Why I Was Dragged Through the Street by an Egyptian Mob

3QD friend Graeme Wood reports about his experience in The Atlantic:

ScreenHunter_11 Feb. 04 12.25 Egypt's cryptic new vice president, Omar Suleiman, is a man who chooses his words cautiously, if it counts as caution not to speak much at all. So when he said this afternoon that “foreign agents” might have instigated the demonstration against his boss Hosni Mubarak, he probably knew the consequences of his word choice. Today Egyptian state TV called out some of the enemy by name, positing a conspiracy between the Muslim Brotherhood (a major Egyptian element in the protests) and Qataris, who fund the pro-protester network Al Jazeera.

This morning I discovered other elements to this sinister imaginary cabal. At around eleven o'clock, after a walk around the area of downtown north of Tahrir, I got into a cab and headed toward the Nile. Three times I found the road blocked by armed men demanding to see my passport, and twice they let me through with the usual apology for having to waylay me. On the third of these, the man roared with delight at seeing my foreign passport and began flipping through it, his eyes drawn first to the stamps with Arabic script. He called over others, and within seconds at least a dozen men in plain clothes surrounded me, two locking my arms behind my back, another threading his fingers tightly through a beltloop, and all the rest hooting with delight at having caught a real Iranian spy.

More here.