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Tuesday, February 1, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

As pressure mounts, Mubarak names spy chief

CAIRO — President Hosni Mubarak, under domestic and international pressure to resign, has named a new spy chief for Egypt.


Egypt's state-owned media reported that Mubarak named a governor of the Sinai Peninsula as the next intelligence chief, Middle East Newsline reported. The appointee was identified as Gen. Murad Mowafi, who served as governor of northern Sinai.

Mowafi was directed to replace Maj. Gen. Omar Suleiman, intelligence chief since 1993. On Jan. 29, the 74-year-old Suleiman was appointed as Mubarak's first vice president in his 30-year tenure.

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Egyptian sources said Mowafi was instrumental in quelling Bedouin unrest in Sinai. They said Mowafi would be responsible for both domestic and foreign intelligence.

Mowafi marked another appointment by Mubarak amid calls for his resignation. In the Cabinet reshuffle, the president kept his defense and interior ministers while ordering the new prime minister, former Air Force commander Ahmed Shafik, to launch a dialogue with the opposition. The opposition was expected to be led by former International Atomic Energy Agency director-general Mohammed El Baradei.

On Feb. 1, the opposition was scheduled to stage a "million-man march" to pressure Mubarak to resign. Egypt's military and security forces were expected to block demonstrators from reaching central Cairo. Hours earlier, more than 250,000 gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focus of the anti-regime campaign.

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