How Did Mubarak Survive 6 Assassination Attempts?

Wednesday, 26 February, 2020 - 12:45
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

After surviving an assassination attempt against former President Anwar Sadat in 1981, sitting beside him during what came to be known as the “Platform Events”, late President Hosni Mubarak was able, over three decades in power, to survive around six attempted murders. The most important of which was when his convoy was targeted in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, heavily disturbing Egypt’s relationship with the rest of the African continent.

In 1993, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) planned to assassinate Mubarak by planting explosives on the western coastal route while he was headed to Libya by land. The security services revealed the plan and were able to capture the suspects and then sentenced them to death in 1994 by military court order as well as a life sentence to three others.

On “Fardaws Bridge” was another failed attempt in late 1994 when around 30 members of the Jihad Group dug a tunnel near the Salah Salem road in East Cairo and planted explosives to target Mubarak’s convoy. The security forces once again succeeded in capturing them.

The most prominent was on June 26, 1995, when Mubarak arrived in Addis Ababa for the African Summit. On the way from the airport to the summit venue, an armed group opened fire on Mubarak’s bulletproof car while his personal guards shot back at the attackers, killing two and injuring another. As a result, Mubarak decided to return to Cairo immediately.

Mubarak’s assassination attempt in 1995, was a turning point in Egyptian-African relations. According to diplomats, the event stopped Mubarak and anyone close to him from attending any event in the continent. With that, Egyptian interest in Africa receded in general and that had large implications in their disputes with the countries surrounding the Nile, most importantly, Ethiopia. After returning to Cairo, Mubarak said: “I think God is always protecting me,” and hinted towards the involvement of Sudanese President Omar al- Bashir’s government in the attempt.

Four years later, there was another attempt to assassinate Mubarak in Port Said, northeast of Cairo, when a citizen attacked his convoy while Mubarak was waving at citizens from the window of his car. The attacker clung onto the vehicle and the republican guards consequently killed him. Back then, some media outlets mentioned that the man tried to stab Mubarak while others said the suspect was mentally unstable.

According to secret documents released by the BBC in 2017, the Egyptian embassy in London informed the British authorities of detailed information of a threat against Mubarak during his visit to London in 1983 by the Abu Nidal terrorist group, and security measures were consequently enhanced.

American websites also mentioned that the former Egyptian President survived another assassination attempt in 1995 after a plan by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda to blow up Mubarak’s plane failed.

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