Tag Archives: Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi

Morning Blasts in Cairo

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As many as six bombs have been detonated across Cairo, resulting in at least six injuries, including injuries sustained by a potential suspect. The first three blasts occurred minutes apart at metro stations in Cairo during rush hour. Reports have indicated that a fourth explosion detonated later, injuring the sixth victim. The blasts occurred at Shubra station, Ghamra station, Haydek al-Quba Station, and Ezbet al Nakhl station.

On Facebook, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior acknowledged only two of the blasts; those at Shubra and Ghamra stations. The ministry said that the explosion at Shubra station was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED), and the bomb at Ghamra station was a sonic explosive hidden in a rubbish bin. No one was injured in the Ghamra explosion. One man, considered a suspect, was wounded at the Subra station. He appeared to be carrying a homemade explosive device.

Metro services are operating normally.

Approximately an hour later, two other bombs struck near a courthouse in Heliopolis. Two IEDs were placed underneath two cars, causing damage to the vehicles but inflicting no injuries. A third IED was found in the vicinity and defused. Security forces are investigating the incidents and searching for further explosives.

The bombings are the first since President Abdul Fattah al Sisi became president in Early June. Violence and attacks targeting Egyptian security became commonplace after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July of last year. The attacks were originally concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula, a stronghold for militant groups, but gradually moved west into Nile Valley Egypt. The Egyptian government has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of supporting militant groups intent on targeting government and security forces, and in November of last year, the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, seizing assets and imprisoning large numbers of individuals accused of affiliations with the group.

While no groups have yet taken responsibility for the attacks, Sinai based extremist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has previously taken responsibility for some of the deadliest attacks in Egypt, including a bombing at a police station in Mansoura in December that left at least 15 dead and 134 injured. The group has stated that their violent actions are in direct relation to the actions taken against the Muslim Brotherhood by the Egyptian government and security forces. In April 2014, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters designated Ansar Beit al-Maqdis as a terrorist organization. Nearly two weeks after their designation, on April 30, the group posted a YouTube video in which spokesman, Abu-Ahmad al-Misri says, “We have suicide bombers who could turn Egypt into a hell. Our main target is killing off al-Sisi, the Egyptian army, the apostates, and Christians of Egypt.”

Immediately after Sisi’s landslide victory, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis issued a warning: “there will be a decisive battle between faith and disbelief if al-Sisi continues to rule Egypt.” On the militant group’s Twitter feed, the group added, “Will Al-Sisi make it to rule Egypt? If he does, will he continue? It is a battle between faith and infidelity. Finally, we would like to say to tyrants, expect a catastrophe in your backyard, God willing.”

As a result of these messages, security forces have remained heighted in Cairo and other major cities. Once sources said, “Ambushes will be deployed all over Cairo and all vital facilities, which are expected to be under attack by elements of the terrorist group, will also be secured.”

Apart from Ansar Beit al Maqdis, extremist group Ajnad Misr have also been in operation in Cairo, but have fallen relatively silent in recent months. Analysts also fear that the actions could be conducted by individual extremists, or fighters returning from Syria, whose goal would be to destabilise the presidency of al-Sisi and further weaken the Egyptian economy.

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Egypt Update: President Morsi Overthrown, Interim President Named

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After four days of protest, beginning on June 30, the one year anniversary of the Egyptian President’s election, Mohamed Morsi has been removed from office.

On Monday, the Egyptian Army issued a 48 hour ultimatum, urging Morsi to work with members of other parties to create a roadmap to meet the desires of the masses. As the 24 hour mark passed, Morsi issued a televised and passionate statement that he would not leave, and would fight for the legitimacy of his democratically elected office. He also asked the military to repeal the 48 hour ultimatum, to no avail.

As the deadline passed, military forces were deployed to areas containing high concentrations of Pro- and Anti-Morsi protesters. Head of the Egyptian Army, General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, appeared in a televised statement, flanked by Muslim, Coptic Christian, political and military leaders. Al-Sisi announced that the chief justice of constitutional court, Adli Mansour, would take the powers of the presidency.

The announcement effectively removed former President Mohammed Morsi from power.

In addition to the removal of Morsi, General Al-Sisi has announced a suspension of the highly contested constitution, and called for early elections, which will require the court to create a draft law for the forthcoming process. Al-Sisi also called upon the court to address a draft law for ethics which would include freedom of expression and media, regardless of political party. Finally, Al-Sisi urged peaceful demonstrations and avoidance of violence.

Protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square gave out a huge cheer in response to the speech. Fireworks erupted in Anti-Morsi camps throughout Cairo, as Army helicopters circled Tahrir Square, throwing Egyptian flags to the crowd. The protests drew over 33 million people, the largest in world history.

Pro-Morsi gatherers have given an oath to uphold democracy and continue to support Morsi. Following the speech, the Muslim Brotherhood television station went off the air, and a post on Morsi’s Facebook page denounced the army move as a military coup. Morsi’s whereabouts are currently unknown. Egypt’s Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, was sentenced to one year in prison for failing to uphold a court order to reinstate employees at Tanta Flax and Oil Company and for annulling the company’s sale to a Saudi businessman.

Following General Al-Sisi’s address, Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, and Mohammed ElBaradei, a key leader of the opposition parties, made short statements. ElBaradei called the army’s roadmap a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.

In the coming days, arguments will surround whether the Army’s action constituted a coup d’etat. The Army claims to have acted on the will of the people, particularly the 22 million signatures on the “Tamarod” petition, which demanded Morsi’s removal. The military will not take over political responsibility, rather have handed it over to the high courts. However, because it is a military action, the title of “coup d’etat” could strain relations with international partners, such as America, which will not provide economic assistance to nations where power is transitioned through military force.

Adli Mansour will be sworn in as the interim president on Thursday.

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