Wednesday,21 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1416, (1 - 7 November 2018)
Wednesday,21 November, 2018
Issue 1416, (1 - 7 November 2018)

Ahram Weekly

The 2011 uprising according to Al-Adli

Gamal Essam El-Din reports on the retrial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi

Al-Adli  (photo: Mohamed Mustafa)
Al-Adli (photo: Mohamed Mustafa)

Speaking during a retrial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 128 other defendants on charges of breaking out of prison during the anti-Mubarak uprising of 2011, former interior minister Habib Al-Adli said there was a “clear conspiracy” to destroy the Egyptian state.

“Ahead of demonstrations on 28 January 2011 we had information that coordination between the Muslim Brotherhood and foreign elements intent on implementing America’s plan to disrupt Egypt’s external and internal security and overthrow the regime had reached an advanced stage,” claimed Al-Adli.

The retrial of what is commonly known as the jailbreak case was ordered by the Court of Cassation in 2016. In the initial verdict many of the defendants received death sentences.

Al-Adli, Egypt’s minister of interior from November 1997 until he was sacked by Hosni Mubarak on 29 January 2011, was requested to testify by the defence team. Former president Mubarak has also been summoned and is scheduled to give evidence on 2 December.

“On 28 January we learned about several marches that were to take place so I gave orders to secure the marches with unarmed personnel,” Al-Adli claimed.

“We were surprised to find armed foreign sleeper elements infiltrating the marches. If I had known about them in advance I would have changed my plans entirely,” he claimed. 

Al-Adli, who testified on Sunday, also insisted neither he nor any Ministry of Interior officers had issued orders to withdraw police from the streets or open prisons to create a security vacuum during the protests. He offered no explanation of why the police disappeared from the streets.

Al-Adli spoke of years of cooperation between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. “Their cooperation on deposing the regime in Egypt started in 2009,” he alleged. 

“Vehicles armed with cannons infiltrated the eastern borders from Gaza via underground tunnels and started attacking police departments, prisons and state security buildings in Arish which proves that there was a pre-set plan to destroy the state,” he asserted.

Al-Adli also referred to information from a 2009 meeting in Beirut between Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Khaled Farouk, a leading Muslim Brotherhood member and former MP. He said the meeting was attended by two Brotherhood officials — Saad Al-Katatni and Mohamed Al-Beltagi — to coordinate how the Iranian Revolutionary Guards could support the group in its conspiracy against Egypt. 

“Ahead of the planned demonstrations on 28 January, we asked the Brotherhood’s leaders whether they intended to join them and their answer was no although we knew the group had already mobilised to lead the demonstrations against the regime and launch terror attacks.”

As a result, said Al-Adli, “I issued a verbal order on the evening of 27 January that 32 leading Brotherhood figures be arrested ahead of the 28 January demonstrations.”  

According to Al-Adli, Khaled Mashaal gave fake passports to members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard so they could enter Egypt and help overthrow the regime. Mashaal vowed that Hamas would support the Brotherhood in toppling the regime, said Al-Adli. He claimed that preparations began at the end of 2010 when Hamas, in coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Islamic Army in Gaza, bombed a church in Alexandria. 

It is not the first time Al-Adli has accused the US administration of plotting to overthrow the Mubarak regime.

When he and former president Mubarak were facing trial in August 2014 Al-Adli accused the US and the Muslim Brotherhood of working together to destroy the Egyptian state. Al-Adli claimed Washington used the Muslim Brotherhood not only to change regime in Egypt but also to spark unrest in other Arab countries.

“America concocted a two-pronged secret programme: funding a number of youth movements like 6 April and Kifaya to lead protests against the regime under democratic slogans, while preparing the Muslim Brotherhood to take power in Egypt.”

Al-Adli also claimed CIA operatives held meetings with Brotherhood members in Turkey ahead of 2011 to prepare the ground for what he called “the conspiracy against Egypt”.

In June 2015, a Cairo criminal court sentenced Morsi and other top Brotherhood figures, including Mohamed Badie, Saad Al-Katatni and Essam Al-Erian, to death on charges of “damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots and releasing prisoners” while escaping from the Wadi Al-Natroun prison on the outskirts of Cairo during the 2011 uprising.

Khaled Okasha, a security expert and a member of the Higher Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism, told Sky News Channel that recent information showed that Hamas in Gaza, Hizbullah in Lebanon and militant Bedouin elements in Sinai connived to infiltrate Egypt following the protests on 28 January 2011 and were able to release a lot of their members, including Mohamed Morsi, from jail. “They were able to torch 99 police stations and demolish prisons where Brotherhood members were held,” said Okasha.

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