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Badie not suprised at arrest, says source - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An Egyptian holds Al-Ahram newspaper in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 fronted by a picture of Mohammed Badie, the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, left, and pictures of flag-draped coffins containing the bodies of slain off-duty policemen in North Sinai. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

An Egyptian holds Al-Ahram newspaper in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 fronted by a picture of Mohammed Badie, the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, left, and pictures of flag-draped coffins containing the bodies of slain off-duty policemen in North Sinai. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Egyptian security forces were led to the location of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, by intercepting telephone calls between a member of the organization and Badie’s relatives, a security source with detailed knowledge of the operation told Asharq Al-Awsat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Egyptian security forces examined telephone calls from the Muslim Brotherhood former MP for Shabra, Cario, following his arrest and the confiscation of his communication and computer equipment.

The voice of Brotherhood supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, was recognized in one of the phone calls, despite his name not being mentioned in any of the calls with the MP, said the source. The MP made the calls to the number of one of Badie’s relatives, in order to avoid detection.

The surveillance led to the arrest of Badie in a bedroom of an apartment owned by the MP. Badie stayed at the apartment with a number of aides, who were relatives of the MP. The source added that the apartment was entered with a key and that force was not used.

Around 1:30 am on Tuesday, seven Special Forces officers stood in front of the door, while dozens surrounded building number 84 on Tayaran Street near Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque. Six vehicles were parked in a nearby back street, including an ambulance, a communications vehicle, and four police cars, all waiting to carry out the operation to arrest Badie.

The source added that the arrest of a number of Brotherhood leaders in the past few days assisted in identifying Badie’s hiding place, which was in the area of Rabaa Al-Adawiya, in Nasr City, eastern Cairo. Security officials, however, identified the apartment where Badie was staying by examining the calls made on the MP’s mobile phone on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

The source said: “By examining the Shabra MP’s mobile phone following his arrest last Thursday, it was found that he received a number of calls from a woman relative who lived in the said apartment with other women. One of the calls from that number had a male voice on it, expressing gratitude to the former MP, for his efforts to keep the Muslim Brotherhood united. It was later discovered that the male voice was the Brotherhood guide’s.”

Badie was pursued by security forces after the fall of former president Mohamed Mursi on July 3, when a warrant for his arrest was issued by the prosecutor-general. This was part of a major campaign against the leadership and members of the Brotherhood, following recent clashes which resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries among the Brotherhood supporters and the security forces, primarily among the former.

Badie is accused of inciting the murder of protesters outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqatam, southeast Cairo, which was burnt down by Brotherhood opponents, who reportedly reacted to shots fired at them on June 30.

Rumors suggested that Badie had escaped to the Mediterranean town of Mersa Matruh, northwest Egypt, in an attempt to escape to Libya. Security forces exchanged fire there with armed men affiliated to the Brotherhood, leading to the deaths of seven people, including four civilians.

Other sources said Badie had left the town and appeared suddenly in Rabaa Al-Adawiya, making a fervent speech calling thousands of protesters to jihad, and urging them to resist the new rulers, and return Mursi to power.

Other rumors said Badie was difficult to detect because he may have been wearing the veil while on the move, a trick the security source alleged other Brotherhood leaders used to avoid detection during the Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest.

The source further added that security forces began monitoring the apartment on Saturday to verify that Badie was there, and that all information attained by Sunday evening led to the conclusion that he was absent. Security forces kept round-the-clock watch on the apartment, however, while searching for the guide elsewhere.

The source further added that since noon on Monday, signs were appearing that Badie was present in the apartment. Using the communication vehicle behind the building, it was confirmed that Badie was indeed inside the apartment. While five armed security officers in civilian clothes were waiting at the building’s entrance, the seven Special Forces officers entered the apartment without resistance around 2:00 am, on Tuesday.

The officers entered the room where Badie was sleeping, and the 70 year old man opened his eyes and put on his glasses to see three officers around his bed, while the other four were searching the other rooms.

The source added that Badie appeared unsurprised at the presence of the officers. He did not ask any questions or say anything, as if he had been expecting this moment. A short while later, he asked if he could wear a white gown which was on the chair beside the bed, and left the room with the officers for the living room, where he asked for water.

At the same time, two other security officers came out of a room on the right accompanied by three men, thought to be Badie’s guards (one of them was the nephew of the Shabra MP). Equipment found in the apartment, including laptops and a number of mobile of phones, were confiscated.

An officer then entered the room with a bottle of fruit juice and he placed it on a table in front of Badie, who was not wearing his glasses and was moving his lips, reciting religious and Koranic verses. He seemed like he was resigned to his fate in a scene, captured by the security officers’ cameras, and broadcast on TV channels on Tuesday.

Badie spent around 15 minutes in the apartment, while officers searched the apartment and called for back-up, including an armored vehicle to transport a “prized catch”, according to the security source, to Turra Prison, south Cairo, where he arrived in the morning and was put in a solitary cell.

This is the prison where other Brotherhood leaders are being held since their arrest last Wednesday. It is also the prison where a number of leading figures from the Mubarak regime, are being held on corruption and murder charges since the January 25 revolution.