When you think about intelligence, spying, espionage, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Could be “Mission Impossible” or a good James Bond film.
What you usually see in the movies is what secret services now consider to be a traditional form of espionage, but is no longer the default type of work done by intelligence agencies; the idea is no longer to recruit intelligence officers and intelligence agents, but the methods have now rather shifted from the dependence on individuals, to a strong dependence on technology.
The Russian style of espionage is very dependent on hacking skills, the Americans and the French spy on other nations through the technology companies they fund or have close ties with, while the Chinese use a hybrid of the Russian and Franco-American techniques.
The governments of developed countries are still forcing the strategies of the old “divide and conquer” strategies. War tactics have changed a lot though, and with technology developing and becoming a stronger component of daily life and internal security, there is no need to move armies to conquer countries.
When foreign governments can access different types of information, from people’s demographic data to their biometric data, such as their fingerprints, and face images, you can link all this information to get a fuller, more complete profile of an individual, who can then easily be tracked and monitored. As foreign authorities gather all the data regarding a specific person, they can learn almost everything about him or her, to later use in ways that benefit their objectives. For example, they can determine if the person works in intelligence and target him or her in different ways. This different identity information should be stored unlinked, and to connect them is a clear violation of people's privacy.
Another example, if all this data is linked, its owners can also build a knowledge base of the local demographic and identify areas in which religious and ethnic groups live together or in proximity. Because we knew we were dealing with foreign intelligence from advanced countries, so we began to envisage the worst-case scenarios that could be created based on the analysis and linking of such data. Through its analysis, someone can easily find out whether two religious or ethnic groups live together in a specific area or region and then use this information to create conflicts and instability. Since 2011, Egypt has experienced an enormous amount of instability and conflict that could be escalated by a foreign power: there are hundreds of examples of this throughout history.
Our suspicions piqued when they used some highly classified face recognition software which we knew had been exclusively developed and used by the FBI.
Early on, after we had begun to take decisive action to prevent the espionage activities we had discovered, I was warned by a high-ranking official that our efforts could lead to my assassination. For me, the clear abuse of information, the dirty way in which it was being stolen and its threat to our national security outweighed my fears. I then learned some rather unsettling news from a friend of mine who was a detective. He told me that his department had found the assassination list of a terrorist group who were targeting the Police. Both my name and my nickname were on this list.
As soon as we moved to Europe, my life transformed overnight from one of constant stress, struggle and suspense to one of calm, predictable and relatively easy routine. Leaving our friends and our large extended family behind was heart-wrenching and moving to an entirely new continent and culture did not lighten the emotional load. I didn't know if anyone would chase me from Egypt or still wanted to harm me or my family, so I had to keep my whereabouts and activities as secret as possible. I had to create a new identity and to hide my past in a country whose customs emphasise openness and sociability. People here are always curious to know about a past that I would be wise not to disclose.
I escaped with my life and succeeded in evacuating safely without any harm coming to my wife and daughter. We have kind people around us, and I enjoy my work. I fought hard and endured many struggles in the past, and now I can relax and appreciate my life. I view all these things as blessings from God. However, a lot of strange encounters happened with me in Europe indicated that this peaceful inner feeling will not stay long, and that I must get ready to be back to the battlefield with new rules and conditions.
I am not an author, but I decided to let the public know what is happening under the table regarding their personal and sensitive information, and I also found it essential to warn other security authorities in every country where I see the same threats like what I encountered. Those reasons motivate me to write this book, and although I am using a pen name, I am sure that it is a matter of short-time that they will reach out to me, but I don’t care, even if they are going to physically assassinate me this time. All what I care about is absolute justice.