The American Kafir

2011/01/31

An On-the-Ground Report from Egypt

Filed under: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood — - @ 7:05 pm
Created Jan 31 2011 – 17:52

An On-the-Ground Report from Egypt
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian demonstrators gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Jan. 31

Editor’s Note: What follows is raw intelligence from a source in Egypt. The accuracy of the report cannot be independently verified. The following does not necessarily reflect STRATFOR’s view but includes interesting insights on the situation in Egypt.

It’s been quieter over the past couple days. Civilians here are setting up checkpoints, checking everyone’s driver’s licenses and identification. Since prisoners do not have identification, the popular committees then tie them up and turn those suspected of being criminals over to the military police. A lot of cars full of weapons stolen from the prison break-ins have been stopped and detained.

We are not seeing many regular police at all. For example, we saw one police car circling our neighborhood and everyone started cheering and welcoming the officers back. Still, where are the rest of the police? Why have they all disappeared at once? The police themselves may be scared. Some police were getting attacked before. Organized groups went to prisons to set the prisoners free but no one knows who they were. They were wearing ski masks; no one could see who they were.

I think people will come out to protest, but it’s not clear how large the demonstrations will be. Tahrir Square could become a disaster tomorrow. If there is a fire or gunshots, there could be a stampede. It could be really dangerous. No trains are coming or going from Cairo, so they can’t bring in people from other cities for the demonstrations. Plus it’s getting really cold here and people are trying to stay indoors.

People haven’t been working for seven days, not getting their daily wages. We want stability now. The stock market lost 70 billion pounds. President Hosni Mubarak will leave anyway in September. Why not just wait until September? We waited 30 years, why not wait nine months? I think there are a lot of people thinking like this.

Those people protesting in Tahrir Square have other intentions. I feel like there is another force driving them — mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood and maybe from Mohamed ElBaradei. They want their political power but it’s coming down more and more to these groups with a political agenda.

Bread prices are not yet increasing. We bought bread today. But the issue is we are only allowed to buy stuff from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Everyone is trying to stock up for a month, not just a week. No one wants to take a chance on a week. So you have 150 people in front of each bakery trying to get as much bread as possible. The bread itself is old because they haven’t been able to produce fresh.

ElBaradei doesn’t have credibility. He’s been living a luxury life out of the country. He is also seen as ineffective on the Iranian nuclear issue when he was International Atomic Energy Agency chief. He doesn’t have real support here.


Source URL: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110131-ground-report-egypt
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