US embassy cable - 01CAIRO6321

SHARING THE CASE AGAINST AL-QA'IDA WITH EGYPT

Identifier: 01CAIRO6321
Wikileaks: View 01CAIRO6321 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Cairo
Created: 2001-10-04 16:03:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PTER PINR EG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 041603Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4495
INFO ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
S E C R E T CAIRO 006321 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/04/2010 
TAGS: PTER, PINR, EG 
SUBJECT: SHARING THE CASE AGAINST AL-QA'IDA WITH EGYPT 
 
REF: STATE 170698 
 
(U) CLASSIFIED BY DCM RENO HARNISH. REASON: 1.5 (B) AND (D). 
 
-------------------------- 
MAKING THE CASE TO THE GOE 
-------------------------- 
 
1.  (S) ON OCTOBER 3 AND 4, DRAWING ON DOCUMENTS PROVIDED 
REFTEL, MISSION STAFF MET WITH EGYPTIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 
SECURITY, INTELLIGENCE, AND MILITARY OFFICIALS TO MAKE THE 
CASE AGAINST AL-QAIDA.  IN PREPARATION FOR THE BRIEFINGS, WE 
HAD DISTILLED INFORMATION IN REFTEL INTO FOUR BASIC SECTIONS: 
AL-QA'IDA'S INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE ATTACKS, TACTICAL 
SIMILARITY TO EARLIER ATTACKS, LINKS BETWEEN THE TALEBAN AND 
AL-QA'IDA, AND U.S. ENGAGEMENT WITH THE TALEBAN AND 
AFGHANISTAN. 
 
2.  (S) DATT, OMC, ROAL CHIEFS BRIEFED DMI HEAD MG TOHAMY WHO 
REACTED VERY POSITIVELY, ASSERTING THAT HE "UNDERSTOOD 
EXACTLY" WHAT THE INTENT OF THE REPORT HAD BEEN, WISHED THAT 
OTHERS IN THE U.S. HAD "LISTENED TO WHAT WE HAD TO SAY" PRIOR 
TO THE ATTACKS, AND PROMISED TO INSURE THAT MINISTER OF 
DEFENSE TANTAWY WAS FULL AWARE OF THE TEXT PRIOR TO 
DISCUSSIONS WITH SECDEF RUMSFELD. 
 
-------------------- 
MAINTAIN CLOSE TOUCH 
-------------------- 
 
3.  (S) DCM DISCUSSED THE REPORT WITH PRESIDENCY OFFICIAL 
MAGID ABDEL FATTAH ABDEL AZIZ.  HE WELCOMED THE BRIEFING, 
TOOK EXTENSIVE NOTES, AND PROMPTLY BRIEFED PRESIDENT MUBARAK. 
 NEITHER OFFERED SUBSTANTIVE OBJECTIONS TO THE MATERIAL AND 
TOOK IT AT FACE VALUE.  ABDEL AZIZ DID NOTE THAT, WHILE 
LIMITED DEMONSTRATIONS ACROSS CAMPUSES IN EGYPT HAVE BEEN 
PROMPTED BY EVENTS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES, WHEN THE U.S. 
REACTION OCCURRED, THERE WOULD BE SOME FACTIONS WHICH WOULD 
TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE TO EXPAND THEM.  THE GOE, HE SAID, 
WOULD LIKE AN HOUR OR TWO NOTICE BEFORE THE STRIKE AS IT 
WOULD THEN TAKE EXTRA INTERNAL SECURITY PRECAUTIONS. ABDEL 
AZIZ SAID THAT PRESIDENT MUBARAK MIGHT RAISE THIS WITH 
VISITING SECDEF OCTOBER 4.  HE URGED THAT THE U.S. MAINTAIN 
CLOSE TOUCH WITH THE GOE ON THE SCOPE OF THE MILITARY 
REACTION SO AS TO PRECLUDE HEZBALLAH/SYRIA FROM STOKING AND 
DISSEMINATING CONSPIRACY THEORIES AS TO WHERE THE U.S. WAS 
HEADING.  IN ADDITION, HE SAID THAT PRESIDENT MUBARAK WAS 
UNDER THE CLEAR IMPRESSION THAT THE U.S. HAD GIVEN ORAL 
ASSURANCES TO OMAR SOLEIMAN THAT THE U.S. WOULD NOT HIT 
SYRIA, LIBYA, OR LEBANON.  CONCLUDING, FATTAH REITERATED 
MUBARAK'S VIEW THAT FORMER KING ZAHIR SHAH WOULD NOT BRING 
ANYTHING USEFUL TO THE PROCESS AND THAT PRESIDENT BUSH'S 
STATEMENT ON PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD HAD BEEN GREATLY 
APPRECIATED. 
 
--------------------- 
IT WON'T HAPPEN HERE 
--------------------- 
 
4.  (S) THE AMBASSADOR MET OCTOBER 4 WITH SALAH SALAMA, 
DIRECTOR OF STATE SECURITY INVESTIGATION SECTOR (INTERIOR 
MINISTRY).  SALAMA PREDICTED THERE WOULD BE DEMONSTRATIONS IN 
THE EVENT OF A STRIKE ON AFGHANISTAN, BUT MAINTAINED THAT THE 
GREATER POTENTIAL FOR SUCH ACTIONS WOULD RESULT FROM 
CONTINUING VIOLENCE UNDERTAKEN BY ISRAELIS AGAINST 
PALESTINIANS.  HE ASSERTED THAT THERE WAS ALSO POLITICAL 
AGITATION IN UNIONS AND SYNDICATES BUT THIS TOO RESULTED FROM 
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE. SALAMA PRAISED THE PRESIDENT'S 
STATEMENTS (SHOWED GREAT "SERIOUSNESS") ON RESOLVING THE 
MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT. 
 
5.  (S) CONTINUING, SALAMA DISMISSED THE POSSIBILITY OF 
TERRORIST ACTION BY BIN LADIN IN EGYPT.  HE DID 
ALLOW,HOWEVER, THAT A "CRAZED INDIVIDUAL" OR PEOPLE COMING 
FROM THE OUTSIDE WITH FORGED DOCUMENTS MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO 
SOMETHING. SALAMA'S CONFIDENCE SPRANG FROM THE JULY ROUND-UP 
OF A GROUP OF EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD (EIJ) MEMBERS BY THE 
SECURITY SERVICES.  THE EIJ HAD BEEN ATTEMPTING TO RECRUIT 
NEW MEMBERS FROM THE RANKS OF THE WEALTHY IN EGYPT. 
 
6.  (S) TO COMPLETE OUR BRIEFINGS, ECONOMIC/POLITICAL 
MINISTER- COUNSELOR PROVIDED THE CASE TO MOHAMMED FARNAWANY 
OF THE FM'S CABINET AND ROAL BRIEFED EGIS DIRECTOR OMAR 
SOLEIMAN, WHO DISMISSING THE NEED TO HEAR THE EVIDENCE, WAS 
MORE CONCERNED WITH A DISCUSSION ON NEXT STEPS AND ASSURANCES 
HIS SERVICE WAS PREPARED TO COOPERATE FULLY.. 
 
WELCH 

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