Understanding Benghazi: The Al Qaeda-Muslim Brotherhood Connection

benghazi_bloody_handprint_APBreitbart, by COUNCIL FOR GLOBAL SECURITY:

The Hague’s International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) recently released a report that shatters leftist talking points on the political situation in North Africa.

The report, titled “Security in the Sinai: Present and Future,” details not only the Sinai peninsula’s decent into chaos over the last two years, but synthesizes available research on the entire Islamist/Jihadi nexus that crosses North Africa, linking the Benghazi attack, Salafist activism undertaken by the Muslim Brotherhood, and links to what the administration’s intellectual vassals refer to as “al-Qaeda core.”

Sinai has long been a problem region for the Egyptian government, with bedouin tribes often taking advantage of a lack of governance in the peninsula during Egypt’s periods of political and economic upheaval. The most recent period of unrest is no different, with bedouin bandits engaging in criminal activity as soon as Mubarak’s political future was called into question by massive protests.

This banditry was rapidly replaced by Islamist militias connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, who targeted Coptic churches as well as Egyptian state assets, including police outposts along the trans-Sinai oil pipeline. These attacks were against the Egyptian state and economy; they were not mere acts of profit-seeking criminality. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM), the most prominent jihadist group in Egypt, went so far as to use suicide bombings against Korean tourists, explicitly stating that they intended to ruin Egypt’s economy by targeting its heavy reliance on tourism.

This jihadist insurgency is supported by a larger political infrastructure, organized under the moniker of Salafiya Jihadiya (SJ). SJ was responsible for the extremely well organized “spontaneous” protests over an obscure video that targeted U.S. Embassies and installations across the Muslim world and is led by none other than Ayman al-Zawahiri’s younger brother, Muhammad al-Zawahiri.

Muhammad Jamal Abd al Rahim Ahmad al Kashif (frequently referred to as just Muhammad Jamal) is a veteran jihadist closely affiliated with Zawahiri. Jamal was mistakenly released in 2011, and in the two years before his arrest in 2013 he was responsible for establishing jihadist training camps in Sinai, Libya, and Western Egypt. Jamal is also known to have been closely involved in the September 11, 2012 attack on U.S. installations in Benghazi, Libya. Upon his arrest, Jamal was discovered to have been in direct contact with Ayman al-Zawahiri, requesting assistance and reporting that groundwork had been laid for an al Qaeda enterprise in Sinai. Jamal is also believed to have trained and directed Walid Badr, a former Egyptian military officer who served as a suicide bomber in an attempt on the life of the Egyptian Minister of Interior.

With Muhammad Jamal and Muhammad Zawahiri both connected to the attack against the US consulate in Benghazi (and with Zawahiri personally present at the riot outside of the US embassy in Cairo, where the American flag was torn down and replaced by the black banner of al-Qaeda), it would defy logic to remain content with the administration’s story. But the thread doesn’t end there.

In February, the Egyptian government released intercepted recordings of phone calls between then-president Muhammad Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri. Zawahiri was formally acquitted of terrorism charges by Morsi in 2012 and was reported by CNN to be “helping” negotiations with jihadists in Sinai during Morsi’s tenure. Additional reporting, cited by the Jerusalem Post, acknowledges not only that Morsi and the younger Zawahiri were in contact, but that the Muslim Brotherhood’s original contender for the Egyptian presidency, Khariat el-Shater, was in contact with “al Qaeda core” elements in Pakistan and Palestine.

Muhammad Zawahiri’s quasi-political role in Salafiya Jihadiya, his intimate affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood’s official leadership, his association with Muhammad Jamal’s jihadist infrastructure in Sinai, and his overt and direct participation in what the administration insists was a “spontaneous protest” in Cairo and Benghazi is a damning indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood’s direct connections to al-Qaeda.

Effectively, if Muhammad Zawahiri wanted to talk to his older brother he would have had to ask Morsi if he could use his phone. In the same instance, if the “core” of al Qaeda wanted to establish contact with Muhammad Jamal, its franchise in Northern Africa, including Benghazi, it would have likely relied on the same personalities. All of the above simply reinforce the stakes of the elections today and tomorrow in Cairo. General Sisi has openly stated his commitment to crush the Brotherhood beacause of its ties to al Qaeda. A victory for Sisi would be a victory against Salafi Jihadism.

The Hague is a European institution — it is not involved in American partisan politics and has no reason to bend the facts on Benghazi and the Brotherhood to fit a partisan agenda. These are the facts of the case, and those who continue to deny that Benghazi was a result of a “larger failure of foreign policy” are finally starting to feel the heat.

The Council for Global Security is a Washington-based non-profit organization that support democracy, prosperity and the protection of minorities around the world.

 

Egypt Declares Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Group

Muslim-Brotherhood-Egypt-450x344

The Muslim Brotherhood fulfills all three requirements to be labeled a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department.

There are three reasons why this has not happened: The Brotherhood’s lobby, ignorance and fear.

By Ryan Mauro:

The Egyptian government formally labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group on Christmas, banning all of its activities including protests. The Obama Administration, advised by Brotherhood-friendly groups in the U.S., is unlikely to follow in Egypt’s footsteps in calling a spade a spade.

The announcement came after the government blamed the Brotherhood for the suicide bombing of a police station in Mansoura. No proof was offered of Brotherhood involvement. A pro-Al-Qaeda group named Ansar Jerusalem, based in the Sinai Peninsula, took credit.

That didn’t stop local protestors from immediately rallying against the Brotherhood, s effigies of the group’s leaders and attacking property owned by a Brotherhood member. The Egyptian public as a whole remains hostile to the Brotherhood and loyal to the military, with about half the population wanting the group outlawed. Another poll taken in August showed that almost 70% want it banned from politics.

The Brotherhood may or may not be involved in that specific bombing in Mansoura, but that doesn’t mean it is peaceful. It has threatened to form a rebel armed force. After the Egyptian military’s crackdown on the Brotherhood began, Egyptians outraged by the response of the U.S. government and media posted eye-opening videos showing Brotherhood members threatening violence, attacking Egyptian security forces and churches, and putting children at risk for the sake of propaganda.

In addition, Brotherhood preachers continue to instigate violence in Egypt and abroad. The organization knows what it’s doing. Why officially engage in violence when individual members and Salafist allies will do so on their own accord, leaving room for deniability?

The labeling of the group as terrorists comes as the government prosecutes former President Morsi and many other Brotherhood operatives. Morsi is accused of involvement in a “terrorist plan” begun in 2005 to send Brotherhood fighters to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for training by Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The Obama Administration has decided to swim against the regional anti-Brotherhood wave, cutting aid to Egypt’s government and siding with the Brotherhood. The result is a realignment in alliances that pushes the Arab world into the arms of Russia.

It is extremely unlikely that the U.S. State Department will similarly designate the Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, even though it meets the qualifications. It is more likely that the administration will condemn Egypt’s latest action.

Read more at Front Page

New Evidence Ties Ousted Morsi Government to Al-Qaeda

by Raymond Ibrahim:

Days before the ousting of former Egyptian President Morsi, an Arabic-language report had said that, “al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Muhammad Zawahiri [brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri and a leader of al-Qaeda in Sinai], is currently planning reprisal operations by which to attack the army and the Morsi-opposition all around the Republic [of Egypt].”

Muhammad Zawahiri and Muhammad Morsi: Two faces, one goal

That, of course, happened—and in a dramatic fashion, especially the attacks on the Christian Copts, who were scapegoated by the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda. Indeed, hours before Morsi was ousted, Muhammad Zawahiri had declared that al-Qaeda would wage a jihad to save Morsi and his Islamization agenda for Egypt, adding that:

[I]f matters reach a confrontation, then to be sure, that is in our favor—for we have nothing to lose. And at all times and places where chaos reigns, it’s often to the jihad’s advantage…. for we sold our souls to Allah”—a reference to Koranic verses like 9:111—“and welcome the opportunity to fight to the death.”

Now, a new report confirms that, back when Morsi was still president, Muhammad Zawahiri had been arrested and was being interrogated—only to be ordered released by a presidential order form Morsi. He then fled to the Sinai, where al-Qaeda is stationed, not to mention where Morsi had reportedly earlier summoned thousands of foreign jihadis to come to his aid whenever necessary.

All of which has come to pass, including the fact that many of those eventually arrested for committing acts of violence in Egypt were not even Egyptian, as was clearly demonstrated by their Arabic dialects.

Thus, once again, we see that the differences between the “largely secular” Muslim Brotherhood—in the words of the U.S. director of national intelligence—and “terroristic” al-Qaeda are actually “largely semantic.”

As world watches Syria, Egypt launches major campaign against jihadists in Sinai

More than 20,000 Egyptians soldiers are pouring into the lawless Sinai Peninsula to "cleanse" the vast region of militant jihadists. (AP Photo, File)

More than 20,000 Egyptians soldiers are pouring into the lawless Sinai Peninsula to “cleanse” the vast region of militant jihadists. (AP Photo, File)

By Paul Alster:

While the eyes of the world are on Syria, Egypt’s military is routing jihadists from the vast and lawless Sinai Peninsula — and, according to some regional observers, showing the U.S. how to conduct a war on terrorists.

Under orders from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military leader governing Egypt since the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi was ousted, the Egyptian military is stepping up the fight against the growing coalition of Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other radical Muslims gathering in the massive desert peninsula. Although the jihadist activity in the Sinai could be as big a threat to regional stability as the civil war in Syria, Sisi’s effort to confront terrorism at his doorstep comes without endorsement from the Obama administration, which has denounced the military takeover in Egypt.

“I am more than sure that the Muslim Brotherhood and its leadership in Egypt were actually encouraged by the Americans — and not just in Egypt,” Mordechai Kedar, a highly respected analyst of Islamic groups, and a former Israeli military intelligence officer, told FoxNews.com. “The State Department sympathized with the Muslim Brotherhood because they wanted Islamists to love America. They will do anything in order to look nice in the eyes of these Islamists.”

In recent weeks, ferocious battles have been fought by the Egyptian military against Islamists in the vast desert region that separates Egypt and Israel. The territory is meant to be controlled by Egypt under the terms of the 1979 peace agreement between the two countries, but things in Sinai were already deteriorating during the final years of former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Then, during Morsi’s brief, 12-month tenure, things became significantly worse

Read more at Fox News

Video: Muslim Brotherhood Speaker Threatens Jihad

MB 4BY RYAN MAURO:

An Egyptian source has provided the Clarion Project with an Arabic video that is going viral on Egyptian social media pages. It shows a Muslim Brotherhood speaker declaring the formation of a war council and threatening to wage jihad on the military and police if they do not leave the northern Sinai. The speaker also tells Islamists to abandon the idea of elections.

The video has been viewed 177,000 times since being posted on July 31.Various social media pages have identified the speaker as Abdel Rahman El-Shorbagy, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party. The rally took place in El-Arish in northern Sinai.

Our source translates the video as follows:

“Firstly, I tell all the young men, that we need to form a war council [crowd cheers] and no peaceful demonstrations after today.

Secondly, we want to tell the Egyptian traitor army, police and media that after today, if you attack us, we will attack you!

Thirdly, we declare civil disobedience in all of Northern Sinai.

Fourthly, we tell Mubarak’s police, leave Northern Sinai. We also tell Sisi’s traitor army and the traitors of the military council that we will wage jihad on you and you must leave Northern Sinai.

Finally, a final world, a very important final word. After I have studied the reality of the situation, I tell all the Islamist currents in Egypt: No elections after today, no elections after today…”

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

Hamas Reels In Wake Of Morsi Downfall

images (85)by John Rossomando:

 

Egypt’s military chief seeks mandate to fight violence

July 24, 2013: In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi delivers a speech in Cairo, Egypt. (AP/Egypt State TV)

July 24, 2013: In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi delivers a speech in Cairo, Egypt. (AP/Egypt State TV)

CAIRO –  The military chief who ousted Egypt’s elected president called on the public Wednesday to take to the streets to give him and the police a mandate to tackle “violence and terrorism,” in an address that pointed to a possible move against supporters of the Islamist leader.

The call by Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, made in a speech to a graduation ceremony for military cadets, underlined how the military chief is the source of real power in the country despite the creation of a civilian government after the July 3 coup that removed Mohammed Morsi.

His comments appeared designed to secure a public cover for what could be a move to dismantle sit-in camps by Morsi’s supporters in Cairo and elsewhere, as well as a campaign against Islamic radicals that have stepped up attacks on security forces in Sinai. El-Sissi called for a massive turnout in Friday rallies to give him a “mandate” to do what is “necessary” to stop bloodshed.

A coalition of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and allied factions denounced his speech, calling it an “open invitation” to civil war. Their coalition plans protests and marches of its own on Friday, raising the potential for violence between the two camps.

Read more at Fox News

The Brotherhood’s Reach For Jihad

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By :

Violence in Egypt continues to boil over on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the media’s obsession with the George Zimmerman verdict and the royal birth in England.

The New York Times described “running battles with firearms, bottles and rocks near Tahrir Square in Cairo and on the edges of two protest sites that have been held by Mr. Morsi’s [former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi] Islamist supporters for weeks.” At least nine people were killed in Cairo on Tuesday, bringing the total fatalities to 14 this week to date. This is on top of the more than 50 people, mostly Morsi supporters, who lost their lives on July 8th.

The Muslim Brotherhood continues to dig in its heels, refusing any role in the new government while insisting on Morsi’s restoration to power and the return of his Islamist constitution. Followers are continuing their protest demonstrations. A Muslim Brotherhood leader also called on Egyptians to besiege the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to protest what Morsi supporters claim was U.S. support for his removal.

The opponents of the deposed Islamist regime and the Egyptian military, which took action against Morsi in response to the opposition’s huge protests in early July, are not yielding to Muslim Brotherhood-inspired pressure tactics. In fact, a public opinion poll published by the Baseera Public Opinion Research Center found that approximately 71% of Egyptians do not sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood-led demonstrations supporting Morsi.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood is not stopping at demonstrations, threats or random street violence in Cairo and other Egyptian cities to get its way. It appears to be organizing a major counter-attack to bring about its restoration to power, using the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as its command center and the Sinai Peninsula as its launching pad to force itself back into power through terrorism.

According to an exclusive story in the DEBKAfile Special Report dated July 22, 2013, “six Muslim Brotherhood officials escaped from Egypt after their president was overthrown in a military coup July 3 and smuggled themselves into the Gaza Strip to lead an uprising against the military in Cairo.” The DEBKAfile story goes on to provide details of the Gaza-based command center planning:

Headed by Mahmud Izzat Ibrahim, a senior deputy of the Supreme Guide, the group has established a command post at the Gaza Beach Hotel, to organize operations against Egyptian military and security targets, in conjunction with Hamas and armed Al Qaeda-linked Salafist Bedouin in Sinai. The ousted Islamist leaders hope their revolt will quickly spread out from Sinai to Egypt proper and topple the provisional rulers in Cairo… Our sources reveal that the group escaped from Egypt using the Hamas networks which operated underground in Egypt during the Mubarak presidency. In February 2011, when Mubarak was on his way out, those networks came out of hiding to engineer the mass jailbreak of Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi himself.

Meanwhile, jihadists and criminal elements are already causing havoc in the Sinai Peninsula, turning it into a lawless area where Egyptian police and army personnel have been targeted for assassination.  Hamas is said to be helping their jihadist brethren that have set up operations in Sinai, which is not surprising considering that Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to the DEBKAfile Special Report, there is a new terrorist network in Sinai, which calls itself “Communicators with the Mahdi,” consisting “almost entirely of Palestinian members of Hamas and Jihadi Islami from Gaza.”

It is this network, DEBKAfile explained, that is “held responsible for the sharp escalation in attacks on Egyptian security forces since the Brotherhood leaders set up shop at the Beach Hotel.”

“There is no doubt,” the DEBKAfile Special Report added, “that the Brotherhood revolt leaders in Gaza are coordinating their actions with the Egyptian al Qaeda leader Ramzi Mowafi and the armed Salafist legion he commands in Sinai.”

Read more at Front Page

Six Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood highups flee to Gaza, set up command post for uprising

Gaza Beach Hotel: Muslim Brotherhood uprising command post

Gaza Beach Hotel: Muslim Brotherhood uprising command post

DEBKAfile:

A group of six Muslim Brotherhood officials escaped from Egypt after their president was overthrown in a military coup July 3 and smuggled themselves into the Gaza Strip to lead an uprising against the military in Cairo,DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence sources disclose. Headed by Mahmud Izzat Ibrahim, a senior deputy of the Supreme Guide, the group has established a command post at the Gaza Beach Hotel, to organize operations against Egyptian military and security targets, in conjunction with Hamas and armed Al Qaeda-linked Salafist Bedouin in Sinai.

The ousted Islamist leaders hope their revolt will quickly spread out from Sinai to Egypt proper and topple the provisional rulers in Cairo.
Mahmoud Izzat, a doctor of medicine, known as the Muslim Brotherhood’s “iron man,” ranks fourth after Supreme Guide Muhammed Badie in the Muslim Brotherhood hierarchy. He was a key figure in handing down the policy decisions of the Guidance Office, of which he has been a member since 1981, to the movement’s Freedom and Justice Party in government and parliament.
Married to a former supreme guide’s daughter, he was imprisoned in 1995 as leader of an illegal organization, and jailed again in January 2008 for participating in Cairo demonstrations against an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile: The MB leadership picked Mahmoud Izzat as the man best able to command the movement’s mutiny against its successors in Cairo.

Our sources reveal that the group escaped from Egypt using the Hamas networks which operated underground in Egypt during the Mubarak presidency. In February 2011, when Mubarak was on his way out, those networks came out of hiding to engineer the mass jailbreak of Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi himself.
To bypass Egyptian military and police roadblocks on Sinai roads, Hamas provided Izzat and his fellow Brethren with smugglers’ boats that ply the Mediterranean sea route between Alexandria and Gaza.

Saturday, July 20, the Egyptian army imposed a total blockade on sea craft traffic along the Mediterranean coasts of Gaza and Sinai and clamped down heavily on other means of access to the Gaza Strip. Army engineers are destroying the hundreds of smuggling tunnels linking Sinai and the Palestinian enclave, which were an integral part of Gaza’s economy under Hamas rule.

Last week, Egyptian Apache gun ships flew overhead to warn the Palestinian rulers that their movements was under surveillance.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, in view of the Gaza Strip’s key role in abetting the uprising, the Egyptian army may decide to kick off its counter-terror operation in Sinai by dropping elite forces in Gaza by air or sea for commandeering the Beach Hotel and detaining the six Muslim Brotherhood leaders. They would be brought to Cairo and tried on charges of instigating revolt.

Read more

Bin Laden’s Doctor Terrorizing Egypt from Sinai Base

By Raymond Ibrahim:

New Egyptian intelligence confirms that Dr. Ramzi Mawafi—better known as the late terrorist Osama bin Laden’s physician—is the leader of the so-called “Free Egyptian Army” that consists primarily of Islamic terrorists clustered all throughout the Sinai, and who have been responsible for the recent attacks on Egyptian soldiers, police, Christian Copts, and other targets, including the gas pipes, all in response to the ousting of Muhammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sources also confirm that Mawafi is trying to transform the Sinai Peninsula to an “Islamic emirate” and turning his “Free Egyptian Army” into its jihadi wing to launch attacks on Egypt proper. Accordingly, he has been, for two and a half years—since being released from prison—rallying thousands of fellow jihadis, from Egypt and other countries, to the Sinai to form bases.

Mawafi was released from the Wadi Natrun prison on January 29—the same day and prison that now ousted president Muhammad Morsi was released from at the hands of Hamas. Moreover, early reports had indicated that Morsi was summoning jihadis, foreign and domestic, to congregate in the Sinai so as to come to his aid whenever needed—just as they are now.

Following these revelations that Mawafi is behind the Sinai upsurge, Egypt’s General Commander Sisi called for Mawafi’s head—“dead or alive.”

Also see:

Report: Muslim Brotherhood to Form Rebel Egyptian Army (clarionproject.org)

Behind Egypt’s coup, months of acrimony between Morsi and top general over Sinai, policies

download (14)AP: CAIRO — The head of Egypt’s military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, sat with a polite smile in the front row listening to President Mohammed Morsi give a 2 1/2-hour speech defending his year in office. El-Sissi even clapped lightly as the audience of Morsi supporters broke into cheers.

It was a calculating display of cool by an army general plotting the overthrow of his commander in chief. Just over a week later, el-Sissi slid in the knife, announcing Morsi’s ouster on state TV on July 3 as troops took the Islamist leader into custody.

The move was the culmination of nearly a year of acrimonious relations between el-Sissi and Egypt’s first freely elected — and first civilian — president.

A series of interviews by The Associated Press with defense, security and intelligence officials paint a picture of a president who intended to flex his civilian authority as supreme commander of the armed forces, issuing orders to el-Sissi. In turn, the military chief believed Morsi was leading the country into turmoil and repeatedly challenged him, defying his orders in at least two cases.

The degree of their differences suggests that the military had been planning for months to take greater control of the political reins in Egypt. When an activist group named Tamarod began a campaign to oust Morsi, building up to protests by millions nationwide that began June 30, it appears to have provided a golden opportunity for el-Sissi to get rid of the president. The military helped Tamarod from early on, communicating with it through third parties, according to the officials.

The reason, the officials said, was because of profound policy differences with Morsi. El-Sissi saw him as dangerously mismanaging a wave of protests early in the year that saw dozens killed by security forces. More significantly, however, the military also worried that Morsi was giving a free hand to Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula, ordering el-Sissi to stop crackdowns on jihadis who had killed Egyptian soldiers and were escalating a campaign of violence.

“I don’t want Muslims to shed the blood of fellow Muslims,” Morsi told el-Sissi in ordering a halt to a planned offensive in November, retired army Gen. Sameh Seif el-Yazl told AP. Seif el-Yazl remains close to the military and sometimes appears with el-Sissi at public events.

And at root, the military establishment has historically had little tolerance for the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s Islamist group. The military leadership has long held the conviction that the group puts its regional Islamist ambitions above Egypt’s security interests.

Its alliances with Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other Islamist groups alarmed the military, which believed Gaza militants were involved in Sinai violence. The officials said the military leadership also believed the Brotherhood was trying to co-opt commanders to turn against el-Sissi.

Read more at Washington Post

 

Copts Face Violent Onslaught in Wake of Morsi Ouster

downloadIPT, by John Rossomando:

Israeli green light for big Egyptian Sinai offensive, after Islamists fail to assassinate Egyptian general

Al Qaeda flags adorn Morsi's image in Sinai

Al Qaeda flags adorn Morsi’s image in Sinai

Debka:

Israel Thursday July 11 approved a major Egyptian offensive for curbing the mounting aggression in Sinai of armed Salafis gangs, Muslim Brotherhood raiders and Hamas terrorists. A day earlier, Egypt’s Second Army commander, Maj.-Gen. Ahmad Wasfi, who is assigned to lead the offensive, escaped unhurt from an attempt on his life. Some of his bodyguards and soldiers were killed.

Maj.-Gen. Wasfi arrived in Sinai just four days ago to set up headquarters in the northern town of El Arish. He was targeted for the first attempt by radical Islamists to murder a high-ranking Egyptian general.  As a close associate of Defense Minister Gen. Fattah El-Sisi, Wasfi took part in the military coup which ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on July 3.

Around 30 Islamist gunmen laid in ambush for his convoy Wednesday,DEBKAfile’s sources report. As the cars drove past Sheikh Zuwayed, southwest of El Arish, they came under a hail of RPG anti-tank rockets and explosive devices. A minivan then drove the length of the convoy shooting heavy machine guns and armor-piercing bullets, trapping the Egyptian troops and officers in the blazing vehicles and gunning down those who tried to escape.

A fierce shootout ensued in which a number of attackers suffered losses, Egyptian military sources say. The minivan’s driver was captured and is under interrogation.

Tuesday, at the same location, two buses carrying Colombian peacemakers serving with the multinational force-MFO at the Sheikh Zuwayed base were also waylaid and shot up.

Of deep concern to the Egyptian and Israeli high commands is the Salafist assailants’ prior knowledge of the timing and route taken by Gen. Wasfi’s convoy in Sinai, because it means that Islamist terrorists have penetrated Egypt’s military apparatus in Sinai and gained an inside track on its activities.
With Israel’s consent (in line with the 1979 peace treaty), the Egyptian army last week withdrew substantial strength from the Suez Canal towns of Port Said and Ismailia and deployed the troops in Sinai ahead of the offensive.
On the other side of the Sinai border, Israeli Defense Forces are heavily deployed along the Sinai and Gaza border fences and in the southernmost sector of Eilat.
They are on high alert on intelligence that the armed Islamists plan to retaliate for an Egyptian assault by attacking Israel.

Read more

The Muslim Brotherhood Declares ‘Nafir’ Total War on Egypt

the-muslim-brotherhood-declares-nafi-total-war-on-egypt-218x218by :

On July 5th, Muslim Brotherhood (MB) militants declared that they will establish a “Taliban style state that harbors al-Qaeda” along with death threats to Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Minister of Defense, as well as threats to Christians stating, “We will destroy you and destroy Egypt, and we will blow ourselves up in crowded areas, and burn Christians alive.”

The declaration of war resulted in numerous terrorist attacks nationwide, especially against Shia’a, Copts, secularists, military and police and these are only few examples:

Ikhwan-militia-2-225x145- On the same day of the announcement of jihad, a Coptic priest was killed, 16 Christian homes were torched, a Coptic businessman Magdi Lamie, was abducted, brutally tortured and his beheaded corps was discovered this morning in Sheikh Zayyed, and numerous churches and Coptic owned businesses nation wide were attacked, especially in northern Sinai.

- It’s highly likely that northern Sinai turns into a Taliban style region that harbors MB’s militia, Al-Nour Salafist Party militantsAl-Gama’a al-IslamiyyaAl Takfir wa’l-hijraGalgalat Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, and al-Qaeda that started a war to gain control in Sinai through systematic attacks against Egyptian armed forces, attempting to take control of Arish city governorate building, a failed attempted to bomb Arish Airport though terrorists that arrived on the same day from Afghanistan and Yemen; which resulted in the army shutdown of the Rafah crossing.

- An attack on a pipeline in Sinai providing gas to Jordan exploded, returning Sinai to the previous mode of operation where ten gas line explosions took place prior to the MB seizure of power, that miraculously disappeared under Morsi’s rule; who opened the crossing for a year, where tens of thousands of jihadists established their Emirate under his rule. Fifty thousand  jihadists attempted to enter Sinai through the Rafah crossing, only two days prior to June 30th when millions took the streets to overthrow Morsi. The closing of Rafah crossing was probably the reason for gas pipeline attack.

The MB leader and former MP, Mohammed Beltagy implicitly claimed the MB’s responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Sinai stating, “What is happening in Sinai will stop the second Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi retreats back and reinstalls the president Morsi.”

Read more 

Cynthia Farahat is an Egyptian political activist, writer and researcher. Co-founder of the Misr El-Umm (2003-06) and the Liberal Egyptian (2006-08) parties, which stood for peace with Israel, secularism, and anti-Islamism, she was under long-term surveillance by the State Security Intelligence Service before seeking political asylum in the United States in 2011.

 

After campaigning for Morsi’s ouster, Egypt’s Christians come under retaliation from Islamists

In this Sunday, July 7, 2013 photo, relatives of Christians killed near Luxor, Egypt, pray during their funeral after two days of violence that followed the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. Some Christians are paying the price for their activism against Morsi and his Islamist allies in a backlash over his ouster last week. Since then, there has been a string of attacks on Christians in provinces that are strongholds of hard-liners. In the Sinai Peninsula, where militant groups run rampant, militants gunned down a priest in a drive-by shooting as he walked in a public market. (AP Photo/Ibrahim Zayed)

In this Sunday, July 7, 2013 photo, relatives of Christians killed near Luxor, Egypt, pray during their funeral after two days of violence that followed the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. Some Christians are paying the price for their activism against Morsi and his Islamist allies in a backlash over his ouster last week. Since then, there has been a string of attacks on Christians in provinces that are strongholds of hard-liners. In the Sinai Peninsula, where militant groups run rampant, militants gunned down a priest in a drive-by shooting as he walked in a public market. (AP Photo/Ibrahim Zayed)

By HAMZA HENDAWI:

CAIRO — With a mob of Muslim extremists on his tail, the Christian businessman and his nephew climbed up on the roof and ran for their lives, jumping from building to building in their southern Egyptian village. Finally they ran out of rooftops.

Forced back onto the street, they were overwhelmed by several dozen men. The attackers hacked them with axes and beat them with clubs and tree limbs, killing Emile Naseem, 41. The nephew survived with wounds to his shoulders and head and recounted the chase to The Associated Press.

The mob’s rampage through the village of Nagaa Hassan, burning dozens of Christian houses and stabbing to death three other Christians as well, came two days after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power. It was no coincidence the attackers focused on Naseem and his family: He was the village’s most prominent campaigner calling for Morsi’s removal.

Some Christians are paying the price for their activism against Morsi and his Islamist allies in a backlash over his ouster last week.

Since then, there has been a string of attacks on Christians in provinces that are strongholds of hard-liners. In the Sinai Peninsula, where militant groups run rampant, militants gunned down a priest in a drive-by shooting as he walked in a public market.

Egypt’s Christian minority, about 10 percent of the population, long shunned politics for fear of reprisals, relying on their church to make their case to those in power. That changed in the revolutionary fervor when autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011, as Christians started to demand a say in the country’s direction.

But they took it to a new level during Morsi’s year in office and the empowerment of his Islamist allies. The new Coptic Christian pope, Tawadros II, enthroned in November, openly criticized the president. He told Christians they were free to actively participate in politics and that the church will not discourage them.

“The Christians have emerged from under the robes of the clergy and will never go back,” said Ezzat Ibrahim, an activist from Minya, a southern province with a large Christian community.

It was a risky gamble for a minority that has long felt vulnerable, with its most concentrated communities often living in the same rural areas where the most vehement and vocal Islamists hold sway.

During Morsi’s year in office, some of his hard-line allies increasingly spoke of Christians as enemies of Islam and warned them to remember they are a minority. When the wave of protests against Morsi began on June 30, Brotherhood media depicted it as dominated by Christians — and to hard-liners, it smacked of Christians rising up against a Muslim ruler.

The worst anti-Christian backlash since Morsi’s July 3 ouster was the attack in Nagaa Hassan, a dusty village on the west bank of the Nile River, not far from the most majestic ancient Egyptian archaeological sites in the city of Luxor.

Read more at The Republic

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