Mohamed Badie Abdul Mageed Samy

POSITION: Chairman, Supreme Guide

BIOGRAPHY: The Muslim Brotherhood won nearly 20 per cent of the Egyptian legislature’s seats in the country’s 2005 elections, making it Egypt’s largest opposition group. Mohamed Badie Abdul Mageed Samy, now 67, has been a permanent member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s executive board since 1993. He is an associate professor of pathology at Beni Suef University’s faculty of veterinary medicine. He was appointed as a lecturer at Assiut University in 1965, before being arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail. He was released in 1974 as part of a deal between former president Anwar el-Sadat and the group. His election by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau is widely considered to mark a return to conservatism. Badie took a major step towards restructuring the movement on 27 January this year, when he appointed three of the group’s old guard leaders as his deputies.

Mohamed Saad el-Katatni

POSITION: Head of parliamentary bloc

BIOGRAPHY: Mohammed Saad el-Katatni is a member of the Guidance Bureau, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc and the group’s media spokesman. His appointment is considered by analysts a move to refute suggestions that the new leader, Mohamed Badie, has no interest in opening up to mainstream politics. US policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood has been one of non-engagement but, in 2007, El-Katani met a delegation of four US Congress members. The delegation was the second to meet the group, indicating the US could possibly engage with the movement. El-Katatni attended president Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo in early 2009, saying afterwards that Muslims awaited the translation of these words into policy. El-Katani praised Obama’s call for democratic elections in the Muslim world and called on Arab leaders to respond to the aspirations of their people for democracy.

Mahmoud Ezzat

POSITION: Deputy chairman

BIOGRAPHY: Mahmoud Ezzat was arrested in February along with other senior members of the group for engaging in banned political activity. Analysts say the arrests were a crackdown on Egypt’s largest opposition group ahead of the elections in April and in October. On 2 March, a court in Cairo overruled an appeal against Ezzat’s arrest. Ezzat was previously secretary-general of the party, a post he held for 15 years, before being replaced by Mahmoud Hussein. Ezzat is a graduate of Cairo University’s faculty of medicine. He is a leading figure among the group’s conservatives, which engineered an internal coup against reformist members, sweeping the board in internal elections in December last year, for the first time in 14 years. Ezzat has been described as a faithful devotee of Sayed Qutb, a thought leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, who was executed by the late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s regime in 1966.

Rashad el-Bayoumy

POSITION: Second deputy chairman

BIOGRAPHY: Rashad el-Bayoumy is a professor of geology at Cairo University. He was elected as a member of the Guidance Bureau in 1995 and has since been the supervisor of the students’ section. Born in 1935, in the city of Sohag, El-Bayoumy joined the Muslim Brotherhood during the Palestine war of 1948, while in charge of the students’ activities at the university. He has bachelor’s degree in geology science from Cairo University. Described as a hardline supporter of Sayed Qutb, he was detained in 1954, when the group was first banned and remained in detention until 1971. In 1996, he was detained again and tried by a military court, but was acquitted. He was taken into custody in 2002 for four months following student protests in support of the Palestinian uprisings. El-Bayoumy is an active member of the Egyptian Society of Geologists and the first undersecretary of the Scientists Syndicate since 1991.

Essam el-Erian

POSITION: Guidance Bureau member

BIOGRAPHY: Now 47 years old, Essam el-Erian is one of the most prominent representatives of a new generation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, acting as a bridge between the group’s older and younger members. He was formerly the media spokesman for the movement responsible for analysing and responding to press reports and prepares the Muslim Brotherhood’s statements. El-Erian was a member of the 1984 and 1987 parliaments, and assistant secretary-general of the Doctors Syndicate. El-Erian obtained a master’s degree in clinical pathology and a degree in law from Cairo University. El-Erian was arrested last month along with Mahmoud Ezzat. He was previously sentenced by a military court to five years in prison with hard labour in 1994 for belonging to a banned group. He was released in 1999 and resumed his activities with the Doctors Syndicate and Muslim Brotherhood.


Mahmoud Hussain

POSITION: Secretary-general

BIOGRAPHY: Mahmoud Hussain was chosen by chairman Mohamed Badie as the movement’s secretary-general, one of the group’s most influential positions, on 21 January this year. The 73-year-old has been arrested three times by the Egyptian authorities. Hussain, a professor of civil engineering at Egypt’s Assuit University, was previously responsible for human resources development at the group. Hussain was also head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s administrative office in Assuit. Hussain was later assigned to supervise the group’s activities in South Sinai. He was elected to the Guidance Bureau in the group’s elections that took place in December 2009. Hussain’s appointment as secretary-general is said to reflect the group’s conscious move towards political conservatism. Like Badei and Mahmoud Ezzat, Hussain is considered a Qutibist and a supporter of the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas.