UAE citizen offers Dh523,000 for information on Muslim Brotherhood leaders

Emirati puts up reward of one million Egyptian pounds to anyone who leads Egyptian security forces to three senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Mohammed Yousef says Hamad Al Mazroui is not registered with the UAE Journalists Association. Paulo Vecina / The National
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DUBAI // An Emirati has a offered a reward of 1 million Egyptian pounds (Dh523,000) to anyone who leads Egypt's security forces to three senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

"I will give an award of 1 million to whoever helps in arresting Mohammed El Beltagy, Essam El Erian and Safwat Hegazy, regardless of his religion race or nationality," Hamad Al Mazroui wrote in a Twitter post on Monday.

The post was picked up by news organisations across the world including The Washington Post and was retweeted more than 1,200 times.

Several news outlets reported the reward would be paid in coordination with the Egyptian ministry of interior.

Mr Hegazy, a hardline Salafist cleric, was arrested by Egyptian authorities early today.

The National was not able to contact Mr Al Mazroui or to verify that the comments posted on his Twitter page were his.

The comments were criticised by the chairman of the UAE Journalists Association.

"A journalist's job is to cover stories or even write opeds, not hand out money to have people arrested," said Mohammed Yousef.

Mr Al Mazroui was referred to as a journalist and blogger in some news reports.

But while he has contributed to the Arabic version of Middle East Online, a website based in London, he is not registered with the UAE Journalists Association

"This is a personal initiative and we do not know this person," stressed Mr Yousef. "He is not known to us as a reporter or a media professional."

It is not the first time Mr Al Mazroui has offered financial incentives to the Egyptian public.

Following the June 30 mass protests which resulted in the toppling of Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian president, and the appointment of a military-backed interim government, he told the television show Al Qahira Al Youm he would be donating 1 million Egyptian pounds to the people of the country.

"I want to congratulate you for regaining your revolution," he said.

"The revolution of the free honourable Egyptian people."

During the same show Mr Al Mazroui announced the donation of nine million pounds on behalf on several UAE intellectuals.