Breaking: Gamaa Islamiyya chairman arrested
Chairman of Gamaa Islamiyya Essam Derbala - YOUM7/Esssm El shamy

CAIRO: Security authorities in Qena arrested Chairman of Gamaa Islamiyya Essam Derbala, a security source told Youm7 Wednesday.

“We arrested the suspect Wednesday dawn in al-Rahma mosque in Qena’s governorate outskirts while he was preaching a religious lesson to some junior Gamaa Islamiyya members,” the source said.

Derbala’s charges have not yet officially announced yet.

Derbala criticized the Egyptian military when it intervened to oust former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, as his group used to be an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy.

Gamaa Islamiyya was an active militant group in the 1990s in Egypt, and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union as well as the United States.

Several calls of reconciliation between the current regime and Muslim Brotherhood were released recently by Gamaa Islamiyya leaders; most notably Tariq al-Zomor, Chairman of the Building and Development Islamist party the group’s political wing; he said Friday that “The Muslim Brotherhood needs to recognize their opponents and deal with them,” referring to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s administration.

Moreover, the Gamaa Islamiyya recently witnessed internal conflicts between its members as many have spoken to media outlets demanding the replacement of Derbala with the group’s veteran leader Aboud al-Zomor.

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