Doaa Khalifa and Ahmed Shaaban: Conflict escalates between al-Sisi’s loyalists

A dispute has broken out between Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Shaaban, the powerful military intelligence officer of the reigning Egyptian regime, and Doaa Khalifa, who has held several positions within the regime. The dispute revealed the extent of Shaaban’s current influence despite his keeping a low profile. A series of reciprocal attacks took place between Khalifa and Shaaban’s media and political aide that uncovered the size of the military intelligence lieutenant colonel’s influence to the point where he was dubbed the “CEO of Egypt.”

The story began with a blow by Doaa Khalifa, who is one of the founders of the Tamarod Movement, the general coordinator of al-Sisi’s election campaign in the Dakahlia Governorate, and one of the former influential people. She wrote on her Facebook page a post complaining that the Egyptian Channel One described her as a woman of ill repute. She accused Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Shaaban of being behind this and described him as the officer of information, politics, and youth.

Khalifa said that Shaaban used to consult her at every twist and turn, ask her to mediate reconciliation with the media professionals, and had asked her previously to assume the position of a deputy governor or secretary of the Nation’s Future Party in the Dakahlia Governorate, but she refused. She said that she complained to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about him and that she is waiting to be framed and imprisoned.

After that post, the Egyptian media launched an intense attack against her, and the regime’s media and political arms scrambled to insult and curse her. Youm 7 Newspaper, the media spearhead of the regime, published a number of articles and topics attacking her. The Editor-in-Chief Khaled Salah described Doaa as a cheap and redundant model of political blackmail and said that she is trying to create a state of political injustice to compensate for her failure in securing any official position or seat at any representative council for free, without possessing any real qualifications.

Mohamed el-Baz, the chairman of the board and editor-in-chief of al-Dostor Newspaper where Doaa publishes her periodic articles, wrote a piece attacking her and saying that he can testify to the opportunities presented to her and that she failed in all of them. He said that she always wants more, even if she has no right nor is entitled to it and that she has become like a psychological illness that must be gotten rid of.

Youm 7 also published an article by Sherihan el-Monaiery, in which she said that Doaa Khalifa is receiving support from the Muslim Brotherhood and that she is following the Qatari approach, hinting that she is affiliated to Qatar.

Likewise, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, one of the founders of the Tamarod Movement, a member of the coordinating committee of the parties youth, and one of the 30 June figures, attacked Doaa and accused her of having suspicious connections and relationships, that she is connected to Ayman Noor, and that she wanted to appear on the Muslim Brotherhood’s channels to advance her interests because she wanted to secure a seat at the parliament or any other position to which she had no right.

The bizarre and funny thing about such accusations is that Doaa Khalifa was one of the figures and forces of al-Sisi’s reigning regime. Besides her work as the general coordinator of al-Sisi’s presidential campaign, she was a member of the committee for women in debt formed by the Ministry of Interior and a member of the amnesty commission affiliated to the president among other positions directly associated with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Tamarod Movement, in its turn, also attacked Doaa as the movement issued a statement that she had been dismissed from the movement, that she deceived some businessmen about the extent of her influence in an attempt to take advantage of them, and that she makes a profession of political blackmail, hypocrisy, and utilitarianism.

The Coordinating Committee of the Parties Youth, a political entity formed by the General Intelligence, also attacked Doaa stating that her application for membership in the committee was refused for a number of reasons; her age being one of them, and that the committee’s success is the reason it is being attacked by Doaa and others. Ahmed Sabry, a member of the committee, explained that they managed to score six deputy governor seats and five seats in the Senate Council.

Doaa said that the Coordinating Committee formed by Ahmed Shaaban is destroying political life in Egypt in a manner similar to what Shaaban did to the media. She also revealed the influence of the Coordinating Committee and its members over the political life in Egypt supported by Ahmed Shaaban, the regime’s powerful man and its puppet master behind the scenes, and published some long conversations between her and him via the video that uncovered a portion of what is happening within the Egyptian media.

This crisis exposed the extent of Ahmed Shaaban’s current influence after a period of keeping a low profile following him being sent away from Egypt as Cairo’s military attaché in Greece, leaving behind the media and youth department, for which he was responsible inside the General Intelligence Service.

It was recently revealed that Shaaban, who used to work as the Chief of Staff of Abbas Kamel, the Head of the General Intelligence Service, has now become the first assistant of Mohsen Abdel Nabi, the Chief of Staff of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and that Shaaban is the one responsible for and supervising the most important issues in Egypt, namely media and politics. The strength of his influence has led to him being dubbed the “CEO of Egypt,” and Mahmoud al-Sisi’s, the President’s son, man.