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Egypt: Massive Protests That Set Groundwork for Military Coup Were Orchestrated By Egypt's Military — Says Key Protest Leader Who Claims Protests Were Manipulated From Beginning

Military Helicopters Fly Over Tahrir Square With Egyptian Flags
Military Helicopters Fly Over Tahrir Square With Egyptian Flags: The military
used displays like this to demonstrate support for the protesters who demanded ouster
of Egypt's president Morsi just before the military coup. (Screen capture from YouTube
video)

For the first time, one of the five founders of the Tamarod, the movement that led the protests that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood last year, admits his movement was taking orders from the army. “We were naive, we were not responsible.”


By and
On the night of July 3, 2013, Moheb Doss stood looking at his television set in disbelief as a statement was read in his name on national television.

The words coming out of the presenter’s mouth bore no resemblance to the carefully drafted statement that Doss, one of the five co-founders of the Tamarod, or Rebel, movement had helped draft hours earlier. It was a statement to mark the moment of Tamarod’s victory, as the protests the group launched on June 30 led to the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government just five days later. It was a statement, Doss said, that the group hoped would have a stabilizing effect on the Egyptian public, as it called for a peaceful transition toward a democratic path.

Instead, the presenter quoted Tamarod as calling for the army to step in and protect the people from “brute aggression” by terrorists during potentially turbulent days. The statement supported the army’s forcible removal and arrest of Brotherhood leader and then-President Mohamed Morsi, and dismissed charges that what was happening was a coup.

“What we drafted was a revolutionary statement. It was about peace, and going forward on a democratic path,” Doss told BuzzFeed. “What was read was a statement that could have been written by the army.”

For five days, millions of Egyptians had taken to the streets and demanded an end to the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their numbers surpassed even the wildest expectations of Tamarod, a then-largely unknown group that organized the protests. The five founders became instant celebrities, and on the night of July 3, the moment it appeared their victory was imminent, all of Egypt’s television stations had turned to them for a statement on what would happen next.

“What state TV read was as if it had been written by the army, it threatened the Brotherhood, told them they would use force if necessary,” Doss said. “I was shocked. I understood then that the movement had completely gotten away from us.”

It was, he realized later, the end of a process that began weeks earlier, in which the army and security officials slowly but steadily began exerting an influence over Tamarod, seizing upon the group’s reputation as a grassroots revolutionary movement to carry out their own schemes for Egypt.

“What they did, they did in our names because we let them,” said Doss, who admits he turned a blind eye for too long to what was happening behind the scenes at Tamarod. “The leaders of Tamarod let themselves be directed by others. They took orders from others.”

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