Did Beltagy keep his word amid repetitive terrorist attacks?



Mon, 14 Aug 2017 - 10:42 GMT


Mon, 14 Aug 2017 - 10:42 GMT

Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy shouting slogans with protesters in Tahrir square- Reuters

Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy shouting slogans with protesters in Tahrir square- Reuters

CAIRO – 14 August 2017: “Terrorism in Sinai would stop at the moment ousted president Morsi returns back to power,” leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagy said in July 2013.

Since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following million-man demonstrations nationwide, the Brotherhood and its associates have not stopped their vengeance against the Egyptian people for removing the Brotherhood from Egypt’s rule.

In the following months, new Islamist armed groups were created to reinstate Islamist rule in Egypt, like “Soldiers of Egypt” and the “Popular Resistance Movement”. Since 2013, violence in mainland Egypt has escalated and developed into a low-level Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian government.

Rabaa al-Adawiya Square was a hotspot for Brotherhood demonstrations in 2013, which condemned the ouster of former president and group leader Mohamed Morsi.

A landmark sit-in by Morsi supporters at the square was forcibly dispersed by police in August 2013, leaving hundreds of policemen and demonstrators dead and drawing international condemnation.

Beltagy, who is now in jail on various criminal convictions, directed a message to pro-Brotherhood supporters in an interview with Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, the network's Egypt-focused channel, stressing, "Don't be fooled by these lies and deception that aim to label us with terrorism, violence, [and] killing ... at a time when the hands of the coup regime are drowned in blood."

The Cairo governorate has officially replaced street signs at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square with the name of late General Prosecutor Hesham Barakat, in a symbolic move to honor the assassinated judge, simultaneously stamping over the Muslim Brotherhood’s most celebrated protest venue.

103 people were killed in 2013, 195 in 2014, 272 in 2015, 101 in 2016, and at least 124 so far in 2017, according to the Washington-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project Research Center.

There are no official statics by the concerned Egyptian authorities to estimate the police and military martyrs since July 2013; however, local media outlets reported hundreds killed in the deadly series of terrorist attacks by pro-Brotherhood groups and allies in Sinai, Delta, Upper Egypt and Greater Cairo.

Internal disputes within terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood

After the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in on August 14, 2013, disputes erupted between old and young members of the Brotherhood.

In April 2014, a new Guidance Bureau was formed. Mohamed Badie kept his position as the General Guide, despite his detention, while Mahmud Ezzat has been the acting Guide, along with keeping his position as the First Deputy of the Guide.

Brotherhood terrorist attacks against Egyptians

ISIS- Helwan attack
IS's statement claiming responsibility for attack at Helwan checkpoint on May 8, 2016

“On the occasion of passing 1,000 days since the Rabaa Adawiya Square sit-in dispersal, we dedicate this armed attack on the Egyptian security forces for the [martyrs] of Rabaa,” the Islamic terrorist group said in a statement on May 8, 2016, admitting attacking Egyptians and proving links between terrorist attacks and the Brotherhood.

People rush Image
People rush to the scene after a car bombing near the port town of Al-Arish in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on July 24, 2013 - Reuters

In December 2013, Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, after the authorities blamed the group for a number of deadly attacks against security forces in the aftermath of the ouster of Morsi.

A bombing at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 35 in December 2016, according to Egyptian state television, making it one of the deadliest attacks carried out by Brotherhood-affiliated terrorists.

Egyptian Solider Image
Egyptian soldiers inspect the site of an attack on July 20, 2014, a day after 22 border guards were killed close to the El-Farafrah checkpoint near the border with Libya – AFP

In July 2014, terrorists killed 21 Egyptian military border guards near the frontier with Libya, highlighting a growing threat from an area that security officials say has become a haven for militants seeking to topple the Cairo government. The attack took place in Wadi al-Gadid governorate, which borders both Sudan and Libya.

Military fighter jet takes off during a military campaign against terrorists in Libya – Press photo
Image of Military fighter jet takes off during a military campaign against terrorists in Libya – Press photo

On May 26, 2017, masked gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying Copts from Maghagha in Egypt's Minya governorate to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, killing at least 28 people and injuring 22 others.

In the evening following the attacks, the president appeared on television to address the nation and announced he had ordered retaliatory attacks against terrorist training camps in neighboring Libya. State media said fighter jets had conducted six strikes against sites in the vicinity of the port city of Derna, where the militants responsible for the attack are believed to have trained.

Sisi and Pop Tawadros shaking hands Image
A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency on December 12, 2016, shows Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi offering his condolences to Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II- File Photo

A second wave of airstrikes was launched the following day, May 27. On May 29, 2017, a spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA) confirmed that Egypt and the LNA had cooperated in targeting locations in Derna, as well as Jufra, with 15 airstrikes launched.

Brotherhood involvement in terrorist attacks around the world

French Magazine Paris Match revealed in December 2014 that America’s CIA owns documents that prove there is a cooperation agreement between the leaderships of the Syrian opposition and the Muslim Brotherhood. In the document, Brotherhood leaders ask to recruit young people to join the ranks of the Mujahidin in Syria for $2000 as a monthly salary and a bonus of up to $10,000 for his family, in case he died in battles.

Sources close to the Muslim Brotherhood said that the period that followed the dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins saw many Brotherhood youth joining jihadist groups in Syria, Libya and Sinai.

The French Magazine added that by signing such an agreement, the Brotherhood aims at protecting the international organization and tighten its grip on the rule of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. However, things did not go as planned after the toppling of Morsi and their failures in Libya and Tunisia.

“The Brotherhood took advantage of Morsi's victory in the presidential elections to finance jihadist elements in Syria and Libya. Also, the Brotherhood created an illusory fund called ‘Syria's Support’ for fundraising money for its elements around the world.

Morsi himself was the one to supervise the fundraising process to provide [the terror groups] with money to carry out their operations,” according to local media reports in 2014.

Brotherhood adopted violence once again

In modern history, the group has been known for partisan and political activities, as well as a charity. Six years later, the group returned to violence. A large sector of the public now believes the Brotherhood is a terrorist group.

The last four years have witnessed clear evidence and testimonies by the group’s leaders and supporters calling for the use of violence.

Six years after the revolution, the biggest loss to the Brotherhood was the internal disputes that exploded within the group itself. There are two camps within the group, and each one claims it is the legitimate leader of the group. It’s a tragic end that no one had ever expected.

Back to Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna in the 1940s, some Brotherhood members created the Special Military Apparatus, which was perceived as a possible threat to the political regime. In 2004, former Supreme Guide Mohammed Mahdi Akef announced that the group was embarking on a new phase under the banner of “Openness to Society”. This new phase was characterized by widespread competitive political participation and unprecedented engagement in the public sphere.

In the same regard, sources revealed that the Brotherhood leaders, before the eruption of internal disputes after the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in, were distributing a memo to administrative offices and minor sections that consisted of a group of fatwas made by Brotherhood-affiliated sheikhs in Egypt and other Arab countries, including Yusuf Qaradawi, that allow for the implementation of suicide operations inside and outside Egypt. The sources indicated that the memo was known to those leaders who denounce the violence today. Moreover, the Brotherhood’s youth depended on that memo in forming terrorist groups to target officers and soldiers.



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