorist organization following the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, an MB leader, in 2013.
Since then, the state has blamed the group for all terrorist operations that took place as well as terrorist schemes that the national security authorities managed to thwart. However, the MB, as an international group, has never claimed responsibility for any terrorist attack in Egypt since the 2013 incidents and has always claimed it is a peaceful organization.