Thoughts on the Proportion of Foreign Fighters in Syria

14 Sep

“Thoughts on the Proportion of Foreign Fighters in Syria “


Sherifa Zuhur   (please do not cite without permission, this is based on a chapter in an academic book on ‘markets of violence’ in the Syrian revolution.)


A plethora of media and ‘expert’ sources claim that ISIS’ numbers “may have” tripled – with the CIA’s estimate at 20,000 to 31,500 in Iraq and according to some, 50,000 (an exaggerated figure) in Syria.[1]   Last year, some sources claimed Jabhat Nusra and ISIS were no more than 7,000 to 10,000[2] (together), with only 5,000 “official” Nusra members (BBC), Nusra’s leaders claimed they have 15,000 or 20,000 troops. ISIS’ approximate size in 2013 was calculated at 5,000 to 6,000 fighters.[3]


Reasons given for the increase are a) an increase in foreign fighters, despite the fact that international authorities were alerted last year to the danger of foreign fighters returning to their own home countries and began serious review of travelers; or b) other fighters joining ISIS or tribes joining ISIS (a trend seen in Iraq, but not particularly in Syria although some tribes are participating).


Western media are using a figure of 12,000 (or 11,000) foreign fighters as of late summer 2014 in Syria – which means that the overall figure of 100,000 rebel fighters must have increased (despite a fairly high casualty rate). On Sept. 8, a figure was given of 3,000 fighters from Tunisia participating in the Syrian revolution  by Peter Neumann at ICSR at King’s College.[4]  Contrast this with a U.S. Congressional report said that U.S. intelligence had estimated 7,500 foreign fighters were in Syria as of February 2014.[5] Are nearly half the fighters, Tunisian? No. Then, how accurate are these assessments? And are we concerned about them as a determinant of the salafi-jihadists’ rapid growth?  Or as predictors of a campaign against salafi-jihadists (yes) and the probability of rebels overcoming Assad’s forces (yes) or at least holding their own?


Can we properly assess the size of salafi-jihadists’ forces as a whole (given that some include ‘nationalist salafis’ like Ahrar al-Sham, and some do not, and with claims that the Jaysh al-Islam, for example is at 50,000 alone). The ICSR had also claimed (in 2013) that foreign jihadists are only 10% of the opposition. Once again, the size of the revolution (‘insurgency’) is debated: the U.S. estimates 75,000 to as high as 115,000.[6]

Is the danger of blowback from foreign fighters being exaggerated, given that their primary goals are in Syria?  The al-Qa’ida movements have already given us a great deal of information about the reasons that foreign nationals join a global jihad movement in a particular local battle.

Let’s review some of the other information from last year:  Syria was already seen as a jihadist magnet more powerful than Afghanistan or Yemen, a year ago.[7] Analysts claimed, then that 40% to 80% of groups like Nusra and ISIS are foreign fighters, although identifications of slain fighters do not support such claims.[8]   Officials thought that perhaps 700 or 800 salafi-jihadists had traveled to Syria from Jordan and about 100 were killed there.[9] Numbers of Tunisian (600), Saudi Arabian[10], Libyan, and Iraqi fighters are significant. An estimated 100 Chechen fighters were in Syria.[11] The FBI has identified 100 American Muslims fighting in Syria, France had identified 150 French jihadists, and the Spanish government arrested Wahhabists in Ceuta who sent 50 fighters to Syria.[12] British authorities estimated that 200 UK nationals are fighting in Syria, but have only positively identified twenty;[13] and twenty Dutch fighters, mostly of Moroccan descent, were in Syria (with six killed) led by Abu Fida’a;[14] Swedish Security Services estimated 30 Swedes traveled to Syria to fight, and a senior security official claimed 80 Australians are fighting in Syria, perhaps 20 with Jabhat al-Nusra.[15] At least 40 Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) fighters have fought in Syria[16]; out of perhaps 100 Pakistani fighters in Syria. The TTP leaders run a network with Lashkar e-Jhangvi bringing militants to Syria,[17] who likely fought with Hafiz Gul Bahadur group members in the Katibat Muhajirun in Latakia under Abu Jafar al-Libi. An ISIS video from July 2013 showed 10 to 20 TTP fighters in Syria,[18] and 30 slain Pakistani fighters’ bodies were returned to Pakistan in September.[19] Anywhere from “several” to 50 Indonesians are thought to be in Syria.[20] The Katibat Taliban (KaT) who fight the Kurdish-Syrian PYD were reportedly paid an initial sum equal to $1000.[21] (I am looking at the economic aspects of the fighting elsewhere, in a book on the political economy of conflicts in Arab tates).


Although many of governments put measures in place to apprehend those traveling to Syria, jihadists have succeeded in traveling like a Saudi engineer, who left his job to join the jihad,[22] al-Sharikh (Sanafi al-Nasr), a cousin of Osama bin Ladin, who formerly fought in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and Abu `Awan al-Shamani who set off a Nusra suicide bomb at the French hospital in Aleppo.[23] Saudi Arabia has arrested jihadists on their return from Syria; 1,200 had traveled to Syria by 2013 [24] and now estimates are at anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500.

The Tunisian Minister of Interior offered the number of 2,400 fighters in June of 2014, without specifying any sources. [25]  Unclear numbers of Libyans are fighting in Syria, having undergone training in Libya.

Some claim 600 foreign fighters were killed in Syria in the first half of 2013. That is a fairly small proportion of rebels killed as a whole. However, the website Syrian Martyrs had only documented 326 foreign fighters deaths by June of 2014 (and this source documents deaths even when identification by name is not made).


Lest we forget, there are at least 10,000 foreign Shi`i fighters in Syria as well – and again these are estimated numbers. And we might remember that the Hizbullah and other Shi`i fighters are also hostile to a democratic way of life, have slaughtered Syrian civilians, and yet, they are not the subject of the current frenzy of concern over foreign fighters.


With the dramatic beheadings of U.S. journalists and a U.K. aid worker in Syria, it is difficult not to exaggerate the overall threat to the West, and recall that the context of these fighting groups and others, as well as a non-violent revolutionary movement is the effort to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad.    From this brief review, we may deduce that if the higher numbers of foreign fighters are correct, the size of the revolutionary forces is higher than estimated (or at the high end of current estimates).



[1]New York Post, September 12, 2014 .


[2] Noman Benotman and Roisin Blake. “Jabhat al-Nusra lil-Ahl al-Sham min Mujahedin al-Sham fi Sahat al-Jihad.” Strategic Briefing. Qulliam Foundation, n.d. Estimates 5,000. An estimate of 6,000 to 7,000 is given by Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. “”The Al Nusra Front.” September, 23, 2013,

The group was established in 2012, claimed to double with new recruits including jihadists returning from Iraq, or traveling from overseas.


[3] “Al Qaeda’s Syrian Strategy.” Foreign Policy, October, 10, 2013.


[4] ABC News, September 8, 2014.


[5] Remarks by James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, February 11, 2014.


[6] Congressional Research Service. “Armed Conflict in Syria.” June 27, 2014, 3.


[7] Kristina Wong, “Foreign Fighters Surpass Afghan-Soviet War, Storm Syria in Record Numbers,” Washington Times, October 20, 2013.


[8] These can be obtained on a daily basis, when they are identified (identification is not always possible) via the Local Coordination Committees in Syria of the SOHR.


[9] Interview with Mohammed al-Shalabi, a Jordanian Salafi-jihadi leader, on August 9, 2013, see Suha Philip Ma’ayeh. “Jordanian Jihadists Active in Syria.” Countering Terrorism Sentinel, October 24, 2013.; “10 Salafists Enter Aleppo Through Turkey,” al-Ghad, October 7, 2013; Muwaffaq Kamal,  “The Salafi Jihadi Denies Establishing a Murabitoon Brigade,” al-Ghad, September 23, 2013; “Teenage Jordanian ‘Jihadist’ Killed in Syria,” Jordan Times, February 28, 2013; Hassan Tammimi, “Jordanian Salafi from Rusaifa Killed in Syria,” al-Ghad, August 4, 2013.


[10] John Kerry inaccurately claimed there were no Saudi Arabian fighters in Syria in June of 2013, despite the reported death of a Nusra commander, Kasura al-Jazrawi in May 2013. CNS June 25, 2013.   In October, 2013, the Mufti of Saudi Arabia issued a statement to discourage Saudi engagement in jihad in Syria even as 16 year old Moath al-Hamili arrived to fight. Global Voices, October 1, 2013.


[11] “Битва за Ичкерию перекинулась на Сирию,” Kommersant, July 26, 2013


[12] Newsweek, October 25, 2013.


[13] Jenny Cuffe, “Who Are the British Jihadists in Syria?” BBC News, October 15, 2013.


[14] Samar Batrawi, “The Dutch Foreign Fighter Contingent in Syria.” CTC Sentinel, October 24, 2013.


[15]Per Gudmundson, “The Swedish Foreign Fighter Contingent in Syria.” CTC Sentinel, September 24, 2013; Zammit, Andrew. “Tracking Australian Foreign Fighters in Syria.” CTC Sentinel, November 26, 2013.


[16] Zia Ur Rahman, “Pakistani Fighters Joining the War in Syria.” CTC Sentinel, [Countering Terrorism Center] September 24, 2013.


[17] Ahmed Wali Mujeeb, “Pakistan Taliban ‘Sets up a Base in Syria,’” BBC, July 12, 2013; Maria Golovnina and Jibran Ahmad, “Pakistan Taliban Set Up Camps in Syria, Join Anti-Assad War,” Reuters, July 14, 2013.


[18] “Video Confirms Pakistani Taliban’s Presence In Syria,” The Middle East Media Research Institute, August 1, 2013.


[19] Aqeel Yousafzai, “Taliban se muzakraat Hukmaran band gali mai,” Hum Shehri [Lahore], September 9-15, 2013.


[20] AP News. “For Indonesian Jihadists: Civil War in Syria Beckons.” January 10, 2014.

[22] Shown here after shooting rabbits in the desert, a favorite male pastime. “Mudir “Kahraba tarbiyya” yiktib “wastaituhu”wa ghadir ila Suriyya,al-Sabq 10/7/2013.


[23] Aaron Y. Zelin, “The Saudi Foreign Fighter Presence in Syria.” CTC Sentinel, April 28, 2014


[24] Fahd al-Dhiyabi, “Saudi Interior Ministry Says 25 Percent of Fighters in Syria Have Returned,” Asharq Alawsat, March 24, 2014.


[25] Al Arabiyya, 23 June 2014.


Interview with Dr. Sherifa Zuhur following the Election of Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi as President

6 Jun

I was recently interviewed for MENA (Middle East News Agency). I have requested, but not yet received a link to whatever is published.


Sherifa Zuhur, IMEISS   Interview given to Ahmed Bahaa  on June 5, 2014.

Q. After the official declaration of Abdelfatah El- Sisi winning presidential elections, do you think that the call for reconciliation in Egypt is in favor of him or against him?

**This question is not clear. Do you mean “the call for a reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood?” With the Ansar Bayt Maqdis and other groups attacking the government? Is there a concrete group calling for reconciliation?

  1. I do not believe that the issue of reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood – if that is what you mean — is first on the list of Egypt’s priorities at the moment. My sense is that a majority of Egyptians at present do not want any reconciliation with the banned Muslim Brotherhood, and that it was the public which insisted (for most of autumn 2013) that the transitional government enact a ban, rather than the other way around. Therefore I don’t think those external observers, such as U.S. neoconservatives or think tanks, which have opposed the new government like Carnegie or Middle East Institute or those writing for CFR’s Foreign Policy have any reason to order the Egyptian public or government to “reconcile.” Obviously, there are also some Egyptians who have been involved in demonstrations at universities and who protest the exclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood, but they are not numerically large, nor can they claim a moral high ground after so many instances of unnecessary violence which hurt and terrified their fellow Egyptians.


Last summer, in the midst of the crisis at the end of June 2013, Field Marshal al-Sisi, then the Minister of Defense made at least three efforts to mediate with President Morsi and via him to the General Guidance Council of the MB. They rejected all of those efforts which might have resulted in a compromise government following new elections.   In some areas of Egypt, such as Kafr al-Dawwar, Menya, and most notably the Sinai supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (or in the Sinai, their extremely violent allies) are still threatening others and trying to coerce them – in the Sinai, this remains an extremely volatile situation.


  1. How do you see the future of American-Egyptian relations in the light of El-Sisi’s as president and, will he focus on enhancing Egypt’s relations with Russia to put pressure on America?

A. I was asked about the announced Egyptian-Russian deal whereby financing was to be provided from the Gulf states a few months ago. After the usual round of reprintings, this particular story went silent.

President Putin was among the first of the world leaders to congratulate President al-Sisi on his electoral win. Apart from that gesture, I don’t think Egypt will overturn its long-term relationship with the United States for Russia, nor would it particularly pressure the United States if Egypt were to obtain weaponry or defense systems from Russia. Diplomatically, it is wise for Egypt to build ties of cooperation and friendship with many countries and not solely with the United States.

So long as US Muslim organizations filled with Muslim Brotherhood supporters or Americans who believe they and only they hold the key to democratic development are pressuring members of the U.S. Congress to hold off on approving elements in U.S. military aid to Egypt, we can’t be sure what either government will decide to do. Given that John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State is also very convinced of Egypt’s importance as a regional ally, I would be very surprised if Egyptian-American relations do not improve as the country carries out parliamentary elections and President al-Sisi embarks on his tasks over the next year.


  1. Will El-sisi succeed in fighting corruption which is represented in deep state or “Mubarak’s” state?

A. Egypt is no longer “Mubarak’s state.” I do not agree with the theory that the “deep state” lives on its own and has been unaffected by the revolution and subsequent governments. Also, no-one can say at this moment what will or will not be achieved. President al-Sisi’s (and I would appreciate it if you would kindly retain his title when you print my remarks, and not put “al-Sisi” alone) first and most difficult task is actually to restart Egypt’s economic engine. Promoting transparency, or preventing corruption is something that must be put into place in every department of every ministry. As the government is also a very large employer of many poorly paid functionaries, the issue of fighting corruption is also one of making certain that people – public and private employees – can make ends meet.

As for the high-level sort of corruption that you may be suggesting, which is very difficult even for countries like the U.S. to track and regulate, here too, guidelines and better practices must be implemented.


  1. How do you see the future of El-Nour salafist party in the light of the new constitution which forbids religious parties? And will it continue to support El-Sisi?

The al-Nour party has managed to subvert the intent of not allowing religious parties by promoting religious principles for social life, and declaring that political life will remain guided by a civil state. Its agenda is obviously similar to the da`wah of the Muslim Brotherhood and to convince others to adopt the same principles. But, here again, we see that the religious right in many countries are involved in politics usually supporting those who agree with their principles. I imagine the al-Nour party will continue to support the current government because they have pledged to do so.  Many of President al-Sisi’s supporters who want Egypt to abide by its civil tradition are very concerned by the salafis, including al-Nour. Certain issues will probably divide them, once the as yet unelected legislative assembly begins to do its work.


  1. Do you expect that El-sisi will release the activists detained recently?

A. I do not know. I understand that the judiciary is fiercely pressing for its own independence. But I personally think it would be wise to

a) fine the al-Jazeera journalists for their lack of proper permits — if it was the case that they were in lieu of these, and drop charges of conspiracy

b) to provide amnesties to those protesters who have not engaged in violent actions.

Traditionally Ramadan has been a period when amnesties were offered in other countries, where admittedly, circumstances differed.

Election Season in Egypt – Sherifa Zuhur

28 May

Considering that for 308 consecutive days, Egyptians have been threatened with bombings, or bombs were found and defused, attacks by gunmen have threatened police and army officers, students in support of the Muslim Brotherhood at various universities challenged the protest law with less-than-peaceful protests, they nonetheless went to the polls and voted for Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi or his opponent Hamdeen Sabahy.   This demonstrated a substantial measure of public trust that authorities will protect them.   The sky is blue. The Muslim Brotherhood are unable to sweep in and carry out assassinations as they had promised.

The foreign media have tried their best to hammer home a series of negative attacks on al-Sisi, aided by some in Egypt who fear a return to the military-influenced and authoritarian governments of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak.  Or who simply want to get along well with their editors.

As the elections began, the  narrative tchanged in the foreign media and to some degree in the Egyptian media. Suddenly the focus was on turnout. If a turnout of 40% of registered voters weren’t reached, then they wouldn’t be successful.  Media personalities used their most dramatic voices to tell Egyptians to go to the polls.

Egyptians, on the other hand, know that voting is optional. It could be made mandatory as in certain countries. And they know that a far larger number of voters support al-Sisi than support Sabahy. And it has been very hot in the day hours, approximately 101-102 degrees F.

The leftists, and boycotters (yes there was a boycott, mainly consisting of supporters of the April 6th movement which had for its own reasons allied with the Muslim Brotherhood – and what is left of the MB’s support) compared this election with the 2012 race between Morsi and Shafik, in which Morsi won by only 800,000 votes.

Perhaps they forgot that a lot of Egyptians were quite unhappy with the choice between Morsi and Shafik, opting for one or the other as the least-bad option, as people tend to in democracies where the candidates for president are limited to two on the final round.

Egypt’s Presidential Election Committee decided to extend the elections for a third day and for a variety of reasons. One may concern the fact that in order to satisfy foreign election observer teams, this time around, Egyptians who work far away from their homes were not permitted to vote at polling places where they work. There were 2 days of vacation from work in 2012, and not only one.   Still, it was surprising to see the foreign media and even election observers like Democracy International complain that extending voting to a third day compromised the fairness of the election. The two campaigns also complained – clearly, everyone desires a fully transparent election process – were voters who voted on the first day disadvantaged if they did not know they had a third day to vote? – (but one which should also be fair to voters.)

I received a fair number of media requests requiring me to repeat everything I have already said about Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi when he studied at the U.S. Army War College (and a fair number of vicious personal attacks, some by people I had considered friends for being somehow personally responsible for his candidacy! )


Here are a few pictures from the elections which show that there were queues (that’s ‘lines’ in Americanese)  I decided to post just these few (there are more in my Twitter Feed) as Richard Spencer of the Telegraph claimed there weren’t any, he didn’t see any on TV, plenty of state TV stations showed empty polls, etc. and as I began sending these photos to him, he made it clear they don’t matter.  The narrative is all that matters.

Now at the end of the day, Egyptians lining up to vote at their elections DO matter along with  hope and pleasure in their faces.امبارح_14_مليون_والنهاردة_عاوزين_نكمل__30مليون?src=hash


الوصايا الخمس للسيسي من معلمته الأمريكية

20 Aprصحافة-أجنبية/255099-الوصايا-الخمس-للسيسي-من-معلمته-الأمريكية


شريفة زهور
أجرى الحوار: محمود سلامة
في: الأحد, 20 أبريل 2014 20:59
آخر تعديل: الأحد, 20 أبريل 2014 23:27
لابد أن يقنع المواطنين به كي ينتخبوه .. عليه أن يدير أفضل حملة دعائية .. والأهم من ذلك انتقاء المحيطين به وأفراد الحكومة بعناية .. ينبغي عليه التركيز على الإصلاح الاقتصادي وإصلاح منظومة الداخلية من أجل إعادة الاستقرار.

كانت هذه أهم النقاط التي ذكرتها الأستاذة السابقة بالكلية الحربية الأمريكية شريفة زهور في مقابلتها مع مصر العربية، والتي تعد بمثابة وصايا للمشير عبد الفتاح السيسي الذي درست له أثناء دراسته في كلية الحرب الأمريكية.

وشددت زهور على حتمية أن يقوم السيسي، حال فوزه بمنصب رئيس الجمهورية، بإصلاح منظومة وزارة الداخلية، قائلة إن الداخلية تفتقر إلى التدريب، ولابد من كبح جماح التهور ومعاقبة المتهورين في هذه المنظومة، مؤكدة أن “السيسي الرئيس” ستكون مهمته صعبة للغاية.

وعلاوة على ذلك، أشارت إلى ضرورة أن يعاد النظر في قضايا المعتقلين في السجون المصرية، والذين تم القبض عليهم في مرحلة ما بعد الإطاحة بالرئيس السابق محمد مرسي، وإطلاق سراح من لم يثبت عليه ارتكاب جرم.

عن السيسي

وأوضحت زهور، مديرة معهد دراسات الشرق الأوسط والدراسات الإسلامية واالاستراتيجية، أنها أتيحت لها فرصة، أثناء الفترة التي درست فيها للسيسي، التعامل معه عن قرب ومعرفة بعض السمات لشخصيته، لافتة إلى أنه كان من غير المسموح لها في السابق الإدلاء بأي تصريح، إلا أنها يمكنها الآن الحديث للصحافة لأنها لم تعد في الخدمة.

وفي هذا الصدد، قالت زهور إنها حرصت في هذه الفترة على الحديث عن السيسي لأنها وجدت أن هناك أكاذيب كثيرة تشاع حوله من قبل من وصفتهم بالمغرضين.

وقالت إن من هذه الأكاذيب ما أشيع عنه في السابق أنه إخواني متخفي، وهو ما كان قد قيل عنه بعد أن تم اختياره وزيرا للدفاع من قبل مرسي، مضيفة أنه ليس كذلك، لكنه متدين.

أما في يومنا هذا، وفقا لزهور، تسعى وسائل الإعلام الغربية إلى البحث عن أي نقاط سلبية في شخصية السيسي، لافتة في الوقت ذاته إلى أن مواقف الجماعات الحقوقية منه غامض.

وأشارت إلى أن السيسي يكفيه أن نال ثقة الجيش، لافتة إلى أن هذه الثقة ليست وليدة اليوم، وإنما تجلت هذه الثقة سابقا في أن الجيش أرسله للدراسة في الكلية الحربية الأمريكية.

وقالت إن السيسي يتميز بالذكاء والنضوج، ووصفته بأنه متفاعل جيد مع الجميع ويجيد النقاش والمناظرات ومتسامح حتى من يهاجمونه، والدليل على ذلك أنه لم يتخذ أي إجراء ضد من روجوا للهاشتاج المسئ له (والذي وصفته بأنه سيئ للغاية)، على حد قولها.

وفي هذا الصدد، اعتبرت أنه يجب إرشاد المواطنين لكيفية استخدام الحرية الممنوحة لهم بشكل صحيح وعدم الإفراط في استخدامها.

وأوضحت أن السيسي حريص على التزام بالمبادئ العسكرية، وأنه يتصرف كما يقول الجيش، مشيرة إلى أنه تلقى تدريبات في الكلية الحربية الأمريكية عن كيفية مواجهة الإرهاب.

قالت إن السيسي يتميز أيضا بالهدوء واللباقة والإلمام بقضايا في التاريخ والسياسة الإقليمية، كما أنه كان لديه الجاهزية للدخول في مناظرات، لكن ليس بعدائية.

وأضافت أن السيسي، شأنه في ذلك شأن وزير الدفاع الحالي صدقي صبحي الذي درست له في العام الدفعة السابقة لدفعة السيسي، كان واضحا في أن الولايات المتحدة خاضت حربا أكبر من إمكاناتها في العراق وفي حربها ضد الإرهاب، مشيرة إلى أنه كان يختلف عن صبحي في أنه أكثر دبلوماسية وأكثر هدوءا، بينما كان صبحي أكثر مرحا من السيسي.

السيسي وأمريكا

وفيما يتعلق بمستقبل علاقات مصر الخارجية إذا تولى السيسي الرئاسة، أوضحت زهور أن علاقة السيسي بالسعودية ستساعده على حكم مصر، فالسعودية والإمارات بات لهما نفوذ سياسي في مصر (حسب قولها)، لكنها اعتبرت أن ذلك ليس سيئا، فهو على الأقل أفضل من المرحلة التي كانت تشهد عداء بين مصر والسعودية إبان فترة حكم الزعيم الراحل جمال عبد الناصر.

وأكدت على حاجة إلى إمدادات بالسلاح، ليس فقط من أجل استقرار مصر، وإنما من أجل استقرار المنطقة بالكامل، معربة عن اعتقاده بأن ما يحدث في مصر ينعكس على سائر المنطقة.

وأشارت إلى أن السيناريو المتوقع في هذا الصدد هو أن تحصل مصر على سلاح روسي بأموال سعودية، لكنها رأت أيضا أن مصر بحاجة إلى إعادة علاقتها مع الولايات المتحدة إلى طبيعتها.

وأضافت أنه ليس شرطا أن يتم تطبيق الديمقراطية في مصر بالمفهوم الأمريكي، وأنه ليس من مصلحة أوباما والولايات المتحدة الاستغناء عن حليف هام كمصر.

وقالت إن مصر حليف قوي للولايات المتحدة، معربة عن أملها في أن تقر الولايات المتحدة بأنه من الخطأ الانفصال عن مصر، فالتحالف مع مصر مهم من أجل مواصلة تحالفاتها في الشرق الأوسط.

ولفتت إلى أن البيت الأبيض والخارجية الأمريكية كانا يدعمان الإخوان في مصر أثناء فترة حكمهم، لكن موقف وزير الخارجية الأمريكي جون كيري الحالي أكثر إيجابية من موقف الكونجرس.

الانتخابات القادمة

ووصفت زهور الدستور المصري الجديد بأنه جيد، لاسيما المواد المتعلقة بحرية الصحافة والحريات بصفة عامة، معتبرة أنه من الأفضل لمصر النظام المتعدد الأحزاب وليس النظام المعتمد على حزبين فقط كما هو الحال في الولايات المتحدة.

وقالت الانتخابات الرئاسية هذه المرة قد لا تكون تنافسية بشكل كبير، عازية ذلك إلى أن السيسي يتمتع بشعبية لا يتمتع بها غيره، لكنها توقعت أن تكون الانتخابات التالية أكثر تنافسية.

وأشارت إلى أن ما يحدث في مصر مهم جدا بالنسبة للمنطقة بأسرها، موضحة أنها ترغب في الإطاحة بنظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، إلا أنها تتوقع لسوريا الوصول لمصير مصر حال الإطاحة به.

وأعربت زهور عن دعمها للسيسي في الخطة التي أقدم عليها بإعلان عزمه الترشح للرئاسة.

وعن توقعاتها لنجاح السيسي في منصب الرئيس (حال فوزه)، قالت زهور إن ذلك يعتمد على الرؤى التي يتبناها ومجلس الوزراء الذي سيشكل حكومته، علاوة على مدى التوافق بين الفصائل السياسية التي ستكون ممثلة داخل البرلمان.

وقالت إن السيسي يتميز عن الرئيس السابق محمد مرسي بأنه يحظى بدعم من الشعب والجيش أكبر بكثير من الدعم الذي كان يحظى به مرسي.

وردا على الجدل الدائر حول فشل السيسي في حل المشاكل التي تواجه مصر رغم تمتعه بالدعم ذاته منذ يوليو الماضي، قالت زهور إن ذلك حكم سابق لأوانه، مضيفة أن السيسي طوال هذه الفترة لم يكن سوى وزيرا للدفاع في حكومة انتقالية كانت كل مهمتها تمهيد الطريق لحكومة قادمة أكثر استقرارا.

From One Historian of Egypt to Another: Political Comment and Teleology

18 Apr

In response to Khaled Fahmy’s latest post. (Dr. Fahmy is a historian at the American University in Cairo in the Department of History)

As a a scholar of nineteenth century history, you may term yourself a scholar of ‘modern’ Egypt in the academic sense (in academia, contemporary historians cover the present and recent past, modern historians of Egypt usually cover the period from Napoleon’s invasion to the turn of the century, or beyond) but why — other than demonstrating your command over your own period of expertise — do you believe that institution-building of the nineteenth century is a blueprint for what transpired during and after January 25, 2011? And why insist so specifically that Egypt’s military have NOT saved the country from the sort of bloodletting that Syria’s military engaged in (that is certainly the bottom line)? A contemporary historian would be compelled to admit that the human toll (deaths, torture, imprisonment, death by starvation, refugee numbers) resulting from Syria’s revolution is immensely higher than in Egypt, in absolute numbers and proportionally.

You wrote:

السيسي ومستشاريه مقتنعين فعلا بكده، ومعاهم قطاع كبير من الإعلاميين ال نجحوا في تصوير ٢٥ يناير على إنها مؤامرة من ناس مأجورة بايعة البلد ومش هاممها لو مصر بقت زي سوريا.

لكن الحقيقة غير كده.
Not only do you insist on this point, but you claim it is Field Marshall al-Sisi and his advisors who came to this conclusion, whereas in fact, this idea is asserted by vast numbers of people who would have preferred a civilian candidate if there were a viable one as well as individuals who haven’t yet decided who to support.

You return to Mohammad Ali Pasha’s period to speak of Egypt’s achievements in vaccinating against smallpox and teaching medicine. Then you rightly condemn the current disastrous situation in health care given the epidemics of hepatitis and bilharzia. I too studied with a biographer of Mohammad Ali Pasha, Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid (Marsot). However, her use of these examples of early state development was usually to point out how Great Britain had de-industrialized and discouraged Egypt’s growth and development. Even that is besides the point at present.

While miracles are needed today, in both the sphere of public health, and reform of the judiciary (as you also point out), I don’t see why we must infer that the transitional government, or the one to be elected will necessarily be any worse than the Mubarak government which brought public health, the judiciary, and if I might add, the security sector and public education to their current sorry states, and which led to the violations of human rights alluded to here along with castigation of the military for retaining control over its own budget:

ولما كنا بنهتف ضد العسكر وبنقول “يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر” ما كناش بننادي بتسريح الجيش ولا بهزيمته. إنما كنا بنطالب بحقنا في إننا نتدرب بجد لما نتجند، وإن تجنيدنا ما يبقاش لحساب الهانم مرات البيه الضابط، وإن الجيش دوره ينحصر في الدفاع عن الحدود وما لوش دعوة بمحطات البنزين ولا بصوابع الكفتة، وإن ميزانية الجيش تبقى خاضعة لرقابة المجلس التشريعي علشان الناس تبقى عارفة فلوسها رايحة فين، وإن ضباط الجيش يعرفوا إن دي أموال البلد مش عرق الجيش، وإن ما فيش أي حد يحق له إنه يعذب المواطنين المصريين في المتحف المصري أو أي متحف تاني، ولا يكشف على عذرية البنات المصريات ال نزلوا يطالبوا بحقهم في حياة كريمة، ومؤسسات تخدمهم، وبلد محترم يحترمهم.

People might assume from the above that the military still conduct virginity tests, (they were partially outlawed. and while it is a shame that Samira Ibrahim’s case against the military failed, is that surprising in the context of disastrous treatment of detainees and prisoners for the last decades? How am I to understand the fact that you single out the military in the latter part of your essay, suggesting that they are ill-prepared to undertake any of the nation’s needed reforms and not the security forces of the Ministry of Interior for what you write is your inability to “be safe in our homes”?

Somehow the impression is given that Egypt is about to elect a military government, and not a civilian government. Why would a ‘modern historian’ choose to give such an impression?

Let’s return to this inaccurate insistence that Egyptian history runs in a unidimensional pattern. The military is not an individual. That numerous motivations may be at work in an organization, is a given. But this is no secret. There is no need to go on insisting that the praetorianism of the Egyptian state is as it was in the 19th century, or the 1950s and ’60s. And there are many aspects on which you are silent — for instance, the U.S. role in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood into seizing its political opportunity post-Feb. 11, 2011. It is likewise popular in many circles to discuss self-serving aspects of the military’s decision, exaggerating their stability and economic holdings.

From all this we don’t gain any new understanding of the two revolutions of 1/25/11 and 6/30/13, mostly because you discounted the phenomena of civilians acting en masse and populism.

In the years I lived and taught in Egypt, I heard many quasi-scholarly discussions begin by asking “Why don’t Egyptians rebel?” and involving grotesque Orientalist assessments of the Egyptian character. I answered by looking at the various theories of revolution we had developed up to that time from Marx to Ted Gurr’s argument in _Why Do Men Rebel_, and concluded that eventually Egyptians would rebel, as they did. This supposed passivity should no longer be part of the currently pressing question of “what did Egyptians gain/what will they gain from the revolution?” Neither should we remain mired in an externally-defined and teleological question, “why do Egyptians assent to the military”? While certain Western journalists obsessively resort to this trope, just as they or their editors love to include the word ‘Pharoah’ in their article titles, you, as a scholar must certainly must be able to discern that it is ahistorical to project consistency from one era (or decade, or period of a few years) onto another. And it is far too soon to conclude “the revolution has failed” or that the military will always dominate.

Here are Khaled Fahmy’s comments in full:
يمكن فعلا الواحد لازم يشرح بديهيات الأشياء.

إحنا فعلا رددنا هتاف “الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام”، وقولنا بعلو صوتنا “يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر”، وطالبنا بقوة ووضوح بضرورة إعادة هيكلة الداخلية. بس هل ده كان يعني إننا كنا عاوزين إننا نسقط الدولة ونجيبها الأرض؟ هل كنا عاوزين فعلا إن جيشنا ينهار؟ هل كنا بنطالب بتحطيم جهاز الأمن وإن البلد تبقى مفتوحة سداح مداح؟

السيسي ومستشاريه مقتنعين فعلا بكده، ومعاهم قطاع كبير من الإعلاميين ال نجحوا في تصوير ٢٥ يناير على إنها مؤامرة من ناس مأجورة بايعة البلد ومش هاممها لو مصر بقت زي سوريا.

لكن الحقيقة غير كده.

أنا ما أقدرش اتكلم عن غيري وأدعي إني عارف كل واحد نزل وهتف ليه ضد النظام والداخلية والجيش. ممكن أتكلم بس عن نفسي.

أنا دارس لتاريخ مصر الحديث، وشايف إنه تاريخ مشرف وجميل. شايف إن إحنا كشعب وكبلد عرفنا نحقق حاجات كثيرة، وبنينا دولة حديثة بمؤسسات حديثة. أنا بأدرس تاريخ المؤسسات دي، تحديدا: الجيش والقضاء والشرطة والمستشفيات (وبشكل أقل الصحافة والنقابات والجامعات). المؤسسات دي هي ال أعطت لمصر الريادة في المنطقة. ريادة مصر على جيرانها مش نتيجة السبعة آلاف سنة والأهرامات ومينا موحد القطرين والكلام ال بيرددوه في الإعلام والمدارس.

الريادة في العصر الحديث سببها إننا بدأنا في بناء مؤسسات الدولة الحديثة قبل جيراننا بماية أو ماية وخمسين سنة على الأقل.

لكن المشكلة إن المؤسسات دي فيها خلل جوهري: المؤسسات دي بتخدم نفسها مش بتخدمنا إحنا كمواطنين.

يعني مثلا: الداخلية مش بتحميني كمواطن لكنها بتمتهن كرامتي وبتعذبني في الأقسام والسجون. ونتيجة لإن ضباطها عارفين إنه لا رقيب عليهم فده خلاهم يهتموا بمصالحهم، ويتراخوا في الارتفاع بمستوى مهنتهم، ونتيجة ده كان تدهور مهارتهم في التحقيقات الجنائية، والنتيجة المنطقية لكل ده هو شعوري أنا كمواطن بعدم الأمان في بيتي.

القضاء نفس الحاجة. أنا دارس تاريخ القضاء المصري الحديث وطالع لي كتاب عن الموضوع ده كمان ثلاثة شهور. القضاء ده كان فعلا شامخ. بالميم فعلا وبجد مش تريقة. إنما ده كان من ماية سنة. النهارده القضاء ترهل وتراخي وتدهور. ما فيش فكر جديد، ولا عدالة ناجزة، ولا رقابة على القضاة. المحاكم منهارة، والعدالة بطيئة، والأحكام جائرة، والناس حقوقها ضايعة.

المؤسسات الصحية نفس الحاجة. أنا برضو دارس تاريخ المؤسسة دي. تاريخ ناصع، مشرف، يخلى الواحد فعلا يفتخر بيه. مصر كانت أول بلد في المنطقة تقوم بحملة ناجحة للتطعيم ضد الجدري، وكانت أول بلد في المنطقة تنجح في القيام بإحصاء عام ودقيق للسكان (سنة ١٨٤٨)، وكانت أول بلد في المنطقة تفتح مدارس طبية (القصر العيني) تدرّس الطب بناء على تشريح الجثث (مش كتب الأقدمين). والنتيجة: القضاء على الأوبئة من كوليرا لطاعون، إنخفاض معدلات الوفيات بين الأطفال، ارتفاع متوسط سن الوفاة، وتحسن ملحوظ في الصحة العامة. إنما ده كان برضه من ماية سنة. ده الوقت مستشفياتنا مرتع للمرض، شهادات الطب بتاعتنا مش معترف بيها في العالم، ومنظومة الصحة العامة منهارة، المرض بيفتك بصحة الناس: أغنياءهم وفقراءهم، والدولة بإهمالها هي ال بتتسبب أحيانا في نشر الأمراض والأوبئة، وخير مثال على ذلك مرض الكبد الوبائي ال كان من أهم أسباب انتشاره هذا الانتشار الرهيب استخدام إبر غير معقمة في مستوصفات وعيادات حكومية في الثمانينات في إطار الحملة القومية وقتها للقضاء على البلهارزيا.

أما الجيش فحدث ولا حرج. الجيش المصري كانت له صولات وجولات، غزى السودان والجزيرة العربية وكريت واليونان والشام وجنوب الأناضول، وحقق انتصارات مدوية. لكن ده برضه من أكثر من ماية سنة. جيشنا الحديث سجله سجل هزائم وانكسارات. وأي هزائم وانكسارات!! ١٩٦٧. أنا ما عنديش أدنى شك إن من أهم الأسباب (ومش كلها علشان ما حدش يقول لي طب وأمريكا وموازين القوى والصهيونية) ال ورا هذا السجل الشائن للجيش المصري الحديث هو غياب الرقابة الشعبية عليه. أنا مش قصدي إن تبقى فيه مناقشة عامة للخطط العسكرية، إنما قصدي إن الشعب، بمجلسه التشريعي، وصحافته، ورأيه العام، ومجلس وزراؤه يبقى له دور رقابي على أداء الجيش. يعني أنا كمواطن مصري اتجندت وخدمت في الجيش (سنة 1986) عندي شكوك حقيقية في الجاهزية القتالية للجيش، لإني بصراحة ما شفتش أي علامة جوه الجيش لقوة قتالية محترفة. كل ال شفتهم ضباط ورتب وفلوس ما لهاش آخر، لكن كل ده مالوش علاقة بالحرب، ولا بالتدريب، ولا بالمناورات ولا بالتحضير لأي قتال من أي نوع، اللهم إلا إذلال المجندين ومسح كرامتهم. وبعد إنهاء خدمتي كل ال شفته من الجيش طرق وكباري ومطاعم وشركات ونوادي ومحطات بنزين “وطنية” وناس بتهلل وتقول تسلم الأيادي. طب والتدريب؟ والتسليح؟ والعقيدة الجهادية بتاعت المؤسسة دي؟ دي أسئلة مش مسموح لينا إننا نقرب منها، مع إنها أسئلة مهمة ومحورية وتخص أمن وسلامة المواطن خاصة إننا عايشين في منطقة من أخطر وأدمى مناطق العالم.

ده تحليلي أنا. أنا لما نزلت يوم ٢٥ يناير والأيام والأسابيع والشهور التالية كنت بأنزل مش علشان عاوز أجيب الدولة دي الأرض. بالعكس. أنا نزلت مع أصحابي وزمايلي ال أظن كانوا بيشاركوني حسرتي على البلد علشان ما كانش هاين علينا التدهور ال شايفينه حوالينا والخراب ال أصاب مؤسسات البلد.

إحنا لما كنا بنهتف بإسقاط النظام ما كناش عاوزين نسقط البلد، إنما كنا عاوزين نسقط النظام الّ خرّب البلد.

لما كنا بننادي بضرورة إصلاح القضاء كنا بنطالب بتحقيق العدالة وبإنهاء الفساد ال بيرتع في صفوف القضاة، وإن المواطن يبقى من حقه الحصول على حقوقه المغتصبة بسرعة وكفاءة ويسر.

لما كنا بننادي بضرورة إعادة هيكلة الداخلية كنا بنؤكد على حقنا في الشعور بالأمن في بيوتنا، وفي نفس الوقت بحقنا في إننا منتعذبش في الأقسام ولا إننا نتهان على إيد أي ضابط شرطة معدّي في الشارع.

ولما كنا بنهتف ضد العسكر وبنقول “يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر” ما كناش بننادي بتسريح الجيش ولا بهزيمته. إنما كنا بنطالب بحقنا في إننا نتدرب بجد لما نتجند، وإن تجنيدنا ما يبقاش لحساب الهانم مرات البيه الضابط، وإن الجيش دوره ينحصر في الدفاع عن الحدود وما لوش دعوة بمحطات البنزين ولا بصوابع الكفتة، وإن ميزانية الجيش تبقى خاضعة لرقابة المجلس التشريعي علشان الناس تبقى عارفة فلوسها رايحة فين، وإن ضباط الجيش يعرفوا إن دي أموال البلد مش عرق الجيش، وإن ما فيش أي حد يحق له إنه يعذب المواطنين المصريين في المتحف المصري أو أي متحف تاني، ولا يكشف على عذرية البنات المصريات ال نزلوا يطالبوا بحقهم في حياة كريمة، ومؤسسات تخدمهم، وبلد محترم يحترمهم.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Acts of Violence in Egypt

10 Apr

Numerous misguided (originally) Asian Muslims in the UK and the US – which are heavily influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Pres. Erdogan’s supporters in Turkey are defending criminal actions by members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as affiliated groups which have sworn loyalty to ex-President Mohamed Morsi and are engaging in violence on an everyday basis in Egypt.

Among them, Mohamed Elibiary – a political figure entrusted with pursuing terrorism in the U.S. government , has repeatedly stated that the Muslim Brotherhood is unconnected with any acts of violence in Egypt. And I am sorry to say this attitude extends to individuals who supposedly advise on terrorism such as Mubin Shaikh of Canada and numerous members and supporters of CAIR and MPAC.

The Muslim Brotherhood itself issued a statement disavowing any connection with violence recently

The statement omits mention of  President Morsi’s contacts with Mohammad al-Zawahri, the AQAM’s claim to jihad until Morsi is “returned” and the MANY acts of violence below.

Those who read English probably aren’t aware of the trial and evidence (here in links to parts of telephone transcripts) which explain the connection between the Freedom & Justice Party and the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical jihadists in the Sinai.

But even discounting that – which I cannot — what about all the daily acts of violence in Egypt which still have not ceased!

Even liberal journalists are swallowing the fantasy that there are no acts of terrorism or violence or subtly (or not so subtly) suggesting they are staged, or describing them as “political violence,” and not terrorism. Quite a few academics (who I know because of my work on Islamist movements within Islamic studies) – notably from Georgetown and Qatar University, University of Arizona, University of Toronto have blasted any effort on academic lists to post or hold discussions about what is going on in Egypt, unless these are rants against al-Sisi/”military dictatorship” or continuing accusations regarding the violence at Rabaa or Nahda last summer. They even rejected the report of Egypt’s National Council on Human Rights – -without reading it, and without realizing that some on that Council had strongly deplored violations of demonstrators and journalists’ rights since June.

I do intend to post some material soon on the campaign in the Sinai and the impact of the political divide in Egypt on its own extremist militants. Until then, here is a brief list of some of the acts of violence since the Mansoura attack, should you need a link to make the point that the Ikhwan have incited violence. (Many but not all were tweeted by Marlyn Tadros at @virtualactivism. Why? Well, you might think these actions were reported by the New York Times, or Washington Post, or McClatchy, and certainly by Reuters or AP, or AFP or in the European news, but in fact not many were. This is why Egyptians have been saying that foreign journalists are mainly concerned with the ‘rights’ of the Muslim Brotherhood, or influenced by their supporters at home.)


The Ikhwan leadership could easily diminish this violence by explicitly calling for its supporters and allies to cease attacks on authorities.


Apr. 29 #MuslimBrotherhood supporter was killed yesterday in #Damietta protest #Egypt


Apr. 28 – The man whose hand-made bomb exploded at home injuring him, his friends and family is none other than AlShater’s driver.


Apr. 28 Policeman injured in clashes with the Muslim Brotherhood in Minya


Apr. 28 16000 Muslim Brotherhood prisoners to go on hunger strike on Wednesday


Apr. 28 Ikhwan threaten to publicly mobilize after their Supreme Leader Badie is sentenced to death.


Apr. 28 Police entered Alexandria University to break up clashes between demonstrators and campus security personnel.


Apr. 28 Egypt’s jihadists threaten Pepsi.


Apr. 28 Police clash with Muslim Brotherhood students at Assiut University.



Apr. 28 A bomb was found today inside car of an army officer in Bein al-Sarayat, #Giza & was defused. #Egypt


Apr. 27 Source at Min of Int claims death of 2 men in shootout w police. The 2 accused of murdering journalist Mayada.



Apr 27 Police dispersed a Muslim Brotherhood march in Matareya using tear gas and birdshot, 7 people were injured. ‪ 


Apr. 27 Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qa’ida expressed solidarity with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and called for AQ to kidnap Americans


Apr. 27 One family’s connection to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis from a cell in Egypt


Apr. 27 Bomb explodes in Ikhwani home in Sharkiya [not Menya] injuring him,2 friends & 3 kids.Trying 2 make net-instructions home-made bomb


Apr 27 Gen. Morad al-Muwafi says

Apr. 25

Six ‪#Sinai militants killed; Seven Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members arrested ‪#ABAM‪#Egypt‪ 


Apr. 25 Clashes in Fayoum, leave 2 dead.


Apr. 24 Seven Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members arrested in Egypt


Apr 24 Prosecution orders the arrest of 33 from the violence in Aswan (earlier in the month)






Apr. 23 7 (6) militants wounded and 20 injured


Apr. 23 Egyptian authorities arrested a man accused of killing 4 Shiites [in July 2013], while attempting to escape to Libya ‪ 


Apr. 23 Teacher in Sharqiyya allegedly breaks the leg of a student who was singing a song for al-Sisi


Apr. 23

RT Police BG Ahmad Zaki & another officer assassinated in 6th October ‪#Egypt vid of car

‪ …


Apr. 22 #MuslimBrotherhood students at #Minya University firing at ppl. #NotAPeacefulDemonstration#Egypt


Apr. 22 #MuslimBrotherhood students illegally close off  #AinShams University #Egypt


Apr. 21 Bomb found near an October church defused, of course ‪ ‪#Elwatannews



Apr. 19 10 extremists arrested and a bomb defused In Northern Sinai




Apr. 19 Azhar ‪#MB students blissfully set CBC’s broadcast car afire ‪ 


Apr. 18 #MuslimBrotherhood burned shops in Ezbat al-Nakhl and their march was dispersed. #Egypt#Ikhwan


April 18 Muslim Brotherhood march burns a Sisi supporter’s house in Ezbet al-Nakhl, Cairo





Apr. 17 Police fire tear gas at Ikhwan marching at Matariyya who respond by throwing bricks and stones



Apr. 17 Giza police conducted operations to arrest leaders of Agnad Masr in Kirdasa, Bulaq and other areas



Apr. 17 Leader of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was arrested in the Sinaiسقوط-أبو-أنس-القيادي-بأنصار-بيت-المقدس/



Apr. 17 ‪Ikhwan leader arrested in ‪#Qena‪#Egypt  ‪مصر–ضبط-قيادي-من–الإخوان–في-قنا


Apr. 16 A bomb explosion inside a tank wounds an Egyptian soldier in Arish


Apr. 15 Two were injured in a bomb planted on al-Faisal St. Haram, Giza (after Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis had promised many bombings on 4/15)



Apr 15 Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leader arrested after murder of policeman in al-Arish on Monday (14th)



Apr. 15

Investigators: Engineering students executed bomb attack at CairoUni that killed a senior MOI official 2 weeks ago ‪ 


Apr. 15 Mohamed Morsi’s release of dangerous prisoners in Egypt is linked to current violence there.


Apr. 14

28 Copts were reportedly abducted by extremists in Minya in the last 3 month, ransom reached 6M EGP, police inactive. ‪ …


Apr. 14 Ikhwan students clash with other students inside Zagazig university campus, throwing stones & police enter to stop it.


Apr. 14 al-Azhar University expels 52 students (for violent demonstrations inside of campus)


Apr. 14 Army troops supported police across fr. #Nahda in clashes with #Ikhwan today near and inside Cairo University, where a student in the Faculty of Science called Mohamed Adel Attia is reported dead i


Apr. 14 Khaled Hussein, reporter 4 t/daily Youm 7, was shot in the chest during the clashes in front of the university’s main gates.


Apr. 14 Bomb discovered in front of N. Giza court, Mohandiseen & defused #Egypt


Apr. 14 Mohammad Bakry Haroun was arrested on Apr. 12 in Cairo. He’s associated with the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, part of the Nasr City network & accused of Dakahliya and Cairo bombings.



Apr. 13 The Muslim Brotherhood have reportedly moved their headquarters from London to Graz, Austria, following announcement of investigation into their activities in the UK


Apr. 13 #Nusra Front fighter (#Syria) planned attacks in #Egypt and has been arrested.


Apr. 13 #Egypt‘s army spokesman says 3 militants killed, 4 arrested in latest North Sinai operations

Also, armored trucks will be carrying recruits in the Sinai.


Apr. 13 Bomb found & defused, inside a church #Giza for Palm Sunday #Egyptحـوادث/حوادث-محلية/العثو


Apr. 12 Police arrested an 8-member cell of the Muslim Brotherhood called the Deterrence Battalion in Menufiyya


Apr. 12 RT #Ikhwan threw acid in the faces of police in #Fayoum#Egypt some injured


Apr. 12 – photo of municipality buiding burned by the Ikhwan back in August – in Montazah, Alexandria



Apr. 11 Explosive device defused in Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai ‪ 


Apr. 11 Muslim Brotherhood attack police with weapons and try to set fire to a checkpoint. Police killed two of them in Gharbiyya.


Apr. 10 Granddaughter of Hassan al-Banna, a university professor struggles to protect the Muslim Brotherhood


Apr. 10 Committe leaves #Egypt with documentation of MuslimBrotherhood plotting in UK incuding Kemal Helbawi, N. Ibra;him and others


Apr. 10 Brotherhood’s leading businessmen, Youssef Nada claimed on AlJazeera that the Brotherhood has formed new secret leadership.


Apr. 10 An second explosion took place in al-Hasri square in 6th of October city just 50 meters away from the first explosion.


Apr. 10 A junior officer & policeman arrested for joining the jihadist group of Tharwat Shehata #Egypt


Apr. 9 Clashes today between ‪#MuslimBrotherhood (‪Ikhwan) students and police in ‪#AlAzhar, ‪#AinShams, and ‪#Suez Canal universities.

Apr. 9 US designates Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis a ‪#terrorist group. Pretends not to notice connection with ‪#Ikhwan ‪#Egypt ‪


Apr. 8 Allegations in the trial of Mohammed Morsi and an explanation of his connections with Ayman az-Zawahiri via his brother Mohammed



Apr. 8 Muslim Brotherhood students with weapons and fire inside of Alexandria Universityطلاب-الإخوان-في-معركة-بالأسلحة-النارية-بجامعة-الإسكندرية-.html


Apr. 8 Four Islamist militants reportedly killed in North Sinai by Bedouin ‪


Apr. 8 Freedom and Justice Party (Muslim Brotherhood) posts a photo of students breaking the 2nd gate at al-Azhar


Apr. 8 #Azhar female students burn tires and burn Mustafa al-Nahhas road #Egypt


Apr. 8 12 homemade bombs found at #AinShams University and defused #Ikhwan ‘peace’ #Egypt—handmade-bombs-found-on-Ain.aspx

Apr. 7 Al Azhar University dismisses 27 students for leading protests inside campus (with violence)


Apr. 7 Beltagy’s wife threatens al-Sisi



Apr. 6 #Egypt’s university students were busy in 1427 protests this fall — not in class!


Apr. 6 #Egypt’s Interior Ministry spokesman: Militants using foreign fighters who’ve been in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria in coordination with A #Ikhwan; and Ikhwan using students to engage in a 2nd type of violence –


Apr. 6 Prosecutor refers #Zawahiri (his brother) & 67 others to court for planning violent attacks. #Egypt



Apr. 6 Clashes today at #Cairo University, #Ain Shams University and #AlAzhar University between police and #Ikhwan students. #Egypt


Apr. 5 A plot to target al-Gorah airport in #Sinai was thwarted yesterday #Egypt


Apr. 5 Violence broke out in Aswan at a reconcillation meeting on Friday between two families and continued through Saturday. The army spokesperson said there was Ikhwan influence in the clash, but haven’t seen details which prove that, yet. 23 killed, 40 wounded.


Apr. 4 Security forces dispersed protesters across Cairo today.


Apr. 4 Yesterday “gunmen killed 2 young men in the village of Mahdiya, accusing them of collaborating with the army.” ‪ ‪


Apr. 4 Clashes between #Ikhwan & police in Matariyya. Another ‘peaceful’ Friday. #Egypt

Apr. 3 Policeman shot and killed near #Rafah #Sinai #Egypt


Apr. 2 Three bomb explosions outside ‪#Cairo University, security found a 4th bomb. (Anti-coup blames army/police then backed off that claim)


Apr. 2 Police arrested 7 ‪#Ikhwan a few hrs. b4 bombings ‪#Egypt‪ …


Apr. 1 #ikhwan allegedly attempted to murder #Coptic family and army officer son in #Sharqiyya#Egypt

April 1 #Ikhwan students at AinShams University beat up an al-Fajr journalist, took his camera & threatened female journalist

April 1 #Ikhwan student demonstrators headed for the Egyptian Ministry of Defense


Mar. 31 5 killed, 11 woundered and 79 arrested in terrorist Brotherhood protests ‪


Mar. 31 RT #Ikhwan’s “peaceful protesters” burn cars in #Azhar garage #Egypt


Mar. 31 An Ikhwan cell has been arrested in Alexandria for allegedly planning to cut hands and feet of Sisi supporters.


Mar. 31

RT Clashes between police and ‪#Ikhwan in ‪#Minya. 1 police injured, 5 arrested ‪#Egypt‪


Mar. 30 Members of Ansar al-Shari’ah fil Ard al-Kinana were arrested. They’ve taken credit for more than a dozen shooting incidents in Giza, Beni Suwayf and Sharqiyya


Mar. 30 Ikhwan students block Sudan St. behind Cairo University clashing with non-Ikhwan citizens and no police presence.طلاب-الإخوان-يقطعون-السودان-وغياب-ت/


Mar. 30 Violence escalated in front of Cairo University by Ikhwan students


Mar. 30 One killed, three more injured in an attack on a police bus western Sheikh Zuwayd today ‪#Sinai‫#


Mar. 27 Mayada Ashraf, a journalist for al-Dostour was killed in Ain Shams. 4 others were killed (this reports 3) and 10 wounded.

Mar 27 Egyptians and Ikhwan clashed in Dakahliyya and police and Ikhwan clashed in Faisal st. al-Haram, Giza. Shots were fired in clashes between Ikhwan and police in Mahalla. Ikhwan demonstrations in Qena and three demonstrations in Fayoum were dispersed by police by using tear gas; they also dispersed demonstrators in Madinat Nasr with tear gas.

Mar 27 Ikhwan fired at police in Helwan and police used tear gas. Heavy clashes.


Mar. 27 4 killed in clashes between armed MBs & security forces. Includes a journalist and a Coptic woman (stabbed) ‪


Mar 27 Persons unknown burned an #AlSisi campaign tent set up in #PortSaid#Egypt


Mar. 26 – Field Marshall al-Sisi formally resigns as Min. of Defense, meets with the military and then announces his candidacy as President. Gen. Sedky Sobhy becomes Min. of Defense.

Mar. 26 1 killed and 30 injured at #Cairo Univ. and #Zagazig Univ.

Mar. 26 Ikhwan students demonstrating in front of Cairo University, chanting against army and police.

Mar. 25 A new Ikhwan movement called Execution claims it has kidnapped a policeman and have details about 5000 others.

Mar. 25 30 June investigative committee says Copts in Upper Egypt are still mistreated, suffering kidnappings and unable to rebuild burned churches.

Mar. 25 A bomb was found at the entrance to the police station at Shubra al-Khayma and was defused.



Mar. 25 Ikhwan destroyed army-run warehouse distributing food to the poor in #Fayyoum#Egypt


Mar. 25 Today unknown persons burned MobiNil’s tower in #Bahaira#Egypt


Mar. 25 #Ikhwan surround Helwan police station. Police fire shots in the air and disperse them.


Mar. 25. ‪#Ikhwan supporter publishes call on FB for a Muslim Brotherhood army to confront ‪#Egypt’s police & army


Mar. 25 12 injured as Ikhwan and police clash in Sharqiyya. Ikhwan torched police truck


Mar. 25. Ikhwan wearing masks with Rabaa sign burn the electricity main in Mahalla.


Mar. 25. Militants blow up gas pipeline again in southern Arish.


Mar. 24. #Bedouin killed by militants in #Sinai for cooperating with #Egypt’s army/security.


Mar. 24. School in #Qalubiyya closed today when incendiary device discovered #Egypt


Mar. 24 Ikhwan burn a school to protest death sentences handed down by a judge in Minya.,7340,L-4502752,00.html


Mar. 24. Unknown gunmen (suspected to be Islamic militants) shoot and kill a policeman on his way to work in al-Arish.


Mar. 23. RT Two homemade bombs deactivated in #Cairo University. #Egypt


Mar. 21 8 Ikhwan arrested during violent clashes in Suez. Ikhwan also throw fireworks on AlHaram St. in Giza. 1 killed in Haram, unconfirmed reports that one person killed in Alexandria where there were also clashes, and clashes in Bahaira, Minufiyya, Gharbiyya and Fayoum. ‪


Mar. 21 Police in alFashn, Bani Sweif, foiled an attempt to blow up a branch of the National Bank. They found 2 explosive devices inside bank.


Mar. 20 ‪Ikhwan throw rocks at British consul’s police escort & injure a woman in ‪#Bahaira‪#Egypt‪ …


Mar 19 3 students killed today in clashes between pro-Morsi & police in universities across Egypt. Protests at Cairo University met with tear gas.


Mar 19 5 Ansar Jerusalem fighters killed in clashes at Qanatir al-Khayriyya


Mar 18. Police trucks arrive after #Ikhwan students demonstrateing at al-Azhar block roads in the area. blockمدرعات-الشرطة-تصل-محيط-جامعة-الأزهر/


Mar. 18 Ansar al-Shari3a says it murdered policemen because Morsi was deposed and for arrested Ikhwan women.


Mar 18. Campaign called Batel calls for mobilization on Mar. 19th to bring back Morsi



Mar 18 Police raid pro-Rabaa conference in Garden City in Cairo and hold the attendees.

(The above was also disputed today)

Mar. 18 #Ikhwan at #AlAzhar beat a campus security police unconscious & kidnap him off the campus.

Mar 16. Two men arrested planting bombs at high voltage towers in Giza supplying electricity to Haram, Faisal and other areas wo men arrested planting bombs at high voltage towers in Giza supplying electricity to Haram, Faisal and other areas ‪ …

Mar. 15 Gunmen kill six army police officers in an attack near Cairo

Mar. 14. Shaikh Moza of Qatar denied Saad Eddin Ibrahim’s claims about her support of 30 June & re alJazeera being run by Ikhwan


Mar 14. Ikhwan clashed with people on al-Haram street and burned a store.


Mar. 14 Police used tear gas in Shoubra al-Khayma to disperse crowed which tried to block their truck


Mar. 14. Police dispered Ikhwan protesters today at Ain al-Shams; the protesters destroyed the cameras at the Matariyya Institute nearby.


Mar. 14 Pro-MB cleric Abdel Maksoud on Rabia TV says it’s peaceful to burn houses, cars of policemen nad terrorize opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood http://youtube/s6yDuGzjMuQ

Mar. 13 Saudi Arabia arrests the Ikhwan’s (Muslim Brotherhood’s) al-Shaer


Mar. 13 Terrorist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis disguised as Egyptian army and standing at a checkpoint in Rafah

Mar. 13 Gunmen attacked an army bus in al-Amiriyyeh in eastern Cairo, killing a soldier. These are believed to be Ikhwan cells, or at least, its supporters. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis later claimed responsibility.



Mar 12. Saudi Arabia closes al-Jazeera’s office over Qatar’s support for Muslim Brotherhood.


Mar. 12 T #Ikhwan students demonstrating in front of #Cairo University #Egypt

Mar. 12. Dahi Khalfan says Gulf-based Ikhwan are funding the rebellion in Egypt.


Mar. 12 Ikhwan students gathered in front of Grand Imam’s house protesting arrest of female students.

طلابالإخوانبالأزهريحتشدونأمامبيتالطيباحتجاجًاعليمحاكمة 5 طالبات‪ …


Mar. 12 Interpol arrested Akram al-Shaer arrested in ‪#SaudiArabia and Mohammad Qabouti in ‪#Kuwait‪#Ikhwan‪#Egypt‪ …


Mar 10 Unknown gunmen try to kill a policeman in Sharqiyya

Mar 9 #Ikhwan burn OnTV truck in front of ‪#Cairo Univ ‪#Egypt‪ طلاب-الإخوان-يشعلون-النيران-في-سيارة/‪#9iZKYQBIc9HFVqKJ.99


Mar 9 13 arrested at a bomb workshop in the Sinai in Arish city


Mar 8 A bomb exploded today near the refugee center in October City. #Egypt


Mar 8 #Ikhwan students march against the return of campus police and for the release of other detained #Ikhwan students


Mar. 8 #Ikhwan students destroy electronic gates outside Mansoura University


Mar. 8 Ikhwan women in Alexandria chant “US save them from violence” (yesterday, they were chanting against the US in Cairo)


Mar. 7 Hayat journalist harassed and attacked on live TV as she was covering Ikhwan demos in Alf Maskan


Mar 7 Ikhwan dead in Alf Maskan as gunfire exchange with police begins. ‪#egypt

Mar 7 Police car torched on 26th of July axis to October 6th in front of Hyper one market by an MB demo

Mar 7 Police secretary killed in al-Arish #Egyptدماء-شرطي-مصري-تسيل-في-شمال-سيناء-برصاص-مسلحين.html


Mar 7 RT 5 police killed & 7 injured in #Matariyya #Egypt


Mar 7 RT #Ikhwan burned police truck in Faisal St. #Haram #Egypt


Mar 7 Clashes between Ikhwan/pro-Ikhwan and security in Fayyum, Minya and Alexandria (since Ikhwan had organized protest demos today)


Mar. 6 Armed gunmen fire on pro-Sisi marchers in Shaykh Zuwaid


Mar. 6 National Council for Human Rights completes a report on police brutality in the Rabaa and Nahda dispersals & releases a video showing armed gunmen.


Mar 6. Unidentified person(s) ignite a police car at Manial.


Mar 5 10 militants killed & 43 arrested in Sinai – according to Egyptian Army spokesman


Mar 5 Israel says it seized a Gaza-bound rocket shipment coming from Iran.


Mar 5 Bomb explodes near courthouse compound in Qena. No injuries.


Mar. 3 Attacks on police across Egypt – in addition to those below in Giza and Beni Souef, there were attacks in Mansoura and the Aswan


Mar. 3 Police sergeant shot dead by ‘unknown’ gunmen in Beni Souef #Egypt


Attack on an ambulance in #Giza kills 1 policeman & wounds 1 #Egypt


Mar. 2 Clashes broke out outside Imbaba police station between police and the army as army was charged to secure the station.


Mar. 2 Three devices (bombs/proto-bombs) found on train to Banha and in Shubra station and were defused ‪


Mar. 2 8 Ikhwan were arrested for the burning of Samaloot police station. They had 2 bombs in their possession.

ضبط 8 إخوان متهمين بحرق مركز سمالوط بحوزتهم قنبلتان محليتا الصنع ‪ …


Mar. 2 Mohammed Zammar (Ansar ash-Sham) was released with other 5 Islamists in a swap. He was imprisoned for being MB member ‪

Mar. 1 10 extremists killed, 11 arrested in Northern Sinai (in Arish, Rafah and Shaykh Zuwaid)


Mar. 1 After clashes, police arrested 10 pro-Muslim Brotherhood in Ain Shams, Marg and Walli and a 13 year old was killed in clashes in the Matariyya area of Cairo. 2 police were injured. The rioters threw a bomb at security forces which was defused, and set a microbus on fire.


Feb. 28 2 dead, 16 injured in clashes between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and police at demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria – and also 5 injured in Minya.


Feb. 28 A fruit vendor was beaten up by Ikhwan with chains & knives bec he asked them to stay away from his shop



Feb. 24 Arrests made of 8 Muslim Brotherhood members for using social networking sites to promote violence. Sites include Molotov Movement Against the Coup


Feb. 24 Bombs found inside court & registry at Kafr al-Dawwar


Feb. 22 Attackers on a motorbike shot an NSA officer in Zagazig (who died).


Feb. 21 A knife attack kills a Christian woman in upper Egypt.


Feb. 21 Car belonging to the Tahrir Channel was burned) on Haram [street] and Ikhwan supporters were dispersed by security forces in the Arish area of Haram afte.

Feb. 21 Beni Swayf, police aborted an attempt by 2 MB terrorist organization members to set fire to a police officer private car. He was injured & hospitalized. MB member Ahmed Ihab was arrested and the other member Belal Nehad Akasem, son of the leading MB member Nehad Alkasem in Beni Swaif. (source Min. of the Interior)

Feb. 21 Ultras Ahlawy clash with police and burn a police car after al-Ahli wins Africa Super Cup. 24 injured.



Feb. 21 Police vehicle set on fire early in the am. In Alexandria.


Feb. 20 Bomb squad investigating a device reported in Coptic graveyard in Damas, Meet Ghamr.


Feb. 20 Policemen will get 30 percent of their basic pay as risk compensation, effective 1 March

Feb. 20 Three drive-by shootings in #Sharqiyya within 24 hours #Egypt

Feb. 20 Some professors who either were Ikhwan or supporting them are fired by Cairo University and students involved in violent actions as part of protests were expelled.فصل-دراج-والأستاذ-المتورط-في-سحل-ضابط-بجامعة-القاهرة.html

Feb. 20 6 jihadists killed in the Sinai by armed forces.

Feb. 19 RT #Egypt al-Zomor and Abd al-Meguid, ‘former’ terrorists seek asylum in the UK

Feb. 18 2 arrested for bomb manufacturing and other offenses in Mohandiseen and Giza.

Feb. 18 Cairo University expels 350 & Rabaa tshirts etc. forbidden #Egypt #Ikhwan


Feb. 18 RT Cairo U. refers Pakinam Sharqawi (for involvement in the summer riots) and Seif Abd al-Fattah (for being employed by presidency w/o permission from the university) to investigation


Feb. 18 Unknown assailants fire on police checkpoint at Assiut wounding a policeman and a passerby


Feb 17 Army conscript shot by smugglers on the Egyptian-Israeli border south of Rafah.


Feb. 16 Egypt tourist bus blast killed 4: Three South Korean tourists, the Egyptian busdriver and injured nearly all 33 on board. Bus blew up after it entered Egypt from Israel. ‪ …


Feb. 15 3 children and 1 adult injured by an explosion in Medinat Nasr behind a police station


Feb. 14 Bomb thrown in front of Talibya police station – bomb squad tries to defuse


Feb. 13 Yesterday 2 security at #Saqqara died as 2 gunmen fired on them.

Feb. 13. 3 arrested near the bomb-throwing at al-Warraq (yesterday aren’t Ikhwan but an independent cell.)

Feb. 12 A policeman standing guard outside Mar Guirguis Church is fatally shot

Feb. 12 Three people on a motorcycle throw a bomb in a street in al-Warraq which was defused by the Egyptian bomb squad. ‪


Feb 12 Detained Egyptian ‪@USEmbassyCairo employee’s name appeared in e-mails 2top MBs that leaked to media ‪


Feb. 12 108 Ikhwan who were arrested during violent clashes in Minya have been released on bail.

Feb 10 Men on motorbike kill a policeman in Isma’iliyya


Feb. 10 Ikhwan clash with teachers in Sharqiyya because teachers were gathering signatures to challenge the Ikhwan in the (teachers) syndicate


‪Feb. 10 Egyptian authorities accuse Muslim Brotherhood of forming an armed wing:


Feb. 9 More details on Muslim Brotherhood’s formation of a military wing


Feb. 8 Egypt’s army spokesman says airstrikes in Sinai Peninsula kill 16 armed fighters with ties to Muslim Brotherhood ‪


Feb. 8 New group calling itself Ajnad Misr on a Facebook page claims responsibility for Friday’s bombs in Cairo.


Feb. 7, Riot police stabs officer to death yelling “Halal, Allahu Akbar”

Feb 7 Two bombs injure 4 at checkpoint on Fri. am


Feb. 7 Ikhwan carrying rifles in Feisal, Giza


Feb 5, 2014. Muslim Brotherhood release home addresses of police officers.تقارير-وتحليلات/620083-35-ألف-ضابط-بالداخلية-يبحثون-عن-التأمين


Feb. 4, 2014. The Ikhwan burn the home and car of an al-Sisi supporter in Sharqiyya who had killed an Ikhwan member after a previous clashالأخبار/قلب-مصر/366160-عناصر-الإرهابية-يحرقون-منزل-وسيارة-مؤيد-للسيسي-بالشرقية


Feb. 4, 2014. A Muslim Brotherhood member (or supporter?) arrested in Beni Souaif with an RPG.


Feb. 4, 2014. Clashes in Fayyum between Ikhwan and police and 3 civilians are injured as a consequence.الحوداث/حوادث/366140-إصابة-3-في-اشتباكات-عنيفة-بين-الإخوان-والشرطة-بالفيوم


Feb. 4, 2014. Two soldiers injured in a bomb explosion in central ‪#Sinai. Bomb went off on the road as their truck drove by.


Feb. 4, 2014 Security thwarts a terrorist plot to try to blow up a beacon [lighthouse] in the Suez Canal


Feb. 4, 2014 2 explosive devices containing large amounts of TNT were found near a school in Badr City, New Cairo. Bomb squad defused them


Feb. 4, 2014 Jihad movement breaks away from the Coalition to Support Legitimacy (the group of pro-Morsi jihadist groups) says the coalition failed.


Feb. 4, 2014 Copts complain they are making jizya payments to Islamist extremists, still fear for their lives & police not doing anything.


Feb. 4, 2014 A new movement called HanRa3bku (We’ll Scare You) starts and attacks police in Assiut


Feb. 2, 2014 Bomb defused near the fence of military installation in Hurghada


Feb. 2, 2014 15 year old arrested at #Ikhwan march in possession of 9 hand grenades .


Feb. 2 Statement of suspects in Virgin Mary incident in court (one trained by Zawahiri [brother]) other against leaders who don’t support shari`ah


Feb. 1 4 Ikhwan members arrested in Alexandria – 2 trying to set police cars on fire and 2 others filming them.


Feb. 1 An Ikhwan dissident claims Ikhwan are trying to force the police into violence against them. Says Ikhwan planning commemoration of Battle of the Camel (which they were NOT victims in) on Feb. 11


Feb 1 One of the Islamists who threw kids off a building in the summer, is at his trial trying to lead prayer. (Weeks later, he was later convicted)


January 31 Bomb (a soundbomb) went off at residence of Belgian Ambassador to Cairo

January 31, Two rockets exploded over Eilat as Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted them. ABM claimed responsibility.


January 30, Senior officer’s Lt. Col. Amr Hassan (a senior prosecutor) car blown up by Molotov cocktails and a bomb in Minya, in upper Egypt. AMB claims responsibility.


Jan 25 Ikhwan attack police with weapons and Molotovs


Jan. 24 4 Explosions rocked Cairo killing 5, car bomb near police headquarters, at a metro station in Dokki, police station near Talbia and at a movie theater, killing one

Jan. 20 Two blasts heard near Eilat. At least one was a rocket fired from the Sinai.

The Egyptian Military’s Holdings – Speculations.

4 Apr

Giovanni Piazzeze quotes me in the article below in (I’ve given him 3 interviews, but this is the 1st article I’ve seen) — I am not surprised by Robert Springborg’s opinion.  (He is employed at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey whereas I am independent, meaning my opinion is not vetted by anyone in the military’s Public Affair’s office.  I do not know if the NPS’s PAO is as invasive as the one at the U.S. Army War College (where I was)  or if the command cares as much about what is written, I doubt it).  Just know that Springborg has signed a petition asking the US to interfere in Egypt against “the coup”  & wrote disparaging articles about both Sedki Sohbi and al-Sisi (the latter based on Andrew Bostom’s FOIA request to the Army War College to obtain al-Sisi’s paper (which I’ve had here all along, pretty funny how he tries to make him seem like an Islamist in his effort to help Islamists).

Arguments that Egyptian military is so wealthy that it enacted the revolution to protect its  own holdings – well that’s the kind of argument that Jadaliyya likes. But it just does not hold up to scrutiny.  As I tried to explain to Giovanni (not included below) much of the critique of military industries is based on a general laissez-faire liberal capitalist stance in which there should be no government-owned industries as they are inherently inefficient.   However, they provide employment to thousands in Egypt.

Nell’Egitto paralizzato dagli attentati terroristici e dal crollo dell’economia, concetti come stabilità politica e sicurezza economica sono divenuti i capisaldi di qualsiasi dibattito. Se la responsabilità della prima ricade sull’esercito e la polizia, la seconda, almeno in teoria, dovrebbe dipendere dai capitali degli azionisti e dal coinvolgimento d’imprenditori pubblici e privati. Tuttavia, in Egitto una fetta importante dell’economia nazionale è sotto il controllo dell’esercito, slegata da qualsiasi norma generalmente applicabile agli uomini d’affari presenti nel paese. Sin dal 1952 l’esercito ha avuto un ruolo determinante. Dapprima a livello politico, con esponenti delle forze armate inseriti nelle posizioni ministeriali più importanti. Successivamente a livello economico, quando la firma del trattato di pace con Israele nel 1979 non rendeva più necessario il mantenimento di un esercito numeroso. L’effetto potenzialmente destabilizzante generato dal trattato era di lasciare molti membri dell’esercito senza un’attività lavorativa.
Così Mubarak, succeduto a Sadat nel 1981, decise di creare l’Organizzazione Nazionale per i Prodotti di Servizio, il cui fine era quello di assorbire la massa di persone estromesse dalle forze armate attraverso la creazione di entità commerciali e manifatturiere. Insieme al Ministero per la Produzione Militare e all’Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), formano l’ossatura attorno a cui è stato costruito l’impero economico dei militari egiziani. Molte di queste attività sono esentate dal pagamento delle tasse, ricevono numerose agevolazioni fiscali e possono essere collocate praticamente ovunque, stando a una legge approvata nel 1991 secondo cui l’esercito può requisire per motivi di sicurezza nazionale le terre di cui ha bisogno. Non solo, dunque, le aziende che producono armi e mezzi militari, ma anche le fabbriche di beni di consumo quali acqua, pasta, olio, carne, elettrodomestici, automobili ed altro ancora. Nel corso degli anni l’esercito ha esteso i propri interessi anche nel ramo della sanità, del petrolio, del gas, del cemento e del turismo.
Esistono tuttavia delle incognite sul peso dei militari nell’economia egiziana, a partire dalla percentuale del Pil generato dalle loro aziende, su cui circolano cifre comprese tra il 5 e il 40%. Proprio pochi giorni fa, il Financial Times ha pubblicato un articolo in cui il generale Mohammed Amin, capo del dipartimento degli affari finanziari dell’esercito, riferiva che la quota del Pil in mano alle forze armate non raggiungesse neanche l’1% (1,75 miliardi di dollari). Graeme Bannerman, direttore del Middle East Institute, ritiene che “solo l’11% dell’economia sia nelle mani dell’esercito”. Anche Sherifa Zuhur, esperta di questioni mediorientali e che ha avuto tra i suoi allievi anche il generale Al-Sisi, è convinta che le cifre diffuse da molti media siano esagerate “Non mi sorprenderei se le cifre menzionate da Amin fossero un po’ più grandi, ma non di molto. Probabilmente la vera ricchezza dei militari egiziani risiede nel possesso della terra e nella partecipazione di ufficiali ed ex ufficiali nella gestione d’imprese commerciali. Un fatto, questo, riscontrabile anche negli Stati Uniti, ma con una differenza sostanziale. Negli Stati Uniti gli ufficiali in pensione vengono riassunti da compagnie private, mentre in Egitto vengono ricollocati all’interno di aziende di proprietà dell’esercito stesso”. Di parere diverso è invece Robert Springborg, che ha insegnato per anni alla Naval Postgraduate School di Monterey “Non esistono numeri ufficiali perché né il governo né i militari hanno mai reso pubblici questi dati. Ritengo, però, le cifre al ribasso sottostimino il ruolo dei militari nell’economia egiziana. Tutti sanno che l’esercito è responsabile per la maggior parte dei progetti infrastrutturali del paese, oltre ad avere un ruolo fondamentale nel settore degli idrocarburi, dei trasporti e dei consumi. I soli contratti edilizi fruttano centinaia di milioni di dollari”.
Al di là delle percentuali, variabili e poco indicative poiché non ufficiali, il problema risiede nella qualità, più che nella quantità, dell’economia dei militari. Già in passato, in un articolo pubblicato su Foreign Policy, Zeinab Abul Magd, docente presso l’Oberlin College, ha denunciato l’inefficienza e il clima di corruzione attorno alle forze armate. Opinione condivisa anche dallo stesso Springborg “La gestione delle attività economiche da parte dei militari è subordinata ai rapporti di potere che intercorrono tra i suoi membri. Per questo è un sistema intrinsecamente inefficiente e corrotto”.
Mercoledì sera il generale Al-Sisi ha ufficialmente dichiarato di essere pronto a candidarsi. Se, come ci si aspetta, sarà lui a vincere, dovrà affrontare una serie di problemi irrisolti. Dagli scioperi che hanno paralizzato il paese alla svalutazione della moneta e all’aumento dei prezzi (+69% dal 2010 per ciò che concerne bevande non alcoliche e cibo). Senza dimenticare la minaccia degli attentati terroristici e i rapporti con gli altri paesi, soprattutto con gli Stati Uniti. Cambiamenti che richiedono uno sforzo corale e che il prossimo presidente, a prescindere da chi sarà, non potrà raggiungere da solo.

Now Google translator is particularly bad with the double negatives but this will give you an idea:  

In Egypt paralyzed by the terrorist attacks and the collapse of the economy, concepts such as political stability and economic security have become the cornerstones of any debate. If the responsibility falls first on the army and the police , the second , at least in theory, should depend on the capital of the shareholders and the involvement of public and private employers . However , Egypt is an important part of the national economy under the control of the army, without ties to any rule generally applicable to businessmen in the country. Since 1952 the Army has played a crucial role . First, at the political level , with members of the armed forces included in the most important ministerial positions . Subsequently, at the economic level , when the signing of the peace treaty with Israel in 1979 did not make it no longer necessary to maintain a large army . The potentially destabilizing effect generated by the Treaty was to leave many members of the army without employment.
So Mubarak , who succeeded Sadat in 1981 , he decided to create the National Organization for the Products service , whose aim was to absorb the large numbers of people driven out by the armed forces through the creation of business entities and manufacturing . Together with the Ministry of Military Production and to the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) , form the backbone around which was built the empire of the Egyptian military . Many of these activities are exempt from paying taxes , they receive numerous tax benefits and can be placed almost anywhere , according to a law passed in 1991 that the army can requisition for reasons of national security of the land it needs. Not only that, therefore , the companies that produce weapons and military means, but also factories for consumer goods such as water, pasta, olive oil , meat, household appliances, automobiles and more. Over the years, the army has also expanded its interests in the field of health care, oil, gas , cement and tourism.
However, there are uncertainties about the weight of the military in the Egyptian economy , from the percentage of GDP generated by their companies , over which numbers between 5 and 40 % . Just a few days ago , the Financial Times published an article in which General Mohammed Amin , head of the department of financial affairs of the army , reported that the share of GDP in the hands of the armed forces did not reach even 1% (1, 75 billion dollars). Graeme Bannerman , director of the Middle East Institute , believes that ” only 11 % of the economy is in the hands of the army .” Even Sherifa Zuhur , an expert on Middle East issues and that he had among his pupils also the General al- Sisi , is convinced that the figures published by many media are exaggerated “I would not be surprised if the figures mentioned by Amin were a bit ‘ bigger , but not by much. Probably the real wealth of the Egyptian military lies in the possession of the land and in the participation of officers and former officers in the management of commercial enterprises. A fact that is also reflected in the United States , but with one major difference . In the United States retired officers are summarized by private companies , while in Egypt are relocated within companies owned by the military itself. ” A different opinion is instead Robert Springborg , who has taught for years at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey “There are no official numbers because neither the government nor the military has never made ​​this information public . However, I believe the figures downward underestimate the military’s role in the Egyptian economy . Everyone knows that the army is responsible for most of the infrastructure projects in the country, as well as having a key role in the hydrocarbon sector , transport and consumption. The only construction contracts earn hundreds of millions of dollars. “
Beyond the percentage variables and just as indicative unofficial , the problem lies in the quality , rather than quantity, the economy of the military. In the past , in an article published in Foreign Policy , Zeinab Abul Magd , a professor at Oberlin College, has denounced the inefficiency and corruption of the climate around the armed forces. Opinion is also shared by the same Springborg ” The management of economic activities by the military is subordinate to the power relations that exist among its members . For this is an inherently inefficient and corrupt . “
Wednesday night the General Al- Sisi has officially declared to be ready to apply . If , as expected , he’ll win , will face a number of unresolved issues . By the strikes that paralyzed the country to currency depreciation and rising prices ( +69 % since 2010 as regards non-alcoholic beverages and food). Not to mention the threat of terrorist attacks and relations with other countries , particularly the United States. Changes that require a collective effort , and that the next president, regardless of who will not be able to reach alone.


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