Sayyed Qutb was tortured in the dreaded chambers of the Egyptian secret police. Ayman Zawahiri was tortured in those chambers. Both were radicalized by the experience. Both came to believe that their government had been so infected with the decadence of Western society that there was no other remedy than for it to be overthrown. Indeed, all who did not join in the project were themselves so infected that they could be destroyed with it. The torture chambers of the Egyptian secret police, the Mukhabarat, epitomized the evil that had crept into their society.
Now we get a report on what is still going on in the torture rooms of the Mukhabarat, by reporters of the New York Times.
NYTimes February 4, 2011
2 Detained Reporters Saw Secret Police’s Methods Firsthand
By SOUAD MEKHENNET and NICHOLAS KULISH
WE had been detained by Egyptian authorities, handed over to the country’s dreaded Mukhabarat, the secret police, and interrogated. They left us all night in a cold room, on hard orange plastic stools, under fluorescent lights.
But our discomfort paled in comparison to the dull whacks and the screams of pain by Egyptian people that broke the stillness of the night. In one instance, between the cries of suffering, an officer said in Arabic, “You are talking to journalists? You are talking badly about your country?”
A voice, also in Arabic, answered: “You are committing a sin. You are committing a sin.”
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For one day, we were trapped in the brutal maze where Egyptians are lost for months or even years.
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Many journalists shared this experience, and many were kept in worse conditions — some suffering from injuries as well.
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We saw more than 20 people, Westerners and Egyptians, blindfolded and handcuffed. The room had been empty when we arrived the evening before.
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The Mukhabarat has had a working relationship with American intelligence, including the C.I.A.’s so-called rendition program of prison transfers. During our questioning, a man nearby was being beaten — the sickening sound somewhere between a thud and a thwack. Between his screams someone yelled in Arabic, “You’re a traitor working with foreigners.”
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