Mubarak's bodyguard: Suleiman's star began to rise in 1995 when he convinced Mubarak, despite objections from the Foreign Ministry, to take an armored limousine to an African Union summit in Ethiopia. Islamist militants ambushed the Egyptian motorcade shortly after he arrived in Ethiopia, raking the limousine with bullets, but Mubarak escaped unscathed due to Suleiman's precautions.
Since that episode, Suleiman's role as one of Mubarak's most trusted confidants on security matters grew steadily. "He tells Mubarak everything that's happening," a retired Egyptian general said. "After 22 years in power, the gerontocracy that surrounds the president tells him what they think he wants to hear. Suleiman tells Mubarak the way it is."