An Arabic news outlet based in Lebanon has reported on the controversy surrounding recent comments by an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official that the organization has reconstituted it’s so-called “Special Apparatus”, described by a Nixon Center analyst as “replicating YoungEgypt’s Greenshirts, the Wafd’s Blueshirts, nascent Nazi Brown-shirts, and other paramilitary organizations that were rife in the Middle East at the time. According to the report:
The Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt, particularly the Guidance Office, is striving to downplay the issue that was detonated by one of its leaders, merely casting it as an organizational problem. It is even placing the statements by State Council member Abdul Sattar al Maliji on the revival of the ‘special organization’ in the framework of personal disagreements. Let us put the problem’s content aside for a while. And let us look at the wide disparity in the two versions that have emerged. On the one hand, the man alleges he is still a member and a leader, and on the other hand, the Brotherhood claims he has left the organization and as such is no longer in a position to speak of a “special organization” that operates in parallel with the public leadership. Such a huge disparity reveals once again how blurry and cloudy is the work of the organization and its leaders. Al Maliji says that he has been a State Council member since the mid-nineties and was in charge of the central committees’ tasks. In parallel, the organization’s leaders assure – through the general guide Mohammad Akef – that the man has left the organization a long time ago…. the mere mention of the ill-renowned ‘special organization’ by he who was once a leader and not by the government, brings back to memory the banned organization’s recourse to violence in the late 1940s and 1950s and the dual nature of its actions.
The Special Apparatus, known as the al-nizam al-khas, was known to have carried out a wave of bombings and targeted assassinations culminating in the 1948 murder of Egyptian prime minister Mahmoud Naqrashi following his order to disband the movement.