Skip to main content

Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian arrested in Egypt

From Salma Abdelaziz, CNN
updated 6:29 AM EDT, Wed October 30, 2013
Essam el-Erian (left), and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed El-Beltagy talk during a parliament session in Cairo.
Essam el-Erian (left), and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed El-Beltagy talk during a parliament session in Cairo.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Essam el-Erian is detained by security forces in a suburb of Cairo
  • He is the vice chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing
  • Authorities have arrested large numbers of the Islamist movement's leaders
  • El-Erian was one of the most senior Brotherhood officials still at large

(CNN) -- Egyptian security forces arrested a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood early Wednesday, the interior ministry said, the latest move in an extended crackdown on the Islamist movement.

Essam el-Erian, the vice chairman of the group's political wing -- the Freedom and Justice Party -- was found in a Cairo suburb and was subsequently arrested and booked, the ministry said in a statement.

Before his arrest, he was one of the most senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders still at large.

The military and police have detained large numbers of Brotherhood officials and supporters since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsy in July. A court banned the movement in September.

Muslim Brotherhood activities banned
Muslim Brotherhood forced underground

Egypt's general prosecutor had issued an arrest warrant for el-Erian, the former leader of the majority party in Egypt's upper house of Parliament, accusing him and other party members of "inciting violence" and "aiding criminal acts," the interior ministry said.

The military's overthrow of the democratically elected Morsy, amid widespread demonstrations calling for his resignation, has plunged Egypt deeper into turmoil.

READ: Mohamed Morsy gets trial date as Egypt turmoil continues

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of Morsy and the Brotherhood, many of them when the military used force to clear two pro-Morsy sit-in sites in Cairo in August.

The U.S. government said earlier this month that it was suspending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian military over the bloody crackdown on the Brotherhood.

READ: Report: Egypt court bans Brotherhood activities

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 8:24 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:20 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT