The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by religious leader Hasan al Banna who established himself as the supreme guide leading his followers in a purified Islamic state. The Brotherhood represented a trend in the Islamic reform movement that attributed the difficulties in Islamic society to a deviation from the ideals and practices of early Islam during the period of the first four caliphs. The aim, therefore, was to return society to a state of purity by reforming it from within and purging it of foreign domination and influence. The Brotherhood consisted of nationwide cells, battalions, youth groups, and a secret apparatus for underground activities.
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose volunteer squads had fought well against Israel, gained in popularity and membership. Before the war, the Brotherhood was responsible for numerous attacks on British personnel and property. With the outbreak of the war against Israel, martial law was declared in Egypt, and the Brotherhood was ordered to dissolve. In retaliation, a member of the Brotherhood murdered Nuqrashi, the prime minister. His successor, Ibrahim Abdul Hadi, detained in concentration camps thousands of Brotherhood members as well as members of Young Egypt and communists. In February 1949, Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna was assassinated, probably by agents of the security branch of the government.