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Mubarak to Stay in Office Through Sept.


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Old 02-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Default Mubarak to Stay in Office Through Sept.

Daily Beast - Found 2 hours ago
Despite the upbeat attitudes of tens of thousands of protesters who gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square for what they have labeled the "Friday of Departure," Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq confirmed Friday that President Hosni Mubarak intends to remain in office until the September elections. ...
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Mubarak to Stay in Office Through Sept.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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Fear of the unknown creepin' in on Egypt's future...

Some Egyptians are fearful of future
4 Feb.`11 Tens of thousands of protesters packed Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, waving Egyptian flags, cheering and singing the national anthem on the 11th day of protests to oust President Hosni Mubarak.
After a night of calm many demonstrators were on edge, worried the large turnout could inspire violence. "It's getting dangerous out there," said Sayed Mohamed Metwali, 36, who is unemployed. "Twelve men beat me on the street when they found out I had been at the protest." Protesters passed through a series of beefed-up checkpoints by the military, which guarded the perimeter of the square. Soldiers checked IDs to make sure those entering were not police or ruling party members

Egypt's Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi visited protesters during Friday's massive rally. He is the most prominent government official to do so since the unprecedented demonstrations began demanding an end to Mubarak's nearly 30-year rule. Tantawi, who arrived with several other military officials, is considered by many to be a top henchman of Mubarak, said Amr Hamzawy, research director at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut who is in Cairo. "He's been assigned to pacify the demonstrators and to convince them that the military is behind the reforms they've been asking for, to bridge the gap," between protesters and the regime, Hamzawy said.

Hatim Alhamdan, 42, a doctor who joined the protesters Friday afternoon, said Tantawi's visit was an attempt "to fool us because if Hosni Mubarak leaves he will go also." Tantawi wants the protesters to go home, Alhamdan said. "We trust in our army but not in this Tantawi," he said. "He's a man of Mubarak." Wael Abbas, who covers the protests on his blog, ???????? ????????, said Tantawi's arrival was meant to show that the military's morale is high and "to assure the people at Tahrir that nobody's going to attack them."

Over the course of the day protesters rallied and chanted for Mubarak's departure "Leave! Leave! Leave!" and many also yelled for the demise of the United States. Military tanks, troop carriers and soldiers blocked most entrances to the square and were posted on roads leading to it starting several blocks away. The scenes followed two days of violent clashes in and around the square between protesters calling for Mubarak's resignation and pro-Mubarak forces. The clashes included attacks on members of the foreign press and confiscations of camera equipment at entrances to the square and at the Cairo International Airport.

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Transition could weaken U.S. anti-terror efforts
WASHINGTON Egypt's role in aiding U.S. counterterrorism efforts across the Middle East through intelligence assistance, interrogation tactics and more could be diminished after a new government takes hold in Cairo, intelligence experts say.
Egypt has long been "a good intelligence partner," for the United States, says former George W. Bush administration CIA chief Michael Hayden, now a consultant with the Chertoff Group. "Any diminution of healthy cooperation with the Egyptian service would be harmful ... to both countries." Egypt has spawned some of the past decade's most infamous terrorists. Among them: 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammad Atta, who died piloting American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center, and the man currently known as Osama bin Laden's top al-Qaeda lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The country also has been the subject of numerous attacks at the hands of Islamist terrorists, including in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheik in 2005, when bombs killed 88 people and wounded 150. Egyptian intelligence officers for years have "zeroed in on the same kinds of problems that we're focused on, which is militant, radicalized, violent Islamic extremists," says former Mideast peace negotiator Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

As one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East, officials say the Egyptians have shared valuable intelligence and have provided other useful counterterrorism assistance, particularly in the decade since the 9/11 attacks. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the U.S. has had "an important partnership" on counterterrorism under President Hosni Mubarak and his intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, named a week ago as the country's new vice president.

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