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Der Spiegel: ElBaradei on Democracy's Chances in Egypt 'We Could Experience an Arab Spring'

February 6, 2011


In a Der Spiegel interview, Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei explains why President Hosni Mubarak should leave Egypt as soon as possible, how Israel should view the popular revolts across the Arab world and how he could go from being an "agent of change" to Egypt's next president.

SPIEGEL: Mr. ElBaradei, is Egypt in danger of a civil war?

ElBaradei: I see this danger. We've experienced a complete collapse of public order and bloody, sometimes even fatal assaults. These were carried out by provocateurs, most of whom were recruited by the intelligence service and the police.

SPIEGEL: Do you have any proof of that?

ElBaradei: Yes, the culprits took off their uniforms so that they could not be recognized. Some of them still had their identification papers on them when they were seized by the demonstrators. The only way they could have caused widespread panic on horses and camels was with the government's support. They robbed passersby and journalists, and they tried to prevent the demonstrators from getting supplies.

SPIEGEL: Shouldn't you be headed down to Tahrir Square to try to use your authority to calm people down there?

ElBaradei: I was there once, and things broke out in turmoil. I need to watch out for my own safety. There are people who think they'd be doing the regime a favor by killing me. The longer things continue on this way with Mubarak, the clearer it becomes that the country is imploding both politically and economically. Mubarak must go; not at some point, but now. I believe the Americans are also getting very impatient.



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