I suppose this is a fitting follow-up to our discussion this morning about Egypt looking at simply dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood as an NGO in their country. NBC News is reporting, with others offering confirmation, that the younger brother of Al Qaeda honcho Ayman al-Zawahri, Mohammed, a leader of the MB in that country, has been arrested by the Egyptian police.
The brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has been arrested by police in Egypt, security sources said Saturday.
Mohammed al-Zawahri, the younger brother of the terror network leader, was detained at a checkpoint in the Cairo suburb of Giza, the sources said.
He has been a vocal supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement and the more extreme group to which he belongs, Al Gama’a Al Islamiya.
The arrest of the younger al-Zawahri came as more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters and others opposed to the military’s overthrow of Islamist Morsi were detained Friday as mass protests turned violent.
I’ll say one thing for the Egyptian army and the current administration; they don’t seem to demonstrate any fear of the MB. Of course, the hornet’s nest had already been fairly well stirred up, particularly after al-Zawahri’s MB partner, Mohammed Badie, recently saw his son killed during a confrontation with authorities. The army has been essentially turning on the water hoses – if not the flame throwers – on MB protesters and looking for all the world like they plan to crush this revolt. Given their history, it’s probably not a bad bet. The military is recognized as a much more trusted entity of authority than the police or even the government by Egypt’s citizens.
One possible explanation for that might be that the Army hasn’t tried to turn any of these upheavals into a permanent military state under some sort of Generalissimo for Life. In a rather ironic twist, by largely staying out of the business of government and all the messy things that entails, the military has gained the trust of the people to run the government, at least on a limited term basis. This situation can’t remain in flux forever, though, or the most stable, powerful nation in the region will turn into a failed state. But I’ll still be hoping they can manage it without dragging the US into it.