Fasten your seatbelts. “CIA director: Mubarak may step down Thursday night,” from CNN, February 10:
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — There is a strong likelihood that embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will step down Thursday night, CIA Director Leon Panetta told the U.S. Congress.
Mubarak has agreed to yield power to his vice president, a senior U.S. official told CNN, citing contacts within the Egyptian government.
This official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said that given the mixed signals sent throughout the crisis that “we need to see it happen.”
But the source said the information came from reliable and ranking officials in the Mubarak regime. Asked when the transfer of power might take place, the official said: “We are told soon is the plan.”
The secretary-general of Egypt’s ruling party confirmed Thursday that a transition was underway and he expected Mubarak to address the nation soon.
Earlier in the day, protesting lawyers toppled barricades at Cairo’s Abdeen Palace, the former home of Egypt’s monarchy and a symbol of power. Armed police, who had disappeared from the streets of Cairo as the uprising gained momentum, waited behind metal fences.
But the police fled and the crowd surged amid the roar of thunder on a rainy day. “God is great,” they chanted….
“Allahu akbar,” that is.