Muslim Brotherhood picks new leader after former one arrested

Group chooses Mahmoud Ezzat as temporary leader.

MAHMOUD EZZAT 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood chose Mahmoud Ezzat as its temporary leader, replacing Mohamed Badie, who was arrested on Tuesday for inciting violence and murder during a protest last year.
Badie is being questioned in Tora prison.
Ezzat had served as deputy supreme guide of the movement and a member of the Guidance Council since 1981. A senior Egyptian security official told Israel Hayom that he believes Ezzat has left the country and is in Yemen or Gaza.
According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Ezzat was born in 1944 and is a doctor by profession, earning his degree in medicine from Zagazig University.
He was imprisoned along with Badie from 1965 to 1974 and is married to the daughter of former supreme guide Mahdi Akef.
He is currently a professor in Zagazig University’s College of Medicine, where deposed president Mohamed Morsi had also worked. He is also vice president of the Islamic Medical Association.
He is known as the “iron man” for his strong leadership style.
Another Brotherhood leader, cleric Safwat Hegazy, was arrested on Wednesday near the Libyan border, suspected of trying to flee to Libya, according to a source in the Interior Ministry quoted in the Daily News Egypt.
The preacher shaved off his white beard and replaced it with a dark goatee. He is wanted by authorities for instigating violence during the recently dispersed pro- Morsi protests in Cairo.
Hegazy was a member of the National Council for Human Rights, appointed by the dissolved Shura Council in September 2012.
Security authorities also detained Mourad Ali, a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political arm, at Cairo airport, preventing his flight to Italy.
These are the latest arrests as part of a military crackdown on the party following the ousting of Morsi.
“It is well known that all the charges brought against the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated political party, the Freedom and Justice Party, as well as the leaders of the anti-coup, pro-democracy National Alliance are implausible, fabricated charges with no legally acceptable evidence. What they are facing are nothing but political, trumped-up charges thinly painted with criminal colors,” Muslim Brotherhood attorney Ali Kamal said in a statement