Tag Archives: Rafah

Return to Blogging & from the archives; Gaza and the Mawasi

20 Apr

Have decided to return to blogging/informing despite the extremely disturbing efforts to control information whether about Egypt, Syria, Palestine, the arts.

As Bassem Youssef, heart-surgeon turned comedian said recently:  “You can’t shut people up.”

So why did I fall silent?  Actually I have been active on other forms of social media and got re-involved in music after a hiatus.

I was searching through my files and found this written for the Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict on an area of Gaza where people were trapped for years due to Israel’s administrative rules.  I wrote it after traveling to Gaza to observe Israel’s withdrawal, when settlers resisted.  I was with a news crew which filmed settlers attacking a Palestinian home from their roof; the crew and lead (from the Times) said they knew their editor wouldn’t accept the other part of the story … we went into Gaza to talk to various people about their expectations for the future.  Mind you, this predated Hamas’ victory in the elections in ’06.   Recently, I met a man in Arkansas who is from this part of Gaza and he mentioned working in the flower gardens – I had no opportunity to say I had visited.  On several other trips to Gaza, I paused to marvel at the beached boats, unable to fish, although Gaza should rightfully develop a seaport and touristic beach.  As part of the encyclopedia project one struggle was to insert more information on Palestinian geography, history, personalities and perspectives; every brief article counted.  And finally, the point – could Israel’s settlers be forced to withdraw from areas they occupy?  (Yes, almost 4,000 settlers left Gaza, not at all willingly, but they did).     

Al-Muwasi` (meaning gardens) know as Mawasi, is a strip of coastal land on the Gaza Strip, one by fourteen kilometers, divided administratively into the Khan Yunis and Rafah Mawasi. Classified under the Oslo Agreement I of 1994 as a “yellow” area, Israel controlled security, and Palestinians held civil jurisdiction. 760 families (5300 people) inhabit the Khan Yunis Mawasi. 220 families are Palestinian refugees who fled here in 1948. The residents of Malhala are Bedouin refugees, primarily from the Beersheva (Bir Saba`) area.   430 families (3000 persons) live in the Rafah Mawasi including refugees from the Ashdod area who live in the “Swedish village,” part of the Rafah refugee camp.   [Note these figures were current at that time )

At least 15 Israeli settlements were established on Mawasi including Katif, Ganei Tal, Kfar Yam, Neve Dekalim, Gan Or, Bedolah, Rafih Yam and Morag.   In 2005, Mawasi was the site of Israeli demonstrations against withdrawal from Gaza. Demonstrators seized empty buildings and threw stones at Palestinian homes.

The Mawasi Palestinians were not allowed after 1967 to travel to Khan Yunis or Rafah where some have families and property.   Later, they were increasingly restricted due to their proximity to the Israeli Gush Katif settlement to their east. The Gush Katif central administration was based at Neve Dekalim and the area was subjected to special security arrangements.   The Palestinians used to fish, but were forbidden to do so; instead they relied on agriculture. However, since 2000 this output suffered from land-razing and Israeli-imposed transport restrictions. Electricity was available only at night for 5 to 6 hours through a temporary generator. The school lacks electricity, water and sufficient teachers, and its clinic has electricity only 2 hours a day. The Khan Yunis Mawasi has only one private well and no sewage system. The Israeli settlers’ standard of living was considerably higher than the Palestinians as they enjoyed state subsidies and adequate services, well-maintained roads, better residences, and easier access to schools, clinics and supermarkets. Until 2005, there were approximately 3900 Israeli settlers in the area.

Palestinian truck-drivers used to wait for hours to drive through checkpoints.   Only men are allowed to walk through checkpoints on foot and restrictions on gas for cooking and heating were imposed there. Carrying metal through was not allowed, including coins. Of additional concern to Palestinians were incidents of Israeli dumping of toxic waste in the area and the presence of 4 sewage treatment plants serving Israeli settlements, but which pollute Palestinian areas.

Since 2005, a Red Cross project has restored some of the Shanshola boats used to fish sardines.

Sources:

 

B’tselem. Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

“Al-Mawasi, Gaza Strip: Impossible Life in an Isolated Enclave.” March 2003, pp. 1-21.

 

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. Suffering in Isolation: A Report on Life Under Occupation in the Mawasi Areas in the Gaza Strip, August 2003. pp. 1-125.

 

Personal interviews with al-Muwasi’ residents, July 2005.

 

Sherifa Zuhur, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

 

Security, Sinai, Terrorism #Egypt Aug. 18 – Oct. 2, 2015 Sherifa Zuhur

3 Oct

Oct. 2 New message by #WilayatSinai:  “From #Sinai to #Somalia – #ISIS #Egypt http://jihadology.net/2015/10/01/new-video-message-from-the-islamic-state-from-sinai-to-somalia-wilayat-sayna/

 

Oct. 2  #IS#Sinai claims it killed an #Egypt-ian “army spy” a member of the Sawarka tribe in Cairo. This is first Sinai-based claim on Cairo attack in 2015.

 

Oct. 2 A ban on niqab worn by instructors and professors at Cairo University is upheld by Egypt’s Mufti. (Ban on students wearing niqab was overturned some years ago) #Egypt http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/10/02/cairo-university-bans-teachers-from-wearing-face-veil

Sept. 30 4 terrorists killed in Alexandria – same incident as below but this report notes they were in attacks in Beheira. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/151762.aspx

Sept. 29 4 #MuslimBrotherhood killed in exchange of gunfire in #Agamy #Alexandria #Egypt Wed. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=6a1e47f8-cfdf-471e-ba27-f2cd6ed444c9

Sept. 27 Egyptian army foiled attempt by 7 militants from Gaza crossing via sea into Egypt’s Rafah city.

Sept. 27 Schools in #Rafah and #ShaykhZuwayd#Sinai postponed to 10th of October #Egypt

Sept. 27 Five #Copts injured in attacks in #Samalout and #Minya  over church construction http://eshhad.timep.org/database/

Sept. 26 Attack on Saturday, in Arish killed 2 of #Egypt‘s soldiers and injured 16 – roadside bomb #Sinai http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=767817

Sept. 25 Nine militants killed in Zaidiya in exchange of fire with security. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=ca579e07-b082-4f16-9790-078b4559beee

They were thought to be Muslim Brotherhood members The NYT article sayd killed for connection to the attack on the Italian consulate & seems to imply they weren’t. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/26/world/middleeast/egypt-9-brotherhood-members-killed.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Sept. 23 Sinai’s Bedouin Jerken Band plays jerry cans left in the desert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iROTNFAJUWY&feature=youtu.be

Sept. 23 #Egypt‘s army seized weapons & explosives in #Giza & #Arish #counterterrorism  http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/143247.aspx

Sept. 23 Clashes between Egypt’s security forces and Islamist supporters in Alexandria following Eid prayers http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c6b22058-69d0-4262-83bd-01ff6dab2fa1

Sept. 23 Prosecutors investigated those who were plotting to smuggle Pres. Morsi from Bourj al-Arab prison. http://almogaz.com/news/crime/2015/09/23/2095861

Sept. 23 Al Jazeera journalists were among 100 other prisoners released or released and pardoned for the Eid al-Adha http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/23/egypt-pardons-jailed-al-jazeera-journalists

Sept. 22 Five tons of marijuana seized at Hurghada http://www.thecairopost.com/news/168303/news/5-tons-of-marijuana-seized-in-hurghada

 

Sept. 22 Egypt detains Khaled al-Beltagy, age 16, son of imprisoned leader Muhammad al-Beltagy http://www.alaraby.co.uk/society/2015/9/22/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D9%8A%D8%AE%D8%AA%D8%B7%D9%81-%D9%86%D8%AC%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AC%D9%8A

Sept. 22 Egypt has demolished 3,255 homes in the Sinai for the buffer zone according to Human Rights Watch and not given notice or reparations. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34317654

Sept 21 46 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members arrested in Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/09/21/46-alleged-muslim-brotherhood-members-arrested/

Sept. 21 Egypt’s Cabinet of Ministers issued a comprehensive statement on the plan to battle terrorism in the Sinai: https://www.facebook.com/MFAEgypt/posts/930573493681264

Sept. 20 A bomb explodes outside the Foreign Ministry Office in Mohandesin. http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/bomb-explodes-outside-foreign-ministry-office-cairo

Sept. 20 Pro-Muslim Brotherood figure Sharaby, (hosted by State Dept. in January and who spoke at UC Berkeley) calls on NY followers to “siege” Sisi’s hotel during UNGA visit http://www.mubasher-misr.net/71722.htm/

Sept. 20 Bio of Egypt’s new prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/141872.aspx

Sept. 19 #Egypt Brigadier General killed overnight in North #Sinai city of al-Arish; two others killed in IED explosion via @AssetSource

Sept. 19 IS in Sinai released a statement urging tribes to fight the army. Via Ashw_s6 – account suspended.  The statement “To the Defiant Tribes of the Sinai” is available here: http://jihadology.net/2015/09/19/new-statement-from-the-islamic-state-to-the-defiant-tribes-of-the-sinai-wilayat-sayna/

Sept. 18 A number of top al-Qaeda figures were released as part of a prisoner exchange with Iran. An Iranian kidnapped in Yemen was released for these figures which include Egyptians, Seif al-Adel, Abu Kair al-Masri and Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah and several Jordanians. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/top-al-qaeda-operatives-freed-in-prisoner-swap-with-iran/2015/09/18/02bc58e2-5e0c-11e5-9757-e49273f05f65_story.html?postshare=5061442678114004

Sept. 18 #IS#Sinai published wrap of attacks in #Egypt during previoua Islamic month. Still no mention of Sep 3 IED incidents with #MFO.

Source @ZLGold.

Sept. 18 Mexico demands compensation for the Mexican tourists killed in an Egyptian military strike in the desert. http://www.madamasr.com/news/mexico-demands-compensation-victims-military-airstrike

Sept. 16 145 prison inmates to be released in #Egypt for the #EidAlAdha  http://www.thecairopost.com/news/167582/news/145-inmates-pardoned-due-for-eid-el-adha

Sept. 16 55 militants and 2 soliders killed in ongoing Operation Martyrs’ Right in #Sinai accrdg to authorities #Egypt http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=cb365b34-f219-4b9a-98f8-d90f419b2fee

Sept. 11 – unverified claims by ISIS that it targeted vehicle using advanced missiles (but others say car bomb/IED) http://www.cairoscene.com/ArtsAndCulture/Mahi-Tarek-Redefining-the-Status-Quo

Sept. 11 – Militants in northern Sinai attacked civilians killing a woman & child https://www.facebook.com/Egy.Army.Spox/posts/718205158310469   however same incident is reported as shelling of house kills a woman and “probably by Army” via @BigPharoah

Sept. 10 Local leader of Brotherhood’s FJP Youth Wing for Beni Suef shot dead by Egyptian police during arrest raid. Via @AssetSourceApp

Sept 10 Anti-tank & helicopter weapons acquired by #WilayatSinai – photos #Egypt #Sinai https://justpaste.it/nltx

Sept. 10 US to send an additional 75 troops to increase protection of MFO in #Sinai http://bigstory.ap.org/article/78f44da1c56d41ec9ae5b71afe5b9d8a/official-us-beefing-protection-sinai-peacekeepers

Sept. 9 30 ABM militants killed, 41 captured, 3 Explosives warehouses destroyed in #Egypt army’s “Martyr Right” mil. Op in Shk Zwayed, Arish&Rafah source Hassan Sari

Sept. 9 #ISIS Terror Group Release Photos Claims Anti-Tank & Anti-Aircraft Training Courses In #Sinai (see TL)

Sept 9 More photos from Wilayat Sinai posted as Daily Life of the Mujahid   http://justpaste.it/sainaa

Sept 8 Egypt’s spokesman told Reuters that Egyptian troops would arrive in Yemen today. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/08/us-yemen-security-idUSKCN0R80X220150908

Sept. 8 The Egyptian army announced that it had begun a major anti-militant operation “Martyrs’  “ in the north Sinai on Monday and killed 29 militants. 2 soldiers were killed.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/139930/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-army-starts-North-Sinai-Operation-The-Marty.aspx

Sept. 7 57 additional NGOs have been closed for ties with the Muslim Brotherhood http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=0e4a3b86-0252-41d3-9456-bf2f1e4766c1

Sept. 6 The 3rd field Army Commander meets with elders of the tribes in South #Sinai.

Sept 5 Egyptian military said it had prevented the illegal immigration of 228 people – refugees http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=ffb22082-373e-4a53-bf9a-8bafa40a4abe

Sept. 4 On the 6 peacekeepers injured – http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/84498-150904-four-americans-among-6-peacekeepers-wounded-in-egypt-bombings

Sept. 4 Egypt gas pipeline bombed again last night in the northern Sinai.

Sept. 3 Six peacekeepers injured in 2 IED explosions #Sinai – 4 are Americans.  #Egypt   http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/04/us-egypt-sinai-peacekeepers-idUSKCN0R404G20150904

Sept 3 #3 terrorists killed in Sheikh Zwayed: Spokesman https://shar.es/1vJJZq

Sept. 3 Article claims terrorism is spreading across Egypt https//www.washingtonpost.com/world/militant-cells-are-carrying-out-more-brazen-attacks-across-egypt/2015/09/02/0706408e-4a9d-11e5-9f53-d1e3ddfd0cda_story.html

Sept. 2   Two IEDs exploded inside a shop reportedly belonging to a Coptic Christian in Qena, southern #Egypt

Sept. 1 Suicide bombing in al-Arish city was thwarted and the militant was killed. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c594b0c1-1f5a-4f6d-a9d8-0e78b57464c6

Sept. 1 Video released from Wilayat Sinai (in my twitter feed)

Aug 31 #Breaking Egypt foils car bomb attack likely targeting police station in al-Arish, Sinai (via @AssetSourceApp

Aug 31 An Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis member, Ahmad Abdul Hakim of Zawya al-Hamra was killed in Cairo http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/08/31/alleged-ansar-beit-al-maqdis-member-killed-in-cairo/

Aug 31 Egypt begins building fish farms on the Gaza border – further discouraging the building of smuggling tunnels http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ca190c0edca04230ac07339709a448bf/egypt-starts-dig-gaza-border-stop-smuggling-tunnels

Aug 29 How Wilayat Sinai operates via other groups within mainland Egypt https://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/baya-remorse-wilayat-sinai-and-the-nile-valley

Aug. 28 Two killed in clashes with security forces in Fayoum http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=831ffa43-0a18-4e16-8319-683f45540317

Aug. 28 A policeman returning from work shot and killed in Sohag http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=a886152c-b73f-4456-88bc-dc391ce0dc59

Aug 28   12 defendents given preliminary death sentences for crimes (also recruitment) for Wilayat Sinai by an Egyptian court. Six are being tried in abstentia. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/139071/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptian-court-issues-preliminary-death-sentence-t.aspx

Aug 27 Those involved in attack on tourist bus near #Karnak #Luxor site referred to military court #Egypt http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=db0624aa-1090-433a-91d6-4dfa37763964

Aug 26 Another prisoner dies in #Fayoum police station – 2nd in 3 days.  #Egypt  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/08/26/second-prisoner-dies-in-fayoum-police-station-in-3-days/

Aug 26 Twoolicemen who were guarding a post office in al-Arish were killed by unknown gunmen http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2-Policemen-Killed-in-Militant-Attack-in-Egypt/2015/08/26/article2994665.ece

Also see http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/138885/Egypt/Politics-/Two-policemen-gunned-down-in-North-Sinai.aspx

Aug 25 Police intercept network that makes bombs and rockets http://www.shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=25082015&id=d66bde10-e442-420b-9c9e-5b471bcf3338

Aug 24 The number of casualties in the bombing of a police bus rose to 3 (and 27 wounded) on the Rashid-Damanour road in Behaira rose to 3 https://t.co/5EdXOOzjwG

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/138684.aspx

http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:650ce5b9580845998ee614fc557febd7

Aug 23 Abu Al-Qasim, alleged military head of Wilayat #Sinai, killed in airstrike–per anon sources in sympathetic media (?) via Zack Gold

Aug 23 A lawsuit demanding that Human Rights Watch leave Egypt was filed and accepted. Filed by a rights organization and it claims that HRW has held meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar and in the “US Congress” http://www.madamasr.com/news/egyptian-rights-organization-files-lawsuit-expel-human-rights-watch-country

Aug 23 Egyptian security forces use teargas on striking lower-ranking police in Sharqiyya http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/138609.aspx

Aug 23 Ministry of Endowments #Egypt bans any promotion of political candidates in the mosques http://t.co/UucSgtkRDZ

Aug 22 Life terms for Egypt‘s Badie and 18 Brotherhood members http://bit.ly/1KCJH06

Aug 22 Three Facebook users were arrested in Sohag for their support of Wilayat Sinai http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=0f5bfad5-38e1-4e29-b177-defad29ebae4

Aug 22 5 terrorist killed, 18 others injured in Rafah https://shar.es/1tLKpX

Aug 21 10 terrorists killed and 11 captured by Egyptian army forces in North Sinai

New round of intense Egyptian airstrikes just now, south of Rafa

Aug 21 Egypt’s Army Chief of Staff met the UK national security advisor http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/138442.aspx

Aug 20 Daesh-affiliate ABM claims responsibility over Cairo blast: “in retaliation to “martyred brothers” of Arab Sharkas” pic.twitter.com/cQ9VX8oz7r

Aug 20 Wilayat Sinai claimed the bombing at the courthouse http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0QP00G20150820

Aug 19 4 #Palestinians kidnapped by gunmen after leaving #Rafah #Sinai #Egypt  http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Four-Palestinians-kidnapped-by-gunmen-in-Egyptian-Sinai-412658?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Aug 19 Loud explosion in #Cairo was a car bomb in front of a security building and near a courthouse in Shubra al-Kheima The explosion caused 20 cars to smash and wounded 29 (most not seriously) #Egypt http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/world/middleeast/car-bomb-explodes-near-a-security-building-in-cairo.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=0

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/138296.aspx

Aug 19 Pres. Sisi calls for preemptive measures to discourage terrorism as 50 clerics met in a conference to discuss extremist fatwas http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/138106.aspx

Aug 18 #ISIS-affiliated Wilayat Sinai claimed responsibility for an IED attack against a troop carrier that injured two near Sheikh Zuweid #Egypt

Aug 18 Egypt’s forces on high alert at Libyan border after Libyan border guards disappear http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/138078/Egypt/Politics-/High-alert-issued-along-EgyptLibya-borders.aspx

Egypt: Security, Terrorism, Sinai Update for Aug. 1 – 17, 2015

17 Aug

Aug. 17 Wilayet Sinai, claim to have targeted an army APC near a ‘gas station’ south of Sheikh Zuweid (Joe Gulhane, no source given to me – if provided will list)

Aug 17 Police officer dies from injuries in last Monday’s bombing #Egypt and #AjnadMisr
claims responsibility http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/138099.aspx

Aug 17 New anti-terrorism laws in #Egypt: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33955894

Aug 17 Omar Ashour criticizes the Egyptian governments campaign in the Sinai and repression. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33905477

Aug 16 A draft law to end penalties on journalists has been revealed. How this elides with the new penalties on contradicting government sources in the antiterrorism laws is unclear. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=941b70ff-f377-4d0f-ae8c-b7f296f452ce
Aug. 16 #Egypt’s Min. of Interior says it has broken up 3 #MuslimBrotherhood cells. http://linkis.com/www.kuna.net.kw/I6vaq

Aug. 16 The Egyptian military is continuing its operations near the Libyan border. https://www.facebook.com/Egy.Army.Spox/posts/705497959581189

Aug 16 Online statement attributed to a group calling itself Tahrir Brigades, claims to be defected officers, claimed Barakat assassination

Aug. 16 North #Sinai court returns to #Sinai fllwing 3 mo. relocation due to terrorist
attacks. #Egypt http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/court-returns-sinai-after-relocation-prompted-judges-killings

Aug 16 Body of Palestinian man from Rafah found near the border this morning. http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=767069&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

Aug 15 #Rabaa protests had low turnout – some arrests; in contrast to online activism #Egypt http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/08/16/rabaa-al-adaweya-anniversary-protests-weak-on-the-street-strong-online/

Aug. 15 #Russia gives #Egypt a Molniya missile corvette http://www.mfs-theothernews.com/2015/08/russia-donates-egypt-molniya-missile.html?http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mfs-theothernews.com%2Ffeeds%2Fposts%2Fdefault=

Aug. 13 Egypt confiscates assets of the chairman of Juhayna for ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=d0878294-cf7d-4f8c-8b97-14bd62e13dd9

Aug. 13/Aug 12 ISIS in Egypt (Wilayat Sinai) beheaded a Croatian captive , Tomislav Salopek http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/africa/article4525449.ece?CMP=Spklr-_-Editorial-_-TWITTER-_-thetimes-_-20150813-_-World-_-221489122&linkId=16251624
And http://www.wsj.com/articles/islamic-state-affiliate-claims-beheading-of-croatian-hostage-1439380416

Aug 12 A policeman was killed today in #Fayoum, south of Cairo, in #Egypt http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=fc269383-bcb0-4f07-ad20-5b9220ac06bb

Aug 11 253 sentenced in abstentia to life in prison for committing violence in Beheira http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=19878b57-f813-49b2-ad6b-8b44b4d09be1

Aug 11 Badie referred to court in a new trial http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=9189cc36-6e6f-41cd-8dfd-16e457f40fcf

Aug. 12 #Egypt Apache war helicopter strikes vehicle in Al-Kharroubah village, S. Sheikh Zwayyed, N.Sinai killing 3 Daesh-affiliate members aboard

Aug 12 Curfew hours reduced in al-#Arish #Sinai #Egypt http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/137688.aspx

Aug 12 Alaa Selim (photojournalist) found dead in Abu Taweela village near Shaykh Zuwayd, circumstances unclear http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/08/12/photojournalist-found-dead-in-sheikh-zuweid/

Aug 11 New York Times Editorial (which has published numerous scathing critiques of Egypt’s government) wants the #MFO out of the #Sinai. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/opinion/time-to-reassess-sinai-peacekeeping-force.html?_r=0

Aug 10 Ten persons were recommended to receive death sentences, so their cases go to the Grand Mufti for his opinion http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=04eead09-da99-4563-aeac-cd1af623cbf3

Aug 10 IED blast injures 3 persons outside a court in Heliopolis http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=559102ff-5a26-448c-bc20-76f8e27e0ffc

Aug 9 2 killed in clashes between security forces and group of armed men in #Suez #Egypt http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=78b452d5-080f-49c8-b2ed-f09c9a13cfe2

Aug 9 Revolutionary Punishment group claims attack in El-Sinnuris near ‪#Fayoum‬‬ earlier today. ‪#‎Egypt‬‬ https://t.co/JaEzkR4VVg

Aug 9 World’s largest container ship, the Marstel Maersk crosses the new Suez Canal http://www.thecairopost.com/news/163394/business/worlds-largest-container-ship-marstal-maersk-crosses-new-suez-canal

Aug 9 Policeman killed in al-Arish after a different officer in the same position was killed. http://sinai24.com/%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AA%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AB-%D8%AB%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D8%A3%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%B1-%D9%85/

Aug 9 A bomb targeted an armored vehicle in northern Sinai killing 2 security personnel, injuring 3 http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=d0f81e14-3181-4794-8ecb-a993c888e6dc

Aug 8 18 militants were killed over the last 2 days’ shelling of Shaykh Zuweid and Rafah – reportedly by Apaches http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=85e95039-84e4-45da-a93d-dc7ed6b1a62e

Aug 7 Fears mount for the fate of the Croation hostage seized in 22 of July – interesting detail, his driver was released. http://www.iphone.afp.com/afpv3/AFP_V3/News/JI/D4/newsmlmmd.urn.newsml.afp.com.20150806.doc.3v6i4.htm

Aug 6 Raid on a farm in Sanoris in Fayoum – five are killed. A report from Aug 9 including some controversial details http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/08/09/extra-judicial-execution-the-story-of-the-fayoum-five/

Aug 6
#Egypt N.#Sinai / Army Helicopter targets 35 #Hamas terrorists in a smuggling tunnel with #Gaza http://albawabhnews.com/1432179

Aug 6 The new Suez Canal (which took only one year instead of five to complete) was celebrated with an inaugural ceremony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS1GEtPOARY

Aug 5 ISIS affiliate (Wilayat Sinai) has threatened to kill a Croatian hostage in 48 hours. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/05/us-egypt-islamic-state-hostage-idUSKCN0QA20U20150805

Aug 4 Five civilians killed when their house was shelled during clashes in northern Sinai http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=d6701104-3dfb-4d98-81c0-c28c86df8d13

Aug 4 Unidentified gunmen killed a policeman standing guard outside a police station in Sharqiyya http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=78fde49a-01a6-4fd0-9ae5-2384431c2176

Aug. 2 Army says it has killed 88 suspected militants in the Sinai between July 20 and July 31 http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=45a7499f-d862-474d-b970-706b58ba3643

Aug 2 Car owned by Judge Moh. Abdullah Abbas (al-Khanka court) explodes from bomb. No injuries #Egypt http://almogaz.com/news/crime/2015/08/02/2061488

Aug 1. Egypt’s army says it has killed a leading figure in Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=abd5b813-585b-472d-868a-256af7938c8d
http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/80598-150802-egypt-kills-leading-is-militant-in-sinai

Interview with Sherifa Zuhur on Counterterrorism/COIN in Egypt and Beyond

5 Aug

I just was interviewed by journalist Yasser Khalil.  The interview will likely be available in Arabic and offered at Sahafy Online (https://sahafyonline.com)  for outlets interested in publishing it.   A little bit of this discussion is based on my current book draft on Egypt (there is a chapter on the Sinai campaign) .

Sherifa azZuhur Arabi

Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley

August 5, 2015

– What do you think about the Egypt’s strategy in fighting terrorism? Is it sufficient enough to end up the terrorism in the country?

 

Egypt is using a combination of counterterrorism (CT) and counterinsurgency (COIN) approaches.  It faces terrorism in the northern Sinai peninsula, but also in/near Suez and on Egypt’s mainland as well as acts of sabotage on electricity towers and assassinations of public figures such as the Chief Prosecutor, the late Hisham Barakat.    In the Sinai, Egypt’s military had to cease cooperating with the limitations prevailing under the Camp David Accords by which only civil police are to operate in zone C.  While these restrictions are lifted now, that insurgency has longstanding roots going back to 2003-2004.

 

Elsewhere the criminalization of terrorist groups and those engaging or calling for violence is an important aspect of the campaign.  So too, are efforts at antiterrorism (terrorism prevention) in which the roots of extremism are to be attacked by al-Azhar, and mainstream Muslim institutions, although there isn’t much agreement about the shape of such reforms.

 

Both CT and COIN rely on military eradication of terrorists which in turn relies on intelligence and police work.  In addition, both approaches also employ the ‘non-military’ tools of war; CT calls for developing antiterrorism programs and COIN requires bolstering of state power and appealing to local populations support the state’s objections.  These tools, or methods are informational, economic and political/diplomatic.

 

– Is this strategy different from the one USA uses?

These are two approaches, not one grand strategy and the US is currently, under Obama, downgrading CT and COIN efforts, but it has not successfully defined a strategy toward terrorism either in the wake of 9/11 nor today.

 

Egypt’s efforts reflect those of national militaries to contain terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere, but there are some differences, for example, the above-mentioned problem of an insurgency in a hinterland where the military were initially constrained.  Also,  the Sinai extremists used the fall of president Morsi, who they also considered an apostate (and they condemned the Muslim Brotherhood for participating in Egypt’s political system) as a rallying cause and the combination of their violence and that of other groups, some allied to them on the mainland somewhat magnifies the impact of attempted violence.  Egypt’s tourism sector has been hurt by this violence along with the perception of volatility in the post-revolutionary environment, although there has been some recovery of late.  Also the jihadist movements are international, the Wilayat Sinai breakaway from the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis allied with the Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria, i.e. ISiS) because of the propaganda (or informational) value and it has links with groups in Libya — which are therefore another threat to Egypt. The presence of the MFO (Multinational Force of Observers) in the Sinai means that there could be a threat to that body.  The alienation of the bedouin in the Sinai from the central government is another special factor to consider; this is the result of land ownership policies as well as the counterterrorist response to violence in the Sinai from 2004 – 2011.

 

 

– Both countries couldn’t end up terrorism till now, in spite of the long war against it. Why?

 

Terrorism is not a phenomenon that will be soon ended, nor is it sui generis.  Egypt and the United States continue to face terrorism, so too, all humans are hurt by it since it was used by the Zealots and others in ancient history.  Terrorism is a tactic, and the perpetrators have political and religiopolitical aims.  They can be discouraged from using this tactic, by the use military force and repression, and simultaneous anti-terrorism or anti-insurgency programs and actions of the state.

 

The previous U.S. Department of Defense name for this – the Long War – is probably an accurate name.  Al-Qa’ida as well as the ISIS, ABM, Wilayat Sinai AQAP, AQIM, Shabab etc. have a long-term grand strategy. Nonetheless,  Egypt’s battle in the Sinai with such groups is winnable —  and it is not facing a popular insurgency in the mainland, as for example existed in Vietnam.

 

If the Egyptian government had fought as ruthlessly as possible, then it’s possible the conflict might be a shorter one, but as Pres. Sisi himself noted, the public concern for human rights limits the use of tactics which might eradicate such groups  And admittedly, the security forces have not undergone reforms in that regard, and they are facing an enemy using extremely brutal tactics towards them and civilians who are thought to be cooperating with the Egyptian military and police.

 

– There are violations for human rights in both countries’ experiences in this field, is it necessary to violate human rights while fighting terrorism? How we can avoid that if it’s possible?

 

Yes, there are violations of human rights by both militaries and also by police in the U.S.  – use of body cameras (introduced in San Francisco & to be used in Egypt), education, enforcement of proper standards in prisoner treatment are all requisites.   It’s up to the leadership to insist on such standards in all militaries and police forces.

 

Some believe that human rights are violated by the use of emergency laws and military courts.

 

**Under Presidents Mubarak and Sadat, the use of emergency laws tended to constrain the development of democracy, however, today, nearly all countries have crafted specific terrorism laws which tend to diverge from civil procedures.   In Egypt, a big debate still exists over the “protest law” which is intended to control spontaneous and potentially violent demonstrations.  I think it is entirely reasonable to oppose extrajudicial rendition, torture, and unjust procedures as we saw in Guantanamo and at Abu Ghraib, and also to support harsh legal consequences for acts of terrorism.  The Egyptian system of criminal law differs from that in the U.S., but as far as I can see both aim to deter as well as punish offenders.  The application of emergency law within the buffer area in the Sinai, which has, for example, utilized curfews certainly seemed to be a necessity in that campaign.

 

 

 

– What about the privacy issues? This war made the people’s privacy is nearly zero. Is that justified and acceptable in your opinion?   **I need more clarification of this question in order to answer it

 

 

– In 1970s to 1990s Egypt was using the security solutions in fighting terrorism, it could defeat some terrorists but not terrorism. Will Egypt need more 2 decades to reach the same result?

 

**There is no division between “security solutions” and other solutions – let us say, “development or aid solutions.”  One cannot develop an area like the Sinai or upper Egypt if armed terrorist groups operate freely, moving to assassinate local police or officials in their homes or their vehicles, importing weapons and obtaining cash from outside of Egypt.

 

As stated above, “security” has to be seen holistically – it also concerns preserving the safety and security of citizens and their government.   Terrorists attack civilians and symbols of the state to try to sway other citizens into treating them as a pseudo-state (thus, the very name, Islamic State).  The Egyptian government has much to overcome, but the employment of many Sinai residents in the new Suez Canal project is a boost to security, as is the awarding of reparations to those forced to leave Rafah during the buffer operation.  Security and trust must be constructed on all fronts at the same time – through forums or meetings with the public, assurance that economic needs will be met and controls over the known security gaps – for ex. the hundreds of tunnels into Gaza or the communications between Sinai and Libyan militants.

 

 

 

– The terrorism is getting more brutality if we compared between the old militants (such as Al-Qaeda) and the new ones such as ISIS. What is the reason in your opinion?

 

In my opinion, the al-Qa’ida mother-ship group (the original group) under bin Ladin and Zawahiri learned that the use of extremely brutal tactics and sectarian attacks caused the public to hate and fear it and thus damage the long-term aims of such groups.  Bin Ladin was said to oppose attacks on the Shi`a, either because of this counter-productive response or because his neosalafist mentors coming from the Muslim Brotherhood exiles in Saudi Arabia and those they impacted did so.  al-Zawahiri opposed the attacks on Shi`a in Iraq by al-Qa’ida affiliate groups as well.

 

The Islamic State and Nusra in Syria and Iraq used both carrot and stick approaches, but the media tends to cover their brutal actions and focus less on other factors such as family relationships, actions of revenge and propaganda (public executions).  Like the ABM or WS in the Sinai, they count on the insecurity of the local population and the fact that it is gauging the dangers of cooperating with the state versus themselves.

 

 

– How the security sciences and the applications of those sciences developed since 1990s (especially regarding the war on terrorism)?

 

We should speak of philosophy, theory and practical approaches rather than “sciences.”  The study of war and conflict tends to draw on those maxims or precepts which seem to apply over time.  However, the means of war and technology have altered the applicability of such concepts.

 

We now possess technologically superior gaming facilities, but the best tool remains the imagination and through red-teaming to consider the most likely set of threats or scenarios and second effects resulting from actions taken.

 

There are therefore, some new takes on terrorism which arise from older concepts, so for example, material concerning 4th generation warfare; or the Clausewitzian notion of center(s) of gravity which, in today’s terrorist environment are diffused.   The psychological aspects of terrorism have also been studied with the aim of constructing better antiterrorist responses, or to use specific language, preventing the “slippery slope” to violence.    We now must be concerned with so-called lone wolf or sleeper attacks and the coordination of many terrorist groups outside controllable channels.

 

The relationship between foreign policy goals and aims to control or eradicate terrorism is also being scrutinized by those who are interested in grand strategy.

 

 

– Some opinions say that the security solutions is not enough to end up the terrorism, there is a need for intellectuals to play a rule in fighting terrorist ideas, it’s also war of thoughts.. do you agree with that?

 

**Yes, I agree but there is no point in constructing or insisting on one form of propaganda simply to counter another.   The intellectual war on terrorism has also faltered because we cannot promote freedom – freedom of thought and civil responsibility by accepting a vision of an Islamic society which is not free, but which merely eschews (rejects) violence against the state.

 

For example, the large Salafiyya Jihad movement in the Sinai are not all involved in terrorism, but they promote a conservative social vision which is unfair to some members of society (for ex. women).  In the United States, many of our Muslim organizations which claim to oppose terrorism “from a Muslim perspective” have a similar vision and therefore do not represent a true reform of the type needed.

 

 

– If you are writing a “prescription” to the world leaders to cure the earth planet from terrorism (even, to some extent), what will you write in it?

 

**I would say that seeing terrorism as an illness for which there is a cure is a mistake.  Remember that terrorism is merely a tactic of war.

 

Understanding and vigorously countering the aims and claims of terrorists with regard to the use of jihad, takfir, wala wa-l-bara, and their overall conception of a world in which Muslims should battle all others is key.

 

Supporting intelligence to discover the sources of arms and funding is also key.

 

Building confidence in a world and local communities where equal opportunities exist is most certainly key to convincing local populations to accept the authority of their own governments.

 

And the use of force – what you called in this interview, the security solution – is also very much a key and is going to require regional cooperation, not only between Egypt and Saudi Arabia as in this summer’s Cairo Declarations, but beyond.  Many political circumstances have led to the growth and expansion of terrorist groups – in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, the GCC, Iraq, Jordan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond as well as their funders and supporters elsewhere.  De facto arrangements allowing them to remain in certain locations is no solution at all.

 

Egypt: Security, CT, Sinai Fighting, June 1 – June 16, 2015

17 Jun

June 16 Morsi’s death sentence was upheld in same trial in which he and 16 others received life imprisonment for spying for Hamas and IRGC. http://www.thecairopost.com/news/155732/news/breaking-morsis-death-sentence-over-prison-break-upheld

June 15 Power station of the weaving factory in Gharbiyya set on fire.

June 15 Minister of Defense, Sedki Sobhi attended graduation ceremonies at Egyptian Command and Staff College http://en.arabstoday.net/news/arabworld/egypts-defence-minister-attends-graduation-ceremony-of-army-college.html

June 15  Police captain’s home set afire in al-Maadi.  https://www.facebook.com/FreedomElMaadi/photos/a.426654834107094.1073742478.122306507875263/720454328060475/?type=1&theater

June 15 Explosion destroys a 4th high energy electricity tower in Oseem, north of Giza. 2 others defused. Three towers collapsed in two bombings: http://www.thecairopost.com/news/155661/news/3-giza-transmission-towers-collapse-in-twin-bomb-attacks
http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=59fc02a6-3b21-4ec8-aa0c-ea88f0060987

 

June 15 A Muslim Brotherhood march has posters calling for Pres. Sisi’s execution https://www.facebook.com/FreedomElMaadi/photos/pcb.720166258089282/720165514756023/?type=1&theater

June 14 1,429 tunnels have been destroyed in Rafah border area in Sinai over the last 18 months. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=7bcda3f3-6a06-4ce3-beeb-e54653e7fa2b

June 14 Violent Egyptian group called Revolutionary Punishment says it has conducted 124 operations, killed 157 and wounded 452 since January https://el3qab.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/%D8%AD%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%A3%D9%8E%D9%85%D9%8E%D8%B1-2/

June 15 A Muslim Brotherhood march has posters calling for Pres. Sisi’s execution https://www.facebook.com/FreedomElMaadi/photos/pcb.720166258089282/720165514756023/?type=1&theater

June 15 A Muslim Brotherhood march has posters calling for Pres. Sisi’s execution https://www.facebook.com/FreedomElMaadi/photos/pcb.720166258089282/720165514756023/?type=1&theater

June 14 The Rafah crossing was opened for three days so that Palestinians could travel in and out of the Gaza strip from (and to) Egypt. The opening could be extended. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/13/us-palestinians-egypt-gaza-idUSKBN0OT0BM20150613?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter
June 14 Fifty-eight alleged Muslim Brotherhood members to be tried in Egypt for terrorism offenses in 2013 and 2014. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/132771/Egypt/Politics-/-Islamists-to-stand-military-trial-in-Egypt.aspx
June 14 Three persons attacked the home of a Copt in Mayana village in Beni Suef with Molotov cocktails. http://en.sectarianattacks.com/attacks/276-unknown-assailants-throw-molotov-cocktails-at-coptic-home-in-beni-suef

June 14 “IS affiliate” – claimed it ambushed Egypt’s army and used a Kornet anti-tank missile. (source: Samer al-Atrush) and hacked a government website (source: Joe Gulhane)

June 14 Wilayat Sinai (“IS affiliate) put out a communiqué to Sinai bedouin telling them not to use tractors in/outside Rafah without first communicating with WS because of IEDs. http://www.thecairopost.com/news/155429/news/sinai-province-warns-bedouins-against-using-tractors-to-avoid-ieds

June 13 Court allows an appeal of death sentence for Habara #Sinai militant leader and 15 others who ambushed and killed 25 Egyptian police officers in the Sinai in 2013 #Egypt http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/132651/Egypt/Politics-/BREAKING-Egypt-court-revokes-death-sentence-for-Si.aspx
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/13/egypt-orders-retrial-for-16-people-accused-killing-25-police-officers-in-sinai/

June 13 #Egypt police say an IED diffused inside Zamalek youth center. In Osim, man shot dead placing IED near police station.

June 13 Military issue statement about a new checkpoint in the Abu Tawila area and thank Sinai residents for assistance in efforts against terrorism: http://www1.el-balad.com/1577686#sthash.yZ9TNNXj.uxfs&st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/7lZukw5y7e

June 12 A police officer was shot and killed by a lower-ranking policeman he was arresting in Sharqiyya province. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/132622/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-National-Security-officer,-policeman-killed-.aspx
June 11 #ISIS affiliate puts out flyers in #Sinai warning residents not to divert from main roads w/o coordinating with them (IEDs)

June 10 Security personnel killed 6 militants after detonating 2 vehicles – militants had launched mortars at peacekeepers http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=05ee53e4-b458-4bf1-a552-4dbc67c55de7

June 10 Egyptian woman campaign in Moganada Misriya for women to join the military http://www.madamasr.com/sections/politics/let-our-girls-join-our-army-egypts-aspiring-military-women

June 10 IED detonates in Masaeed area, west of al-#Arish, Sinai

June 10 A roadside bomb injured three persons when it hit a civilian bus near Shaykh Zuwayd. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/132227/Egypt/Politics-/BREAKING-Roadside-bomb-hits-civilian-bus-in-North-.aspx
English.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/132227/Egypt/Politics-/BREAKING-Roadside-bomb-hits-civilian-bus-in-North-aspx
June 10 Russia and Egypt held their first-ever joint naval exercise http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/132450/Egypt/Politics-/Russia-and-Egypt-hold-first-ever-joint-naval-drill.aspx
June 10 Security officer at #US Embassy arrested & authorities say he’s commander of Helwan Brigades #Egypt http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/10/security-guard-at-u-s-embassy-in-egypt-arrested-as-a-terrorist.html

June 10 Attack by 3 persons outside Karnak Temple in Luxor. 5 Egyptians injured; 2 of the attackers killed by police, 3rd set off car bomb & was being treated http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/06/10/2-dead-5-injured-in-luxor-suicide-attack-health-ministry/ First reports were they were Tunisians, but that they were #Egyptians from Minya, Beni Suef & Gharbiyah. #Egypt #Luxor

June 9 Policeman’s house burns in Sinai, IS kills ‘police spy’ http://amay.link/O3WFV

June 9 Armed gunmen fire 7 mortar shells at the small airport south of Shaykh Zuwaid http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/751713
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0OP2J120150610?irpc=932
June 9 IED found in Haram tunnel. https://twitter.com/ElwatanNews/status/608417187284566016

June 9 A rocket hit a house in a village near Shaykh Zuwaid killing a child. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=de7a2ecb-4463-4109-b401-35d5f2a6c8d7

June 9 5 militants killed and 12 arrested near Shaykh Zuwaid http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c103855f-a6bf-4660-a736-24fee5497016
June 8 Two militants killed – believed to be Ansar Bayt alMaqdis and 5 arrested near Shaykh Zuwaid http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=9da8e5a3-5038-4340-a538-25bc669b5de0

June 8 Masked men torched cars in Mostafa Nahhas St. #NasrCity yest. #Egypt http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/6/8/%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%B3-%D8%A2%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B9–%D9%85%D9%82%D9%86%D8%B9%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B9%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%8A%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%82%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A8%D9%85/2216962#.VXcuTWRVikp

June 8 Roadside bomb hit a bus carrying teachers near Shaykh Zuwayd injuring 3. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/132227.aspx

June 8 An Egyptian soldier killed, 5 more “including an officer” got injured in two separate attacks on army in Sheikh Zuwaied and Rafah, #Sinai (no info. on second part) – a girl was killed in Abu al-Arag http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/132264.aspx
June 8 Syria’s opposition groups met in Egypt – aim is to seek a solution to the conflict, but without Assad. (The Muslim Brotherhood were not represented at the mtg) http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/132294.aspx

June 8 Referencing same report below – this concerns the impact of Egypt’s War on Terrorism in the Sinai http://en.aswatmasriya.com/analysis/view.aspx?id=5e0274e4-793a-4b9e-b910-eedcbecbcd8e

June 7 Egyptian army opening fire at striking workers in Al Arish cement killing one and injuring 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rTSd4nLBfI&feature=share&app=desktop … #Egypt
June 7 The President’s office issued an Infographic on Efforts to Counter Terrrorism and restore security. Said 1,671 accused MB members or terrorists, approx.. 38,000 criminals caught 6 million verdicts, 54 solved kidnapping crimes, 1682 gangs arrested, 87,000 arms seized, 94 rape cases 661 harassment cases

June 6 Cairo Appeals Court cancelled the verdict designating Hamas a terrorist group due to lack of jurisdiction (by that court). http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/06/06/cairo-court-cancels-hamas-terrorist-designation/

June 6 Twelve sentenced to 2 years in prison for violence in Suez (and six acquitted) all defendants believed to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=9e26af38-7f1b-43e4-9205-2ededb8feeb6

June 6 A policeman was killed in an explosion at a bombmaking site in Gharbiyya http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=b550d9c1-9517-4114-8a20-4bfb3c43620f

June 6 Egypt’s ‘popular resistance’ has been posting firearm instruction vids, orig. content by Syrian grp from a few years

June 6 #55 explosive devices dismantled in Sheikh Zwayed https://shar.es/12Ggzg

June 5 Telecom workers who had been abducted in a company vehicle in North Sinai have been released http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/6/5/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%B1–%D8%A5%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%AA%D8%B7%D9%81%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%B3%D9%8A/2212217#.VXYKBmRVikq

June 4 IED at #Fayoum city council #Egypt wounded a policeman and two employees earlier today #Egypt via @AssetSourceApp pic.twitter.com/uudGIKijtn

June 3 12 militants killed in separate incidents in the Sinai http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=2519a1ba-46a3-43bc-9549-3961eff89738

June 3 Gunmen shot 2 antiquities & tourism policemen near the pyramids in Giza Egypt. http://af.reuters.com/article/egyptNews/idAFL5N0YP28R20150603
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32998721

June 2 State reported that 141 militants were killed in May http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=3de37939-8ca4-4622-946c-d956bfed5823

June 2 Morsi’s verdict adjourned until June 16

June 2 Sabri al-Ghoul, a Sinai based militant died in detention. Denials & circumstances are unclear. http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/06/02/sinai-activist-reportedly-died-in-military-detention-army-denies/

June 2 Six Coptic families returned to Bani Suef after they had been displaced by Islamists who set their homes on fire. Governor promises those responsible will be punished.

June 1 Unknown militants destroyed a mosque in Shaykh Zuwayd Sinai http://www.albawabaeg.com/55742

June 1 Twenty-two anti-Morsi protesters sentenced to ten year terms in ’13 clashes http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/131680.aspx

June 1 The Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership tasked a cell to infiltrate ministries, pass along information and air false news – going back to ’12 http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=827d5685-6fb3-4a8f-a6b9-cf2945b919d2

Terrorism & CT in the Sinai & Egypt: May 1 – May 16, 2015

16 May

Judges shot dead in hours after ‘s sentence.  

May 15 Eight women banned from traveling to Turkey as Egypt enacts a new policy to inhibit women from joining ISIS. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c6d68300-8fab-4a6b-b9bc-878c4895cc68

May 15 Egyptian authorities stopped 22 Egyptians from illegally crossing into Libya through Salloum http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/130345.aspx

May 15 9 mid-level MuslimBrotherhood leaders arrested for vandalism & inciting to #violence #Egypt http://onaeg.com/?p=2276657 

May 14 Three people gunned down in the Sinai in two separate incidents. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=6c90ffac-f07c-4543-9c1f-ba4801e18416

May 14 Ninety-four middle-ranking #MuslimBrotherhood leaders arrested for planning attacks on police/mil. & being in a banned terrorist organization http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/05/14/94-middle-ranking-muslim-brotherhood-leaders-arrested-interior-ministry/

May 14 National Council of #Arab and Egyptian tribes to spend LE 1 bill. on tribal development in the Sinai

http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/05/14/tribes-should-organise-behind-the-state-ncaet/

May 14 Eight suspected militants killed in al-Arish in north Sinai. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=e79cfd6c-08dc-4114-8ce0-d5dc5cfd0ab6

May 14 Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and bedouin tribes – background. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/egyptsource/a-new-sinai-battle-bedouin-tribes-and-egypt-s-isis-affiliate

May 13 Explosions kill 4 Egyptian soldiers (otherwise reported as two officers and two soliders) 4 civilians in #Sinai http://wpo.st/Nh0H0 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/05/13/4-army-soldiers-killed-in-rafah/

and see http://www.timesofoman.com/News/51653/Article-Four-Egyptian-soldiers-three-civilians-killed-in-Egypts-Sinai-Peninsula-bomb-attacks

May 13 Reports that pro-MB terrorists downed transmission from Media Prod. City

May 13 Assessments of 6 months of Sinai operations by the Egyptian army https://www.facebook.com/Egy.Army.Spox/posts/654570224673963

May 13 Egypt’s Min. of Defense and Min. of the Interior visit military and police sites in the Sinai https://www.facebook.com/Egy.Army.Spox/posts/656550774475908

May 13 Egypt‘s security arrests Essam Derbala, head of #amaatIslamiyya (masterminds of Luxor attack & many others)  in Qena http://www.thecairopost.com/news/150399/news/breaking-gamaa-islamiyya-chairman-arrested

May 12  President Sisi gave his monthly address to Egyptians reporting on progress of many development programs, such as the new Suez Canal (which employs many Sinai residents) and also on the counterterrorism program in the Sinai.

May 12 “Sawlat al-Ansar 2” posted on Youtube by Islamic State in the Sinai http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e64_1431447984

May 12 ISIS affiliate ‘Supporters of the #IslamicState in Beit al-Maqdis’ claiming to raise black flags in #Rafah #Gaza

May 11 Shots fired by Egyptian border guards injured a Palestinian driver at Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=765346

May 11 Egypt and Djibouti discussed Red Sea security http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=a3ee8f06-a5a1-418c-a8d0-c368231357e6

May 10 Text of the tribal union statement from the Sinai http://www.albawabhnews.com/1283036

May 10 A woman shot by unknown assailants and hospitalized in central Sinai, three brothers kidnapped from their home in northern Sinai and three militants killed – also in northern Sinai. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c24f42c3-57ec-4a58-bbf4-894412bd3ffd

May 10 NileSat and Min. of Electricity denied responsibility for the power failure at Maspero which caused State television to fail on Saturday http://www.thecairopost.com/news/149872/news/electricity-ministry-nilesat-deny-responsibility-for-masperos-power-failure

May 10 Failed assassination attempt on #judge in #MB case – 4 bystanders injured 3 bombs #Egypt http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/728926

May 10 2 Brotherhood sympathizers killed en route to carry out bombing attack in Fayoum. Bomb exploded prematurely. #Egypt

May 10 Thirty tribes at the Sinai Tribal Federation pledged to confront militant groups on the Peninsula. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/129898/Egypt/Politics-/UPDATED-Egyptian-tribes-pledge-to-battle-Islamist-.aspx

May 9 Two soldiers killed in N. Sinai as they picked up their daughters from school (see report below – doesn’t have the detail about “daughters”)

May 9 Major clashes between #Egypt security forces and MB in Al-Basarta, Damietta today: 6 killed according to #Ikhwan http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/726480

May 9 Many prisoners from Sinai to be released today from Azouli military prison at the second field army in Ismailia #Egypt

May 9   725 militants killed by Egyptian security forces between Oct14- April15; 1823 HQ’s & hideouts demolished;1873 suspects + 206 wanted arrested.

May 9 2 policemen killed – http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=b4ec9856-4a01-41ad-b8ac-173af4d73659

May 8 2 policemen killed, 1 wounded in #Arish drive-by shooting #Sinai #Egypt http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Drive-by-shooting-in-Sinai-kills-2-policemen-20150508

May 8 Sixteen members of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis were killed in two operations in al-Arish http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=4b9b7ea0-ff94-4802-b47a-9b82f53d6918

May 7 A team of 8 observers from Europe arrived in Gaza to report in the Rafah crossing http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765283

May 7 Karm Alkawadis military point south of Shaykh Zuwaid has been targeted by #Sinai province militants mortar shells, one soldier has been injured.

May 7 Egypt’s president greets returned Ethiopian workers who arrived from Libya after negotiations with fighting groups there. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/129641.aspx

May 6 Report on human trafficking (including organ sales) in the Sinai (this has been ongoing for years)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqLOHgZU5iY&feature=youtu.be&a

 

May 6 Three Palestinians try to enter Gaza via smuggling tunnels and are killed in clashes with Egypt’s border guards http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/724383

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4654478,00.html

May 5 Egyptian authorities arrest 40 people in Sharqiyya on suspicion of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. http://www.madamasr.com/news/40-arrested-sharqiya-charges-belonging-islamic-state

 

May 5 Who is bombing Egypt’s electricity towers – the al-Iqab al-Thawri or their backers, the Ikhwan? http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/05/egypt-power-plants-bombings-brotherhood-electricity-ministry.html#ixzz3ZJQZjwWF

May 5  Muslim Brotherhood elements kill conscript, injure investigations aide of Damietta police station

May 4 National Defense Council approves continuation of Egypt’s external military missions, including involvement in the coalition fighting in Yemen. http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=0dbf6b31-3c59-4ea1-bc1f-7bfcefe4b955

May 4 Clashes reported in Rafah as the Islamic State affiliate launches an attack on a local security camp. Different source claims there were two attacks Shaykh Zuwayd police station & central security camp – no casualties.

May 4 A bomb exploded at a Mobinil station in Shebin al-Koum in Menufiyya and another bomb was defused. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=887677597957321

May 4 Six people were injured as a bomb in a paper bag explodes in Manshiyat Nasser, a slum area in Cairo. http://www.thecairopost.com/news/148845/news/slum-family-injured-after-bomb-detonated-in-trash

May 4 Surveillance cameras will be installed nation wide in Egypt http://egyptianstreets.com/2015/05/04/surveillance-cameras-to-be-deployed-nationwide-in-egypt/

May 3 Four injured in al-Arish explosion http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/05/03/4-injured-in-al-arish-bomb-explosion/#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/5oXdAD7O98

May 3 Forty were referred to criminal court for communication with ISIS http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c1204ceb-0c3d-4114-9663-f9b122762502   Also see: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/05/03/Egypt-charges-40-over-allegedly-being-ISIS-members.html

May 3 “Peaceful” Ikhwan demonstrators fire on senior officer & policeman near October City #Egypt http://www.el-balad.com/1515642

May 3 An Egyptian teen is sentenced to 15 years for making bombs. http://www.albawaba.com/news/egyptian-teen-sentenced-15-years-making-bombs-689716

May 2   State of Sinai claim they cut supply of Egypt’s military and release pictures to illustrate pic.twitter.com/rgAB7xcKUu

May 2 A tribal coalition in northern Sinai offered 1 million L.E. to whoever will kill Shadi al-Menei, a senior leader of the [Ansar al-Maqdis, but ID’d here as WS) Wilayat Sina’ group. http://news.videonews.us/egypts-sinai-tribes-put-bounty-daesh-militant-028704.html

May 2 Members of a tribe abduct Haytham al-Menei – the brother of an Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leader http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=765185&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

May 2 IED explodes near resort hotels at the Fayoum Oasis, south of #Cairo. Fayoum area hard hit by ongoing attack wave.

May 1 Gunmen attacked an al-Ahram Foundation staff bus in 6th of October city injuring 6 people, 3 of them critically. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/129095.aspx

 

Terrorism in the Sinai and Egypt 22 Apr – 04 May ’15

4 May

On a widely subscribed academic list, the Sociology of Islam, one may read frequent posts by Dr. Alain Gabon reviling President Sisi. Colleagues unfamiliar with Egypt who read Western language media have a very flawed picture of the most pressing issues in the country as a result of editorial bias. In attempting to rebut Gabon, and in visiting different university campuses in the U.S. I realized that many – and not only Americans — are unaware of the very real acts of terrorism now perpetrated on a daily basis in Egypt by supporters of ex-President Morsi.  Many are militants to whom the political process is irrelevant; their aim is destabilization.  Hardly any western media cover the issue; if they do, the only analysis offered is that the Sinai campaign is “too harsh,” or they insist that the Muslim Brotherhood “must be re-included” as per the position of the New York Times and Washington Post’s editorial board. Only Egyptians and those who have followed the terrorist/militant groups in the Sinai since their emergence c. 2004, realize that the militants in the Sinai proliferated during President Morsi’s term, have multiplied due to external factors, and that connections to Gaza, Libya, Sudan and elsewhere render the Sinai terrorism a regional issue, and not only a local one. I am waiting to read a serious article about the funding of these groups (or I will attempt to write one).  Then, there is the violence on the mainland, and so many incidents of IEDs or defused bombs that it is impossible to log them on a casual basis – but this will give you a snippet of these events.

 

May 4 Clashes reported in Rafah as the “Islamic State affiliate” launches an attack on a local security camp. Different source claims there were two attacks on Shaykh Zuwayd police station & central security camp and no casualties.

 

May 4 A bomb exploded at a Mobinil station in Shebin al-Koum in Menufiyya and another bomb was defused. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=887677597957321

 

May 4 Six people were injured as a bomb in a paper bag explodes in Manshiyat Nasser, a slum area.   http://www.thecairopost.com/news/148845/news/slum-family-injured-after-bomb-detonated-in-trash

 

May 4 Surveillance cameras are to be installed to improve security in Egypt http://egyptianstreets.com/2015/05/04/surveillance-cameras-to-be-deployed-nationwide-in-egypt/

 

May 3 Four injured in al-Arish explosion http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/05/03/4-injured-in-al-arish-bomb-explosion/#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/5oXdAD7O98

 

May 3 Forty persons were referred to criminal court for communication with ISIS http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=c1204ceb-0c3d-4114-9663-f9b122762502

Also see: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/05/03/Egypt-charges-40-over-allegedly-being-ISIS-members.html

May 3 Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators fire on senior officer & policeman near October City http://www.el-balad.com/1515642

May 3 An Egyptian teen was sentenced to 15 years for making bombs. http://www.albawaba.com/news/egyptian-teen-sentenced-15-years-making-bombs-689716

May 2 The State of Sinai claim they cut supply of Egypt’s military and release pictures to illustrate pic.twitter.com/rgAB7xcKUu

May 2 A tribal coalition in northern Sinai offered 1 million L.E. to whoever will kill Shadi al-Menei, a senior leader of the [Ansar al-Maqdis, but identified here as Wilayat Sinai) Wilayat Sina’ group. http://news.videonews.us/egypts-sinai-tribes-put-bounty-daesh-militant-028704.html

May 2 Members of a tribe abduct Haytham al-Menei – the brother of an Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leaderhttp://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=765185&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

May 2 IED explodes near resort hotels at the Fayoum Oasis, south of #Cairo. Fayoum area hard hit by ongoing attack wave.

May 1 Gunmen attacked an al-Ahram Foundation staff bus in 6th of October city injuring 6 people, 3 of them critically. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/129095.aspx

Apr. 29 State of Sinai post images showing bombing home of Ibrahim Al-Argani, a prominent leader of the Tarabin tribe. #Egypt #Sinai #StateofSinai‘s photos of bombed home of #Tarabin leader #Sinai – who they call “apostate”#Egypt https://justpaste.it/s3rj

Apr 29 Claims that 23 tribes aiding #Egypt‘s army against #StateofSinai militants #Sinaihttp://almogaz.com/news/politics/2015/04/28/1975299

Apr. 28 Clashes erupt between the Tarabin tribe and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the northern Sinaihttp://english.ahram.org.eg/News/128837.aspx

Apr 28 From 17/04-23/04 alone, there 99 attacks in N. #Sinai#Cairo, elsewhere in  http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/719219

Apr. 28 Egypt begins a new effort against tunnels connecting Gaza and Sinai after discovering many more of them.http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=774484

Apr 27 Man threw a bag with a suspected bomb at school where the Min. of Interior’s children are enrolled   http://www.masrawy.com/News/News_Cases/details/2015/4/27/539168/%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D9%8A%D9%84%D9%82%D9%8A-%D8%AC%D8%B3%D9%85-%D8%BA%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A8-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%87%D8%A7-3-%D8%A3%D8%A8%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B2%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9

Apr 27 New areas of Rafah to be evacuated as part of the buffer zone.http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/128818.aspx

Apr 27 – Overnight blasts brought down power lines in Nile Delta http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/128754.aspx

Apr. 26 Stolen vehicles mean that Wilayat Sinai may be preparing a car bomb campaign in the Sinai.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/wilayat-sinai-likely-preparing-car-bomb-campaign?utm_source=Reviewing+the+Week%3A+ISW+Intelligence+Summary%2C+April+18-24%2C+2015&utm_campaign=Reviewing+the+Week%3A+ISW+Intelligence+Summary%2C+April+18-24%2C+2015&utm_medium=email

Apr. 26 Two electric pylons on Cairo-Alexandria highway were bombed, 6 injured.http://almogaz.com/news/politics/2015/04/27/1973056 …
3 cell towers torched in Oct6. http://almogaz.com/news/politics/2015/04/26/1972877 #Egypt

Apr 26 Gunmen shot & killed one man in village of #Berth & abducted another. #Sinaihttp://www.thecairopost.com/news/147783/news/rafah-bedouin-killed-another-abducted-after-ansar-bayt-al-maqdis-warns-tribe

Apr. 25 IED explosion knocked over transmission tower in Fayoum

Apr. 25 Four people were killed and one injured while making bombs in the Beni Soueif governoratehttp://english.ahram.org.eg/News/128622.aspx

Apr. 24 Three bombs explode in #Matariya; a 4th bomb was disabled. People in the area chant “Death to the Muslim Brotherhood” in response http://m.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/715713

Apr. 24 Police disperse #Islamist protests in #Haram#Badrashein and #Faysal – it’s Friday. #Egypthttp://english.ahram.org.eg/News/128540.aspx

Apr. 24 Ten Ansar Bayt Maqdis members killed in a night raid in the Sinai http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/716430

Apr 23 Gas lines to the factory in ‪Kafr al-Dawwar were blown up. https://t.co/OecgnXcS0O

Apr. 23 One killed, 4 injured as a house was hit by a shell (presumably military) in Shaykh Zuwayd http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=a2b12d82-9aa3-4d0d-8919-e88a89cbdf46

Apr. 23 Explosion reported near police checkpoint on Alexandria-Behaira road.http://almogaz.com/news/politics/2015/04/24/1969855

Apr. 22 Raed Al-Saheli, head of detectives died Monday morning in al-Arish of his wounds following a car bomb attack on a building section on 11 April