Egypt: Some Intelligence Agency Releases Slick Fake Documentary Shifting Blame for Italian Journalist’s Death

About the only thing that me and mainstream journalists are going to agree on (possibly the literal only thing) is that killing journalists is very, very bad. You can go read what I wrote about Jamal Khashoggi, and it’s basically the same as what the mainstream media wrote.

One thing I don’t agree with the media about is that “Vladimir Putin killed journalists.” They have no evidence of this, and they don’t even ever say who they’re talking about. I absolutely would speak out if Putin had killed a journalist. Even if I’m a Putin shill, I wouldn’t defend that.

Some or many journalists are spies, and should be arrested and tried for that, but killing journalists outright – or kidnapping and torturing them and refusing to put them on trial, as has been done to Julian Assange – is inexcusable. (And yes, please do note that the mainstream media does not fight for Assange, despite the fact that I fight for their WaPo Moslem Brotherhood terrorism supporter Khashoggi.)

Cambridge University researcher Giulio Regeni was not technically a journalist, but he was doing a research project, effectively functioning as a journalist.

The case of his murder in Egypt was already very weird. The poor bastard, a handsome 28-year-old, was not only killed, but completely tortured to death and thrown at the side of the road in a ditch. They’d broken all his bones, put ice picks through his feet – gruesome stuff. The autopsy estimated the ordeal lasted 7 days before his cerebral cortex was severed.

That kind of death is always used as a warning to someone. Despite what you see in Jewish films like Hostel, systematic torture is a profession, not a hobby, and you have to pay people to do it.

You can read the Wikipedia page for more of the background on this story. God bless them, for all of their evil, the New York Times has continued to press this issue.

As far as we’re able to tell, the Egyptian government confused Regeni for a spy and kidnapped him and tortured him to death. They then got in a shootout with some kind of gang, and shot or executed four people, blaming them for Regeni’s murder. Well, gangs don’t do this kind of torture on random people. Again: this type of torture is done by a professional torturer. Some random kidnapping and random gang might beat you up, but they’re not going to break every one of your fingers over a period of 7 days. This is not a way to get information. It’s only to send a signal to someone else – in this case, whoever the Egypt government thought Regeni was working for.

Now, this story is getting even dumber, even as the Western media is backing off of it.

At least we have RT, which has printed a piece by Damian Wilson:

It’s a case that has gripped Italy and Egypt. Now, a fake documentary has branded murdered Giulio Regeni a spy and suggested the trial of four Egyptian intelligence officers for his killing is bad for Egypt-Italy trade relations.

The mysterious death of Cambridge University researcher Regeni has more twists than the fusilli pasta of his native Italy, and the long-awaited trial of four Egyptian secret service agents accused of his kidnap and murder has been beset by even more drama.

(That’s gonna be a yikes from me on that pasta analogy.)

Preliminary hearings in the trial of Tariq Saber, Aser Ibrahim, Hesham Helmi, and Magdi Abd al-Sharif – due to start on Thursday morning after five years of investigation – were brought to an abrupt halt when one of the defence team was forced into quarantine by Covid-19 exposure. A frustrating start, and the trial is now rescheduled for May 25.

While the unforeseen procedural snafu was an inconvenience, more sinister moves were afoot to scupper justice with the sudden appearance of a slick, 50-minute video entitled The Story of Regeni on Facebook and YouTube – a clumsy attempt at misdirection at the start of proceedings looking for the truth about the death of the 28-year-old Regeni.

Narrated in Arabic and subtitled over a spy-thriller soundtrack, the narrator adopts a conspiratorial tone throughout as he paints a picture of the doctorate student as a Western spy, with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, who was trying to foment trouble among the recently unionised street vendors he was researching.

From the outset, Regeni’s internationalism is considered due cause for suspicion. The narrator describes how upon his arrival at his Cairo apartment, “he makes himself a cup of American coffee to remember his many travels to Thailand, Britain, Turkey… and Israel”.

Never has tourism – or drinking coffee – sounded so cloak and dagger.

Obviously, going to Israel is potentially suspicious. But it’s also a tourist destination.

I get the feeling that there’s a decent chance Regeni was gay. I don’t want to accuse him of that, as Egyptian officials have. They never actually presented evidence. But he was a handsome man without a girlfriend. The Italians alleged that he had an internet girlfriend in the Ukraine, but that has not been proved, and this woman has not spoken to the media.

Italians are also sometimes still closeted, as it’s a relatively anti-gay culture, and men would often want to hide it from their parents.

I don’t support “girlfriends,” but most successful men in their late twenties have them.

There is a picture of him with a woman, but it looks like a fag-haggy thing:

Also, this image looks very gayish:

And this limp wrist:

This is to say: that would be a good reason he’d have traveled to Israel – an “innocent” reason. Israel is a big time gay party zone. It’s the number one gay tourist destination in the world (don’t tell the evangelicals who send them money for the anal romps of the chosen ones!).

However, also, if he was religious, he could have gone there to see Christian sites. He’s an Italian, so he’s Catholic. I would go to Israel if it wasn’t run by the Jews. It would be number one on my list. I would love to see the Christian holy sites.

I don’t think a trip to Israel is enough to condemn someone. And if he’d gone to Thailand and Turkey (two very standard tourist spots), it sounds like he just liked traveling. Thailand is definitely not a spy hub.

Various Italians actually participated in this hoax documentary, apparently having been tricked by the producers.

The fake doc introduces the theory that something is very odd about an Italian with a BA in Arabic and Political Studies from a British university researching in Egypt. The question ‘Who sent him?’ is posed again and again by useful idiots such as Italy’s former chief of staff of the Air Force, Leonardo Tricarico, and ex-minister for communications Maurizio Gasparri.

Condemning their involvement in the making of the film, the president of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the death of Giulio Regeni, Erasmo Palazzotto, said, “It is very serious that Italian political and military exponents have lent themselves to this ignoble operation… Gasparri has discredited not only Regeni but his own country.”

One of those interviewed in the documentary, former Italian defence minister Elisabetta Trenta, has expressed horror at the deceit. She believed she was helping with a documentary on diplomatic and economic relations between Italy and Egypt.

The fake documentary makes no attempt to find out who killed Regeni, but it does look to exonerate Egypt’s National Security Agency (NSA) from having had anything to do with the murder, despite the fact that on the night he disappeared, the researcher was seen in a Cairo police station and the National Security Agency headquarters by two separate witnesses.

It is suggested that when his body was found nine days later, on February 3, 2016, alongside the Cairo/Alexandria Desert Highway and just a kilometre from NSA headquarters, that the very proximity should discount intelligence involvement. The argument is, ‘What sort of security agency would dump the half-naked corpse of a foreigner bearing clear signs of prolonged torture on its own doorstep?’

One answer that makes sense was found in a document sent to the Italian embassy in Switzerland, which claimed Egypt’s Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance agency murdered the researcher, then left Regeni’s body near the HQ of its rival NSA in a bid to embarrass and discredit it as part of an ongoing internecine feud between the two agencies. A military blanket was found near the body.

Further on, the video also indulges in a lengthy trashing of the way that Rome tackled its part of the probe, although the reality is that both Italians and Egyptians were suspicious of each other and what secrets each might unearth. The ill-feeling and distrust that grew over the last five years is why Egypt failed to hand over the four suspects, refusing to recognise the Italian legal process. The men, all still serving NSA agents, will be tried in absentia.

The fake doc ends with a very clear message; the outcome of the trial of four intelligence agents could have serious consequences for Egypt-Italy relations. And this is where to look for clues to the identity of the filmmaker. Because when you talk about Egypt and Italy, you are talking about Italian energy giant Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI). You are talking about ENI’s huge Zohr gas project off Egypt’s northern coast, the new oil wells it has just drilled in the Western Desert and the crucial links between Cairo and the government-backed ENI, the key to energy-vulnerable Italy’s needs.

ENI boss Claudio Descalzi raised the matter of Regeni’s death with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on at least three occasions, and was rumoured in the New York Times to have enlisted the help of the Italian intelligence services to resolve the case.

However, in a classic display of backing both horses, he also replied to a bid from Amnesty International to put pressure on Egypt with a letter assuring it that “competent authorities are making every effort to find the answers that the Regeni family is waiting for: important answers for us too, because respect for each person is the basis of our work and because we are committed to the development of Egypt.”

As Wilson goes on to note, it is very strange to have an energy boss getting so involved in this case, and it does look like he’d have been the one to create this propaganda clearing the Egyptian spies of wrongdoing.

What it looks like to me is that they genuinely thought this guy was a spy, probably from Israel, and they wanted to make an example of him. Maybe it was a few rogue agents who were involved in some other weird thing.

Whatever the case: there should be justice here, and there is something serious to be said about a corporate interest covering up a brutal murder simply to protect relations for the sake of business. Another solution would be for Egypt to hand over the agents to Italy, and let them be prosecuted and convicted, so that justice is served. If Egypt were to cooperate like that, surely that would also protect relations.

Most importantly: journalists and researchers should always, no matter what, be protected anywhere on earth. This is a principle of the free flow of information, which is at the core of a free society. If someone is a spy, they can be arrested and tried. They should not be assassinated or summarily executed, let alone tortured.

Countries have a right to ban journalists, and to treat all researchers and journalists as spies. That is their right. If Egypt wants to allow tourism but no journalism, they can make you sign a card at immigration that says you won’t do journalism without registering, like the card China makes you sign saying you won’t spread religion without registering. But that isn’t what happened.

Just like with Jamal Khashoggi and Julian Assange, the media is not doing enough to bring attention to Giulio Regeni. This should be something everyone can agree on, and the media will agree on it in theory, but then not do enough followups and not press the issue. The media spends endless hours talking about hoaxes like global warming, so they should have time for this.

Amnesty International on the other hand is doing okay:

This is a long Daily Stormer article about something that doesn’t really fit into any larger picture, but I just very much think it is important to always bring attention to journalists (and researchers) who are killed in the line of duty.