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February 17, 2011

On What Egypt's Top Tycoon Fears Most

Topics: Egypt, Political News and commentaries

The Daily Beasts Editor at large, Lloyd Grover, interviewed the well-connected Cairo industrialist Shafik Gabr, who offered numerous disturbing concerns, including that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran are trying to destabilize Egypt and the country could descend into anarchy.

[...] "There was a serious plan to scare the populace, no question about it," he said. "There was a huge number of police stations that were torched all at the same time, all in the same manner. I cannot attribute it to any party. I can say very honestly that there were factors playing a major role beyond the youths in Tahrir Square, to torch, attack, break cells in the prisons for prisoners to be released, to steal police uniforms, to steal armaments, in the very same exact manner across Egypt, not just Cairo. And that requires planning. It's almost like one of those movies where you have sleeper cells."

Among other possibilities, Gabr suspects the culprits might have been foreign agents: "Is it the Muslim Brotherhood? I do not know. Is it other vested interests?... I do not know. But it was definitely violent people," he said. "Among the innocent, legitimate people who were demonstrating, there were definitely others who had their own agenda. Just ask yourself the question: Who's interested in destabilizing Egypt? You tell me. It's people right down here in our neighborhood. Hezbollah. Hamas. Iran. They publicly spoke in favor of the fall of Egypt."

Gabr wasn't short of criticism for the Obama administration's handling of the crisis:
"I believe, quite frankly and sadly, that the U.S. administration sometimes has the best of intentions, but in terms of its implementation it zigzags wildly," Gabr told me. "My concern as an Egyptian is that we must have peaceful, periodical and legitimate transfers of power through the ballot box. Unfortunately, with the United States saying 'Muburak has to step down,' 'he needs to stay,' all that zigzagging truly took that specific goal off the table. By saying 'Mubarak needs to leave right now,' 'No, Mubarak needs to stay,' the focus became Mubarak when it should have been Egypt."
Take the time to read the whole thing.

Posted by Richard at February 17, 2011 2:13 PM

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