Police in Egypt raided 17 NGO offices on Thursday, including those of two U.S.-based organizations that apparently made the list because of a Mubarack-era ban on foreign interference in local politics. The raids follow an investigation into alleged violations of a law that the new government had said it would repeal, and which former president Hosni Mubarack used to control pro-democracy advocates The Guardian reported.
As police stormed the U.S. National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, they snatched documents, computers, and even history books, according to a NDI staffer's tweets, The Guardian reported. Staffers have apparently been locked into the offices while police carry out their raids. According to Reuters, the U.S.-based groups operate programs to train political parties. But the Egyptian public prosecutors office says it's investigating whether they received foreign funding to do local politicking, which would be a violation of Egyptian law. The Guardian reports that "in recent months, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has accused local non-governmental organizations of receiving money from abroad, and has argued that the recent unrest in the country is by 'foreign hands'."