Political analyst apprehended at Cairo airport

Agents from the National Security Agency (NSA) briefly detained political analyst Amr el-Shobaki at Cairo International Airport on Saturday as he returned from Beirut.

Shobaki, an expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and occasional contributor to this publication, told Al-Masry Al-Youm he was stopped for a short time by security agents before they let him go free.

Shobaki said he was used to such procedures under the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak. But this time, he pointed out, security checks were even more exaggerated than other times he has traveled abroad since the January uprising.

The new security stance is a setback for the revolution and the old system seems to be back in place, Shobaki said. "It would not be a surprise if we wake up some day to find Mubarak in power again,” he added.

The NSA replaced the widely hated State Security Investigation Services (SSIS) in March after a decree by Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy.

Observers say changes to the security services have been nominal, arguing that the NSA still enjoys the powers of the former SSIS. They say that agency officers who had been involved in torturing citizens were left untouched by Essawy's Interior Ministry reshuffle in July.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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