Egypt president appoints new head of General Intelligence
Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Sep 2012
Acting-head Mohamed Raafat Shehata promoted as Egypt's new spy chief, a month after ex-intelligence director retired in wake of August's bloody Sinai attacks

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi appointed Mohamed Raafat Shehata Abdel-Wahed as the new head of General Intelligence on Wednesday.

Shehata was the General Intelligence first secretary before taking the role of acting head in August 2012, when Morsi retired Mourad Mufawi in the wake of 5 August bloody attacks on the Egypt-Israel border, which left at least 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.

The newly-appointed spy chief is best known for mediating between Hamas and Israel during the 2006-2011 negotiations to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Shehata made his way up the ranks of Egypt's intelligence apparatus, starting off as head of one of the bureaus before becoming secretary-general and then first secretary.

He was based in London for two years and served for a brief period at the intelligence's Institute of Strategic Studies in Egypt. He was responsible for many of the country's international files which, reportedly, makes him an expert on the Palestinian-Israeli situation.

Egypt's previous head of intelligence Mufawi, once regarded as one of the most powerful figures in Egypt, was forced into retirement by the president on 8 August.