For the eighth time, al-Sisi has issued a presidential decree ousting a number of General Intelligence Service (GIS) officials.
The total number of top-officials expelled from the General Intelligence Service has reached 113 officers since the military coup in 2013.
The General Intelligence Service is a sovereign agency that is considered the most important intelligence body in Egypt. The GIS is directly affiliated to the presidency.
Al-Sisi military regime always claims that all those expelled had asked for early retirement, and few of them retired for their health conditions.
In addition, others were transferred to administrative positions at some civilian ministries.
The presidential decree No.29 for the year 2017, published on the official gazette (al-Waqae’), stated that the retirement of 19 GIS agents was “based on their request”.
On top of those officers was Egypt’s Intelligence Maj. General Wael al-Safty who was responsible for the Palestinian Portfolio at the GIS.
Last September, Mekameleen TV Channel broadcasted a leaked audio phone call between for Maj.General Wael al-Safty and Mohamed Dahlan, the former strongman of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, who lives in the UAE.
After exchanging pleasantries, they began talking about someone who has ” no sufficient concentration”. Safty then said that this person “has nothing to offer”. The tapes go on to make clear that the man they are talking about is Abbas.
The Intelligence official said that Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t have the ability to think, realize or concentrate adding that his main aim is to remain in power.
Al-Safty also said that the Palestinian factions, which Abbas failed to contain have turned to be like Hamas, saying, “He could not even contain the other factions.” He continued, “These are the ones that Abu Mazen (Abbas’s nickname) couldn’t contain; these people drove me absolutely crazy, their positions have begun to be closer to Hamas.”
Al Safty said,” Fatah is extremely bad,” adding, “The Palestinian Liberation Organization is even worse.”
The Intelligence official described Abbas as being “not smart at all. He doesn’t have anything to offer,” “He can’t bring them (factions) together,” Safty tells Dahlan in utter exasperation. “I swear, he can’t bring them together.
“It’s stupidity,” he says, before again referring to Abbas’s advancing age, adding that the PA President does not have many laps left to run: “The track is running out, if you excuse the phrase.”
Then, both Dahlan and the intelligence official continued in mocking Abbas, Azzam al-Ahmed and the leaders of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Safty asked Dahlan, “Did you see the picture of Abu Nidaa (Azzam al-Ahmed) when he was eating?” “It was a scandalous image I swear, a scandal, a scandal, a scandal.”
Abu Nidaa is Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah member, who is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the PLO ambassador to Iraq between 1974 and 2002. Al-Ahmed was simply eating a traditional Arab dish of lamb and rice with his hands at a banquet in Qatar.
Al-Ahmed has, however, publicly and vigorously condemned Arab involvement in Palestinian affairs.
Al-Safty also attacked Fatah movement that has ruled the Palestinian Authority since 1994. According to Mekameleen TV Channel, the date of the leaked audio goes back to last June.
This is not the first time that Al-Sisi has retired general intelligence officials since he assumed power as a president in June 2014.
In July 2014, 14 GID deputies were retired purportedly “based on their requests”; and then the Egyptian presidency has announced the retirement of the head of General Intelligence Mohamed Farid el-Tohamy, on December 21, 2014.
In February 5 2015, Al-Sisi transferred 3 general intelligence officers to hold positions at civilian ministries.
On June 18, 2015 al-Sisi issued a decree forcing 11 deputies from the general intelligence body into retirement.
On 26 July, 2015 a presidential decree transferred 19 officials from their positions in the general intelligence department to other civil ministries.
Before the end of 2015, another 13 general intelligence officials were forced to retirement, based on a presidential decree.
Last September, al-Sisi issued a presidential decree No 281 that stated the early retirement of 17 intelligence officials.
He also issued another decree No 282 that issue the job transfer of some employees in the general intelligence to other departments.
It seems that the relation between Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the general intelligence directorate is surrounded by suspicions and doubts.
As a result, al-Sisi is keen to purge a number of officials working in this sensitive institution or to move them from their positions every now and then.
In a previous audio leak claimed to be for the head of al-Sisi’s office, Abbas Kamel, he said that “There is no hope in the general intelligence service.”