Wasat Party leader repeats 300,000 'thugs' claim
Ahram Online , Wednesday 10 Apr 2013
Abul-Ela Madi says 300,000 'thugs' formerly controlled by intelligence service are being hired to carry out violence in post-revolution Egypt

Wasat Party leader Abul-Ela Madi has repeated his claim that the intelligence service had approximately 300,000 'thugs' on its payroll during the Mubarak era.

Speaking on MBC Misr TV channel on Tuesday, Madi said he had received the information from President Mohamed Morsi.

Madi first made the claims in late March when he said Egypt's General Intelligence had a secret group of 300,000 paid 'thugs' which came under the control of state security seven years ago.

These 'thugs' have been engaged in recent bouts political violence, Madi asserted.

"We are now facing a grave security problem," he said. "These thugs are at large, have no owner and are hired to conduct violent attacks."

Despite facing a number of lawsuits and provoking widespread anger, Madi said he would not withdraw the claims.

The presidency has refused to comment on Madi's assertions.

Madi's allegations have sparked uproar in Egypt's intelligence service, which critics have accused him of trying to damage.

Wasat is a moderate Islamist party.