Ahmed Abdel Rahman

Ahmed Abdel Rahman is a longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, currently serving as the head of its Office for Egyptians Abroad in Istanbul, Turkey.Eric Trager and Marina Shalabi, “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Gets a Facelift,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, May 20, 2015, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-gets-a-facelift. In his current role as head of the Office for Egyptians Abroad, he manages the affairs of exiled Brotherhood members, as well as the activities of younger leaders on the ground in Egypt.Georges Fahmi, “The Struggle for the Leadership of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 14, 2015, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/07/13/struggle-for-leadership-of-egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood-pub-60678. Abdel Rahman is reportedly a medical doctor from Cairo.Georges Fahmi, “The Struggle for the Leadership of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 14, 2015, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/07/13/struggle-for-leadership-of-egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood-pub-60678.

In 1981, Egyptian police detained and arrested Rahman for his participation in the Brotherhood.“Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Administrative Office Abroad Elects New Head,” Ikhwanweb: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English web site, April 7, 2016, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=32082. He was arrested several other times, most recently in January 2011.“Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Administrative Office Abroad Elects New Head,” Ikhwanweb: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English web site, April 7, 2016, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=32082. During the Arab Spring protests, on January 25, 2011, a group of Egyptians raided the Wadi el-Natroun prison in the Beheira Governorate, north of Cairo, freeing Abdel Rahman and 34 other Brotherhood activists who were imprisoned at the time.“Smuggling Morsi and the Thuraya Call…How did Al Jazeera Plan the Events of January 25,” Sawt al-Ummah (Cairo), January 25, 2018, http://www.soutalomma.com/Article/748885/%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A8-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%8A-%D9%88%D9%85%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%81-%D8%AE%D8%B7%D8%B7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AB-25-%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%B1. Abdel Rahman served as a minister of parliament on behalf of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which held power in Egypt between June 2012 and July 2013 under former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.“Muslim brotherhood apologies for Egyptians,” Middle East Monitor, April 23, 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150423-muslim-brotherhood-apologises-for-egyptians/;
“Brotherhood official says group underwent broad restructuring,” Ahram Online, April 23, 2015, http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/128489/Egypt/Politics-/Brotherhood-official-says-group-underwent-broad-re.aspx.

Following Morsi’s overthrow, the Brotherhood split into competing factions, divided over how to guarantee the movement’s survival and achieve its political goals.“The Muslim Brotherhood: Sibling Rivalry,” Economist, June 16, 2016, https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21700673-egypts-main-islamist-movement-tearing-itself-apart-sibling-rivalry. Although based in Turkey, Abdel Rahman is reportedly aligned with the younger generation of activists on the ground in Egypt who believe that a more confrontational approach is the only way to ensure the Brotherhood’s survival.“The Muslim Brotherhood: Sibling Rivalry,” Economist, June 16, 2016, https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21700673-egypts-main-islamist-movement-tearing-itself-apart-sibling-rivalry.

In April 2015, a group of exiled, Istanbul-based Brotherhood members announced the establishment of the Office for Egyptians Abroad under Abdel Rahman’s leadership.Georges Fahmi, “The Struggle for the Leadership of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 14, 2015, http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/07/13/struggle-for-leadership-of-egypt-s-muslim-brotherhood-pub-60678. In an interview with Al Jazeera later that month, Abdel Rahman revealed that the Office would help to manage the “crisis” that the Brotherhood faced in Egypt.Samuel Tadros, “The Brotherhood Divided,” Hudson Institute, August 20, 2015, http://www.hudson.org/research/11530-the-brotherhood-divided. The Office soon launched a social media campaign using overtly jihadist rhetoric.Abdelrahman Ayyash and Victor J. Willi, “The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 2016: Scenarios and Recommendations,” German Council on Foreign Relations, March 2016, 3, https://dgap.org/en/article/getFullPDF/27762;
“Brotherhood official says group underwent broad restructuring,” Ahram Online, April 23, 2015, http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/128489/Egypt/Politics-/Brotherhood-official-says-group-underwent-broad-re.aspx.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website, Ikhwanweb, claims that the Office is “tasked with the management of the affairs and activities of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood abroad.”“Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Administrative Office Abroad Elects New Head,” Ikhwanweb: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Official English web site, April 7, 2016, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=32082. According to Brotherhood analysts, the Office facilitates the network of individuals and organizations opposing the military government in Egypt, and liaises with foreign donors and governments.Abdelrahman Ayyash and Victor J. Willi, “The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in 2016: Scenarios and Recommendations,” German Council on Foreign Relations, March 2016, 3, https://dgap.org/en/article/getFullPDF/27762.

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