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Terror in Egypt Goes International: Tourists Killed

February 17, 2014 Arab Spring, Egypt, News
Egypt not so welcoming these days. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Egypt not so welcoming these days. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The ongoing battle between Egyptian security forces and terrorists in the Sinai region escalated on Sunday, as a tourist bus was targeted in a blast that killed four. Ahram Online reported that 14 people were injured in the attack, while three Korean tourists and the Egyptian bus driver were killed. The explosion occurred in Taba, a town on the Israel-Egyptian border. Ahram Online said it was the first time that tourists have been caught in the Egyptian conflict that started up last summer.

Terrorists, including those affiliated with Al-Qaeda, have been attacking Egyptian security forces in earnest following the military coup that ousted Islamist Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood movement, of which Morsi was a leader, has past ties to terrorism and the Egyptian government has accused them of involvement in terror. In some ways, it has been a miniature civil war in the Sinai region. But now it’s threatening more than just Egyptian security personnel.

… Continue Reading

Egypt-Russia Ties Strengthen; Did the US Play Political Roulette?

February 13, 2014 Arab Spring, Egypt

A political compliment and a potential arms deal are hinting that Egypt may have found its new best friend after its relationship with America soured last year: Russia. Egyptian Defense Minister and possible Presidential candidate Field Marshal Abdulfattah el-Sisi visited Russia this week, and The Daily Telegraph reported that he received quite the campaign boost.

Without even announcing his run for Egyptian presidency yet, Sisi got the public backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Daily Telegraph reported that Putin said, “I know that you have made a decision to run for president. That’s a very responsible decision: to undertake such a mission for the fate of the Egyptian people. On my own part, and on behalf of the Russian people, I wish you success.” And Russia’s support goes beyond words. Could the old Cold War Egypt-Russia alliance be back? … Continue Reading

Muslim Brotherhood Remains ‘Defiant’ after Bloody Egypt Crackdown

August 15, 2013 Arab Spring, Terrorism

With hundreds dead and many more injured after Egyptian security forces dispersed protests supporting former-President Mohammed Morsi, a spokesman for Morsi’s ally the Muslim Brotherhood said the group remains “defiant.” Speaking on Twitter, Gehad El-Haddad said, “We will always b non-violent & peaceful. We remain strong, defiant & resolved.” He said they would push forward until they “bring down” the military coup.

His claims of peacefulness contrasted with reports from Ahram Online, which said the pro-Morsi protesters had used live fire in the clashes with security forces. Either way, it looks like Egypt is in for potentially violent struggle, and that’s bad for you.

… Continue Reading

Egypt’s ‘War on Terror’ Kills Dozens—Here’s Why You Should Care

August 11, 2013 Arab Spring, Terrorism
Oil sea shipping is one reason we're worried about Egypt. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

Oil sea shipping is one reason we’re worried about Egypt. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

Terrorism can strike anywhere, and it’s a real concern right now for Egypt and Israel. That should matter to you, because—lest we forget Egypt is a crucial part of the oil trade and your gas budget. Ahram Online reported that militants are repeatedly attacking the Egyptian military and other targets in the lawless Sinai region, which borders Israel. The risk of rocket attacks on Israel from the Sinai terrorists has had Israel concerned, according to Israeli media.

And as for Egypt, they’re in the midst of quite a counterterrorism campaign. Ahram reported that in roughly one month’s time, from early July through early August, Egypt’s security forces have killed 60 terrorists. The Egyptian army’s offensive continued through this weekend, using air attacks. … Continue Reading

Around the Middle East, A Reader’s Guide

August 2, 2013 Arab Spring, Diplomacy, News

Another week has come and gone in the Middle East, and it’s been a busy one. The Israelis and the Palestinians have restarted peace talks (and if you want to know if those will result in a deal or not, read my article here); the violence in Egypt continued and Syria is still a mess. Looking ahead just a bit, we’ve got good evidence that the new President of Iran is just as disturbing as the old one; that despite the renewal of peace talks, violence against Americans in the Middle East is still a real worry; and Egypt is still on edge. I’ve included some links to good reading material below so you can stay aware of the many goings on.

  • Iran’s new President Rouhani had raised hopes he’d be a reformer. Well, his tune of hate certainly isn’t anything new. These spiteful words should sound familiar (see Hitler, Adolf).
  • So peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are back, and that means the world is whole again, right? Wrong. Turns out the Americans’ efforts to give the Palestinians chunks of Israel’s G-d-given lands still hasn’t bought peace in the Middle East. In fact, this terror threat is very real and near.
  • The Egyptian authorities have made their warnings, but the supporters of ousted President Morsi aren’t listening. Are more violent clashes on the way? Will this once proud country head for civil war?

More Dead in Egypt as Protest Violence Concerns World

Sea trade is one reason we're buying off Egypt. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

Sea trade is one reason we’re worried about Egypt. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

This past Saturday the bloodshed in Egypt over their political crisis continued: at least 38 were killed and more than 200 injured—and those are the low numbers given by the government. According to a report from Ahram Online, the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming 120 were killed and 4,500 injured. The numbers are staggering and disturbing.

We’re weeks after the Egyptian military deposed former President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi from power. But while millions protested Morsi to have him leave, thousands have protested against his removal and the clashes and violence haven’t ceased. … Continue Reading

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