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France files a complaint after leaking intelligence documents revealing its cooperation with Egypt 1

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France files a complaint after leaking intelligence documents revealing its cooperation with Egypt 1

The French Ministry of Defense filed a complaint about a “violation of national defense secrecy” after leaking documents about France providing intelligence information to Egypt as part of an anti-terror operation used by Cairo to target smugglers at the border with Libya, AFP reported on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

This comes against the background of the “Disclose” website revealing that the French intelligence mission “Cirly”, which began in February 2016, was derailed by the Egyptian state, which used the information to launch air strikes against smugglers and not to combat jihadists, as the mission states.

‘Extremely serious’ violation of the law

“The Defense Ministry has taken legal measures after this massive leak of classified documents,” Defense Ministry spokesman Herve Granjan said during a press conference, without specifying the target of the complaint.

He continued, “There has been a leak of documents covered by the National Defense Secrecy. This leak is a violation of the law… very dangerous, because what can be revealed may reveal things about the methods of the army’s work, and could endanger the security of the persons involved.”

Disclose confirmed to AFP on Thursday that it had not received any judicial notification.

In parallel, the ministry launched an “internal investigation to verify that the rules were applied” by the Egyptian partners because “the broad outlines of this intelligence mission have very clear objectives related to combating terrorism, and do not affect internal issues,” according to Herve Granjan.

“We are waiting for the results of the investigation to draw conclusions,” a spokesman for the French Ministry of Defense continued, without giving further details.

Leaks implicating France and Egypt

The Disclose website reported that the Directorate of Military Intelligence and the Air Force expressed their concern over abuses in this process, according to a memorandum sent to the French presidency on November 23, 2017.

The Disclose websiteDiscloseThe French newspaper contains hundreds of “secret defense” documents that reveal violations of a secret military operation carried out by France in Egypt, as well as what the site says is the complicity of the French state in the bombing of civilians with the secret mission Sirle, which began years ago between the two countries.

One of the most prominent findings of the French website’s investigation is that Paris sent a team to Egypt on a mission called “Operation Cirly” in 2016, and at that time the French army was carrying out aerial reconnaissance missions over Libya, where “Islamic State” fighters were active ( ISIS), and France was afraid of the expansion of their influence.

Disclose said that at least 19 bombings targeting civilians between 2016 and 2018 were linked to French intelligence that was sent to Cairo.

The documents released included purported letters from field participants in the operations, alerting their superiors to the misuse of their information.

The site notes that a French intelligence team was accompanied by an Egyptian officer tasked with listening in on the conversations as they were taking place. The site added that the French team quickly realized that the terrorist threat was minimal, and that its information was instead being used to target smugglers for items, from cigarettes and food to weapons and drugs.

A confidential memo, published on January 22, 2019 to the Minister of Defense prior to Macron’s visit to Egypt, indicated that there are “confirmed cases of destruction of targets revealed by French aircraft”, and that it is important to remind Egypt that reconnaissance aircraft are not a targeting tool.


in details

The French Ministry of Defense filed a complaint about a “violation of national defense secrecy” after leaking documents about France providing intelligence information to Egypt as part of an anti-terror operation used by Cairo to target smugglers at the border with Libya, AFP reported on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

This comes against the background of the “Disclose” website revealing that the French intelligence mission “Cirly”, which began in February 2016, was derailed by the Egyptian state, which used the information to launch air strikes against smugglers and not to combat jihadists, as the mission states.

‘Extremely serious’ violation of the law

“The Defense Ministry has taken legal measures after this massive leak of classified documents,” Defense Ministry spokesman Herve Granjan said during a press conference, without specifying the target of the complaint.

He continued, “There has been a leak of documents covered by the National Defense Secrecy. This leak is a violation of the law… very dangerous, because what can be revealed may reveal things about the methods of the army’s work, and could endanger the security of the persons involved.”

Disclose confirmed to AFP on Thursday that it had not received any judicial notification.

In parallel, the ministry launched an “internal investigation to verify that the rules were applied” by the Egyptian partners because “the broad outlines of this intelligence mission have very clear objectives related to combating terrorism, and do not affect internal issues,” according to Herve Granjan.

“We are waiting for the results of the investigation to draw conclusions,” a spokesman for the French Ministry of Defense continued, without giving further details.

Leaks implicating France and Egypt

The Disclose website reported that the Directorate of Military Intelligence and the Air Force expressed their concern over abuses in this process, according to a memorandum sent to the French presidency on November 23, 2017.

The Disclose websiteDiscloseThe French newspaper contains hundreds of “secret defense” documents that reveal violations of a secret military operation carried out by France in Egypt, as well as what the site says is the complicity of the French state in the bombing of civilians with the secret mission Sirle, which began years ago between the two countries.

One of the most prominent findings of the French website’s investigation is that Paris sent a team to Egypt on a mission called “Operation Cirly” in 2016, and at that time the French army was carrying out aerial reconnaissance missions over Libya, where “Islamic State” fighters were active ( ISIS), and France was afraid of the expansion of their influence.

Disclose said that at least 19 bombings targeting civilians between 2016 and 2018 were linked to French intelligence that was sent to Cairo.

The documents released included purported letters from field participants in the operations, alerting their superiors to the misuse of their information.

The site notes that a French intelligence team was accompanied by an Egyptian officer tasked with listening in on the conversations as they were taking place. The site added that the French team quickly realized that the terrorist threat was minimal, and that its information was instead being used to target smugglers for items, from cigarettes and food to weapons and drugs.

A confidential memo, published on January 22, 2019 to the Minister of Defense prior to Macron’s visit to Egypt, indicated that there are “confirmed cases of destruction of targets revealed by French aircraft”, and that it is important to remind Egypt that reconnaissance aircraft are not a targeting tool.

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