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New Egypt leak alleges role for shadowy Palestinian businessman in Libya

Mohammed Dahlan travelled to Libya on a private plane on orders from the UAE, according to leak apparently from President Sisi's office
Dahlan, arch rival to Palestinian President Abbas, is alleged to be working inside Libya as a security consultant for the UAE (AFP)

The latest alleged leak to target the Egyptian government claims that controversial Palestinian businessman Mohammed Dahlan conducted a secret visit to Libya last year.

According to the tape, released on Thursday night by Libyan news channel Panorama, the visit was arranged by the United Arab Emirates, which Dahlan uses as a base.

In its broadcast, Panorama gave no indication as to how it had obtained audio claiming to be from the Sisi’s office.

The audio features a voice purported to be that of Abbas Kamel, office manager to then-army chief, now president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The voice is heard discussing arrangements to collect Dahlan from an airport in Cairo, where he was apparently scheduled to arrive by private plane.

Dahlan, a sacked member of Palestine’s Fatah party who recently announced his wish to run for office as president of Palestine, was alleged by a previous leak to be working in Libya as a security consultant for the UAE.

The recording also claims to shed light on Egyptian intervention in Libya, a long-discussed topic and the subject of the previous alleged leak from Sisi’s office.

The voice is heard to warn of the possible consequence of any judicial proceedings being launched against Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, a cousin of former strongman leader Muammar Gaddafi and Tripoli’s special envoy to Cairo for years before his arrest by Egyptian police in March 2013.

Officials from Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government, overthrown in July 2013, wanted to charge him with forging official documents. However, he was released after a month in detention, and was not rearrested by the succeeding government.

In Thursday’s broadcast, the voice said to be that of Kamel is heard to say that Dam is “co-operating with [Sisi’s government]”.

Later in the recording, the voice is heard discussing a shipment of eight tonnes of arms, which he says is enough to fill a plane – the voice does not specify a destination for the possible shipment.

A series of leaks has targeted the Egyptian government under the leadership of President Sisi in recent months.