General Intelligence Directorate (Egypt)

General Intelligence Directorate (GID)
جهاز المخابرات العامة

Official emblem in the front of the headquarters in Cairo.
Agency overview
Formed 1954 (1954)
Jurisdiction Government of Egypt
Headquarters Cairo, Egypt
Agency executive
Parent agency Presidency of Egypt

The General Intelligence Directorate (Arabic: جهاز المخابرات العامة Gihaz El Mukhabarat El ‘Amma), often referred to as the Mukhabarat (Egyptian Arabic: المخابرات El Mukhabarat) is an Egyptian intelligence agency responsible for providing national security intelligence, both domestically and transnationally, with a counter-terrorism focus.[2] The GID is part of the Egyptian intelligence community, together with the Office of Military Intelligence Services and Reconnaissance (Egyptian Arabic: إدارة المخابرات الحربية والاستطلاع Idarat El Mukhabarat El Ḥarbiya Wel Istitlaʾ) and Homeland Security (Egyptian Arabic: قطاع الأمن الوطني Ketaʿ El Amn El Watani).[2]

In July 2013, General Mohammed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami was appointed head of the Egyptian intelligence apparatus, instead of Mohamed Raafat Shehata, who was appointed by Mohamed Morsi in August 2012.[3][4]


The decision to set up an Egyptian intelligence service was taken by 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 later replaced by Mohamed Raafat Shehata.

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.

Notable achievements

In spite of the rule that says "success in the intelligence world is a buried secret while failure is a world wide 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
Khaled Fawzy

since 20 December 2014
Appointer Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Inaugural holder Zakaria Mohieddin
Formation 1954

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.

List of directors

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate.


  1. Sarah El Deeb (21 December 2014). "Egypt's powerful intelligence chief replaced". AP. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  2. 1 2 Sullivan and Jones (2008): 33
  3. Roi Kais (7 May 2013). "Egypt's parliament dissolved, new intelligence minister appointed". Ynetnews. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  4. Gianluca Mezzofiore (5 July 2013). "Egypt Morsi Coup: Interim President Adli Mansour Dissolves Upper House". Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  5. The Spies: Israel's Counter-Espionage Wars, Yossi Melman, Eitan Haber
  6. 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.

Further reading

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