The biggest military defeat that Isis has suffered in more than two years. The recapture of Palmyra, the Roman city of the Empress Zenobia. And we are silent. Yes, folks, the bad guys won, didn't they? Otherwise, we would all be celebrating, wouldn't we?
Less than a week after the lost souls of the 'Islamic Caliphate' destroyed the lives of more than 30 innocent human beings in Brussels, we should - should we not? - have been clapping our hands at the most crushing military reverse in the history of Isis. But no. As the black masters of execution fled Palmyra this weekend, Messers Obama and Cameron were as silent as the grave to which Isis have dispatched so many of their victims. He who lowered our national flag in honour of the head-chopping king of Arabia (I'm talking about Dave, of course) said not a word.
As my long-dead colleague on the Sunday Express, John Gordon, used to say, makes you sit up a bit, doesn't it? Here are the Syrian army, backed, of course, by Vladimir Putin's Russkies, chucking the clowns of Isis out of town, and we daren't utter a single word to say well done.When Palmyra fell last year, we predicted the fall of Bashar al-Assad. We ignored, were silent on, the Syrian army's big question: why, if the Americans hated Isis so much, didn't they bomb the suicide convoys that broke through the Syrian army's front lines? Why didn't they attack Isis?
“If the Americans wanted to destroy Isis, why didn't they bomb them when they saw them?” a Syrian army general asked me, after his soldiers' defeat His son had been killed defending Homs. His men had been captured and head-chopped in the Roman ruins. The Syrian official in charge of the Roman ruins (of which we cared so much, remember?) was himself beheaded. Isis even put his spectacles back on top of his decapitated head, for fun. And we were silent then.Putin noticed this, and talked about it, and accurately predicted the retaking of Palmyra. His aircraft attacked Isis - as US planes did not - in advance of the Syrian army's conquest. I could not help but smile when I read that the US command claimed two air strikes against Isis around Palmyra in the days leading up to its recapture by the regime. That really did tell you all you needed to know about the American "war on terror". They wanted to destroy Isis, but not that much.
So in the end, it was the Syrian army and its Hizballah chums from Lebanon and the Iranians and the Russians who drove the Isis murderers out of Palmyra, and who may - heavens preserve us from such a success - even storm the Isis Syrian 'capital' of Raqqa. I have written many times that the Syrian army will decide the future of Syria. If they grab back Raqqa - and Deir el-Zour, where the Nusrah front destroyed the church of the Armenian genocide and threw the bones of the long-dead 1915 Christian victims into the streets - I promise you we will be silent again.
Aren't we supposed to be destroying Isis? Forget it. That's Putin's job. And Assad's. Pray for peace, folks. That's what it's about, isn't it? And Geneva. Where is that, exactly?
The woman directs passengers off flight MS181, which was forced to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus this morning
This is the moment a brave air hostess on the hijacked EgyptAir plane bid farewell to freed hostages before stepping back inside the jet instead of making a bid for freedom.
The woman can be seen dressed in what appears to be the airline's uniform as she directed passengers off flight MS181 , which was forced to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus this morning.
She even pulls one of the hostage in for an embrace before they make their way down the stairs towards a bus waiting to take people to the airport terminal.
However, instead of making a bid for freedom, the woman returns to the aircraft to stay with the rest of the crew and passengers that were being kept hostage.
It comes as a spokesperson reportedly told Sky News Arabia that the pilot and co-pilot were asked to leave the plane but refused.
Seven people were still held on the aircraft with the hijacker until about 12.30pm (UK time) when four hostages were reportedly freed.
The hostage situation is now over and the suspected hijacker has been arrested, according to officials.
He was earlier reported to be a 27-year-old veterinarian but those claims have since been disproved and officials later said the suspect was a man named Seif El Din Mustafa.
The man's motivation is unclear, but Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said the hijacking was nothing to do with terrorism, while a Cyprus government official said the man "seems (to be) in love".
A civil aviation official said the man gave negotiators at Larnaca airport the name of a woman who lives in Cyprus and asked to give her an envelope. It is unclear what relationship she and the man have.
Flight MS181 took off from the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria en route to Cairo with at least 55 passengers, including 26 foreigners, and a seven-member crew.Continue reading here.
This post was written by the son of a schoolmate who underwent open heart surgery. He tells the story of Dr. Magdi Yacoub's Hospital in Aswan. I thought it was worth sharing. I urge you to donate to this wonderful cause.
Amidst this fog of crazy news and events, there's a magical little place in Aswan, Egypt. It is founded by a saint and
run by angels. It's not a fancy place and is in a very non-fancy neighborhood, but it is a place were miracles happen every day and families get to stay united with their loved ones and find healing and better health. People come here to this place from all over the country, young, old, new born, rich, poor, different religious backgrounds...all suffering from some form of heart illness. They are all received with a warm welcome, treated with dignity, respect and receive leading edge treatment, at no charge, from Egypt's best young generation of cardiology doctors and nurses in a very professionally run and clean facility, managed entirely by Egyptians.
I spent the last 3 weeks in Aswan (and continue to do so) with my mom and family at The Magdy Yacoub Heart Foundation and can truly say, it is nothing short of astounding! Professor Sir Madgy Yacoub (or "prof" as he is affectionately known to his staff) is a well known legend in his own might, so I won't say more about that. I can attest to his humbleness as he stands quietly in line in the only (non fancy but clean and adequate) hospital cafeteria behind doctors, nurses and staff and sits among them sharing an occasional smile or hello. He answers questions of patient's family briefly and to the point and his humble deep smile just gives you that warm feeling of comfort, that no effort was spared and that everything will be alright, God willing.
Over a period of about 3 weeks, he was present in Aswan maybe not more than 2 days, but you can not really tell the difference in how the place is run whether he is there or not. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a one man show by any stretch. His legacy, in my view, is in the future generation(s) of leaders and professionals he has developed. Most of the doctors and surgeons are (deliberately) under 40 years old and absolutely brilliant in their fields to say the least. The nurses (also very young) are professionally trained and I can honestly say that they are on par, if not better, than their counterparts in top hospitals in the UK or the US. The place is very well managed by again, young professional staff. You get a comforting sense of the team spirit and respect among everyone.
I have even seen a few British surgeons over the last few weeks, who have come here to receive training at the hands of young Egyptian surgeons (other than the Prof).
I am elated to see a true example of professionalism and success entirely managed and operated by young professional Egyptians. It is inspiring to see that we can achieve great things and I hope more models like this start evolving in our country. There are many more positive details about this place, staff, systems and training that I'm sure I'm missing from my account.
I would urge everyone I know to donate to this charitable foundation. I can personally attest as to how funds are being used, judging by the level of treatment people receive, the training for staff, the professionals they employ and the condition of the facility. Above all, the miracles that happen here every day as a result of this great work.
Myself and my family are truly thankful for this wonderful place and all the doctors (especially Dr Guindy, Dr Hosam Waly, Dr Afifi, Dr Hatem Hosny, Dr Maghawry, Dr Dowayek), nurses, staff members, donors, and of course, Professor Sir Magdy himself, who enabled us to spend this Mother's Day with our amazing mom, Soha El Wakil, who is still in recovery after a major heart surgery.
We are also very thankful for all the warm messages, prayers and thoughts we received from family, friends and loved ones, we love you all!
Amazing feat. Egyptian Streets
For the first time, there will be an all-Egyptian men’s and women’s final at the British Open, with four Egyptians featuring in the finals. The results mean that Egyptians will win both British Open titles.
On Sunday, Ramy Ashour clenched the historic moment after producing a formidable performance to defeat Gregory Gaultier of France. Ashour’s performance was hailed by AFP as “breathtaking” and “stunning”.
Ashour will face his compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy, the top-seeded titleholder, who defeated Karim Abdel Gawad in the semi-finals.
On the women’s side, Nour El Sherbini defeated world number two Nicol David in another remarkable performance, while 18-year-old Nouran Gohar defeated defending champion Camille Sermie.
Gohar’s achievement means that she has a chance of becoming the first player ever to win the British Open’s senior and junior championships simultaneously. However, she will face a tough challenge against favorite El Sherbini in the finals.
Regardless of who wins the women’s finals, it will mark the first time an Egyptian women has clenched the top title at the British Open.
Speaking to AFP, El Shorbagy said that the all Egyptian finals are a great moment for Egypt.
“It is such a great moment for Egypt and it’s a great honour to be part of that,” said El Shorbagy. “We all feel proud – we are making a piece of history. I am really happy for my country.”
I rarely go into long-winded and futile discussions with anyone on social media. Needless to say, it is a waste of energy and time. In fact, when a battle of views follows one of my posts, I prefer to delete the whole rant especially if it turns sour.
Still, in a spontaneous discussion that took place on Twitter today, I saw the other side freely air its views for thousands to speculate on and consider. Here is the conversation. Though the person has no qualms in speaking out loud herself, I’m not into defaming anyone, so I’ve opted to remove the person’s name—let’s call her “She.” The conversation was in Arabic, but, again, I’ve opted to translate it to English.
She: Alan Greish, ex-Editor in Chief of #LeMonde Diplomatique: El Sisi rule has failed in every field.
Azza: I don’t understand. Is this something that would make you happy?
She: Of course, if it entails the failure of the current bloody regime, it makes one extremely happy.
Azza: So for the regime to fail you really don’t mind that Egypt fails, too? Do you know the story of the two women who fought over a child? And the real mother told the fake one to take the child provided it remains uninjured?
She: So you want us to support the bloody coup? This regime has kidnapped Egypt, and it is it that is failing Egypt. Never does a bloody coup build or save Egypt.
This is the crux of what was exchanged. Others intervened and added their two cents creating even further mayhem. Bear in mind, the person I spoke with has 280,000 followers. She is also outspoken, hateful of the regime, and disturbingly un-Egyptian.
I don’t really mind if she hates the current regime. It is her prerogative to think the way she pleases even if it is totally warped and severely skewed. However, what I abhorred in the conversation was her glee that Egypt was failing. It actually gave her a sense of power and dominance.
This brings us back to the true feelings of most Egyptians today. It seems that if you are siding with El Sisi, you are for Egypt, and vice versa. You are then grateful for Egypt’s men who are giving up their lives gladly to serve their country and its soil, and you are appreciative of the efforts made to improve the economy and eradicate terrorism. If you side with the current regime, you look for the good and you bring it to the forefront.
Egyptians realized that their precious country was on the verge of collapse. It was about to go to the dogs, literally. It was only El Sisi who was confident and bold enough to intervene and oust Ex-President Morsi. From then onwards, the love affair between Egyptians and President Sisi has not waned or diminished.
But those who are against El Sisi, and hence Egypt, are many. They come in different shapes and forms: members of the Muslim Brotherhood clan, the perennial activists, human rights followers, western media, and more importantly, youths who think they can change presidents every other day. I don’t know enough about the above-mentioned person, but She can be affiliated to any of these groups. In any case, we should be wary that many, in the millions if I may add, are like her out there.
Now if you are against the current regime, you sit and await disasters only to spew hatred and ridicule soon afterwards. You see both the army and the police force as weapons in the hands of the regime, wiling to harm and to kill, ignoring the fact that hundreds of these young men are dying at the hands of those who wish Egypt ill.
You also don’t believe anything officials say. You assume the army is out to take control not defend. You believe the cabinet is filled with incapable ministers, the parliament, with imbeciles. You conclude everything announced is made up and fake. You also find fault with the best of accomplishments.
When officials announced their killing of a group of criminals who may have killed Giulio Regeni, the Italian student, disbelief reigned. Bassem Youssef, from his new residence, immediately announced it was a bluff that no one can take seriously. Others joined in calling it a sham.
Exposing these folks is a must. Not by name calling and cursing, which many tend to do, but by focusing on the good that the current regime is working hard to achieve in spite of the challenges. When She says the current regime kidnapped Egypt, we explain to the world how the current regime had saved Egypt. When She says that the “coup” is bloody, we prove how bloody the Brotherhood was, and when they ignore all good accomplishments, we zoom in on them. More importantly we should make every effort to highlight the positive and never believe the negative.
The is the role of dedicated Egyptians today.
The New York Times, by SHIVANI VORA
The story sounds more like the plot of a riveting suspense movie than real life: Does the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt have hidden rooms with the never-found tomb of the powerful Queen Nefertiti?
If you ask the renowned British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, 59, the answer is most certainly yes. Dr. Reeves, best known for his excavations in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor over the last few decades, arrived at his theory after analyzing surface scans of King Tut’s tomb. “The pictures showed vertical lines which look like doorways, and they’re oriented toward the right — characteristic of a queen’s tomb,” he said.
A radar survey late last year suggesting that hollow chambers lie behind the tomb’s walls was more evidence for his suspicions, and now Dr. Reeves is in the midst of a search to get to the bottom of what is one of the biggest modern-day archaeological mysteries.
His work in Egypt has made headlines and is giving the country much-needed attention for its historical riches, which now attract far fewer tourists than they did before the Egyptian revolution in 2011.
Dr. Reeves, however, who has made more than 50 trips to Egypt since he first visited in the early 1970s and currently travels there frequently from his home outside London, says that there is no better time to go.
He visited New York City recently to give a talk at the “Discovery of King Tut” exhibition. Following are edited excerpts from a conversation with him.
Q. How is Egypt different since the revolution, and how does the change benefit travelers who are considering a trip there?
A. The country and the tourist sites look exactly the same, but the big attractions used to be jammed with people. Now, they are visibly less crowded, and for anyone interested in Egyptian history, this is the time to plan a trip because you’re not going to get jostled by others the way you would have pre-revolution. And, it’s also a more affordable destination because prices have dropped.
If you had to create an itinerary to see the best of the country, what would it be?
Take at least a week. Start in Cairo and spend a few days seeing the city and visiting the museums. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is a treasure chest, but don’t overlook the smaller museums like the Museum of Islamic Art; the Coptic Museum, Museum, which is full of Egyptian Christian artifacts; and the Agricultural Museum, where you can learn about Egyptian agriculture.
Also, the city of Aswan is worthwhile. It’s on the Nile and beautiful, and there is lots to see like the Aswan Dam and the Nubian Museum, dedicated to Nubian culture.
The temples are also a must. There’s Kom Ombo, also on the Nile and north of Aswan, and Dendera, which is north of Luxor.
And then there’s Luxor itself. Given the amount of time I have spent there, I may be biased, but it is the heart of the Egyptian New Kingdom and home to at least a hundred different archaeological sites including beautiful tombs of nobles, queens and kings like Tutankhamen’s.
Luxor’s Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, where most of these tombs are, are what many people associate the city with. What else is there to see?
Howard Carter’s house. He is, of course, the English archaeologist famous for discovering Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. He lived in this house during the search, and now it’s a small museum. He was an elusive guy, and little is known about him. Visiting his house doesn’t necessarily shed any more light on what he was like, but it gets you a bit closer to him. Next to his house, there’s an excellent replica of Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Also, the Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel, where Carter announced his discovery at a news conference, should be visited even if you’re not staying there because it’s so full of history.
The worldwide fascination with King Tut seems to be — or at least has been in the past — a driver of tourism to Egypt. Why is that?
His is a marvelous story with so much intrigue. You have a boy who’s just 9 or 10 when he becomes the king of Egypt and essentially the most powerful human being in the world. Then he disappears when he’s an adolescent, and no one really knows how he died.
But Carter’s search for and discovery of his intact tomb is as thrilling as the story of the king himself, especially the element of the Pharaoh’s Curse, which says that anyone who disturbs the mummy of a pharaoh is afflicted with bad luck, which was the case with some members of Carter’s team.
Both are engrossing plots, and when people hear about them, it sparks their interest in visiting Egypt.
Many tourists to Egypt hire guides to show them the country. Is a guide necessary?
Yes, because Egypt’s history is overwhelming. A good guide will give you a synopsis of the highlights, help you navigate your way around and take you to places that you don’t read about in the guidebooks.
President of the Supreme Judicial Council Ahmed Gamal Eddin said in a statement of Tuesday that he does not object to the appointment of female judges, rejecting claims of intentional discrimination against women within the Egyptian judicial system.He made the comments in response to a three-day conference that opened on Tuesday with the aim of promoting equal opportunities for women within the justice systems of Egypt and other nations.The conference, titled "Toward equal opportunities and the confrontation of discrimination against women in the justice system", is being hosted by the Justice Ministry, in collaboration with the National Council for Women, UN Women, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Embassy of Japan.Gamal Eddin said that he objected to the title of the confrerence, which seemed to suggest that there was systematic discrimination against women in Egypt's justice system, a notion that he rejected as false."The justice system does not discriminate against women. Everyone is equal before the courts," he said.
"I have reservations about the conference title. There may be discrimination in other fields due to gender, but not in the judiciary." He added, "If there is discrimination in the judiciary, it in favor of women, not against them".Gamal Eddin said that he does not object to the appointment of women as prosecutors or judges, so long as they are qualified for the position.However, in a speech at the conference, Maya Morsy, president of the National Council for Women, called on Egypt's senior judges to appoint more women to all judicial bodies. She said that it is no longer acceptable for only 0.5 percent of judges to be women and 99.5 percent male."The proportion of female judges in Tunisia is 40 percent, in Lebanon 50 percent, in Morocco 25 percent, in Jordan 17 percent, in Algeria 42 percent and in Libya 40 percent," Morsy said."History will praise Egypt's current judges if the representation of female judges reaches at least 10 percent in the meantime," Morsi continued.She said that Egypt had made a "great leap" forward by created 89 women MPs in the House of Representatives, thus improving its standing within international forums.Participants this week's conference represent several nations, drawn from a range of professions and backgrounds, including the judiciary, police, parliament, civil society and academia.
Ahram Online, by Zainab El-Gundy
Ahram Online visits one of the best known "Syrian streets" in 6th of October City — a district on the outskirts of the capital that is home to many thousands of Syrian refugees
It was more than telling that when asked about directions to reach to "Syrian Street" in the heart of 6th of October City area, a young Syrian gave directions in a perfect Syrian accent.
"You will find Syrian Street in front of Al-Hosary Mosque," he said. It is not a coincidence, as Al-Hosary Mosque and its charity association have been helping Syrian refugees in Egypt for five years now.
"Syrian Street" starts from a building in front of the mosque that is known in the area as "Al-Amerikya" (The American) occupying a whole block.
This is not the only "Little Damascus" in October City, which embraces thousands of Syrians, but it is one of the most famous.
On the ground floor of Al-Amerikya building, which includes residential and administrative apartments, dozens of restaurants, from international fast food chains, famous Egyptian fuul and falafel outlets, and Syrian restaurants and cafes stretch all the way.
Located beside 6th of October University, those restaurants do not suffer any lack of customers from young students who are looking for affordable food.
Behind the building is a narrow street that leads you to "Syrian Street": a passageway between a complex of buildings full of Syrian shops and restaurants.
Longtime Egyptian residents of October City told Ahram Online that many of those shops were formerly owned by Iraqi refugees who settled in October City for a couple of years following the US invasion of Iraq, before returning to their country.
The word "Sham", which usually refers to Damascus for Syrians and the Levant for Arabs, in general is a common fixture in the names of the shops, regardless of what they sell.
Shops at the Syrian street in October
You will find large and famous Syrian restaurants selling shawerma and barbeque chicken as well as Syrian dessert shops selling grilled cheese konafa and Syrian ice cream. There are also Syrian mobile phone accessories shops, a barbershop, and a Syrian spices shop selling imported Syrian and Turkish spices via Turkey.
There is also a small Syrian grocery where Syrian residents of October City come to buy Syrian cheese and other Syrian products that cannot be found in usual Egyptian groceries, along with pickles and spices that are currently made in factories in Egypt. "Made in Egypt by Syrian hands" is what you read on the products.
A Syrian grocery at the street in October city (Photo: Zeinab El-Gundy)
In the passageway, chairs and tables are placed for a couple of cafes, some owned by Egyptians that seem oddly out of place.
Read on here.
UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05784516 Date: 01/07/2016 RELEASE IN PART B5,B6 From: Sullivan, Jacob J <SullivanJJ@state.gov > Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2011 12:41 AM To: H Subject: Re: H: INTEL. Secret offer to el Baradei/Muslim Brotherhood-Army alliance Early response from Jake Walles, followed by Phil G. We're reaching out to Anne on other system.Walles: There's a lot to digest here. A few quick thoughts:From Goldberg: From: Sullivan, JacobJ Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 09:35 PM To: 'HDR22@clintonemail.com ' <HDR22@clintonemail.com > Subject: Re: H: INTEL. Secret offer toel Baradei/MuslimBrotherhood-Army allianceWill doFrom: H[mailto:HDR22@clintonemail.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 09:22 PM To: Sullivan, JacobJ Subject: Fw: H: INTEL. Secret offer toel Baradei/MuslimBrotherhood-Army alliance From: sbwhoeoF [mailto:sbwhoeor Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 06:56 PM To: H Subject: H: INTEL. Secret offer toel Baradei/MuslimBrotherhood-Army alliance UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05784516 Date: 01/07/2016 CONFIDENTIAL November 23, 2011 For: HRCFrom: Sid Re: Secret offer to el Baradei/MuslimBrotherhood-Army alliance SOURCE: Sources with access to the highest levels of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as Western Intelligence and security services.1. During a series of meetings over November 21 and November 22, 2011, senior officers of the Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) met discreetly with Mohammed el Baradei , the former director of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IEA) and candidate for the Presidency of Egypt. These discussions centered on the possibility of el Baradei stepping in as interimPrime Minister in an effort to address the frustration of pro-democracy demonstrators currently clashing with Egyptian Army and Security forces in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The SCAF officers believe that el Baradei's record of political independence fromthe SCAF will allow himto address the concerns of the demonstrators regarding extended military rule. In these discussions el Baradei demanded assurances that he would not be a puppet of the SCAF, with the freedomto name his own cabinet.The SCAF officers indicated that they would have to consider this, but noted that under any circumstances, the SCAF would remain the ultimate authority in Egypt, pending the conclusion in 2012 of a series of national elections beginning on November 28, 2011.2. (Source Comment: The leaders of the SCAF believe that el Baradei can not only calm the situation Tahrir Square, but due to his long experience at the UN he will reassure foreign businesses regarding political and security stability in Egypt. These officers also believe they can control el BaBaradei if he accepts the position. One sensitive source noted that el Baradei must certainly know that his position would be managed by the SCAF, but hope his ambition may lead him to accept the offer. Despite the resignation of the incumbent Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf, and his cabinet, el Baradei has not yet responded to the proposal, and one SCAF officer speculated that the caution diplomat was waiting to see what happens in Tahrir Square over the next week.)3. During the week of November 21, 2011extremely sensitive sources with access to the leadership of the MuslimBrotherhood (MB) in Egypt stated in strict confidence that MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and his advisors maintain a secret and increasingly clandestine relationship with senior advisors to Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and the SCAF, in an effort to establish a relationship that will allowthemto cooperate and govern Egypt successfully following the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for the fall of 2011. Despite increasing tensions and political violence as the November 28, 2011 parliamentary elections approach, the highest levels of the MB and SCAF agree on the idea that they represent the only two truly established political organizations in the country, and they must work together to gain full advantage fromthe newly developing political structure in Egypt. The SCAF continues to provide a degree of funding and information to the MB, giving it an advantage over competing secular and religious based political movements. For its part the MB provides intelligence to the SCAF regarding developments in the UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05784516 Date: 01/07/2016 smaller and more radical political parties. At the same time, the MB, in coordination with the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (GID) and Military Police forces, is working to reduce the level of violence in demonstrations protesting extended military rule.4. This knowledgeable individual, a source with access to the highest levels of the Egyptian GID, states in confidence that the MB and SCAF are becoming increasingly frustrated with each other, the MB over what they see as heavy handed missteps by the SCAF that serve only to increase popular support for more radical political and religious groups. For its part, the SCAF leadership is concerned that the MB has been unable to dampen the level of violence attached to recent demonstrations in Tahrir Square. Prior to November 18, 2011, according to these individuals, MB operatives were able to reduce the level of violence in the pro-democracy demonstrations, even on those occasions where the Brothers joined ongoing demonstrations that had begun to turn violent. In the opinion of these sources, the groups currently demonstrating in Tahrir Square are so diverse and so frustrated that the MB has been unable to gain any kind of control. In all of these cases the MB maintains public support for early transfer of power to a civilian government. In the opinion of these sources the MB's immediate concern is to reduce to the level of violence, fearing that if matters get out of hand Tantawi may feel compelled to cancel or delay the parliamentary elections.5. (Source Comment: Speaking in confidence, an individual with access to the leadership of the SCAF stated that Tantawi and his advisors realize that any delay in the November 28 election date will result in increased levels of violence throughout the country. At the same time, reporting frompolice and Military Intelligence sources indicates that the demonstrations will continue, even in the face of deadly force. For his part Tantawi has informed the MB leadership that the Army and security forces will use increasingly aggressive measures to counter the demonstrators, and he asks that they step up their efforts to reduce the level of violence among the pro-democracy demonstrators.)6. According to knowledgeable individuals, Badie and the other leaders of the MB are also extremely concerned over the growing violence in Cairo. They note that during recent attacks against the Coptic Christian community in Egypt, the MB and the SCAF worked discreetly to ensure that the military and security forces did not intervene forcefully to protect the Copts as they were besieged by Islamist groups. At that time the MB warned that any serious intervention would set off violent demonstrations among the many small and often radical political groups that formed during the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. In this discussion Subhi Saleh, a lawyer and former Member of Parliament, who served as the MB delegate to the March 2011 constitutional commission, pointed out that discussions between the MB and the SCAF regarding the Copts had been relatively simple, because both sides were not concerned about the fate of the Coptic Christian community. In the case of the Tahrir Square demonstrations, the MB and SCAF cannot ignore the scope of the movement. According a knowledgeable source, Subhi advised Badie to remember that Tantawi is first and foremost a military man who will be tempted to react with a steady escalation of force if the demonstrators do not begin to disperse. This source believes that Badie agrees with this analysis but added that the MB's ability to influence the young demonstrators is increasingly limited.7. (Source Comment: One particularly sensitive individual added that Subhi, speaking on behalf of Badie, warned SCAF officers that the MB believes an increasing number of Egyptian Army conscripts are sympathetic to the Tahrir Square demonstrators. At the same time, Subhi stated in confidence that MB sympathizers associated with the SCAF have advised that the GID is continuing well established, discreet liaison discussions with the Israeli Mossad, providing Tantawi with a vehicle to address potential areas of conflict with Israel. The Brothers fear that through this relationship Israel can influence and manipulate the SCAF, particularly regarding support for Hamas and other Palestinian groups, as well as border security.)8. In the opinion of these knowledgeable sources, the MB and the SCAF will continue to work together secretly in an effort to establish a stable government in Egypt. At that point they can be expected to begin competing aggressively with each other for final control of the country. Both bodies are particularly interested in creating a secure environment throughout the country, looking to reassure foreign investors and tourists. These individuals believe, however, that Egypt will seeUNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05784516 Date: 01/07/2016 repeated episodes of often intense violence as the members of the pro-democracy movement become increasingly frustrated by the domination of the political process by the established leaders of the military and the MB.