Mohamed ElBaradei Speaks to the Egypt (live updates)

This thread is going to contain live updates on Egypt coming on Al Jazeera English and from Twitter updates. Al Jazeera is clearly the go to place for information.

The protests were the top story on every major news outlet in the Middle East, but the day belonged to Al Jazeera. The station was the first to report that the governing party’s headquarters were set on fire. Breathless phone reports came in from Jazeera correspondents in towns across Egypt. Live footage from Cairo alternated with action shots that played again and again. Orchestral music played, conveying the sense of a long-awaited drama.

Al Jazeera kept up its coverage despite serious obstacles. The broadcaster’s separate live channel was removed from its satellite platform by the Egyptian government on Friday morning, its Cairo bureau had its telephones cut and its main news channel also faced signal interference, according to a statement released by the station. The director of the live channel issued an appeal to the Egyptian government to allow it to broadcast freely.

Other broadcasters, including CNN, said their reporters had been attacked and their cameras smashed by security forces.

Two major news items right now. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has called for Hosni Mubarak to step down and says that Egyptian state is in collapse.  He’s asking for a unity government.

Egypt is reaching a “tipping point,” opposition campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview with Monocle.

“People are desperate and anxious for change to happen overnight,” ElBaradei, the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in the London-based monthly’s February edition. “I see that approaching. People say Egyptians are patient, but you go around the streets of Cairo and you’ll see that the tipping point coming.”

The West is “losing every ounce of credibility when it comes to convincing people here that it is serious about their basic values: democracy, freedom, justice, rule of law,” said ElBaradei, 68. “That fuels extremism. The West doesn’t realize that stability is not based on shortsighted security measures; stability will only come when people are empowered, when people are able to participate.”

There is looting by thugs on motorcycles and it appears to be thugs from the Mubarak’s political party. The Department of Interior’s police force appears to have melted away. There’s no visible presence of the police, only the military.  There are reports that the National Museum with its incredible collection of antiquities has experienced looting and damage.

The museum in central Cairo, which has the world’s biggest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, is adjacent to the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party that protesters had earlier set ablaze. Flames were seen still pouring out of the party headquarters early Saturday.

“I felt deeply sorry today when I came this morning to the Egyptian Museum and found that some had tried to raid the museum by force last night,” Zahi Hawass, chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said Saturday.

“Egyptian citizens tried to prevent them and were joined by the tourism police, but some (looters) managed to enter from above and they destroyed two of the mummies,” he said.

AJ also continues to update it’s live blog for the day. Here are three entries:

7:38pm Ayman Mohyeldin reports that eyewitnesses have said “party thugs” associated with the Egyptian regime’s Central Security Services – in plainclothes but bearing government-issued weapons – have been looting in Cairo. Ayman says the reports started off as isolated accounts but are now growing in number.

6:50pm As protesters continue to defy curfew, a bystander in Cairo tells Al Jazeera that there are no police left in the capital. Formerly omnipresent traffic police are nowhere to be found. Reports suggest that private property is being seized in locations throughout Egypt.

6:43pm Some of the rarest antiquities in the world are found damaged by looters at famed Cairo musuem.

There are marches on the street. People are dying and being hurt. At least 25 people have been killed in Cairo.  Suez reports 38 deaths.  Alexandria reports 36 killed.  Women are being threatened with sexual assault.   The Children’s Cancer Hospital has also been the target of looting.  Again, it appears that may of the looters are the party police in plain clothes.  AJ has been reporting that some were caught trying to loot richer areas and were found to be carrying ID cards from the State Security forces.   People are still ignoring the curfew.

Probably the most disturbing announcement is that Egypt’s Head Spy is now the VP of the country.  This is the man that has handled torture of US detainees.

In December, the Wall Street Journal’s Jerusalem correspondent pronounced Suleiman “the most likely successor … President Mubarak’s closest aide, charged with handling the country’s most sensitive issues.

“He also has close working relations with the U.S. and a lifetime of experience inside Egypt’s military and intelligence apparatus,” Charles Levinson wrote.

Likewise, the Voice of America said Friday, “Suleiman is seen by some analysts as a possible successor to the president.” “He earned international respect for his role as a mediator in Middle East affairs and for curbing Islamic extremism.”

An editorialist at Pakistan’s “International News” predicted Thursday that “Suleiman will probably scupper his boss’s plans [to install his son], even if the aspiring intelligence guru himself is as young as 75.”

Suleiman graduated from Egypt’s prestigious Military Academy but also received training in the Soviet Union. Under his guidance, Egyptian intelligence has worked hand-in-glove with the CIA’s counterterrorism programs, most notably in the 2003 rendition of an al-Qaeda suspect known as Abu Omar from Italy.

This thread will continue to update during the day.

Notable Tweets:

Category of  I know how they feel:

SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi

Zuwail “There has been a shrinking in the middle class in Egypt while an elite group has become excessively wealthy” cc Ahmed Ezz/Gamal

SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi

Zuwail “Education has been the issue in every household in Egypt. Science & research has reached the lowest levels, Egypt deserves better”


What you are seeing here is very interesting.  These are Egyptian Muslims praying.  Behind them are Egyptian Christians Guarding the neighborhood so they can pray safely.

You may remember that Wonk the Vote wrote a post with a similar theme in Egypt a few weeks ago when Egyptian Muslims surrounded Christian Churches who could celebrate Christmas with out fear of suicide bombers..

63 Comments on “Mohamed ElBaradei Speaks to the Egypt (live updates)”

  1. Woman Voter says:

    Egypt Revolution Protesters Demand Change #Jan25 (Mohamed ElBaradei @1;23 Ayup the tables are starting to turn, when Nobel Peace Prize men of courage begin to speak up for the Egyptian people!)

  2. Woman Voter says:

    “King Abdullah, that darn #Freedom of Expression” on Egypt’s Revolution and this” ElBaradei Mubarak must step down!

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    I just heard on CNN, 2 different people, one in Cairo and one young woman at the protest in the US. Both said that the military has said they are not going to protect the people. The people are on their own. Anarchy. In the residential areas of Cairo, the men are forming into groups…The men are grabbing golf clubs and other things to protect their women and children.

    • Woman Voter says:

      That is expected when they are promised things/money, the people suffer even more. That is why Egypt had a dictator for 31 years, because the top has been too greedy and are willing to stomp on people to keep all the wealth.

      Women were the first to be singled out for attacks and I am glad they are fighting back. Using Sexual Assault as a weapon should be prosecuted as a WAR CRIME.

  4. Sima says:

    I got an email today from This is a petition site. They have organized a petition to tell Mubarak to ‘Make Tweets Not War’.

    It’s a sweet sentiment, but it made me want to throw up my hands in exasperation. A petition to Mubarak? Hahahahahaha.

  5. Uppity Woman says:

    This is not going well. Whatever is Mubarak thinking? Despots lose their sense the longer they are in power, don’t they?

    The thing is, he is making the people ripe for the picking by The Brotherhood. Out of the frying pan into the fire. Meanwhile, Barack and the family went to a basketball game this morning while Hillary and the people with brains met over this issue. He will be “briefed” later though. I hope they catch him before his round of golf…

    • zaladonis says:

      I cannot begin to imagine getting to be President of the United States and choosing to play basketball rather than attend a meeting like that. I mean even aside from the responsibility, isn’t he even interested?! He really is so much like Bush.

      • Uppity Woman says:

        Let’s face it. He wasn’t needed. He’s an official figurehead. Just as soon as someone tells him what to say next, we will hear from him again.

    • Sima says:

      Maybe Mubarak is hoping the ‘first world’ is so alarmed by the idea of the brotherhood that it’ll step in and rescue his a&&. It’s probably worked before, but now it’s not so subtle and the first world governments can’t help without their people getting angry.

      • dakinikat says:

        That’s exactly the game here. It’s being played by Conservative Republicans and by Conservatives in Israel too. They don’t want real democracies to pop up that they have no control over.

      • Uppity Woman says:

        The Brotherhood made a statement that having an Islamic state in Egypt will be less of a threat than what is there now. Said the spider to the fly. They are hovering. They know exactly what buttons to push to take charge and before those people know it, they will be like the Iranians, shot dead for complaining, walking with two feet in one show and their women covered in trash bags. The exact opposite of what the protesters hope to achieve.

        • dakinikat says:

          and the Republican party would love to install a Christian state … it depends on how many other people will stand up to them. Egypt is a big diverse country with roots in all kinds of places; including places like Greece. Religious fundamentalists are a threat every where these days.

    • dakinikat says:

      The brotherhood has and will stay out of this. The protesters are clearly coming from middle class young people that are not going to be drawn to that. I think they’ll most likely form a unity government from the liberals and the centrists and a voice for the Muslim Brotherhood but no central role. This isn’t their party and they’re being very smart to stay out of it because they’re not giving other right wing governments who have propped up Mubarak because of the perceived threat from them an excuse to prop him up again. Egypt’s got too many cultural roots in a variety of places for them to have much more than a voice anyway. It’s not even technically an ‘arab’ state any more than Iran is so they know there’s limitations to how far they can go.

      • zaladonis says:

        According to Richard Engel, who says he spoke with them directly, the Brotherhood is showing up in areas where looting is happening and offering to provide protection from looters. That sounds like what I’ve read in the past about how they go about ingratiating and insinuating themselves, exploiting situations like this.

        • dakinikat says:

          I have no doubt they want a seat at the table in a unity government. My guess is they’ll also reserve one for the Coptic Christian groups too.

      • zaladonis says:

        Also have to point out that although this started with young middle class educated through online organizing, it’s grown beyond that now, and maybe way beyond. Among others, the Brotherhood has said they’re participating in the protests; they’re with the people where they can bond and gain power.

        I’m not saying they’re going to take over, I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I do think how the US handles this is going to be very important because the people don’t like us either, we’ve been in bed with Mubarak whereas the Brotherhood has been in opposition to Mubarak.

      • Woman Voter says:

        They just admitted on CNN that the Brotherhood has about less than 20 % and that is before the uprising and that the Egyptians are not too tolerate of the hate with the ultra religious rhetoric.

    • Woman Voter says:

      The young generation X an d generation Y have no interest in the ‘Brotherhood’ and they have acknowledged that it is not their movement. Most of the people they recruit are not the best informed. This group, has been very public about there being no room for religious bigotry and that is one reason you saw the first attack being against women. I would bet that the ultra religious and the police are working hand in hand.

      The youth of X & Y have seen what oppression awaits them with ultra religious rule in Iran and they want no part of it. Remember these regimes were the same ones that BUSH II was arm in arm with and if you saw the Taliban are fully functional in Afghanistan executing people in the most inhumane way…and there is supposed to be a US approved government there that VP Biden recently met with and to whom he committed our support to, for years to come. I sure as heck don’t support an Afghan government that allows the Taliban to operate their Sharia Law and abuse the citizens.

      Taliban stone lovers to death (Notice that they have a crowd of spectators.)

      The Egyptian people know what is going on in Afghanistan and don’t a puppet government to continue to abuse them or allow Taliban type clerics in their country.

      The Most AMAZING video on the internet #Egypt Revolution #jan25 (Please note @ 0:45 the gen X & Y and how they have an open view and are working hand in hand with Christians to bring about freedom and democracy to their country. In fact they don’t seem to care if their fellow Egyptians are atheists.)

  6. Texas Tigress says:

    Uppity , I posted almost the same thing at pumapac .. This , I’m affraid, does not bode well for the Egyptian people . Hope I’m wrong.

    • dakinikat says:

      You shouldn’t let your misunderstanding of Islam and the Muslim world blind you to what is going on here. This isn’t coming from fundamentalist Muslims any more than the US was born from the ideas of hard core christians who wanted a more christian nation. In a democracy, you can’t get rid of fundamentalists. The Republican party is ratinfested with fundamentalist christian and they’re just as bad for women and children and humanity as any one is. This is not being driven by any fundamentalist Islamic movment. This is clearly, the educated, midclass youth overthrowing a tyrant. Again, don’t let the propaganda against the Muslim world by conservative politicians color your entire view of the region. It’s a false view. Iran’s shia and Persian and is a completely different set up other than we propped up a rightist tin pot dictator to avoid communism. This has more to do with our old anti-communist fight than it does with islamist fundamentalists. The only people mentioning the muslim brotherhood are the extremists here in the US and the extremists in Israel.

      • Texas Tigress says:

        I agree with you that MB will take a backseat , and I know that ElBaradei , while he is a well known Globalist will be a rather moderate sympathizer .
        I just believe that he is usurping a movement of genuine middle class unrest for his own agenda . One that may not benefit the people of Egypt anymore than Mubarak .
        As far as my misunderstanding Islam … ?

        • dakinikat says:

          The only people repeating the ‘worried about the Muslim brotherhood’ comment are the samepeople that think every time something happens in the middle east it has to be motivated by the rightist canard that “all muslims are violent and want to take over the world install Islamic governments” … it’s not usually motivated by facts on the ground. Your comment sent my radar off big time. I thought the agreement might be coming from repetition of the canard. If it’s wrong, my apologies.

      • zaladonis says:

        I think assuming that fundamentalists can’t seize power is folly. It’s not like they take over because fundamentalists rise up. They take advantage of desperate or chaotic situations and insinuate themselves into power.

        This is clearly, the educated, midclass youth overthrowing a tyrant.

        While that sentence may be true, that’s a simplistic, and I’d even venture a bit of an idealized, description.

        Yes it’s the youth, and yes the young adults could be classified as middle class and educated, but they’re not doing this because Mubarak is a tyrant, they’re doing it out of desperation because their economy has been so rotten for so long. There are no jobs. They want jobs, they want decent places to live, food and clothing, they want prospects for a better future.

        Yes, their rage is focused at Mubarak, and rightly so, but it’s not like they have a leader ready to take his place. This is not an organized movement of educated middle class young adults who are ready to take over with a plan of reforms. It’s pent up rage that’s been funneled through Internet social networking into massive street protests. The reason it’s primarily young educated middle class adults is because it came out of Internet social networking, and the youth are the ones using that.

        There will be an open space for leadership if Mubarak steps away and assuming that space won’t be filled by fundamentalists is a big jump of faith. Fundamentalists can be as clever as anybody else and could very well take certain actions and come up with authentic sounding promises to gain support.

        • dakinikat says:

          That’s why every one is looking to what the military will do. To my knowledge, their military isn’t overrun by religious fundamentalists like ours is … the army is going to have to maintain the peace because it appears that the police have melted into the population. If the military takes orders from the unity government, then I doubt you’ll see much more than a seat at a big table. Now, that’s not saying some regions may not go bat shit crazy like some of our states that I could name.

      • zaladonis says:

        Absolutely – everybody’s waiting to see what the military will do.

      • Woman Voter says:

        amnesty AmnestyInternational
        by Lilemor1
        Torture and Abuse in #Egypt: The North Carolina Connection #Jan25


        Amnesty International has an article on their website and the new Spy VP isn’t a supporter of Democracy and Universal Human Rights.

        • dakinikat says:

          This isn’t surprising at all given he did most of our extraordinary renditions during our invasions of iraq and afghanistan.

        • dakinikat says:

          New protests erupt in Yemen
          Activists calling for the ouster of president clash with government supporters in Sanaa.

          Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s president, have clashed with government supporters in Sanaa, the country’s capital.

          Plainclothes police also attacked the demonstrators, who marched to the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa on Saturday chanting “Ali, leave leave” and “Tunisia left, Egypt after it and Yemen in the coming future”.

          The chants were referring to the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia early this month and to continuing demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt.

          No casualties have been reported in the Yemen clashes.

          Tawakel Karman, a female activist who has led several protests in Sanaa during the past week, said that a member of the security forces in civilian clothes tried to attack her with a dagger and a shoe but was stopped by other protesters.

          “We will continue until the fall of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime,” said Karman, who was granted parole on Monday after being held over her role in earlier protests calling for political change in Yemen.

          “We have the Southern Movement in the south, the (Shia) Huthi rebels in the north, and parliamentary opposition,” all of which are calling for political change, Karman said.

          Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, faces a growing al-Qaeda threat, a separatist movement in the south and a sporadic rebellion by Zaidi Shia rebels in the north.

          This is a country full of extremists and extreme poverty. This is one to watch with a jaundiced eye.

      • I just hope the will of the Egyptian people (and people everywhere) is expressed. If we say we’re for democracy, then we have to let the people decide who fills the void. And, it will be for them to work through what comes next if they don’t pick someone substantially better. IMHO. Something has to start somewhere.

  7. zaladonis says:

    Hillary will be on Meet the Press tomorrow.

  8. Texas Tigress says:

    I think all interests will fight tooth and nail to carve out their own power corner in a new Government . I am gay and live in the Deep South – Baptists scare me , not Muslims. 🙂

    • dakinikat says:

      ah, okay .. then I apologize … I have this vision of the future where I have to get a huge attic to hide a buncha folks because of all the craziness these days going on. I’m getting really jumpy when I hear a lot of people that call themselves democrats defending people that say hateful things just because they don’t want Obama … probably a tic I developed from having to moderate discussion threads elseblog.

      • Texas Tigress says:

        It’s cool , I have known your name for a loooong time , but we have never really communicated . NOP was fond of you so any one she liked would be ok with me . 🙂

      • dakinikat says:

        yeah, she’d trip over here from time to time and say something when this place was a file cabinet and no one was really present … miss her sense of humor!!!

    • dakinikat says:

      I’ve had muslim friends and colleagues since the late 1970s. I’m an a field where there are more Chinese, Indians and middle eastern people than WASPY americans. I’m a minority as a woman and as a US born American. I had friends completely disappear during the Iranian revolution and I suspected it was the Shah’s secret police operating here with full support of our government. I work closely with development issues in the Gulf Zone as well as ASEAN areas that have primarily Muslim populations. It’s the same as Christians here. Some of these Christians are worse than fundamentalist Muslims because they are educated, come from a developed country, and should know better but their ends are about the same. Set up a religion that benefits a few men to the exclusion of every one else and make us all sanctimonious in their image. Look what the family is reaping in Uganda right now. Terrible!!

    • Uppity Woman says:

      Really the only difference between USA Baptists and ME Islamic states is here, we have laws against killing women and homosexuals — and anybody else who doesn’t toe their line or speaks up against bizarro laws (That Pakistani governor who was killed for defending a woman charged with Blasphemy comes to mind). Otherwise, we would be dealt the same fate as hanged women in Iran and shot women in Afghanistan. There is little difference when it comes to religious zealotry, the only thing that keeps them in check are civilized laws against what they would really like to do.

      • dakinikat says:

        Uganda is adopting laws to kill GLBT because of Christianity and because of The Family which includes members in Congress.

        Don’t kid yourself. If we started having protests and the Christian fundamentalists win, we’d have a Hand Maiden’s Tale here. The only thing that holds them back now is that the most important founding fathers were deists at best and made fun of the entire religion. It’s why people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Michale Pence, and Paul Ryan are rewriting history and trying to reinterpret the Constitution. They’d impose the same damn thing if they could.

      • dakinikat says:

        They’re already working on redefining ‘rape’ so they can force women to die in childbirth.

      • Branjor says:

        Is Uganda killing LGBT or just gays, lesbians and those bisexuals who are in relationships with same sex partners?
        Transsexuals are regarded with sympathy in Iran, considered sick not sinful, as long as they only sexually relate to the sex other than the one they desire to be. Gays and lesbians in Iran can escape execution if they agree to transsexual surgery such that lesbians would become men and it would then be OK for them to sexually relate to women, and vice versa for gays.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Yup, some of the Christians that are spreading gay hate in African were recently spotted spreading that in South American… The Egypt protests to me, bring hope, hope that they will get democracy and hope that women will get rights.


        A couple of months ago I met a young Iranian man and he had seen what we were discussing and helping with when it was the Iranian people seeking Freedom and he acknowledged that they supported women’s equality and Human Rights. Then he told me a story about abuse and gosh I could have just kissed him, he and others like him are the future for hope and change in the Muslim world.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Juan Cole has written something in response to Mubarak’s appointment of the Chief Spook to VP of Egypt.

    Army mostly not intervening in either demonstrations or looting, decline of security. Police absent altogether. Neighborhood militias being thrown up to guard against thieves, burglars, rapists invading. Light looting of Egyptian museum halted by patriotic crowd joining hands, then army came in there. Some say Mubarak ordered police to stay home and give middle classes a taste of what life is like without the law and order he provides. Don’t know if it is true. If so, would indicate attempt to play on class anxieties and to cast the uprising as a mob of greedy slum dwellers.

  10. dakinikat says:

    I’m getting tweets from various Arab nations where students are setting up dates for protests via facebook. There’s one up now for Sudan.

    It might be really happening, #ArabRevolution , so far is #jan30 : Sudan #feb5 : Syria #feb12 : Algeria

  11. dakinikat says:

    You may want to follow the tweets of this journalist. She’s great!

    Dima Khatib أنا ديمة
    South / Sur / الجنوب / Sud
    Arab journalist and eternal rebel. Al Jazeera’s Latin America Correspondent. My tweets don’t reflect Al Jazeera’s views.

  12. dakinikat says:

    AJELive AJELive
    AJELive AJELive
    As reports of looting and burglary continue, the #Egyptian army deploys more personnel to the streets of #Cairo #egypt
    42 seconds ago
    Dima Khatib أنا ديمة
    Dima_Khatib Dima Khatib أنا ديمة
    Let me remind you that in #Syria emergency law, like Egypt & Algeria, ban all rallies. Today’s vigil is a rare event. #egypt #jan25

  13. dakinikat says:

    SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi
    Al Jazeera: Fire engulfs the Supreme Council of Journalism building in central Cairo & surrounding buildings with no firefighters around.

    Well, there goes the propaganda arm …

    • dakinikat says:

      I understand that the Cairo Museum is in the area and there are some concerns for it sense the national party hq is still sitting smoldering next door.

  14. dakinikat says:

    SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi
    Al Arabiya shows images of “thugs” captured by Egyptian gov

  15. paper doll says:

    So basically they have pulled the police and now Mubarak’s men are creating criminal havoc
    to create the need to implement a total crack down?

    • dakinikat says:

      yup, that’s the strategy. The people are forming neighborhood watch groups. Fires, however, are burning unattended. There is also some indication that the police let criminals out and that the looters are actually agents of the government party. Some have been captured by these neighborhood groups and they have ids from the State Police.

    • dakinikat says:

      janehamsher Jane Hamsher
      Reports of Mubarak’s NDP party thugs breaking into homes, hospitals & threatening neighborhoods are increasing.

  16. That update in red is so uplifting amidst all the chaos.

  17. Woman Voter says:

    StateDept StateDept
    by mydad4senate
    U.S. citizens can call 1-888-407-4747 to obtain updated information on #travel and security in #Egypt.

    SOS at work…

    • Woman Voter says:

      EANewsFeed EA WorldView
      #Egypt: Reports – Clashes in 6 Oct suburb of Cairo tween residents & “30 thugs in police cars”
      #Jan25 #sidibouzid

      Yup, the crime is being instigated by Mubarak endorsed thugs and trying to scare people into thinking that they are better off with a dictator. Imagine if you are 25 or 20, and you could very well be stuck with another dictator or his son for another 30 years.

  18. dakinikat says:

    I’ve opened up a new thread for this topic since this one is getting longish.!!!!

  19. Rocky says:

    I would really like to give thanks a lot for the job you have made in writing this piece of writing. I am hoping the same most effective job by you down the road too.