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Egypt's Top Brotherhood Leader Arrested

  • Elizabeth Arrott

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, second right, waits in line outside a polling place in Beni Suef, Egypt, to vote on a constitution drafted by supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, Dec. 22, 2012.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, second right, waits in line outside a polling place in Beni Suef, Egypt, to vote on a constitution drafted by supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, Dec. 22, 2012.

Egyptian authorities are continuing their crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the powerful Islamist group behind ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian authorities said they have arrested Mohamed Badie, the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Badie is the most influential member taken into custody in a widespread crackdown against the Islamist group.

Security forces have rounded up not just hundreds of street supporters, but leadership from the top all the way down to grass root organizers.

Officials said Badie was detained in Cairo's Nasr City, near the anti-government sit in at Rabaa, crushed by security forces last Wednesday. Human Rights Watch is calling that operation the worst unlawful mass killing in modern Egyptian history.

Badie's son, Ammar, was killed in subsequent protests.

Mohamed Badie

  • Elected eighth supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010
  • Became member of Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau in 1996 and International Guidance Bureau in 2007
  • Professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Beni Suef
  • Sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1965 with other Brotherhood members
  • Served 9 years, has been imprisoned several other times
  • Born in 1943
Badie had been the focus of wrath at rallies held throughout the past year, seen as the true power behind Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Morsi was ousted by the military July 3rd and is being held in an undisclosed location.

Amir Bassam, on the board of the Brotherhood's political wing, spoke to VOA by telephone from an undisclosed location in Greater Cairo.

“It is impossible under any circumstances to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood or exclude it since it represents a genuine, integral, working part of the Egyptian society,” he said.

But popular anger at the nation's millions of Islamists continued to climb, fueled yet again when suspected militants killed 25 police officers in Sinai Monday. On state media, news of the deaths far overshadowed the deaths of some 36 protesters while in custody.

Even as more Brotherhood leaders are detained, the man whose rule sparked Egypt's upheavals back in 2011 appeared to be one step closer to freedom. Officials said Monday ex-President Hosni Mubarak, currently in prison awaiting further trials, could be released in the coming days.

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