CAIRO - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday issued a decree naming Mohammed Raafat Shehata the country’s new head of intelligence, after the former spy chief was forced into retirement. Shehata had been acting director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate since August 8 when his predecessor Murad Muwafi resigned, the official MENA news agency reported. Muwafi, a former governor of North Sinai, had issued a rare public statement saying his agency had forewarned of an attack in the Sinai peninsula near the Gaza border that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
But he said the intelligence did not specify where the attack would take place and he had passed it on to the “relevant authorities,” adding that his powerful agency’s role was only to collect information. Following the attack, the army launched a massive operation in Sinai, where security related problems have spiked since the 2011 uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.