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Egypt blames U.S. for fomenting uprising

Mohamed ElBaradei

TEL AVIV – The Egyptian government suspects elements of the current uprising there, particularly political aspects, are being coordinated with the U.S. State Department, WND has learned.

A senior Egyptian diplomat told WND today the regime of President Hosni Mubarak suspects the U.S. has been aiding protest planning by Mohamed ElBaradei, who is seen as one of the main opposition leaders in Cairo.

ElBaradei, former International Atomic Energy Agency chief, has reinvented himself as a campaigner for “reform” in Egypt. He is a candidate for this year’s scheduled presidential elections.

ElBaradei arrived in Cairo just after last week’s protests began and is reportedly being confined to his home by Egyptian security forces.

He is seen as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force in Egypt.

The Brotherhood seeks to spread Islam around the world, in large part using nonviolent means. Hamas and al-Qaida are violent Brotherhood offshoots.

Last week, ElBaradei gave an interview to Der Spiegel defending the Brotherhood.

“We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. … [They] have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them,” he said.

The Egyptian suspicion of U.S. involvement in the unrest in Egypt is not the first report of the Obama administration’s alleged interference there.

Yesterday, the London Telegraph reported the U.S. Embassy in Cairo in 2008 helped a young dissident attend a U.S.-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.

The Telegraph would not identify the dissident, but said he was involved in helping to stir the current protests. The report claimed the dissident told the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that an alliance of opposition groups had a plan to topple Mubarak’s government.

The disclosures, contained in U.S. diplomatic dispatches released by the WikiLeaks website, show American officials pressed the Egyptian government to release other dissidents who had been detained by the police.

Yesterday, Mubarak asked his cabinet to resign in a clear move intended to appease the continued demonstrations.

Today, for the first time in his presidency, Mubarak named a vice president. Mubarak named Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s intelligence chief, who has lead major foreign policy issues in Egypt and is close to the Egyptian president.

It was not immediately clear what powers the new vice president would have.

Also today, army battalions reportedly deployed on the streets of major Egyptian cities, with reports of up to 95 protesters in Egypt killed so far in clashes with security forces.

Unlike the police, the military is highly regarded by the Egyptian masses.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, and his two sons, fled to London.

Egypt’s state television, however, issued an official denial of the story, and according to other reports, Mubarak’s family is still in Cairo.

Earlier this week, WND quoted two Egyptian diplomatic sources stating Gamal Mubarak, the 47-year-old son of Hosni, left Egypt for London.

One source said Gamal transferred large sums of money to London in recent days.