Egypt: Suez port workers refuse to let pass US tear gas shipment

Customs employees at Adabiya Seaport in the Suez Canal Zone refused to allow a seven-ton shipment of tear gas to pass Nov. 28, and were detained for questioning by security officials. Documents released by the customs workers indicate the first of three such shipments ordered by the Interior Ministry. Remaining shipments apparently remain en route from Wilmington, Del. Documents indicate the tear gas was manufactured by Pennsylvania-based Combined Systems. (Ahram Online, The Guardian, Nov. 29)

The Ministry of Interior finally took possession of the shipment. The accused workers were released after Suez customs chief Mohamed El-Sayed said he “reprimanded them off the record.” (Ahram Online, Nov. 29)

In the past week of street-fighting, Egyptian security forces have used a new incapacitating tear gas that has caused seizures, convulsions and coughing blood. Combined Systems and affiliated Combined Tactical Systems are under the umbrella of CSI company, which was acquired in 2005 by Carlyle Group. (PEU Report, Nov. 25) It also sells tear gas to Israel.

See our last post on the struggle in Egypt.

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  1. No “misuse” of tear gas
    From Al-Masry Al-Youm, Nov. 30:

    US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner defended on Tuesday the shipment of tear gas to the Egyptian government.

    Toner told reporters that Washington has not found any evidence that Egypt misused the tear gas canisters.

    Of course the tear gas wasn’t “misused.” Making protesters go into convulsions is what it was designed to do.

  2. Occupy Wall Street protests tear gas exports
    Occupy Wall Street campers held their own protest at the Egyptian consulate in New York City to call attention to use of US-made tear gas against demonstrators in Cairo. Iran’s Press TV on Dec. 2 has great coverage—but it is utterly hypocritical of the official Iranian media to make hay of this. The Tehran regime has used plenty of tear gas recently.

  3. tear gas from wilmington del to egypt
    We have asked our Wilmington Delaware port workers about this shipment and no one knows anything about it. Does anyone have the name of the ship? Do we know if the two shipments are still at a port? Do we know for sure if the shipment was leaving from Wilmington Delaware, or Wilmington, North Carolina? We remain unclear as to this story as we can find no evidence the ship left Wilmington Delaware?