Leak Suggests US Ally Trying to Help Russia on the Sly

Egypt planned to ship rockets to Putin, reports the 'Washington Post'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2023 6:07 AM CDT
Leak Suggests US Ally Trying to Help Russia on the Sly
In this 2019 photo, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the United Nations General Assembly.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Outlets continue to sift through leaked US intelligence documents that turned up online over the last few weeks, and the Washington Post appears to have found one of the more notable ones. It suggests that Egypt has plans to ship 40,000 rockets to Russia, and to do so quietly so as not to upset the US. The leaked document reportedly captures conversations between President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi and his top military officials in which he asks them to keep the plans to order and ship the rockets secret "to avoid problems with the West," according to the story.

Given that the US has long provided Egypt with $1 billion a year in security aid, the move is a dicey one for Egypt, notes the story. “Egypt is one of our oldest allies in the Middle East,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who sits on the Foreign Relations and Appropriations committees. “If it’s true that Sisi is covertly building rockets for Russia that could be used in Ukraine, we need to have a serious reckoning about the state of our relationship.” It's not clear if the plan actually went through. A potential factor in all this: Egypt is the world's biggest importer of wheat, and most of it comes from Russia and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department continues to investigate the origins of the overall leak, notes CNN. Images of the documents—which appeared to have been folded and smuggled out of a security facility, then photographed—first turned up on the Discord messaging platform in a forum popular with gamers. The scale of the leak is not yet clear, but the documents that have surfaced so far "have provided startling and surprisingly timely details" of the West's military assistance to Ukraine, per the AP. (More Egypt stories.)

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