A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, February 8, 2010

Senior MB Leaders Arrested

Some 14 (or 15, depending on the source) Muslim Brotherhood figures, including Deputy Supreme Guide Mahmud ‘Ezzat and new Guidance Office members ‘Essam El-Erian and ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Barr. Accounts here and here, among others.

Crackdowns on the Brotherhood leadership wax and wane, and there have been some suggestions that this is a warning to the new leadership installed in recent weeks, or is intended as a preliminary to Shura Council (Upper House) elections in April. Or it just may be State Security flexing its muscles. In any event most of the senior MB leadership have been through it before.


Anonymous said...

I understand the MB has historically played major roles in political and social scenes of the Middle East, but I am not up to date on the level of their influence at present. Are events like this relevant on the larger scale? Is the MB still an underlying force strong enough to be considered?

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Certainly they are in Egypt, where despite being illegal they're the biggest opposition in Parliament. The Government plays them: let them gain a bit when they want to scare reformers or the US pressure for democratization; corral them in when they aren't serving that purpose. They're still the best organized and most broad-based opposition, the only force that isn't rooted among small elite intellectual cliques.