Egypt arrests 2 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, amid divisions

CAIRO – Egypt arrested two senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, officials said Tuesday, increasing pressure on the Islamist group at a time when its ranks are divided over whether to pursue a course of direct violent confrontation with the government in response to a

nearly 2-year-old heavy crackdown.

The new arrests targeted members of the older generation advocating peaceful resistance: Abdel-Rahman el-Bar, the Brotherhood’s top religious cleric, and Mahmoud Ghozlan, its former spokesman and a member of its top decision-making body. The two were arrested late Monday while hiding in the Gaza district of the capital, according to a security official.

El-Bar and Ghozlan were wanted by authorities because they had both been convicted in absentia in trials on violence-related charges. They were both sentenced to death, since those convicted in absentia automatically receive the harshest possible sentence for their charges. Egyptian law requires they be given a retrial after their capture.



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