Security forces on Tuesday arrested Gehad el-Haddad, a senior official of the Muslim Brotherhood who handled the group’s communication with the foreign news media, security officials said. His arrest was part of a continuing roundup of thousands of Brotherhood members in the two months since the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the group. Multimedia
Mr. Haddad is an aide to Khairat el-Shater, a Brotherhood leader who was arrested last month, and the son of Mr. Morsi’s top foreign policy adviser, Essam el-Haddad, who was detained with Mr. Morsi at the time of the takeover. The arrests have already swept up much of the group’s leadership, effectively crippling its organizational ability.
Mr. Haddad’s main role in recent months was speaking to the English-language media, and critics of the Brotherhood have often accused Mr. Haddad of misinformation and exaggeration, especially in comments posted on the Internet. Although he constantly repeated the group’s renunciation of violence to the news media, news reports said Tuesday that he would be charged with inciting violence.
(…) Spending the early part of his life in Alexandria, Haddad hails from a family of influential Brotherhood members. His father is Essam El Haddad, a member of the organization’s Guidance Bureau, which is one of its highest decision-making bodies. While studying strategic marketing and filmmaking in the UK on a Chevening Scholarship, Haddad came into contact with the influential Islamic televangelist Amr Khaled. For nearly a year, he and Haddad worked together on a television program called “Sunna al-Hayat” — “The Makers of Life.” “It was about drawing values from the Quran and connecting them with the type of social work that wealthy Egyptians could do to help their societies. This connected well with me,” Haddad said. After graduating, Haddad worked as a consultant in competitive intelligence for a multinational firm. He was earning well, but at one point told his father that he was losing purpose in life. He then received a message from Shater that marked a turning point in his life. “I went back home, Googled his name, watched a video he made, and said to myself, ‘That’s it, this is the guy I’ve been looking for,’” Haddad said. He packed his bags and returned to Egypt….To sustain himself financially while working on the Renaissance Project, Haddad worked for the Industrial Modernization Centre, a body set up to modernize Egyptian industry with the help of European Union, the Egyptian government and private-sector funding. “It was very corruption-prone, a big ATM that [former President Hosni] Mubarak’s circles would draw money out of,” he said, explaining his ultimate decision to leave. He then started working for the Clinton Climate Initiative, while continuing to work anonymously on the Renaissance Project. Another of his Brotherhood activities, after last year’s uprising, was setting up Qabila TV on YouTube.
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