Full name: Mohamed Khairat Saad el-Shater
Born: May 4, 1950 in Dakahlia in the Nile Delta
Deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood
Currently imprisoned and charged in a number of trials following the July 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi and the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood in December 2013, Khairat el-Shater is a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure.
Shater wasthe original 2012 presidential candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, but the group instead nominated Morsi after Shater was disqualified by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) for past criminal charges. He was imprisoned and charged on five separate occasions under different governments for his political involvement prior to his latest incarceration.
Shater is a self-made multimillionaire, who made his fortune in textiles and furniture outlets, and has interests in electronics, manufacturing and retail. He was the owner of the Zad supermarket chain before the business was confiscated by the government in June 2014. He was also a board member of Mohandes Bank among many other leading business positions. He spent large sums of his fortune supporting the MB, and was widely perceived as its financial mastermind. His exact net worth is unknown, but some estimates place it at least $13 million.
Despite his less public role compared to Morsi and MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, Salon wrote in January 2012 that due to his wealth, financial ties and management skills, Shater was “arguably the most powerful man” in the MB. The Egyptian state-run Al-Ahram likewise wrote in March 2012 that he was the most powerful MB member to emerge since former President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s crackdown on the group in the 1950s. Al-Ahram also wrote in July 2013 following his arrest Shater was “the shadow power behind Morsi’s throne.”
Aftercompleting his bachelor’s degree in 1974, Shater joined the MB, andbecame an instructor at the Faculty of Engineering at Mansoura University where he also completed his master’s degree. As a member of the MB, however, he was barred from further employment at the university by the administration of then-President Anwar Sadat and his arrest was ordered during a roundup of political dissidents.
He fled to London following Sadat’s assassination in 1981, and there began laying the foundations of his business empire. From 1981 to 1987, he bounced around the U.K., Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to Egypt.
Along with fellow MB member and businessman Hassan Malak, he founded Salsabeel, one of Egypt’s first computer companies, which was later confiscated by the government of former President Hosni Mubarak in a 1995 military trial, and Shater was sentenced to his first of four stints in prison under Mubarak.