General Intelligence Service (GIS)
جهاز المخابرات العامة
شعار المخابرات العامة المصرية.JPG
Seal of the General Intelligence Service
Agency overview
Formed1954; 69 years ago (1954)
JurisdictionGovernment of Egypt
HeadquartersCairo, Egypt
Agency executives
Parent agencyPresidency of Egypt

The General Intelligence Service (Arabic: جهاز المخابرات العامة Gihaz El Mukhabarat El ‘Amma; GIS), often referred to as the Mukhabarat (Arabic: المخابرات El Mukhabarat) is an Egyptian intelligence agency responsible for providing national security intelligence, both domestically and internationally.[4] The GIS is part of the Egyptian intelligence community, together with the Office of Military Intelligence Services and Reconnaissance (Arabic: إدارة المخابرات الحربية والاستطلاع Idarat El Mukhabarat El Ḥarbiya Wel Istitlaʾ) and National Security Agency (Arabic: قطاع الأمن الوطني Ketaʿ El Amn El Watani).[4] The Egyptian Intelligence service is considered to be the 5th most active intelligence service globally.[by whom?Discuss]


The decision to set up an Egyptian intelligence service was taken following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, when Egypt was under increased threat from foreign adversaries, such as the United Kingdom, and the State of Israel. The General Intelligence Directorate was formally established by then Prime Minister, and future President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, in 1954, and placed under the command of Zakaria Mohieddin. The agency's importance rose when Nasser assigned its command to Salah Nasr, who held the post of director of the GID from 1957 to 1967 and thoroughly reorganized the agency. Under Nasr's supervision, the GID relocated to its own building and established separate divisions for Radio, Computer, Forgery and Black Operations. To cover the agency's expenses, Nasr set up Al Nasr Company, ostensibly an import-export firm, as a front organization. He played a very important role helping Algeria, Southern Yemen and many Arab and African states gain independence. Although the Egyptian foreign ministry was officially responsible for foreign affairs, GID initiated and aided many Arab and African movements for independence as a part of Gamal Abdel Nasser's anti-imperialist policies. Nasr established good relations with other intelligence agencies across the globe, which helped providing Egypt with wheat and establishing industries such as (Al Nasr Company for Motor Cars). One of his constructions is the Gezeera Tower in Cairo.

For several years the name of GID director was a secret only known to high officials and government newspapers chief editors. However, Major-General Omar Suleiman, who was the head of the GID from 1993 to January 2011, was the first one to break this taboo. His name was published before he himself became a known face in media after being envoyed by former Egyptian president Mubarak to Israel, USA and Gaza on several occasions.

On 31 January 2011, Major-General Murad Muwafi was declared the director of GID, after Omar Suleiman was appointed as a Vice President of Egypt and then resigned after former president Mubarak had to step down during the Egyptian revolution. He was replaced by Mohamed Raafat Shehata in August 2012 by Egypt's first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi.[5]

In July 2013, as result of 2012–13 Egyptian protests, Mohamed Raafat Shehata was sacked by interim president Adly Mansour and was replaced by General Mohamed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami.[5][6]


In spite of the rule that says "success in the intelligence world is a buried secret while failure is a worldwide scandal," the GID did achieve many successes a few of which were released and dramatized in Egyptian TV and cinema.

Director of the General Intelligence

Director of the General Intelligence
Abbas Kamel
since 28 June 2018[11]
AppointerAbdel Fattah el-Sisi
President of Egypt
Inaugural holderZakaria Mohieddin

The Director of the General Intelligence serves as the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, which is part of the Egyptian Intelligence Community. The Director reports to the President. The Director is a civilian or a general or flag officer of the armed forces appointed by the President.

As of October 2019, the current director is Major General Abbas Kamel, while Nasser Fahmi[2] and Sisi's son, Mahmoud el-Sisi,[3] are deputy directors.

According to Mohamed Ali, the building contractor whose online videos criticising president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sparked off the September 2019 Egyptian protests, Kamel's "main qualification ... was his close relationship with Sisi". Sisi's son Mahmoud el-Sisi, officially one of the deputy directors,[3] was seen by Ali as the de facto real head of the GIS.[12]

List of directors

See also


  1. ^ "Egypt appoints presidential aide as intelligence chief - Xinhua |". Archived from the original on June 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Egyptian president appoints new intelligence chief".
  3. ^ a b c d "Egypt activist Wael Ghonim's brother ordered to remain in custody". Al Jazeera English. 2019-09-22. Archived from the original on 2019-10-19. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  4. ^ a b Sullivan and Jones (2008): 33
  5. ^ a b Roi Kais (7 May 2013). "Egypt's parliament dissolved, new intelligence minister appointed". Ynetnews. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  6. ^ Gianluca Mezzofiore (5 July 2013). "Egypt Morsi Coup: Interim President Adli Mansour Dissolves Upper House". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  7. ^ The Spies: Israel's Counter-Espionage Wars, Yossi Melman, Eitan Haber
  8. ^ Yossi Melman (28 May 2004). אלמנת מרגל מצרי שפעל גם בישראל טוענת: בעלי הוא זה שחשף את אלי כהן [Widow of an Egyptian spy who worked also in Israel: My husband is the one who exposed the Eli Cohen]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Trial of alleged Egyptian spy in Merkel's press office starts". DW. 23 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Elhamy Aly Elsebaey". CNN. 23 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Egypt's Sisi swears in former top aide as intelligence chief". Reuters. June 28, 2018 – via
  12. ^ Ayesh, Mohammad (2019-10-16). "Mohamed Ali: Sisi and family toured new palace as Cairo burned". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 2019-10-19. Retrieved 2019-10-20.

Further reading