The day after President Mohammed Morsi was forcibly removed from office by the military, it appears Egypt's new leaders are hunting for his Muslim Brotherhood pals and arresting the Islamist political party's top officials.
According to reports from Reuters, the Associated Press and the AFP, Egyptian authorities issued arrest warrants for the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme leader Mohammed Badie, his first deputy Khairat El-Shater, and around 200 other Brotherhood members on Thursday. The Associated Press reports Badie has already been detained in a coastal city close to the Libyan border and is now being flown back to Cairo.
Meanwhile, the newly deposed Morsi is still under house arrest at an undisclosed location somewhere in Egypt just a year and a few days after he became Egypt's first democratically elected President. Reports of his house arrest started trickling out Wednesday evening. At least a dozen of Morsi's closest aides and advisors are also under house arrest.
Badie and Shater are wanted on charges they incited violence in front of the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Mokattam, a neighborhood in southern Cairo, on Sunday that left eight people dead. Badie and Shafter are seen by opposition officials as the real brain trust behind Morsi while he was in office. Badie was the original muslim Brotherhood candidate before prior convictions forced him to resign and let Morsi take his place. Regardless of the charges, some in Egypt don't think arresting top Brotherhood officials if the new government wants to avoid inciting violence:
Wait they want to arrest the morshid?? Are we TRYING to drive the Brotherhood insane? WTF?— ashraf khalil (@ashrafkhalil) July 4, 2013
The arrests came at an off time considering, earlier Thursday morning, Egypt swore in Adly Mansoor (pictured above) (who you can follow on Twitter here) as the country's new interim leader and he offered an olive branch to the spurned religious group. "The Muslim Brotherhood group is part of this people and are invited to participate in building the nation as nobody will be excluded, and if they responded to the invitation, they will be welcomed," he said, according to the state newspaper. Mansoor will replace Morsi with the help of a panel of technocrats until a new election can be called. But the Muslim Brotherhood has already rejected Mansoor's invitation for cooperation. "We reject participation in any work with the usurper authorities," Sheikh Abdel Rahman al-Barr said, via a statement on the group's website, while urging Brotherhood supporters to "stay peaceful" while rejecting the country's new leaders.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.