Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "egypt" ...

  • Opening the black box of Egypt's slush funds

    This exposé of massive corruption in Egypt at the hands of the country's military rulers and loyalists of the failed Mubarak regime launches a partnership between the Washington DC-based non-profit Angaza Foundation for Africa Reporting (TAFAR) and Africa Confidential, the longest-established English-language publication on Africa. Entitled "Opening the black box of Egypt's slush funds", the story details how Egyptian generals and senior government officials use a complex network of slush funds as their private piggy banks, siphoning off billions of dollars from the country to top-up salaries and maintain networks of political allegiances. It also describes how recent attempts to investigate these so-called special funds have led to cover-ups, including Egyptian police allegedly stealing records implicating them in the misuse of their own funds. This “deep dive” report exposing mishandled slush funds, financial cover-ups, and massive corruption in Egypt was edited by former veteran Reuters correspondent Bernd Debusman, and overseen by TAFAR’s President and Executive Director Bobby Block, a Wall Street Journal veteran. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/egypt/2015-06-26/sisi-and-his-40-thieves
  • Child Castaways A CNN Freedom Project Documentary

    Nima Elbagir and her team spent almost nine months investigating the illegal Mediterranean crossing undertaken by Egyptian boys in search of a better life for their families. Some of these minors end up in the care of the Italian state, while others work for the very gangs who smuggled them, making money on the streets of Rome, selling whatever they can - including themselves. https://vimeo.com/151949090
  • Can You Fight Poverty With A Five-Star Hotel?

    My story is about the World Bank’s private investing arm, the International Finance Corporation, the IFC. It reveals that the IFC is a profit-oriented, deal-driven organization that not only fails to fight poverty, its stated mission, but may exacerbate it in its zeal to earn a healthy return on investment. The article details my investigation through hundreds of primary source and other documents, dozens of interviews around the world and my trip to Ghana to see many projects first-hand, to recount that the IFC hands out billions in cut-rate loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world’s poorest places. My story details the IFC’s investments with a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It outlines that the IFC funds fast-food chains like Domino's Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more. The criticism of most such investments -- from a broad array of academics, watchdog groups and local organizations in the poor countries themselves -- is that these investments make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.
  • Ruthless Kidnapping Rings Reach from Desert Sands to U.S. Cities

    The story deals with the ever-evolving crime of human smuggling, and how opportunistic criminal gangs exploit gaps in law enforcement to open new channels for profit. In this case it was how Bedouin gangs along the Egypt-Israel border in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula took advantage of the Arab Spring, the fall of the Mubarak regime, and the increasingly lawless state of the region to create a perfect smuggling scenario linking African refugees in Israel to Palestinian bag men (who collect the ransom) to diaspora Africans in Europe and North America who raise thousands of dollars to rescue their captives. The story documents the $80,000 payment made by one immigrant father from Eritrea—now living near San Jose, California—to secure the release of his teen-age daughter and his own brother. We showed how this was part of a growing international network that has funneled millions of dollars in each of the last 3 years to the criminals operating these enterprises.
  • The Deadliest Place in Mexico

    The Juarez Valley, a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande, was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the Juarez cartel moved in to set up a lucrative drug smuggling trade. “The Deadliest Place in Mexico” explores untold aspects of Mexico’s drug war as it has played out in the small farming communities of this valley. The violence began in 2008, when the Sinaloa cartel moved in to take over the Juarez cartel’s turf. The Mexican government sent in the military to quell the violence — but instead the murder rate exploded. While the bloodshed in the nearby City of Juarez attracted widespread media attention, the violence spilling into the rural Juarez Valley received far less, eve as the killings began to escalate in brutal ways. Community advocates, elected officials, even police officers were shot down in the streets. Several residents were stabbed in the face with ice picks. By 2009, the valley, with a population of 20,000, had a murder rate six times higher than Juarez itself. Newspapers began to call the rural farming region the “Valley of Death.” This investigation uses extensive Freedom of Information Act requests, court documents, and difficult-to-obtain interviews in Spanish and English with current and former Juarez Valley residents, Mexican officials, narcotraffickers and U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials, to reveal that many of these shocking deaths were perpetrated with the participation of Mexican authorities. It shows scenes of devastation — households where six members of a single family were killed, without a single police investigation. It uncovers targeted killings by masked gunmen of community activists and innocent residents for speaking out against violence and repression facilitated by corrupt military and government officials. And it gathers multiple witnesses who describe soldiers themselves, working in league with the Sinaloa cartel, perpetrating violence against civilians. "The cemeteries are all full. There isn't anywhere left to bury the bodies," one former resident said. "You'll find nothing there but ghost towns and soldiers."
  • What Killed Arafat?

    This 50-minute film was the result of a nine month long cold case investigation into the suspicious death of Yasser Arafat, Palestine's iconic, revolutionary leader. After obtaining Arafat's entire original medical files, Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit, led by producer and reporter Clayton Swisher, crossed continents to track down and interview the French, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Palestinian doctors who had worked to save Arafat's life. Part I of "What Killed Arafat?" was able to easily shatter popular myths about what caused Arafat's precipitous decline from the onset of his illness on October 12, 2004 until his death on November 11th. Testimony from Arafat's doctors conclusively ruled out liver cirrhosis, cancer, even rumors of HIV. The scientific, evidence-based discoveries made in the Part II result from the work performed by a team of forensic pathologists, toxicologists, and radiation physicists from the University Center for Legal Medicine and Institute for Radiation Physics in Lausanne, Switzerland. Working without payment, they agreed to run a battery of sophisticated tests on a large gym bag containing Arafat’s last personal effects. The scientists discovered significant levels of reactor-made Polonium 210 contaminating areas of Arafat's personal effects that came into contact with his biological fluids. When the final results came back in late June, Al Jazeera hosted Mrs. Arafat in Doha to watch the Swiss explain the results on set. Upon witnessing their testimony, Ms. Arafat made a resolute, unanticipated surprise announcement, calling on the Palestinian Authority to exhume her husband's body for testing. Yasser Arafat’s body was exhumed on November 27, 2012 so that the final samples could be retrieved. Whether the causes of Arafat's death are determined to be natural, inconclusive—or even murder—suffice it to say that Al Jazeera’s "What Killed Arafat?" and the resulting investigations and exhumation will have inched the world closer to understanding what did not, and possibly for the first time, what did claim the life of this historic and controversial personality.
  • Death In The Desert

    Exposing trafficking and enslavement of African refugees in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula -- a lawless place ruled by Bedouin tribes. Crimes involved include, but are not limited to, extortion, torture, human and organ trafficking, and murder.
  • Death in the Desert

    "This story exposes the trafficking and enslavement of African refugees in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula--a lawless place ruled by Bedouin tribes. What CNN's Pleitgen found was not only trafficking and enslavement, but also organ trafficking."
  • Extraordinary Rendition

    "The film 'Extraordinary Rendition' explores the truth about CIA rendition and secret detention and sets out to explain not only the extent of US involvement in torture, but also why this program was carried out. It also reveals how rendition continues."
  • Terror Informant

    Egyptian immigrant Osama Eldawoody speaks to CBS Evening News about his two years "infiltrating and informing on a small group of Pakistani-Americans who planned to bomb a major New York City subway station at Manhattan's Herald Square." While his efforts helped lead to "one of the few post-9/11 terror trial convictions in New York," he found himself in grave danger. His anonymity was not sustained, and he said there were fatwas - threats - against his life in the NY/NJ Muslim community. Eldawoody felt the government failed him, as his identity was revealed when he testified in court, and he has not received help in finding a new job.