Cablegate: Embassy Cairo

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


Director Mueller,
1. (C) Thank you for including Cairo in your travel to the Middle East. Your visit presents an opportunity to review and upgrade our law enforcement/intelligence cooperation with the Egyptians. The CIA already has a strong and growing relationship with the Egyptian Intelligence Service (EGIS). We would like the FBI to establish a similarly robust and productive partnership with the State Security Investigative Service. The Ministry does not yet recognize the benefit for their side of enhanced ties with the FBI. But leaders like Omar Soliman and especially President Mubarak, with whom we hope you will be able to meet, have the vision and influence to overcome these reservations. On our side, we should be ready with concrete proposals to kick start new levels of practical cooperation. Exchange of forensic and biometric data and associated upgrades of Egypt’s capabilities in this field could provide a good beginning.

2. (C) The return of the specter of terrorism in Egypt in late 2004, following seven years of safety is seen here as a wake-up call to the Egyptian security forces. Interior Minister El Adly, and State Security Director Hassan, -- you will meet both -- have now seen three major terrorist incidents on their watch:
-- The bombing of three resorts in the Sinai, October 2004 -- The bombing at a major Cairo tourist market, April 2005 -- The Sharm el-Sheikh bombing, July 2005;

3. (C) El Adly may lose his job over the Sharm bombings as well as the mis-management of the current Parliamentary elections. As a result, you may find the Egyptians more receptive to a U.S. initiative to upgrade our law-enforcement cooperation.

4. (C) One specific area of cooperation that I understand is under consideration is sharing of fingerprint and other biometric data on suspected terrorists and other criminals. This could involve training and equipment upgrades for Egyptian personnel. This is a terrific initiative. In addition, you should urge State Security Director Hassan to bring a high level delegation to Washington to visit FBI HQ and the Quantico training facilities early in 2006. Once he sees what the FBI can offer and establishes some personal contact, he will be more forthcoming with intelligence cooperation on their side. I hope you will also consider offering to continue and ideally expand training opportunities for Egyptian personnel at the FBI Academy.

5. (C) Your arrival in Egypt coincides with the end of a month-long series of parliamentary elections, in which the outlawed but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has made substantial gains. The elections have been conducted in three rounds. The final run-offs will be held on December 7. The ruling NDP will retain the super majority it needs to control the legislative agenda, but with the MB holding as much as 20 percent of the seats, atmospherics and tone of debate will probably change dramatically.

6. (C) The Egyptians have a long history of threatening us with the MB bogeyman. Your counterparts may try to suggest that the President,s insistence on greater democracy in Egypt is somehow responsible for the MB,s electoral success. You should push back that, on the contrary, the MB,s rise signals the need for greater democracy and transparency in government. The images of intimidation and fraud that have emerged from the recent elections favor the extremists both we and the Egyptian government oppose. The best way to counter narrow-minded Islamist politics is to open the system. The FBI could serve as a resource and partner ) if indeed you are willing -- in professionalizing the Egyptian security services and modernizing their investigative techniques. This would enhance the credibility of the security apparatus and remove an arrow from the Islamists, quiver.

7. (C) At the end of the day, we believe you can best pitch your visit as a serious effort to enhance our law enforcement cooperation. Both sides are absolutely committed to defeating violent extremists, and both sides can take more tangible steps toward meeting this goal.

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