Tracking down the inventor of the device for virus C cure: the Ministry of Health had gone after his clinic for herbal remedies… his victims express discontent… in addition to verdicts against him for “impersonating a doctor”
(Published in Alshourouk, 3/3/2014)
“I bring you good news… never again will there be a hepatitis C patient in Egypt,” promised “Major General” Ibrahim Abdul Atti, who announced at an Armed Forces press conference the discovery of the ultimate cure for both hepatitis C and AIDS.
Bawabat Al-Shorouk managed to track down “Major General” Abdul Atti, only to realize that he, in fact, is not a real doctor. Abdul Atti had practiced herbal remedies and moved his clinic around several Egyptian governorates. We had testimonies from some of his victims and documented the testimony from the Senior Investigating Officer at the Ministry of Health, who had investigated the clinic before. We also observed the accompanying circumstances to Abdul Atti as he hosted a TV show at Al-Nas TV channel with the help of Atef Abdul Rashid, in addition to the verdicts against him for impersonating a doctor.
The beginning: why doesn’t anybody know him?
We began our search after the last reportage done by Bawabat Al-Shorouk on the device for virus C cure, and that was when we found out that the patent application, scientific papers and news releases since 2010 all have the recurring names of Dr. Gamal Shiha, Brigadier General Ahmed Amin and Major General Hamdy Badr, where the diagnosis device C Fast is mentioned, but there is not a word about the cure or its inventor at all.
We paid a visit to the Medical Syndicate to look for Abdul Atti’s name in the payroll list, only to find out, to our surprise, that the name is not there.
However, we did pick up a thread with an info that we received, which said that he had worked years ago for a clinic for herbal remedies located in Abrag Al-Mohandeseen in Maadi, so we went there but found no trace of him. Nobody there knew anything about him.
A patient’s testimony: Abdul Atti ruined my life.
The first documented testimony we got was from Nora Abdul Aziz, a dentist suffering from a rare condition of multiple sclerosis. She talked to us about her experience with Abdul Atti, when she visited his clinic in Abrag Al-Mohandeseen in Maadi 10 years ago.
Dr. Nora Abdul Aziz told Bawabat Al-Shorouk that Abdul Atti had diagnosed her with lupus and told her that he had treated similar cases of psoriasis and rheumatoid.
“For a whole year of treatment I didn’t feel any better,” says Dr. Nora. “Reading a few medical journals, I learned that I was misdiagnosed and suffering, in fact, from sclerosis. I went to him and confronted him with that, and to my shock he said, ‘Shame on you that you think too much. You are a doctor. If you do like illiterate people who can’t write or read, you’ll be just fine!’”
Dr. Nora added that after she spent some more time taking the medicine, which was in the form of capsules filled with ground herbs made by Abdul Atti himself, he redirected her to a certain analysis lab in Dokki, where the analysis showed that she was now fully cured. “Congratulations. You’re cured,” he said to her.
“Me and my family were very happy. I stopped taking all the medicine I was taking, but a while later I felt the symptoms coming back worse than before. I then went to a different lab, where I realized that the disease was still very well active.”
Dr. Nora and her mother went to Ibrahim Abdul Atti again. “He yelled at us and threw the papers in our faces and said, ‘I don’t acknowledge an analysis done in a lab located in a stairwell! I told you to do it at the lab I sent you to. It’s the only one I trust.’”
A while later, Dr. Nora heard that the clinic was shut down by the Ministry of Health, and that Abdul Atti went away to an unknown destination.
About the clinic itself Dr. Nora says, “It was very crowded, full of people from everywhere in Egypt, from Alexandria to Aswan, most of which are very poor. Office hours would start late, at 8 PM.”
“I’m still suffering from the relapse I had because of him,” concludes Dr. Nora. “I’ll never forget him, because he ruined my life.”
A patient’s testimony: He claimed he could cure the toughest diseases… and there were certificates from unknown places hanging on the walls.
Another patient who used to go to Abdul Atti’s clinic in Abrag Al-Mohandeseen (he asked us not to mention his name) told us that he went there 8 years ago, after hearing from a friend that Abdul Atti had discovered a new herbal cure for diabetes.
He said to Bawabat Al-Shorouk, “The medicine was in the form of capsules he made and filled with herbs, the names of which he didn’t mention. “Doctor” Abdul Atti also said that he treated many people in the Gulf area, and that he was able to cure all chronic diseases and all advanced cases of psychosis.”
The patient said that there were certificates from unknown universities hanging on the walls, and added that Abdul Atti would smoke heavily in the check-up room, and that he had 3 assistants carrying his cell phones. The treatment was expensive, but it lead to no positive results, and in the end the patient stopped going to that clinic.
A testimony from the Senior Investigating Officer at the Ministry of Health: He used to do mysterious researches, and he claimed to know King Abdullah personally.
We kept looking for Ibrahim Abdul Atti’s name at the Medical Syndicate and Ministry of Health, until we met with Dr. Ahmed Al-Zein, Senior Investigating Officer at the Ministry of Health, who told us that he himself had gone to that clinic at Abrag Al-Mohandeseen in Maadi in 2002 (12 years ago), when he received a report of someone impersonating a doctor and practicing herbal medicine there.
“When I went to the clinic at the 18th floor, it was closed. A huge sign occupying most of the opposite wall said, ‘God, steer whomever you want cured into our direction.’ Another sign said, ‘Internal Medicine and Liver Clinic,’ with no names.”
Dr. Al-Zein also told Bawabat Al-Shorouk, “I rang the bell, and then Ibrahim Abdul Atti himself opened the door and told me that the clinic was registered to Dr. Mohamed Mohey Al-Dien, a liver consultant at the National Research Center, who treated patients alone, whereas all Abdul Atti did was medical research on a cure for virus C in an adjacent room. He showed me some papers to prove what he said, including some prescriptions written by Dr. Mohamed Mohey Al-Dien.”
Abdul Atti also told Dr. Al-Zein that he had graduated from the Faculty of Science, that he had worked in the United States for 2 years and that he received his master’s degree from a university in Russia. Dr. Al-Zein advised him to follow the proper scientific method and to present his research to the New Medicine Committee at the Ministry of Health. He also told him that the clinic was still in breach of Law 51 of the year 1981, which prohibits practicing any other activities at a medical clinic, and that he must vacate the place.
“Ibrahim Abdul Atti told me that King Abdullah — who was still the Heir Apparent of Saudi Arabia at the time — had asked him to move the Kingdom and continue his research there, but he declined because he wanted to stay in Egypt. I replied that scientific research is the same in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, America and everywhere else. I learned later that he did actually go with his research to the New Medicine Committee at the Ministry of Health, but the person who was examining the research passed away, and there are no available information anymore.”
We went to Dr. Ahmed Farouk, a researcher at the National Research Center and member of the Strike Management Committee at the Medical Syndicate, who informed us that there is no researcher at the Liver Department called Mohamed Mohey Al-Dien at the present time, and that he had no more information to give about that matter.
He moved his clinic from Al-Haram to Maadi to Alexandria.
On February 26th, Dr. Galal Gawdat published on his Facebook page the first information about Ibrahim Abdul Atti not being a real doctor, and mentioned that he practiced herbal medicine.
We contacted Dr. Gawdat, who told us that his source was someone who had worked with Abdul Atti in medical analysis, and that they were very cautious and not willing to have their name published or go to the press personally.
Dr. Gawdat had learned from his source that Abdul Atti used to treat all kinds of diseases using herbs ground by his assistants and packed into capsules that look exactly like ordinary medicine capsules we all know. He used to deal with known analysis labs first, but if the PCR gave out results he did not like, he would ask the patient to go to another lab. Later, he started dealing with a chemist he knew personally.
The source mentioned that Abdul Atti’s clinic was located in Al-Haram Street at first, then it was moved to Abrag Al-Mohandeseen in Maadi, then to Alexandria; all because the Ministry of Health was going after him.
The Attorney Syndicate Commissioner in Kafr Al-Sheikh: He worked as a lab technician… 10 months ago he told me that he was now a major general at the army, but I didn’t believe him.
We contacted Ahmed Abdul Rahim Abdoh, the Attorney Syndicate Commissioner in Kafr Al-Sheikh, who told us that he knew Abdul Atti for 6 years. “I came to meet him through mutual friends, and soon enough we became friends. We even used to eat at the same table.” He added that Abdul Atti had been working in herbal medicine ever since he met him. “I saw that he had books and references about medical plants.”
Abdul Rahim went on describing the clinic’s journey, the last leg of which was in Alexandria, and said, “He then moved the clinic to Damanhur, then to Al-Rahmaneyyah in the Al-Behera Governorate. He had a fight with his latest wife (and he married a lot of women), which led to a divorce. She then sued him, so he fled to Helwan.”
Abdul Rahim added that Abdul Atti’s divorcee told him the truth about the several medical certificates he had on the walls in his clinic. “He used to go abroad every now and then to insignificant universities, where he would buy a certificate for 3000 dollars and have his picture in the academic gown taken, so he could hang it in the clinic.” Abdul Rahim said that when he investigated the medical background of Abdul Atti, he found to his surprise that the man had graduated from the Technical Medical Institute and worked as a lab technician at the Physiology Department in Alexandria University’s Faculty of Medicine. “I came upon a formal certificate signed by Dr. Hosny Amin Al-Khanager, former Head of the Physiology Department, which stated that Ibrahim Abdul Atti had worked as a lab technician at the department since 1965.”
Abdul Rahim added, “10 months ago he contacted me and said that he became a major general at the Armed Forces, but I did not believed him and considered the whole thing a big farce, because I knew he was 67 years old. And then he surprised me by appearing in that press conference.”
His friendship with Atef Abdul Rahid gave him a way into the Al-Nas TV channel.
Ahmed Abdul Rahim also added that Abdul Atti had hosted a show at the Al-Nas TV channel for a limited period of time in Ramadan 2009, because he was friends with Atef Abdul Rashid, the president of the channel. They would meet together in restaurants in the Al-Hussein area, and Abdul Atti would give Abdul Rashid some of the substances he used to make.
Anchorman Mo’taz Matar had played a video on the Al-Sharq TV channel showing a clip from the show at Al-Nas TV channel.
Documented verdicts against Abdul Atti.
Attorney Ahmed Abdul Rahim said that he had documents of verdicts against Abdul Atti, which included:
- an authenticity notice in June 2nd, 2007 by an investigating officer, which stated that medical analysis reports signed by Dr. Ibrahim Abdul Atti were found; they proved that he was impersonating a doctor. This is in addition to ads found in his clinic at tower 4 in Abrag Al-Mohandeseen in Maadi that indicated that he practiced medicine.
- that he was sentenced to prison in felony №30238 of 2007, Al-Basateen Police Department felonies, for practicing medicine without being on the payroll of the Medical Syndicate. The penalty was then commuted to a month in prison after making an appeal. (The penalty was carried out and Abdul Atti was imprisoned for one week, but then the penalty was stayed and Abdul Atti was released from prison on the grounds that he made a cassation).
- that he was sentenced to 3 months in prison in felony №610 of 1991, Karmouz felonies in Alexandria, for writing a bad check. (The penalty was stayed after her paid the amount of the check and reconciled with the litigant).
A lawsuit against the President and Minister of Defense in their personal capacity.
Attorney Ahmed Abdul Rahim said that on March 2nd, he filed the lawsuit №35801 of the juridical year 68 against the President in his personal capacity, the Minister of Defense in his personal capacity and the Head of the Engineering Administration of the Armed Forces in his personal capacity, to challenge the decision of granting the rank of major general at the Armed Forces to the civilian Egyptian citizen Ibrahim Abdul Atti.
Abdul Rahim based his lawsuit on the previous verdicts against Abdul Atti, in addition to documenting a verdict in favor of Abdul Atti against the Minister of Defense and head of the Engineering Administration of the Armed Forces in their personal capacity in 1990, in case №8729, to obtain a compensation in the amount of 7 and a half million pounds, after the Armed Forces had expropriated a piece of land he owned.
He also pointed out that the merits of the lawsuit included Abdul Atti owning a company to manufacture drugs called Pharmaeto, which was registered with №38196 with an authorized capital of the company of two and a half million pounds.
There is not a single scientist in Egypt that knows him.
It should be mentioned that Dr. Gamal Shiha, the liver professor at Mansoura University and head of the team responsible for the diagnosis device trials, had accentuated his pride of that scientific achievement, but about the cure device he said, “The other device, I only learned about it from newspapers. I know absolutely nothing about it.”
Shiha declared to the Al-Qahera Al-Youm TV show on Saturday evening that the cure device was never exhibited in any scientific conferences, international or local. “Not a single scientist in Egypt, whether they specialize in the liver or whatnot, read or heard anything about it,” he said. “The way that machine was exhibited is not scientifically appropriate at all.” He repeated the last sentence three times.
Liver Doctors of the Armed Forces don’t know him either.
Doctor and anchorman Khalid Montaser said he had paid close attention to the journey of the diagnosis device from the beginning, and attended conferences that discussed it in China, Thailand and the Netherlands, but he knows nothing about the other device and its inventor.
“Why hasn’t any liver doctor from the Armed Forces been asked to contribute?” Montaser wondered.
Montaser confirmed to Momken TV show that he asked Maj. Gen. Dr. Omar Heikal, internal medicine and liver professor and former Head of the Military Medical Academy, about the device, who declined any knowledge of the device or its inventor, which was the same answer he received from other specialists in liver diseases, such as Dr. Bahaa Sha’ban and Dr. Ahmed Al-Sawy.
“This is a scientific buffoonery.” said Montaser.
Old testimonies from the Internet.
Browsing the Internet, we found other leads that lead us to Abdul Atti. One of which was an article published in January 2003 in Al-Riyadh newspaper in KSA entitled “Is he the latest quack or a miracle of the 21st century?” In the article, writer Ali Khalid Al-Ghamdi talks about Ibrahim Abdul Atti, who said he had reached treatments for AIDS, tumors, diabetes and renal failure, and offered treating 10 AIDS cases free of charge, to demonstrate his “medical miracles,” in the words of the writer.
On Fatakat, an online forum for women, we found a story published by one of the members in 2011, in which she told the tale of her husband, who was mistreated for psoriasis at the hands of Abdul Atti. “A doctor in Maadi called Ibrahim Abdul Atti was treating him. The psoriasis was not that bad at the time. The medicine he took consisted of herbs he would soak in the bathtub and sit there for an hour, in addition to some pills. The psoriasis then worsened more and more, and whenever he mentioned that to the doctor, he would reply, ‘You should be happy. This means that you are getting better.’ My husband would say, ‘Doctor, everybody is telling me that it’s become worse,’ and he would say, ‘Soon you’ll show them that your body is smooth as a baby’s and peeve them.’ Then the psoriasis became all over his face.”
Abdul Atti: I graduated from the Faculty of Science… and my rank is a military secret.
Bawabat Al-Shorouk tried to contact “Major General” Abdul Atti on his phone, but he would not pick up. We then sent him an SMS asking him to answer, but he turned the phone off. However, he said to the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper on February 27th that he graduated from the Faculty of Science and received a doctorate degree in chemistry, which is why his rank is “Major General Physician” and not “Major General Doctor,” because he did not graduate from the Faculty of Medicine! This is in spite of his picture that shows him in uniform with a badge that clearly says “Authorized Maj. Gen. Dr. Ibrahim Abdul Atti,” which means he is a major general doctor.
In the same interview, when asked about the meaning of “authorized major general,” he only said, “You can ask the high command about it.”
We asked Maj. Gen. Dr. Ahmed Abdul Halim, a military expert, who said that army officers are ranked as duty officers, reserve officers and authorized officers, who are civilians delegated by the Armed Forces to do a specific task for a specific period of time, then go back to their civilian lives.
Abdul Halim mentioned to Bawabat Al-Shorouk that musician Mohamed Abdul Wahab received an honorary major general rank during the time of President Sadat, which does not mean that he could serve in the Armed Forces. This is very different from the authorized major general rank, where one could only serve a certain purpose.