— 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.
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.
An Egyptian man pushes a wheelbarrow with debris from inside the Rabaah Al-Adawiya mosque in Nasr city, Cairo, August 21, 2013.
A ripped poster of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi lies on the ground in the courtyard of the Rabaah Al-Adawiya mosque in Nasr city, Cairo, August 21, 2013.
An Egyptian holds Al-Ahram newspaper with a picture of the arrested leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Cairo, August 20, 2013.
Police stand outside of their vehicle in Cairo, August 20, 2013.
Security officers attend a funeral prayer over coffins covered with national flags of bodies of police who were killed near the border town of Rafah, North Sinai, at Almaza military airport in Cairo, August 19, 2013.
Soldiers and medical workers check the bodies of police officers killed on a highway in Rafah city, about 350 kilometers northeast of Cairo, August 19, 2013.
The border area between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip is seen in this general view, August 19, 2013.
People gather at the Zenhoum morgue to identify loved ones and retrieve their bodies for burial following the deaths of hundreds of people in violence over the last week, in Cairo, August 19, 2013.
Egyptians remove a body for burial from the Zenhoum morgue in Cairo, August 19, 2013.
Egyptian army soldiers and armored personnel carriers deployed near Tahrir Square in Cairo, August 19, 2013.
An Egyptian Army soldier takes his position on top of an armored vehicle as he guards in front of the Supreme Constitutional court in Cairo, August 19, 2013.