Ibrahim Mounir

Ibrahim Mounir is the London-based leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He previously served as the secretary-general of the Brotherhood’s international organization, comprising the group’s global affiliates, which officially exist in 18 countries including Egypt.Samuel Tadros, “The Brotherhood Divided,” Hudson Institute, April 20, 2015, http://www.hudson.org/research/11530-the-brotherhood-divided; Dr. Nathan Brown, “The Muslim Brotherhood,” Congressional Testimony, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 13, 2011, 10-11, http://carnegieendowment.org/files/0413_testimony_brown.pdf. Mounir ascended to the role of acting general guide in September 2020, following the arrest of the previous acting guide, Mahmoud Ezzat, in August 2020.“Egypt: Wanted Brotherhood leader Mahmoud Ezzat arrested,” Gulf News, August 28, 2020, https://gulfnews.com/world/mena/egypt-wanted-brotherhood-leader-mahmoud-ezzat-arrested-1.73483156; “Muslim Brotherhood Statement on the Arrest of Acting Chairman Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat,” Ikhwanweb, September 3, 2020, https://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=32966.

Mounir, who was born in Egypt, has been living in exile in the United Kingdom since the 1990s.Al-Masry Al-Youm, “Political refugee to return to Egypt, oversee MB development,” Egyptian Independent, July 23, 2012, http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/political-refugee-return-egypt-oversee-mb-development. In August 2015, Mounir claimed he had not returned to Egypt since 1987.“A talk with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ibrahim Munir,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), http://english.aawsat.com/2011/01/article55247947/a-talk-with-the-muslim-brotherhoods-ibrahim-munir. A longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mounir had been in and out of Egyptian prison since his first arrest in the 1950s under President Gamal Abdel Nasser.Ian Black, “Muslim Brotherhood leader hits out at Britain after Sisi sworn in,” Guardian (London), June 8, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/08/muslim-brotherhood-hits-out-britain-sisi-egypt. In the 1990s, Mounir was granted political asylum by the British government after reportedly receiving death threats from Egyptian security forces.Al-Masry Al-Youm, “Political refugee to return to Egypt, oversee MB development,” Egyptian Independent, July 23, 2012, http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/political-refugee-return-egypt-oversee-mb-development. In January 2011, he was charged in absentia by the pre-revolution Egyptian government’s director of public prosecution with money laundering and fundraising for the Muslim Brotherhood abroad.“A talk with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ibrahim Munir,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), http://english.aawsat.com/2011/01/article55247947/a-talk-with-the-muslim-brotherhoods-ibrahim-munir.

Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, then-Deputy Supreme Guide of the Egyptian Brotherhood Khairat el-Shater reportedly tasked Mounir with overseeing the Brotherhood’s development, including improving its image and infrastructure.Al-Masry Al-Youm, “Political refugee to return to Egypt, oversee MB development,” Egyptian Independent, July 23, 2012, http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/political-refugee-return-egypt-oversee-mb-development. Mounir is allegedly responsible for running IkhwanWeb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website, and its weekly journal Risalat al-Ikhwan.Hany Ghoraba, “Ibrahim Munir, the Man Who Keeps the Muslim Brotherhood Alive,” Algemeiner, December 26, 2017, https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/12/26/ibrahim-munir-the-man-who-keeps-the-muslim-brotherhood-alive/. In 2014, Mounir was allegedly instrumental in convincing former British Prime Minister David Cameron not to ban the Muslim Brotherhood from the United Kingdom.Hany Ghoraba, “Ibrahim Munir, the Man Who Keeps the Muslim Brotherhood Alive,” Algemeiner, December 26, 2017, https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/12/26/ibrahim-munir-the-man-who-keeps-the-muslim-brotherhood-alive/. In August 2015, Mounir denied reports from Egyptian and Arab newspapers that he had become the Brotherhood’s supreme guide. In his statement, Mounir confirmed that Mahmoud Ezzat—who had taken over from Mohammed Badie in August 2013 after the latter was imprisoned—remained the acting supreme guide.“Ibrahim Munir denies reports he is now Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide,” Middle East Monitor, August 10, 2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20150810-ibrahim-munir-denies-reports-he-is-now-brotherhoods-supreme-guide-2/;
“Mahmoud Ezzat named Muslim Brotherhood’s new leader,” Al Arabiya, August 20, 2013, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/08/21/Mahmoud-Ezzat-named-Muslim-Brotherhood-s-new-leader.html.

In December 2015, the British government under Prime Minister David Cameron published a review of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and its suspected affiliated groups operating inside the United Kingdom.Alan Travis and Randeep Ramesh, “Muslim Brotherhood are possible extremists, David Cameron says,” Guardian (London), December 17, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/uk-will-not-ban-muslim-brotherhood-david-cameron-says. British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir John Jenkins met with Mounir to consult on the review. Mounir reportedly threatened to take legal measures if the review casted a negative light on the Brotherhood. Ian Black, “Muslim Brotherhood leader hits out at Britain after Sisi sworn in,” Guardian (London), June 8, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/08/muslim-brotherhood-hits-out-britain-sisi-egypt. Mounir further warned that if the review resulted in the ban of the group, Muslim communities would feel marginalized and it would open doors for “all options,” possibly violence.Tom Coghlan, “Ban on Muslim Brotherhood ‘will increase terrorism risk’,” Times (London), April 5 2014, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4055311.ece.

On July 24, 2017, a Cairo criminal court added Mounir, along with 295 other individuals, to the state terror list and accused him of plotting attacks from abroad.“A talk with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ibrahim Munir,” Asharq Al-Awsat (London), January 12, 2011, http://english.aawsat.com/2011/01/article55247947/a-talk-with-the-muslim-brotherhoods-ibrahim-munir;
Al-Masry Al-Youm, “Political refugee to return to Egypt, oversee MB development,” Egypt Independent (Cairo), July 23, 2012, http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/political-refugee-return-egypt-oversee-mb-development.

Egyptian authorities arrested Ezzat in August 2020. The following month, the Brotherhood named Mounir as the new acting general guide, also referred to as the deputy general guide, making him the leader of both the Brotherhood abroad and in Egypt. Mounir then announced the dissolution of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Office and its reorganization into a new managing committee operating from abroad.“Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Ibrahim Mounir is the new acting general guide,’” Middle East Monitor, last updated September 21, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200916-muslim-brotherhood-ibrahim-mounir-is-the-new-acting-supreme-guide/; “Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood forms managing committee,” Anadolu Agency, September 17, 2021, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/egypts-muslim-brotherhood-forms-managing-committee/1976780. The international Brotherhood and the Brotherhood in Egypt have since reportedly rallied behind Mounir’s leadership.“Egypt Muslim Brotherhood align with new acting supreme guide,” Middle East Monitor, September 17, 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200917-egypt-muslim-brotherhood-align-with-new-acting-supreme-guide/.

Egypt

Egypt added Ibrahim Mounir to its State Terror List in July 2017.“Two Leading Brotherhood Figures among 296 names added to Egypt’s terror list,” Ahram Online, August 30, 2017, http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/276301/Egypt/Politics-/Two-leading-Brotherhood-figures-among--names-added.aspx.

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