From the archive of Abdelrahim Ali

Brotherhood's secret files (Part 14)

Abdelrehim Aly

We promised you that we would publish the full text of the investigation with Youssef Talaat, one of the most important leaders of the Brotherhood's Special Apparatus, in Case No. 1 of 1965, known as the Mansheya case, in which the Brotherhood failed its attempt to assassinate late President Gamal Abdel Nasser while he was giving his speech on the second Revolution Day in Mansheya Square in Alexandria.

But before we leave you with the man’s statements, which we will follow with the statements of all those who were interrogated in the case, I would like to put in your hands a number of important observations.

First: These investigations began in November 1954, and the Brotherhood had officially announced the dissolution of the Special Apparatus (the group’s military wing) after the assassination of the founding guide, Hassan al-Banna, and the arrival of its new guide, Hassan al-Hudaybi, in 1949, which you will discover was a deception after reading the investigations, as the apparatus remained in place and supported by the new guide.

Second: In defending the continuity of the Special Apparatus’ existence, despite the group’s leaders claiming its dissolution, the Brotherhood said that they preserved it in order to fight the British in the Suez Canal. The investigations will show you how the Brotherhood was placed in all the cities of the Canal (four armed factions), while they placed twelve armed factions in Cairo alone, which indicates that what was meant by jihad was Cairo and the men of the revolution, not the British as the Brotherhood claimed.

Third: Youssef Talaat's evasion of the investigator in an attempt to lay the blame for planning the assassination of President Abdel Nasser and his companions on Ibrahim El-Tayeb and Hendawi Duweir, and removing all embarrassment from the General Guide and the rest of the leaders of the Special Apparatus.


Investigation record

On November 15, 1954 at 4:40 PM

With my knowledge, I, Captain Salah Desouki, General Staff of the Ministry of Interior, proved the following:

We summoned Youssef Talaat and interrogated him, and he said:

“My name is Youssef Ezz El-Din Mohamed Talaat, age 42, a grain merchant, born and residing in Ismailia.”

Q: “Who are the members of the Supreme Council of the Brotherhood's Special Apparatus?”

A: “Salah Shadi, Sheikh Mohammed Farghali, Mahmoud Abdo, Abu Al-Makarim and myself. We were called the Supreme Jihad Council, and this council was headed by Sheikh Farghali. As for my specialization, it is a connection between the special formations in the Brotherhood and this council, and Salah Shadi represents the police in the Supreme Jihad Council, while Abu Al-Makarim represents the army, but he is now replaced by Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf to represent the army. As for Ibrahim El-Tayeb, he is responsible for Cairo and receives orders from me. This council studies the coordination of all Brotherhood forces with each other, and there was the last plan, which I will explain to those who participate in it from this council. It was between me, Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf and Ibrahim El-Tayeb. This meeting was in the house of my brother Nagi Mohamed Talaat, who is a metalworker on the railways and resides at No. 8 Toson Street in front of the Toson School for Girls, next to the Rod El-Farag Police Department. In this meeting, Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf presented a plan for public demonstrations protected by some armed individuals to defend them in the event of an attack on them. Then, if there is an attack on this demonstration, the armed forces of the Brotherhood members of the demonstration carry out individual assassinations, intended for President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar El-Sadat, Gamal Salem, Abdel Hakim Amer, Zakaria Mohieddin and other officers from the Revolutionary Council, including Abdel Halim Abdel Aal and Ahmed Anwar El-Tahawy. Then I took this plan to Alexandria and presented the matter to Professor Al-Hudaybi, and Salah Shadi attended part of this conversation. The Guide agreed on the issue of demonstration but did not agree with the issue of assassinations, and he said that assassinations are something that harms the reputation of the group. This reached Abdel Qadir Odeh, and this came to me from Ibrahim El-Tayeb on the tongue of Abdel Qadir Odeh. I also learned from Ibrahim El-Tayeb that Abdel Qadir Odeh presented this plan to Sheikh Farghali, but he did not agree, as well as Abdel Qadir Odeh, and Sheikh Farghali wanted to soften the atmosphere between the Brotherhood and the revolution.”

Q: “Ismail Aref and Ibrahim El-Tayeb admitted that the plan would have included domestic bombings, such as tram and railway tracks, to cut off transportation in case the government apparatus attacked this demonstration, as well as assassinating President Gamal Abdel Nasser in particular because he is responsible for the government apparatus. What do you say?”

A: “Blowing up and cutting off transportation was not presented to me, but the plan, including the assassination of the president and the people I mentioned, I am responsible for. I am the one who reported it to Ibrahim El-Tayeb, and everything that comes from the Secret Apparatus, I am responsible for. There must be joint responsibility, and the joint responsibility is with me, Ibrahim El-Tayeb, Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf and the heads of the regions. Ibrahim El-Tayeb's responsibility is confined to his contact with the heads of the regions, including Hendawi, the head of the Imbaba region, and Ibrahim distributes all weapons to the regions. It is possible that he gave him the pistol, and it did not happen that he did a positive action without the knowledge of someone higher than him, namely Ibrahim El-Tayeb, as these are the principles of our Special Apparatus.

Q: “What is your explanation for the presence of many explosive materials seized in different areas in large quantities?”

A: “These materials have existed since long ago, before the army movement.”

Q: “When were the weapons distributed to the regions?”

A: “About a month and a half ago.”

Q: “Among the weapons distributed from a month and a half ago were explosives such as TNT. What is your explanation for this?”

A: “I only know about the distribution of weapons.”

Q: “In this plan, were you relying on the popular demonstrations only, or was there another factor?”

A: “I took the assignment from the Guide to implement the popular demonstration with the participation of other sects, such as students, trade unions and lawyers. Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf’s desire was his insistence on the armed demonstration and the plan that I mentioned previously, and the operation was approved.”

Q: “Was Abdel Qadir Odeh aware of this plan before it was presented to the Guide?”

A: “He was not aware before presenting it to the Guide, but I presented it to him after taking the opinion of the Guide and informed him that the Guide wanted popular demonstrations in which all sects participate, the purpose of which is to demand public freedoms. He discussed it with Sheikh Farghali as I came to know, then Ibrahim El-Tayeb sent me and said that it was not of Sheikh Farghali’s opinion, but rather his opinion was to soften the atmosphere between the Brotherhood and the government.”

Q: “Who do you think gave an order to Ibrahim El-Tayeb to implement the plan to assassinate the president?”

A: “If there was an order, I am the one who issued it to Ibrahim El-Tayeb, and I did not issue an order in this particular incident. Ask Hendawi and Ibrahim El-Tayeb about it. If Hendawi said that Ibrahim El-Tayeb was the one who gave him the pistol, then the investigation would reveal that.”

Q: “Ibrahim El-Tayeb confessed in his statements that he received an order from you to inform the regions and factions of the plan that begins with the assassination of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, so what do you say?”

A: “This order happened from me to him, and then I reversed this order and told him no.”

Q: “Why then did Ibrahim El-Tayeb criticize this order?”

A: “Ask Ibrahim El-Tayeb about this.”

Q: “Do you have information about the belt filled with explosives?”

A: “I actually presented this idea to Ibrahim El-Tayeb for a suicide operation, and I did not mean a specific person by it.”

Q: “Hendawi confessed in his statements that he assigned Mahmoud Abdel Latif and Mahmoud Al-Nusairi to use this belt and blow up President Gamal Abdel Nasser, but they did not accept this suicide operation, and each of them preferred to use a pistol, so what do you say?”

A: “I gave the directions to Ibrahim but did not specify the details of the assignment.”

Q: “It is understood from this that you identified the person to be blown up, but you did not specify who would perform this operation?”

A: “I did not specify a person in particular, but this was my idea, and it was one of the means.”

Q: “Ibrahim El-Tayeb confessed in his statements that if a popular demonstration occurred, some individuals would support President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and in this case, someone would infiltrate among his supporters and try to blow him up. What do you say?”

A: “I offered the opinion but did not talk about the details of the plan.”

Q: “Making one belt with these explosive materials, it is understood that its purpose is to get rid of a particular person, so who is he?”

A: “To blow up an important person, which is a type of assassination that I devised.”

Q: “Why didn't you try to do this operation yourself?”

A: “The idea is one thing and the implementation is another, and I did not think of implementing it.”

Q: “Ibrahim El-Tayeb confessed in his statements that Major General Mohamed Naguib is the external factor that these popular demonstrations would support, and that there is communication and understanding on that, so what is your information?”

A: “Yes, I heard these words, and that Mohamed Naguib was ready to walk with this movement, and that Ibrahim El-Tayeb was the one who told me these words. But I told him that Mohamed Naguib was not trustworthy in his words, and he told me that reliable sources were the ones who told him this.”

Q: “Abdel Qadir Odeh confessed in his statements that he was far from everything related to the Special Apparatus and did not know anything about a plan of action for a coup, assassinations or popular demonstrations. What do you say?”

A: “He does not know about the apparatus or about the coup, but I told him about the work of popular demonstrations, and he informed me that he would first present it to some of the Brotherhood. Then he came back and informed me that this work is postponed but not canceled, and I understood that one of the people he consulted was Sheikh Farghali.”

Q: “What was the purpose of the popular demonstrations that Mr. Odeh was going to organize?”

A: “The purpose was to demand of the government public freedoms such as freedom of speech, assembly and the press, the establishment of a clean parliamentary life, and the release of detainees.”

Q: “Demonstrations of this kind took place in March 1954 and were suppressed by the army and police, and the demonstrations dispersed, so what is the point of holding other demonstrations of this kind in the same way?”

A: “The March demonstrations were disorderly, but this demonstration would have been organized by the prominent Brotherhood figures, and the personalities who would participate in the demonstration would include lawyers, students, and union leaders with banners in the names of the collective sects.”

Q: “It was mentioned in the statements of Ibrahim El-Tayeb and the commanders of the regions and the factions that the Brotherhood would stage this demonstration while they were armed to respond to any attack on them, so what do you say?”

A: “If they said it is true, I have no knowledge of that.”

Q: “What are the duties of Mahdi Akef?”

A: “Mahdi Akef transfers instructions from Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf to the faction leader, Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf takes instructions from Ibrahim El-Tayeb, Ibrahim El-Tayeb takes instructions from me personally, and Ismail Aref is the one who took over the task after the arrest of Mahdi Akef.”

Q: “Ismail Aref confessed that he went to his town to object to the last instructions he was assigned to deliver to the heads of the factions?”

A: “It is true.”

Q: “Who conveyed the instructions to the heads of the factions after the abdication of Ismail Aref?”

A: “Ibrahim El-Tayeb and Abdel Moneim Abdel Raouf took over this issue.”