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America arrests an agent of Egypt who tracks opponents of Sisi

Yesterday, Thursday, US authorities arrested an Egyptian who also holds US citizenship, and was charged with “acting as an unregistered agent” for the Egyptian government, including tracking opponents of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in America.

And the US Department of Justice indicated – in a statement – that the accused agent is named Pierre Gerges (39 years), who holds both Egyptian and American citizenships and lives in Manhattan, and that he agreed to target critics of the Egyptian government in the United States.

The indictment states that Pierre Gerges acted at the “direction and control” of several Egyptian government employees to advance its interests in the United States.

In addition to monitoring Sisi’s opponents, prosecutors said, Gerges has used his relationships with local law enforcement to obtain information that is not released to the public, arranged benefits for Egyptian officials visiting Manhattan, and coordinated meetings between US and Egyptian law enforcement.

“Among the activities of the Egyptian citizen is an attempt in March 2019 to assist visiting Egyptian officials in attending police training in Manhattan intended solely for law enforcement personnel,” prosecutors said.

According to a statement by the US Department of Justice and according to the indictment, “encrypted messages between Gerges and Egyptian officials showed that he was in contact with more than one government agency in Cairo about collecting information between 2014 and 2019”.

The statement added that Gerges “in 2017, sent information about an anti-Sisi activist and other individuals that he obtained from the Egyptian government to US law enforcement officers.”

The Egyptian authorities have not issued any statements regarding the arrest of Gerges, who is accused by US prosecutors of “acting as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the US Attorney,” a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Gerges also faces a related “conspiracy charge” of up to Her sentence is 5 years imprisonment.

Commenting on the case of Agent Gerges, US Attorney in Manhattan Damian Williams said – in a statement – that his department “will continue to strictly enforce foreign client registration laws, which remain critical to ensuring that our government is not secretly influenced by foreign governments.”

In the statement, Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen said the department will not allow agents of foreign governments to operate in the United States to pursue and gather information about critics of those governments.

It is noteworthy that the US Department of Justice has clamped down in recent years on unregistered foreign agents, after decades of ineffectiveness in a law dating back to 1938, known as the “Foreign Agents Registration Act.”



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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