Confusion after Muslim Brotherhood leader fails to show at DC conference

A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood failed to show up for a prominent public address in Washington, D.C., Thursday afternoon, sparking multiple questions and confusion among participants of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's (WINEP) annual conference. 

WINEP's Soref Symposium focuses on the many challenges facing the Middle East, including democracy in Egypt and the ongoing civil war in Syria. 

Helmy el-Gazzar, secretary general Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Freedom and Justice Party's office in Giza, was flown by WINEP to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for a public address at the group's annual Soref Symposium. 

However, el-Gazzar failed to appear when the conference began Thursday afternoon, sparking speculation that the Muslim Brotherhood's senior leadership ordered him to stay silent. 

Muslim Brotherhood leader "Helmy el-Gazzar was flown to DC by @washinstitute & given a hotel room [at the Ritz-Carlton] to participate in panel w/Sadat," WINEP fellow Eric Trager tweeted. "Gazzar didn't show to speak." 

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