Tags: secret | service | egyptian

Controversy Rages on Egyptian-Secret Service Clash

By Stewart Stogel   |   Sunday, 14 Oct 2007 05:24 PM

UNITED NATIONS -- Last week, NewsMax reported on a confrontation between Egypt's U.N. ambassador and a member of the Secret Service during the annual General Assembly debate.

While both sides have remained "officially silent" on the incident, NewsMax has obtained a copy of the official protest filed by the Egyptian U.N. mission with the State Dept.

In brief, the "incident" involved Cairo's U.N. ambassador, Maged Abdelaziz, trying to pass through a "frozen (no-go) zone" during the morning of Wednesday Sept. 26.

The area in question was at the corner of 1st Ave and 44th St. The location was secured by the New York Police Department and Secret Service because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was lecturing at the nearby Church Center.

The ambassador, accompanied by a foreign ministry official from Cairo, Amr Aljowaily, tried to enter the frozen zone en route to a meeting, but were stopped by an officer from the NYPD and directed to an alternate pathway.

At the alternate passageway a "heated" confrontation erupted between the Egyptian ambassador and a member of the US Secret Service.

According to the Egyptian letter, as Abdelaziz was entering the alternate pathway:

"A Special Agent of the United States Secret Service started shouting at the Ambassador, ordering him to go back and return to the corner of 2nd Ave. and 44th St. to cross to the alternate sidewalk. When the Ambassador presented his U.N. ID and started to explain that he had to rush to the U.N. to attend a meeting with the Foreign Minster, pointing out that others had crossed from the exact same location, the (Secret Service) officer accused the Ambassador of being militant and stated that the Ambassador and the other diplomat were under arrest for an ID check, citing the Islamic nature of the Ambassador's name as a reason."

The Secret Service agent is identified as Chad Wilson Ragan.

The complaint, described by the Egyptian mission as a formal "demarche" approved by the foreign ministry in Cairo goes on to claim:

"a clear lack of respect by this Secret Service Special Agent to the Islamic religion and to the diplomatic members of the Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt and to members of the official delegation accompanying the Foreign Minister."

The letter says the Cairo government "protests in the strongest possible terms the inappropriate behavior of the said Secret Service agent."

While specific punishment is not asked for, the Egyptians did demand that "necessary corrective measures" be taken.

U.S. officials insist that no arrests were made, but emphasized that the Secret Service agent exercised "considerable restraint," in light of "abusive" behavior by the Egyptian ambassador.

It was also pointed out that Abdelaziz spat at the Secret Service agent during the "incident."

The confrontation is now the subject of an official investigation by the State Department

The row between Cairo and the Bush Administration could not have come at a more inopportune time, as the White House prepares to convene a major regional conference on Mideast peace for next month in Annapolis, Md.

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