CAIRO: The State Council has approved draft amendments to toughen the penalty imposed on those who attack power, natural gas or petroleum plants to reach the death penalty, according to news reports Saturday.
The amended article in the recently approved anti-terrorism draft law stipulates that those who deliberately destroy electricity, petroleum and natural gas networks or seize facilities that belong to the said services will be jailed for at least 10 years.
Life in prison is a penalty possible for thosewho use force or violence in committing the said crimes, prevent experts from fixing the damages, or caused the suspension of petroleum, electricity or natural gas supply. Read the rest of this entry »
The blood on the streets of Paris caused by Islamist gunmen is shocking and disturbing, but not surprising. Jihadists engaged in several prior attempts to shut down the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a newspaper that lampoons Islam, among others. In fact, Charlie Hebdo was an equal opportunity satirist.
Most significant is the fact that this murderous act is consistent with Islamic law and the tenets of sharia, notwithstanding public commentary that denies this reality. What Charlie Hebdo printed, which led to the bloodshed, is the savage truth.
Curiously, the week before this incident, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, speaking before Al-Azhar University officials on the occasion of the prophet Mohammed’s upcoming birthday, offered a renewed vision of Islam, one that he insisted is necessary for Islam to coexist with the West and different traditions. In a sense, his words take on a certain poignancy because of the violence perpetrated against the Paris paper. Read the rest of this entry »
Before the June 30, 2013 coup that overthrew Muhammad Mursi, Egypt’s first civilian elected president, terrorist operations in Egypt were far fewer in number and scale, focusing mainly on blowing up gas pipelines supplying Egyptian gas to neighboring Israel. However, after the violent crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters orchestrated by then-Defense Minister Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi in the summer of 2013, radicalism became viewed as the only means of expressing critical views of the political system.
This rise in terrorism enabled al-Sisi to strike fear amongst grassroots Egyptians and pose as a national savior despite excluding all peaceful ways of dissent and arguably provoking much of the violence that followed the Raba’a, Nahda and the Abu Zaabal massacres in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
In a statement released to jihadist forums on March 23, Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) confirmed the deaths of six of its fighters in clashes with Egyptian security forces on March 19. Egypt’s Interior Ministry had originally said that the raid, which took place about 20 miles north of Cairo, resulted in the deaths of five Ansar Jerusalem members and two Egyptian security personnel, as well as the arrest of four jihadists; the ministry later stated, however, that six jihadists had been killed and eight arrested.
The six members of Ansar Jerusalem who were killed in the clashes were identified by the jihadist group as: Fahmi Abdul Raouf Muhammad (Abu Dujana), Samir Abdul Hakim (Abu al Bara), Muhammad Mohsen Ali Muhammad (Abu Musab), Muhammad Sayed Mahmoud Ahmad (Abu Musab), Osama Saeed Abdul Aziz (Abu Omar), and Abdul Raouf Fahmi Abdul Raouf (Abu Mu’adh). At least two of those named had previously been identified by Egyptian authorities as suspects in recent attacks in Egypt. Read the rest of this entry »
An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to death.
The death sentence passed by an Egyptian court against 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has triggered an outcry against the verdict among a wide cross-section of the legal community at home as well as influential human rights groups abroad.
The stunning verdict that has put hundreds on death row was issued by an Upper Egyptian court in the city of Minya. The defendants were found guilty of murdering Mostafa El-Attar, deputy commander of a local police station, who was killed during riots that followed the storming by security forces of two pro-Morsy sit-ins in August last.
While the main focus of the jihadi groups in northern Sinai is the regime in Cairo, the situation in the peninsula has serious implications for Israel.
Funeral convoy of slain Islamists, Sinai. Photo: REUTERS
Northern Sinai has long played host to a variety of smuggling networks and jihadi organizations. Since Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s July 3 military coup in Egypt, however, there has been an exponential increase in attacks emanating from this area.
This increasingly lawless region is now the staging ground for an emergent Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian authorities.
Since July 2013, more than 300 reported attacks have taken place in Sinai. The violence is also spreading into the Egyptian mainland, with attacks in recent weeks on a security facility in Cairo, and the killing of an Interior Ministry official in the capital.
Some of the groups engaged in the fighting are linked to global jihadi networks, including al-Qaida.
Others have connections to elements in Hamas-controlled Gaza. The precise links between the various organizations engaged are difficult to trace.
This emergent reality in northern Sinai has serious implications for Israel. While the main focus of the jihadi activity is directed against Sisi’s administration in Cairo, some of the groups centrally involved have a track record of attacks against Israeli targets.
As former Egyptian PresidentMuhammad Morsi’s trials continue, it’s enlightening to consider what is likely to be one of the centerpieces of the trial: longstanding accusations that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party worked with foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, against the national security of Egypt.
Based on these accusations of high treason, Morsi and others could face the death penalty.
Concerning some of the more severe allegations, one of Egypt’s most widely distributed and read newspapers, Al Watan, recentlypublished what it said were recorded conversations between Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri’s brother.
The Blue Mosque’s minarets are covered by dense fog, Istanbul, March 17, 2005. (photo by REUTERS/Fatih Saribas)
What’s happening in Turkey is truly awful for all those who care about a contemporary democratic structure in a Muslim country. That’s because the Muslim world has no equivalent to Turkey’s successful modernizing experience. Turkey’s GDP is $800 billion, and its economy doesn’t depend on oil or natural wealth but on industry, agriculture and services.
Summary⎙ Print After the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the new modern constitution in Tunisia, the scandal in Turkey may mark the beginning of the end of Islamism there, too.
Tahrir Square, July 8th 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As the presidential choice for Egyptian voters is narrowed down to an uncertain Islamist future under Muslim Brotherhood candidate Dr. Muhammad al-Mursi or a return to quasi-military rule under Air Marshal Ahmed Shafiq, former Egyptian intelligence chief Major General Umar Sulayman has warned of a potential confrontation between the two political trends that could lead to civil war. General Sulayman, whose own candidacy for the presidential post was nullified by an act of parliament earlier this year, made the remarks in a recent two-part interview with a pan-Arab daily (al-Hayat, May 22).
As Egypt’s intelligence chief, Sulayman earned an unwelcome reputation for his broad and consistent application of torture as an instrument of state, supervision of a domestic intelligence network that permeated Egyptian society and as Mubarak’s point-man on Egyptian-Israeli relations. None of these roles endeared him to Egyptian voters and his claims that he was running for president only in response to wide popular appeals appeared as contrived as the small demonstration of sign-waving supporters that appeared on cue to back the announcement of his candidacy (see al-Akhbar [Cairo], April 9). Nonetheless, by means both fair and foul, Sulayman has over several decades compiled a detailed knowledge of Egypt’s politics and political leaders that is frequently described as encyclopedic.
General Sulayman hands-on leadership of an often brutal campaign to quell the growing influence of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has naturally placed him at odds with the movement, which successfully manipulated a largely secular revolution to become the dominant party in Egypt’s new parliament. Sulayman claims his own abortive run at the presidency was accompanied by repeated death threats from Islamist militants and the law that quickly disqualified ten candidates from running for president was so clearly directed at the ex-intelligence chief that it was nicknamed “the Umar Sulayman law” (al-Akhbar, April 9; al-Hayat, May 22; Ahram Online [Cairo], April 14).