John Afrique: Al-Sisi’s son is the conductor of the repression orchestra in Egypt

John Afrique French magazine described Brigadier General Mahmoud al-Sisi, son of Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as the repression orchestra leader in Egypt who is considered the black power of his father. The magazine began its report by underscoring the extreme difficulties in finding someone in Egypt willing to talk about him. John Afrique said, “This is what we were warned of when trying to search for Mahmoud al-Sisi, the eldest son of the great head in Egypt, as all the gates of Cairo seemed to close in fear.”

The report added that the promise not to reveal his identity is no longer a sufficient guarantee to mention anything about this 38-year-old man, whose photos can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and he is one of the most powerful heads of the security services in the military dictatorship. It continued: In a classic tradition of tyrannical regimes in the Near East, and on the footsteps of General Hosni Mubarak, his predecessor who was overthrown in 2011, al-Sisi relies on his blood to ensure his security and authority.

Al-Sisi promoted his military son (like him) and made him the second man in the intelligence apparatus associated with the republic’s presidency, to be brigadier (in secret) before reaching the legal age. The magazine described al-Sisi’s eldest son as his father’s black power, the real builder of his repressive policy, the leader of the repression orchestra, and Gamal al-Jadid, the former powerful heir to Hosni Mubarak. The magazine said that the unofficial photo drawn by the Cairo 24 website, a site controlled by the General Intelligence Service, of Mahmoud al-Sisi, does not cease to confirm the idea that the son owes his promotion only to his own benefit and not to parental influence.

The magazine pointed out that Mahmoud appeared, in this attractive image, as the worthy son of his father, taking the father as a role model to the point of following him in his career as a soldier and a skilled spy in the service of Egypt alone. The magazine said, “If he is not planning to make Mahmoud his successor, will Field Marshal Sisi use his sons as his Libyan neighbour and ally, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who has placed five of his men in key positions in his regime, to protect himself from internal strikes more than his succession?”

It added that it is difficult not to compare these family promotions with the many purges that have followed each other at the head of the army and intelligence services since al-Sisi seized power in July 2013. It indicated that between 2014 and 2017, al-Sisi expelled 47 high-ranking members of the General Intelligence Service from the agency, after internal leaks, and finally replaced in 2018 its director Khaled Fawzi, Major General Abbas Kamel, one of the most loyal men. In January 2018, the New York Times warned that al-Sisi’s son Mahmoud, who works for the General Intelligence Service, should retain an important role. On at least one occasion, he accompanied Khaled Fawzy (head of Egyptian intelligence) to Washington to meet with the Obama administration.

According to the newspaper, the name of al-Sisi’s son appeared in international circles in July 2016, based on Italian leaks linking him to the assassination of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni. The newspaper wrote: “It is difficult to believe that al-Sisi’s son was not aware of Regeni’s movements, even before his disappearance.”