Mohammed Badie, the Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested shortly after midnight on Monday in northern Cairo, Egypt’s interior ministry said, according to Al Ahram.
Ministry spokesman Abdel-Fattah Osman was quoted as having said in a television interview that Badie was hiding in a building in Cairo’s Nasr City district near Rabaa El-Adaweya mosque, where hundreds of Brotherhood supporters were killed when police dispersed a six-week-old sit-in last Wednesday.
The state news agency, MENA, reported that Badie's arrest was made possible after security forces received information about his hiding place.
Photos circulated on social media showed Badie, dressed in a traditional white robe, sitting between two policemen wearing bulletproof vests in what looked like a police van, reported Al Ahram.
Egyptian satellite channel ONTV later broadcast live footage showing the 70-year-old Brotherhood leader sitting on a couch in an unidentified location after being captured. A policeman holding a rifle was seen standing next to him.
Badie is one of nine Muslim Brotherhood officials in Egypt against whom arrest warrants were recently issued. He is likely to be charged with incitement to violence, reported Al Arabiya.
On July 25, Badie described the military’s overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi as an act worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba.
“I swear by God that what [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] al-Sissi did in Egypt is more criminal than if he had carried an ax and demolished the holy Kaaba, stone by stone,” Badie said, according to Al Arabiya.
Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. His son, Amar Badie, was one of at least 173 people who were killed over in Egypt on Saturday, as security forces broke into the Al-Fatah mosque in central Cairo, where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters had holed up.