Egypt's Secret Police Reportedly Renames Itself 'Homeland Security'

Egypt’s state security apparatus -- notorious for spying on political activists and torturing dissidents -- has reportedly renamed itself “homeland security,” presumably in homage to its American namesake. reports that the change is part of a rebranding of dictatorship in Egypt, where the security force has been implicated in the imprisonment and torture of anti-Hosni Mubarak activists. The security force is now reorganizing while maintaining intimidation and spying campaigns targeted against parliamentary candidates by bugging phone calls and harassing prominent critics of the ruling military regime’s bloody crackdown on protesters.

"After some initial moves to purge the security forces, attempts at systemic reform were halted, say analysts and political observers," the Financial Times reports. "Under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior, the 100,000-strong state security service has been renamed homeland security and personnel moved around."

Like the Egyptian secret police, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reinvented its role to serve as a tool of political repression in recent years. Under the Federal Protective Service (FPS), the DHS tracks the political activities of peaceful advocacy groups. The FPS was seen arresting photographers in Portland, Wash., last week during an Occupy Wall Street rally. In 2004, the FPS arrested a veteran for the crime of complaining to his local VA office in Des Moines, reports.

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