April 23, 2014

Updates on Egypt [4.23.14]: MB's War of Terror Against Egyptian State Enters New Dimensions, Candidates Contemplate Terminating Camp David Accords, Tamarod Youth Movement Admits It Was A Popular Veneer For Army's Calculated Re-Entry Into Politics

Barring an assassination by the Muslim Brotherhood with assistance from its Western and Zionist allies, the popular and charismatic General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be Egypt's next president. Sisi received 188, 930 signatures in support of his presidential campaign; his opponent only received 31, 555 (Source).

An excerpt from, "Terrorism expands from Sinai to Cairo" by Safaa Saleh, Al Monitor, April 16, 2014:
Brig. Gen. Khaled Akashe, a security expert who was formerly in charge of the security issue in the northern Sinai, explained to Al-Monitor that the shift in terrorist operations from distant locations to the heart of the country was one aspect of the escalation against the state. According to him, at first these groups were betting on isolating and controlling the Sinai Peninsula to establish an Islamic emirate. The targeting of locations such as Ismailia, Suez and Port Said was aimed at the most important navigation passage in the world: the Suez Canal. This was done to influence international public opinion, as foreign states would fear for their own interests in the canal. In addition, these three provinces have the largest gathering of Egypt’s army units.

Akashe described the shift toward the capital as a move intended at striking the “lifeblood” of the country. Attacks against Cairo and the cities of the Delta, which are densely populated, would result in a high number of casualties, as happened during the bombing of the security directorate in Mansoura on Sept. 24, 2013, and the bombing of police and army checkpoints in Sharqiya and Qalyubiya provinces on Dec. 29, 2013, and March 15 of this year. The attacks on these provinces, in addition to those in Cairo, attract both domestic and international headlines.

“The shift of terrorist operations toward the capital represents a strategy adopted by these groups to achieve victory on all fronts, whether in remote locations or in the heart of the capital. They see Cairo and the Delta cities as the hottest battlefield, where there is a group of Muslim Brotherhood facilitators providing protection and hiding places [for fugitive members]. The dense population provides freedom to easily move around explosives and hide between human masses,” Akashe added.

Kamal Habib, an expert in the affairs of Islamic groups, told Al-Monitor the shift of violence from the outskirts to the heart of the capital was a normal and expected change used to pressure the security apparatus. The groups wanted to show that they have the upper hand within the state and can extend their operations to the heart of the Delta cities and even the capital. It was only normal for groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Furqan Brigades and Ansar al-Sharia to launch violent operations where they are geographically located.
Video Title: Spokesmen for Front-runners in Egyptian Elections Discuss Annulment of Peace with Israel. Source: MEMRI TV. Date Published: April 23, 2014.

An excerpt from, "How Egypt’s Rebel Movement Helped Pave The Way For A Sisi Presidency" by Sheera Frenkel and Maged Atef, BuzzFeed, April 15, 2014:
“What we drafted was a revolutionary statement. It was about peace, and going forward on a democratic path,” Doss told BuzzFeed. “What was read was a statement that could have been written by the army.”

For five days, millions of Egyptians had taken to the streets and demanded an end to the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their numbers surpassed even the wildest expectations of Tamarod, a then-largely unknown group that organized the protests. The five founders became instant celebrities, and on the night of July 3, the moment it appeared their victory was imminent, all of Egypt’s television stations had turned to them for a statement on what would happen next.

“What state TV read was as if it had been written by the army, it threatened the Brotherhood, told them they would use force if necessary,” Doss said. “I was shocked. I understood then that the movement had completely gotten away from us.”

It was, he realized later, the end of a process that began weeks earlier, in which the army and security officials slowly but steadily began exerting an influence over Tamarod, seizing upon the group’s reputation as a grassroots revolutionary movement to carry out their own schemes for Egypt.

“What they did, they did in our names because we let them,” said Doss, who admits he turned a blind eye for too long to what was happening behind the scenes at Tamarod. “The leaders of Tamarod let themselves be directed by others. They took orders from others.”

While the Tamarod movement has, in the past, been linked to Egypt’s interior ministry and its members have admitted in off-record interviews to taking phone calls from the army, never before has a member of Tamarod said that they were under the direct guidance of Egyptian army and intelligence officials. The accusations confirm the suspicions of many in Egypt that the group could not have enjoyed such widespread success without being helped along by senior Egyptian officials.