HOMEGROWN TERRORISM IN EGYPT
HOMEGROWN TERRORISM IN EGYPT
terrorism is terrorism perpetrated by a terrorist against their country. This
is a type of terrorism where violent acts are done by permanent residents of a
country within the borders of their country with a purpose of instilling fear
to the citizens or intimidate the government. Over the years, this type of
terrorism has become more prevalent and more dangerous. Terrorism grows with
incitement, hatred, and violence. Homegrown terrorism has increased at a high
rate in the last decade due to the ease of movement of information. The primary
source of increasing cases of homegrown terrorism is the military operations
being carried out against the Muslims in various parts of the world. In this
paper, homegrown terrorism in Egypt is evaluated and the policies the
government is taking to combat it.
is considered as a country having a high risk regarding terrorism. There has
been a jihadist insurgency especially in North Sinai where most of the
terrorist attacks have been carried out. These attacks are usually targeted
towards security forces, Christians, and tourists. The foreign businesses in
Egypt are also subject to attacks by terrorists with the frequency of these
attacks increasing steadily recently. In 2015, there was a total of 257
terrorist attacks, and total causalities were 1,143. The major group that is
responsible for attacks in Egypt is ISIL-Sinai which is a branch of ISIL in
Sinai, Egypt. The threat of terrorism is straining the country’s economy by
hurting the tourism industry which is one of the key sources of government
in Egypt is not a problem that has started in recent years. In 1943, the Muslim
Brotherhood was formed and claimed responsibility for assassinating a judge in
1948. Still, in the same year, Prime Minister was shot and killed by a member
of this group. Throughout the 1980s to 2000s, terrorism in Egypt grew and
targeted government officials, Christians, and tourists. Terrorist attacks
became more frequent and severe as many terrorist organizations were formed.
The terrorists are now more armed and have the ability to arrange a
sophisticated attack on the security forces and civilians alike.
in the world has been on the increase recently as compared to the past decades.
Unemployment of the youth, corruption, and incitement are the major factors of
radicalization of the youth today. The internet is now being used to not only
radicalize the young people but also to train them on using of dangerous
weapons. Also, the formation of large groups of terror such as the ISIS and
Al-Qaeda have also contributed to the increase in terrorism around the world.
These organizations have been expanding at an alarming rate recruiting members
in many countries and creating sleeper cells. They are also responsible for
training other terrorists and supplying them with arms and weapons used to
carry out acts of terrorism. These organizations take advantage of political
instability to infiltrate a country and brainwash some of the people who are
then used to achieve their goals. In Egypt, there was political unrest around
2013 where a coup took place where Mohamed Morsi was removed from power
forcefully. Since then, new terrorist groups such as Hazmoun, Helwan Brigade,
Molotov, lone wolves, Liwaa al-Thawra and Hasm have emerged. IS Sinai has also
increased its activities in and around Cairo. Liwaa al-Thawra and Hasm has also
gained attention from their upscale attacks especially on security personnel.
Policies Used in Egypt to counter
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came into power by overthrowing Mohamed Morsi,
the terrorist groups in Egypt have stepped up their activities. Mohamed Morsi
was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and his removal from the government
was followed by a crackdown on its members. The government launched a deadly
crackdown on the group arresting many of its members with hundreds being given
a life sentence. This violent crackdown may have resulted in the creation of
the new terrorist organizations. During Morsi’s presidency, many terrorist
0organizations targeted Israeli’s, Christians, foreign tourists, and
businesses. However, following his removal, the security personnel such as
police and army was now targeted by these violent acts. President Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi has employed two major policies to counter terrorism in the country.
issued the policies regarding mosques to curb extremist ideology and any
political agitation that is religiously motivated. These policies led to the
closure of thousands of mosques in Egypt. They also banned some Salafi texts in
Mosques and prevented preachers from talking about politics in their sermons.
The president of Egypt targeted mosques since this is where young people are
radicalized by rogue preachers and other terrorist leaders. By cleaning up the
mosques, this was the first step in the fight against homegrown terrorism in
has also passed the Counter-Terrorism Law which has established the court and
special procedures for trying suspected terrorists, increased military, and
police power and punish journalists reporting differently from the ministry of
defense (Human Rights Watch, 2015). Under these new laws, suspected terrorists
are tried in special courts which fast-tracks the process. A sentence of 10
years awaits a person found guilty of joining a terrorist group (BBC, 2015).
Anyone convicted of financing a terrorist group also faces 25 years in jail or
life imprisonment. Creating websites spreading terrorist ideologies and
messages or inciting violence results in a prison sentence of seven years.
Journalists who differ from the official accounts given by the government in regards
to terrorism are fined $25,000 - $64,000. This new law also protects the police
and the army from being prosecuted even after use of lethal force. Since 2013,
no single security officer has been indicted and jailed for violation of human
rights (Dunne & Williamson, 2014). However, around 2500 people in Egypt
have been since 2013 in clashes and demonstrations.
Opinion on policies being used in Egypt
to fight terrorism
government in Egypt is under pressure from the existing and new terrorist
groups mushrooming in the country. Since 2013, the government has increased
their offense on such groups through stringent laws and physical combat. The
terrorist groups have also increased their attacks and are now more coordinated
and better trained. A debate on the effect of the policies being employed by
the government to counter terrorism has been going on for quite a period now.
The people who are supporting the government claim that the new laws are enough
to fight terrorism by crushing the groups out of existence. The army and the
policemen have also been given the power to use all necessary power need to
fight the militants. The excess force employed by the government have led to
the creation of new terrorist organizations whose primary target is the government.
One of the group, The Revolutionary Punishment claims that the dictator regime,
Egyptian army, and police are its primary targets (Ragab, 2016). However, those
against the government rightly argue that the use of extreme force is the wrong
way to handle the issue. The government may be as well be helping to radicalize
its citizens. The new laws do not respect the fundamental human rights and have
been heavily criticized. These policies enacted by the government may not be
successful in the long run, and the government should reevaluate some of them.