Egypt: Abbas Kamel is more than a spy chief, he’s central to al-Sisi’s inner circle

By Abir Sorour

Posted on Thursday, 15 July 2021 13:08, updated on Thursday, 9 December 2021 17:34
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi shakes hands after the swearing in of Major General Abbas Kamel, newly appointed chief of the country's General Intelligence Service on Thursday at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 28, 2018. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

Supporting the decisions of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a network of close advisors and loyal persons; in particular is spy chief and head of the ‘hawks of Egypt’: General Abbas Kamel.

On 28 May 2019, the security owned television channel ON TV interrupted its broadcast to livestream the extradition of one of Egypt’s most wanted Islamist militants and former Special Forces officer Hisham Ashmawi.

Ashmawi – who was expelled in 2007  from the military due to his religious opinions – was surrounded by masked Egyptian soldiers with the label GIS (the acronym for Egypt’s General Intelligence Services) strapped to their chests, as he descended from a military plane in Cairo.