Wednesday’s papers: State Security eliminated, Israeli spy-ring uncovered

Dominating the main headlines of both state-owned and independent newspapers on Wednesday is news of the elimination of Egypt's State Security apparatus.

Mansour al-Asawi, minister of the interior, announced the dissolution of the State Security agency and its afflicted departments and offices throughout Egypt’s governorates. The hated State Security will be replaced by a new body named the “National Unity Force.”

The authorities of the new body will be limited to protecting internal security and combating terrorism in line with the Constitution, law and human rights principals.

The dissolution of the State Security agency, one of the main demands of the revolution, is considered a new victory for Egyptians who had long suffered from its brutality and oppression.

Last week, protesters stormed the State Security headquarters in different governorates and seized thousands of important documents and papers.

Al-Wafd’s front page sheds light on the first case of uncovering an Israeli spy network in Egypt since the 25 January uprising.

The opposition newspaper says that Egyptian security forces have arrested an Egyptian and two Israelis on suspicion of belonging to Israel’s Mossad Intelligence Agency.

The public prosecution is currently conducting extensive investigations, which show that the Israeli-spy ring is accused of harming Egypt’s public interest and its national economy.

The report says the prosecutor refused to reveal more details about the case to the paper until the investigation finishes.

On the same front, Al-Wafd writes that the Illicit Gains Authority has announced that former President Hosni Mubarak has been banned from accessing his Bibliotheca Alexandria bank account at the National Bank of Heliopolis branch.

It is reported that the decision will be referred to a criminal court to be decided upon within the next week. According to the report, the director of Alexandria Bibliotheca, Ismail Serag Eddin, has denied allegations that he knew about Mubarak’s US$145 million account.

On another front, Al-Shorouk continues to reveal corruption cases implicating the old regime’s officials.

The papers reports that investigations have shown that four former prominent members of the National Democratic Party, including Safwat al-Sherif, Zakria Azmi, Fathi Sorour and Ahmed Ezz were involved in organizing a brutal attack on protesters on 2 February.

The four former officials hired thugs to protest as pro-Mubarak demonstrators and storm Tahrir Square on horses and camels, with the goal of evacuating it by force, using whips and swords.

Both Abdel Nasr al-Gabri, a member of the People’s Assembly, and Youssef Khattab, a member of the Shura Council, were arrested on charges of participating in planning the same attack.

“A new regime means a new constitution,” Al-Dostour quotes Mohamed ElBaradei as saying on its front-page headline.

On his Twitter account, the former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and potential presidential candidate wrote: “Keeping Mubarak’s Constitution is an insult to the revolution.”

Another tweet for ElBaradei on Tuesday: “The cancellation of the referendum on constitution amendments is the only way to move Egypt to democratic regime.”

ElBaradei is also calling for the ouster of the heads of governmental media institutions who have regained their credibility among Egyptians. The paper reports that ElBaradei emphasized the necessity of arresting the remains of the old regime as they pose a threat to the revolution.

Last month, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ordered the formation of a committee comprised of legal experts to introduce amendments to a number of constitutional articles. Next Saturday is scheduled for holding a nationwide referendum on these amendments.

Egypt's papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhorriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run, close to the National Democratic Party's Policies Secretariat

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party

Youm7: Weekly, privately owned

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

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