Sunday, October 19, 2014

When a former Egyptian Police officer joins IS

It all started when I logged in to twitter this afternoon, I saw this tweet retweeted by journalist Evan Hill.

Former Egyptian Parliament candidae and security officer Ahmed El-Darawi died in a suicide attack in Iraq according to a news story published on Pro-IS Dawa Al-Haq website which by its turn quoted alleged Iraqi journalist Hussein Al-Madidi who wrote his name wrong at first as "Hamed"

Al-Madidi said the following : Hamed El-Darawi was an Egyptian security officer and a parliamentary candidate then he repented and came to the caliphate where he did a suicidal operation.

Now aside from the interesting fact that we are speaking about a former Egyptian security officer who joined IS , I remember something: Ahmed El-Darawi was dead from several months ago according to his family and could not be responsible for a suicidal operation in Iraq this week or anytime earlier.

I asked my fellow Egyptian tweeps and they confirmed to me what I have already known , El-Darawi died abroad suffering from cancer. Anyhow they gave me the handle of his brother Haitham El-Darawi.

Haitham revealed a new truth many ignored that Ahmed indeed died during an Operation for the State aka IS. I am quoting his exact words in his reply to my direct question on twitter.
Well it turned out the majority ignored this but his friends in Maadi and some Pro-Morsi supporters on twitter knew that.
According to him his family did not know that Ahmed El-Darawi was going to join IS but they only knew that he was in Turkey and that he was extremely sick.
Accordingly Ahmed did not inform his family with his plan and so they got the news that he died in some hospital's operation room not rather in a suicidal operation. Days after the intial news came from the North , the family knew that their son died in some sort of suicidal operation.

Here is another before and after photo , this time for El-Darawi.

Ahmed El-Darawi is a former police officer who was said to be working in one of the State security branches. He left his job as a police officer before the revolution and joined "Etilisalat telecommuincation company" , the mobile phone operator in its PR department. Interestingly many big and multi-national companies prefer to hire ex-police officers in such departments for their connections. He was responisble for Football clubs' sponsorship and that's why he knew many journalists.

After the January 2011 revolution his name became familiar among the new January revolutionaries as a former police officer who supports the revolution and called for reform in police and ministry of interior. He gained huge fame when he ran in the parliamentary elections an independent candidate "I read he was supported by Salafist Nour Party" against none other than Pro-Mubarak Pro-Military/Police state Mostafa Bakry in Helwan district. Here is his Facebook's elections page.

Standing against that old regime man, El-Darawi gained huge from public revolutionary figures online and offline. He did not win but he became well known. He began to be hosted in TV shows to speak about police reforms and so on.

Leaning to Islamism interestingly , the former police officer did not hide his support to Mohamed Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood after his election as a president. I do not know when the complete transformation happened to him as I stop following him on twitter in 2013 but his twitter account showed an interest in Islamist Jihadists in Syria.

In Mid June 2013 Sports Websites journalist Sherif Hassan was on the board of an Egypt Air plane to Turkey when he found the man in the seat behind him was late El-Darawi. Hassan knew him from his work in Etilisalat PR football sponsorship's work. Both men talked about Egypt and politics according to Hassan. Morsi was not ousted yet but it seemed that El-Darawi had lost hope in any change in Egypt. That was that last time he would be seen by Sherif who remembers that the former officer told him that he would stay in Turkey for a month.

Some say that El-Darawi was actually killed in Syria last May and some connect this with the fact IS wasnot still controlling vast areas of Iraq then.

It is worth to mention that police and army officers gone in the wrong direction is not something strange or abnormal because history slaps our faces repeatedly and reminds us that those who assassinateي President Sadat were army officers in the first place who got radicalized. Already according to Al-Arabiya ,one of IS' main Muftis is an Egyptian former police officer .

If we are going to question about the beliefs of the law enforcement men in Egypt , I would like to hint out that from couple of months ago a group of policemen in Upper Egypt attacked a Christian village and gathered its men in the village's space while calling them infidels. The roots of radicalism are there I am afraid.

Nevertheless the case of Al-Darawi is more than just an ex-officer who joins a radical religious group that makes Al-Qaeda and Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiya look like country clubs . We are speaking about a person who had hopes of change in his country and actually had a very interesting experience with the democratic process , the same process IS is totally against.

And yes the story of Islam Yakan,the young man from Maadi who elected leftist Khaled Ali and then joined IS becoming their ultimate twitter star in the Arab world is in front of my eyes. I know that our experience isnot the best after February 2011 in fact I would dare and say that after all what happened , it was an attempt that was meant to fail.

IS is now using what happens in Egypt after July 2013 was a proof that democracy does not work in the Muslim World which is untrue. For the thousand time , the military and security solutions are not enough to conquer radicalism.

Already they are saying in their websites that El-Dawari , a former police officer and former Parliamentary candidate "'repented" and joined them in some sort of recruiting message.

Radical thought is fought by counter thought and that thought is usually enforced by politics and freedoms.Guns and boots are not enough.

By the way the anti-25 January Pro-Sisi supporters are using El-Darawy's story to attack the Egyptian January revolution and its icons because after his death in May and when many revolutonaries including Alaa Abdel Fattah mourned him as a moderate Islamist voice.


  1. Darawi join IS because he feels that there is no hope to make his country better even by democracy way. I am Asking Now, how many of our youths have the same feeling?

    ربيع عبدالغفار. صحفي

  2. Interesting report, Z. Thank you.

    It's probably a good thing for Islamic radicalism to take the form of a full-fledged state, rather than an underground movement of cells distributed around the world, because it makes it easier to kick their ass.

  3. He did not have a very high rank, he had to retire at the rank of Major (Raaed) of State Security at a much early age because of his extremism.


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