Egypt’s intel chief ousted by either President Morsi or Defense Minister Tantawi

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CAIRO — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has dismissed the chief of
the intelligence community.

Morsi, the first civilian president of Egypt, said he retired Maj. Gen.
Murad Muwafi in wake of an Islamist attack in the eastern Sinai Peninsula
that killed 16 soldiers. Morsi said Muwafi would be replaced by Gen.
Mohammed Shehateh.

Egypt’s intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Murad Muwafi, was told to retire by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi after a recent attack in the Sinai Peninsula that killed 16 border guards. /Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

“Today, the president began to exercise his power,” Essam Al Arian,
acting president of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party, said.

But Egyptian sources said Muwafi was dismissed by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, led by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi.

The sources said the council’s decision was prompted by Muwafi’s acknowledgement to the Egyptian media that the intelligence community knew of a plot to attack the Egyptian-Israeli border, but the warning did not proceed through the proper channels.

“We did not imagine that a Muslim would kill his brother during the
breaking of the Ramadan fast,” Muwafi, recalling the Aug. 5 attack, said.

The presidential office also said it fired the governor of the North
Sinai province, Maj. Gen. Abdul Wahab Mabrouk. The statement did not disclose Mabrouk’s replacement.

This marked the first announcement by Morsi that dealt with military
personnel. In July, the ruling military council stripped Morsi of much
of his powers.

Officials said Morsi also appointed a new chief of staff, Mohammed El
Tahtawi, as well as commander of Cairo security, Mohammed Osama. They did
not provide details of the two men.

The president also ordered a reorganization of the Interior Ministry.
Egypt’s state-run Nile News said Morsi appointed Maj. Gen. Hamed Zaki to
command the Republican Guard, and Maj. Gen. Maged Mustafa Kamel as head of
the Central Security Forces.

The sources said the reorganization of Egypt’s security leadership was
coordinated with Tantawi. For his part, the defense minister announced the
dismissal of Egyptian military police commander Maj. Gen. Hamdi Badeen, a
member of the military council.

“These decisions are a message to all officials that Egypt has a
president and its people have a will, and that you will be sacked if you do
not respect that will,” Al Arian said.

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