Why Egypt and Nigeria must sustain fi ght against terrorism




By Ismail Malik

Th e Arab Republic of Egypt and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are two huge countries in Africa with diverse challenges associated with terrorism ravaging parts of their countries. In recent times, the two countries have come under destructive attacks by a plethora of terrorist elements that threatened the corporate existence of the nations, which seek to exterminate their modern achievements. While Egypt has faced the challenges of extreme terrorist groups, principally spearheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood with its concomitant torrents of death and destruction, the Nigerian state has contended with the onslaught of the Boko Haram for several years which has since 2009, killed over 20,000 and displaced over 2.5 million people.

 

Th is unmitigated disaster has rendered the north eastern parts of Nigeria, mostly aff ected by the rampage, largely devastated with huge humanitarian crisis. Egypt made profound and empirical response to these attacks. Th e Egyptian government, which has a longer experience in battling terror in recent years, refocused its methods and reprioritized its strategy to counter the ever changing and consistently deleterious strategies of the terrorists especially after the emergence of the leadership of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Although the terrorist have remained resolute in their attacks, the Egyptian government under the creative leadership of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has considerably reduced the spate of attacks and pushed the terrorists to the brink of extinction.

Although the biggest Arab nation in the world was jolted once again by a recent attack that killed at least 26 people on July 7, 2017, Egypt’s security forces have assiduously countered the menace with deft professionalism. An Egyptian source (www.sis.gov.eg) has disclosed that at a time when Egypt was celebrating the anniversary of the June 30 Revolution and getting rid of the rule of the brotherhood on July 3, 2013, the terrorist struck and killed and injured about 26 army personnel at a security checkpoint in the Southern Rafah city. However, forty of the fi ghters with links to the Islamic State were also killed in a subsequent gun battle with soldiers at the checkpoint, army sources said. Egyptian sources noted that this was the second terrorist operation targeting army forces since the defeat of the Beit al-Magdes organization and the other terrorist elements and their failure to control some parts of the North Sinai on July 1 2015. “Th is terrorist operation in this time raises some questions on its motives and timing and whether there is association between this terrorist operation in Sinai and recent security and political events in the region,” the sources said. Th e terrorist operation which took place in July was the second of its kind against the forces of the Egyptian army since the end of 2015.

Th e fi rst operation during this period was committed on March 9, 2017, which left three offi cers dead and seven servicemen wounded. During one year and half and since the start of the ‘Right of Martyr’ Operation (1,2 and3) the Egyptian army forces managed to achieve two goals that helped to decrease the rate of terrorist operations which reached six in number during the fi rst half of this year in Sinai and around 25 operations nationwide compared to the year 2015 where they reached 532 operations nationwide including 130 in Sinai. Th is means a sharp decrease in the terrorist operations nationwide and Sinai in particular due to the weaknesses of the structure of the terrorist organization and the particular success of the military operations of the Egyptian army since the start of the ‘Right of the Martyr,’ operation Statistics about terrorist operations in Egypt over the past four years indicate that police forces were the prime target in these terrorist attacks together with the Armed Forces.

Despite the fact that terrorist attacks against police forces and their headquarters continued, a major change in these attacks was noticed over the past two years as terrorists could not continue in targeting security directorates or police stations after the two major blasts that targeted Cairo and Daqahliya security By Ismail Malik Th e Arab Republic of Egypt and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are two huge countries in Africa with diverse challenges associated with terrorism ravaging parts of their countries. In recent times, the two countries have come under destructive attacks by a plethora of terrorist elements that threatened the corporate existence of the nations, which seek to exterminate their modern achievements. While Egypt has faced the challenges of extreme terrorist groups, principally spearheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood with its concomitant torrents of death and destruction, the Nigerian state has contended with the onslaught of the Boko Haram for several years which has since 2009, killed over 20,000 and displaced over 2.5 million people. Th is unmitigated disaster has rendered the north eastern parts of Nigeria, mostly aff ected by the rampage, largely devastated with huge humanitarian crisis. Egypt made profound and empirical response to these attacks.

Th e Egyptian government, which has a longer experience in battling terror in recent years, refocused its methods and reprioritized its strategy to counter the ever changing and consistently deleterious strategies of the terrorists especially after the emergence of the leadership of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Although the terrorist have remained resolute in their attacks, the Egyptian government under the creative leadership of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has considerably reduced the spate of attacks and pushed the terrorists to the brink of extinction. Although the biggest Arab nation in the world was jolted once again by a recent attack that killed at least 26 people on July 7, 2017, Egypt’s security forces have assiduously countered the menace with deft professionalism. An Egyptian source (www.sis.gov.eg) has disclosed that at a time when Egypt was celebrating the anniversary of the June 30 Revolution and getting rid of the rule of the brotherhood on July 3, 2013, the terrorist struck and killed and injured about 26 army personnel at a security checkpoint in the Southern Rafah city.

However, forty of the fi ghters with links to the Islamic State were also killed in a subsequent gun battle with soldiers at the checkpoint, army sources said. Egyptian sources noted that this was the second terrorist operation targeting army forces since the defeat of the Beit al-Magdes organization and the other terrorist elements and their failure to control some parts of the North Sinai on July 1 2015.

“Th is terrorist operation in this time raises some questions on its motives and timing and whether there is association between this terrorist directorates in 2013 and 2014. Th e terrorist groups however, started attacking with explosive charges in northeastern Sinai or with fi rearms in others parts of Egypt targeting mobile and fi xed checkpoints. Th is change has several meanings and indications atop of which are: An increase in the ability of the Egyptian police to protect their headquarters of security directorates and police stations which amounts to hundreds grouping scores of thousands of staff ers.

Th is paralyzed the terrorists groups and prevented them from attacking these facilities with explosive charges or through suicide operations or with fi rearms Although several terrorist attacks took place against mobile and fi xed security checkpoints, their number is still limited compared to the number of these checkpoints, which amounts to thousands in number that are deployed nationwide and on daily basis. Th is confi rms that the terrorist groups are lacking fi ghters and arms thanks to the successive security strikes against them. Th is also refutes rumours that these groups are jeopardizing the security situation in Egypt.

Th e geography distribution of these terrorist attacks against mobile and fi xed checkpoints indicates that they do not include all parts of the country. Rather they are confi ned to northeastern Sinai which are perpetrated by some groups loyal to Daesh terrorist organization. Th ey are confi ned also to certain areas in Greater Cairo, especially in the outskirts of Giza and Qalyoubia governorates. Th ese areas are infamous for the activities of the terrorist Brotherhood group and its allies of other terrorist groups’ long time ago. Although these terrorist attacks against tourists in Egypt have lingered, they have decreased largely over the past 20 years since the terrorist attack in Luxor in November 1997 which left 59 victims.

Tourists in Egypt over the past four years came under very few attacks, some of them with knives that left very few casualties and many of the attacks were thwarted like that of 2015 in Luxor’s al-Karnak Temple and that of the Pyramids area. Th e blast of the Russian plane that took off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport in October 2015 is deemed the major terrorist attack over the past four years. It is still under investigation by the Egyptian and Russian authorities. Th is attack led to adopting tight security measures at all Egyptian airports with massive international participation. Th is state of aff airs led to remarkable positive results the recent of which was the lifting of an embargo by the US on taking mobile computers and other electronic devices on board of EgyptAir planes taking off from Cairo airport to the US.

 

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