Egyptian General Intelligence Service
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|General Intelligence Service|
|جهاز المخابرات العامة|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Egypt|
|Agency executive||Mohamed Raafat Shehata, Director|
|Parent Agency||Presidency of Egypt|
The General Intelligence Service (GIS) (Arabic: جهاز المخابرات العامة / Gihaz al-Mukhabarat al-Amma), often called the Mukhabarat (Arabic: المخابرات / al-Mukhabarat), is an Egyptian intelligence agency responsible for providing national security intelligence, both domestically and transnationally, with a counter-terrorism focus.
The GIS is part of the Egyptian intelligence community, together with the Office of Military Intelligence Services and Reconnaissance (Arabic: ادارة المخابرات الحربية والاستطلاع / Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Harbyya wa al-Istitla) and the State Security Investigations Service (SSIS) (Arabic: جهاز مباحث أمن الدولة / Gihaz Mabahith Amn al-Dawla).
The decision to set up an Egyptian intelligence service was taken by President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954, and placed under the command of Zakaria Mohieddin. However, the agency's importance rose when Nasser assigned its command to Salah Nasr, who held the post of director of the GIS from 1957 to 1967. Under Nasr's supervision, the GIS relocated to its own building and established separate divisions for Radio, Computer, Forgery and Black Operations. To cover the agency's expenses, Nasr set up Al Nasr Company, ostensibly an import-export firm, as a front.
For several years the name of GIS director was a secret only known to high officials and government newspapers chief editors. However, Major-General Omar Suleiman who was the head of the GIS from 1993 to January 2011, was the first one the break this taboo. His name was published before he himself became a known face in media after being envoyed by the former Egyptian president Mubarak to Israel, USA and Gaza on several occasions.
On January 31st 2011, Major-General Murad Muwafi was declared the director of GIS, after Omar Suleiman was appointed as a Vice President of Egypt then resigned after the former president Mubarak had to step down during the Egyptian revolution.
In spite of the rule which says "success in the intelligence world is a buried secret while failure is a world wide scandal" the GIS did achieve many successes a few of which were released and dramatized in Egyptian TV and cinema.
- The GIS states that it managed to plant an Egyptian agent among Jewish immigrants to Israel. That agent, Refaat El-Gammal, managed to live 18 years in Israel without being discovered. In those years, he established a network of spies in various fields of the Israeli community, though this is contradicted by various Israeli sources, which state that Refaat was a double agent and helped the IDF to win the Six Day War.
- In 1970 the GIS managed to hunt an Israeli oil rig while being shipped from Canada to Sinai (occupied at that time). Clandestine GIS agents and frogmen succeeded in tracing the oil rig to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and planted sets of explosives, had them detonated and crippled the rig. Ironically, this was done while the city was full, not only of Mossad agents protecting the oil rig, but also while it was full of CIA agents who were guarding the NASA astronauts during their visit to Côte d'Ivoire. This operation was published in 1985 under the name "Al-Haffar Operation" it was supervised at that time by GIS director Ameen Heweedy (1921–2009).
- Perhaps a major success of the GIS was handling the Egyptian "Strategic Deception Plan" which was carried out from 01/1970 to 10/1973 and aimed to conceal the Egyptian plans to launch massive operation to free occupied Sinai on the 6th of October 1973 starting the Yom Kippur war. The plan included planting false information and hidden implied data in Egyptian president Sadat's speeches and newspapers articles. For example the GIS prepared the military operations and evacuated complete sections of Cairo hospitals to be ready for receiving war casualties. This evacuation that took place few days before the war started, was done after declaring false information that those hospitals were infected with Tetanus. The plan included a major operation whose details are still not published. This operation aimed at getting detailed information of American spy satellites covering the Middle East, by knowing exact trajectories and timing of those satellites the GIS prepared complicated logistic movement schedules for all Egyptian military units to avoid moving mass troops in timings where they could be spotted by satellites.
- During the 1973 war with Israel the GIS spied on Mossad weeks prior to the surprise attack on the 6th of October. The information derived allowed the director and his associates to identify the weakest points on the Israeli front line. A suicide mission to divert the Israeli counter-attack was initiated to halt Israeli movements into mainland Egypt.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Egyptian General Intelligence Services|
- Sullivan and Jones (2008): 33
- The Spies: Israel's Counter-Espionage Wars, Yossi Melman, Eitan Haber
Further reading 
- Sirrs, Owen L. (2010). A History of the Egyptian Intelligence Service: A History of the Mukhabarat, 1910-2009. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-56920-0.
- Sullivan, Denis J.; Jones, Kimberley (2008). Global security watch - Egypt: a reference handbook. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Security International. ISBN 978-0-275-99482-2.
- 1973- Weapons and Diplomacy- Heikal, Mohammd Hassanien - Printed 1993 - Al Ahram- Egypt
- Auto biography of Salah Nasr- Printed 1998- Dar Al Khayal - Egypt