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What is Egypt facing?

Quinta-feira, 20.04.17

Para se perceber um pouco melhor o aparecimento do ISIS/Estado Islâmico, a partir de um artigo escrito por um não revolucionário, talvez conservador e/ou situacionista, mas afirmando-se evolucionista ‒ John Sjoholm (num excerto do seu artigo The Shifting Sands of the Dictator):



Cairo - Egito - Tahrir Square - Manifestação de protesto

(Janeiro 2011)


The Shifting Sands of the Dictator

What is Egypt facing?


Northern Sinai has in the years following the so-called “Arab Spring” in Egypt seen an increasing number of insurgencies. Since the 2011 uprising against the Mubarak regime in Egypt, the turbulent undercurrents of instability in the Sinai Peninsula have emerged. In addition to the 2011 post-Arab Spring breakdown of the Libyan government, which drastically increased the quantity and quality of weapons smuggled into the Peninsula, the situation provided the Bedouins with a power vacuum in which they could declare their aversion towards the central government and their anti-Bedouin policies. This situation invited the inception and institutionalization of the existing, and emerging, movements that would create the new generation of terrorism in the country.


Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”
(James Bovard)


What started as a Sinai-Bedouin movement against the Cairo government soon transitioned into an expression of Salafist Jihadism, with extreme violence following in its wake. The hardline militants in the region use Sinai as a safe haven and as a launching point to facilitate attacks against the Egyptian state, as well as Israel. What had traditionally been minor attacks by Bedouins against important infrastructure through the Peninsula to show displeasure and to gain political attention, turned into large scale attacks with the goal of utterly destroying the infrastructure. The Salafist movements emerging put a great deal of emphasis on disrupting, or destroying, the gas pipelines in Sinai.


The Sinai insurgency stems from a variety of sources. More traditional Islamist militant movements have been forced to give way to significantly more aggressive Salafist Jihadist movements. Such movements as the local variant of the ever flexible al Qaeda in Sinai Peninsula (AQSP) has lost significant ground as a result of the emergence of the even more radical Salafist Jihadist movements.




Emboscada do ISIS/Estado Islâmico a forças de segurança egípcia na localidade de Al Arish

(Janeiro 2017/imagens:


One such example is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) whose local chapter is referred to as “Sinai Province” (Wilayat Sinai). Wilayat Sinai was previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, or Ansar Jerusalem (Supporters of Jerusalem), and focused their activities primarily on attacking Israeli positions bordering Sinai. By 2014 the group declared its affiliation with and representation of the Islamic State, as defined and led by al Baghdadi from al Raqqa in Syria, and launched a series of attacks against Army and Police checkpoints throughout the Sinai Peninsula. Reports indicate that the group stands at just under 2,000 men strong at the time of writing. The group also has a militant and political arm inside the Gaza strip operating under the name of Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, or al Dawla al-Islamia. Wilayat Sinai have accused the Egyptian state of being supporters of the “Zionists” in the United States and Israel. The group seeks to legitimize its actions against the Egyptian state and fellow Muslims thereof by that declaration.


As a result of these groups, and the power vacuum caused by the absence of the Mubarak instituted security infrastructure that kept them at bay to some extent, the Egyptian military has had a difficult time maintaining stability throughout the peninsula. This has had a detrimental effect on the essential tourism industry throughout the nation. The security situation has, in turn, spread inwards, throughout the country. This has caused the Egyptian security apparatus to go on a wide counter offensive against particular groups operating in Sinai, which has since 2015 resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. The groups themselves have retaliated by carrying out high profile attacks on ranking members of the Egyptian Military as well as increasing their attacks on infrastructure targets.


The insurgency began, largely, through grassroots movements inside the Sinai Bedouin tribes. This, in turn, destabilized the security situation in the peninsula to the point where other organizations, with wildly different mindsets and goals, could establish themselves. As a direct aftermath of the so-called circumstances that are largely referred to as the “Arab Spring,” the Cairo government security apparatus was to some extent withdrawn and forced to operate in a less aggressive manner. This, along with reform acts by the populist Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Cairo at the time, caused further disruption in the security arrangements in the region and resulted in an intensifying insurgency throughout the region.



Barack Obama e Donald Trump recebendo Hosni Mubarak e Al-Sisi

(um em 2010 e o outro em 2017)


If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.”

(Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer in the Middle East)


Since 2013, state security forces, represented by both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with insurgents in the Peninsula, primarily with the Islamic State adhering “Sinai Province” group. In the past two years, the Egyptian counterinsurgency offensives included actions such as shelling villages under Islamist control, and mass arrests. Suspects are often detained indefinitely while extrajudicial punishment and “enhanced interrogation” methods are utilized. The majority of fighting has been in the areas of militant staging points, particularly in the areas of the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and al Arish. These are also the cities where the civilian population has been affected the most. It has become a nearly daily occurrence for residents to be kidnapped, or even killed, by militants because of suspicions that these civilians are affiliated with the military or security agencies. And while the Egyptian state response to the increased violence from the insurgents is to meet the insurgents with violence – there are no indicators that it is making a difference in its war.


This is the state that Egypt finds itself in today. It is one of many in the region with severe insurgency and destabilization concerns.


[John Sjoholm is Lima Charlie’s Middle East Bureau Chief, and founder of the consulting organization Erudite Group. He is a seasoned Middle East connoisseur, with a past in the Swedish Army’s Special Forces branch and the Security Contracting industry. He studied religion and languages in Sana’a, Yemen, and Cairo, Egypt. He lived and operated extensively in the Middle East between 2005-2012 as part of regional stabilizing projects, and currently resides in Jordan.]


(The Shifting Sands of the Dictator/April 16, 2017/John Sjoholm/

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publicado por Produções Anormais - Albufeira às 00:42