"Bloggers for Terrorism"

Posing in photos with fake AK-47's and toy guns, a group of Egyptian bloggers and activists have launched an online campaign in solidarity with detained cyber-activist Mohammed Adel. The photos are a reference to the Egyptian government's use of photos of Adel holding guns with Hamas leaders.
egyptian bloggers
3 Egyptian bloggers and an Egyptian human rights advocate make up the "cyber-terrorist" squad trying to free blogger Mohammed Adel from an Egyptian jail.

BEIRUT, February 4, 2009 (MENASSAT) - “Our aim is mainly to bring attention to how ridiculous the (Egyptian) government’s photo fabrications are (of cyber-activist Mohammed Adel). We are trying to cut-off an escalation of the process against him,” Mina Zekry, a prominent blogger and “Free-Adel” campaigner told MENASSAT on Tuesday.

Posing in photos with fake AK-47s and toy guns, Zekry is part of a new initiative launched on February 2 called “Operation General Meit” – meit being Adel’s blog title (and nickname) that translates to “Already Dead.”

Prominent Egyptian bloggers Wael Abbas, Zekry, Mohammed Gamal, and Egyptian human rights activist Noov Sevary launched the online campaign in solidarity with Adel, a 20-year old IT student and blogger who was arrested on a Cairo street in November of last year.

No formal charges have been brought against Adel, but sources in Cairo say that he could face charges of “terrorism and involvement in an armed organization” because of photos he took in Gaza last year.

"Bloggers for Terrorists" - four Egyptian cyber-activists in their new campaign to free blogger Mohammed Adel from an Egyptian prison. Find more videos like this on Arab Media Community  

A known Hamas sympathizer and fierce critic of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the “souvenir” photos show Adel holding a machine gun with Hamas leaders during a 2008 trip.

According to Zekry, “These photos are being used by Egyptian authorities to fabricate criminal charges against him,” a charge backed-up by Moneim Mahmoud, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who told The Daily News Egypt in early December that the photos were actually the basis for his arrest.

Cyber offensive

Based on these photos, the four cyber-activists went on the offensive. Calling themselves “Bloggers for Terrorism,” the majority of the parodied pics are being featured on egyptwatchman and misrdigital as well as the blogs of the campaigners. 

On Wael Abbas’ blog, he is pictured cross-legged on a carpet with a turban on his head, his finger raised in the air, resembling a militant Islamist about to convey his message to the world.

Zekry too is posing in photos on his blog holding a fake AK-47 machine gun with an exaggerated smirk on his face. “Bloggers for terrorism,” reads the caption on another photo taken with Abbas in which both bloggers are holding up a picture of Adel with the text “Freedom for Meit.”

“If Meit (Mohammed Adel) is a terrorist, then I’m also a terrorist,” Zekry states in another picture.

The main photo for the campaign, which some of the members now have uploaded as their profile pictures on the social networking site Facebook, depicts the four activists with broad smiles, showing off their guns, in black leather coats ala the Black Panthers of the 1960s.

“Abbas is also a terrorist just like our dear friend Gemyhood (nickname for Gamal) and lawyer Sevary. Are you going to arrest us as well?” Zekry writes - a clear provocation for the Egyptian authorities

When asked about the response to the campaign, Abbas told MENASSAT that the group has been contacted by a number of journalists.

And the Egyptian authorities?

“No problems. As of yet,” Abbas said.

Meanwhile, reports about Mohammed Adel’s whereabouts remain unclear. Sources close to Adel have said the Egyptian authorities have transferred him to several facilities since his pick up in November.

He was last reported to be in Egypt’s infamous Tora prison, and according to the grassroots news site Global Voices, Adel is currently conducting a hunger strike, although MENASSAT could not verify the information.