Michael's Feed
Feb 19, 2014

From desert hideout, shadowy Ansar militants rattle Egypt

CAIRO (Reuters) – A shadowy Islamist militant group based in the remote Sinai desert is emerging as a major threat to Egypt’s stability, and there are no signs that the army-backed government has devised an effective strategy to contain it.

With assassinations, suicide bombings and shootings, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has earned a spot on the global jihad map and its bloody campaign spreading across Egypt is cause for alarm in the West, which sees the biggest Arab nation as a strategic partner.

Feb 18, 2014

Egypt militants warn tourists to leave or face attack

CAIRO (Reuters) – A militant Islamist group has warned tourists to leave Egypt and threatened to attack any who stay in the country after February 20, raising the prospect of a new front in a fast-growing insurgency.

The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday, made the statement on an affiliated Twitter account.

Feb 17, 2014

Suspected Egyptian militants raise stakes in insurgency

CAIRO (Reuters) – The bombing of a tourist bus in Egypt by suspected Muslim militants marks a strategic shift to soft targets that could devastate an economy already reeling from political turmoil.

The assailants, who killed two South Koreans and an Egyptian on Sunday, chose their area of operation shrewdly – a poorly guarded buffer zone in the south Sinai between Egypt and Israel.

Feb 16, 2014

Egypt’s deposed president Mursi on trial on terrorism charges

CAIRO (Reuters) – Deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi appeared in court on Sunday on charges of conspiring with foreign groups to commit terrorist acts in Egypt, in a further escalation of the crackdown against his Muslim Brotherhood.

Declaring it “the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt”, prosecutors have detailed a “terrorist plan” dating back to 2005 and implicating Palestinian group Hamas and the Shi’ite Islamist government of Iran as well as its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

Feb 11, 2014

Former presidential hopeful predicts new Egypt revolt

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptians will rise up against military rule because of widespread human rights abuses and economic hardships, former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh said on Tuesday.

Egypt’s political transition and its economy have stumbled since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Feb 11, 2014

Secular Egyptian detainees complain of police torture

CAIRO (Reuters) – Secular activists arrested last month on the third anniversary of the revolt against Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak say they have been tortured, some with electric shocks, relatives and lawyers who have seen them said.

The Interior Ministry denied any abuses. If independently confirmed, the allegations would suggest police have reverted to some of the practices blamed for stoking the 2011 uprising.

Feb 6, 2014

Egypt army chief Sisi says he will run for president: report

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed the country’s first freely elected leader, has said he will run for president, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Thursday.

The widely expected move is almost certain to increase political tensions and anger Islamist militants who have stepped up attacks on the state since Sisi ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July after mass protests against him.

Jan 30, 2014

In Egypt, just speaking to Brotherhood is a risk for foreign reporters

CAIRO, Jan 30 (Reuters) – When Hosni Mubarak was in power, a
foreign journalist could spend unlimited time with members of
the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, who roundly condemned the
autocratic leader.

These days the same conversation can land reporters in court
on charges of aiding a terrorist group, a sign of where the
country is headed three years after a popular uprising raised
hopes of greater freedom.

Jan 28, 2014

Gunmen kill senior Egyptian Interior Ministry official

CAIRO (Reuters) – Two gunmen on a motorbike killed a senior Egyptian Interior Ministry official outside his home in Cairo on Tuesday, security officials said, putting pressure on the military-backed government as it struggles to contain an Islamist insurgency.

The death of General Mohamed Saeed, head of the technical office of the minister of interior, suggested militants were stepping up their campaign against the state at a delicate time in Egyptian politics.

Jan 27, 2014

Egypt’s Sisi poised to announce presidency bid

CAIRO (Reuters) – Three years after the “Arab Spring” toppled Hosni Mubarak, a secretive general with a cult-like following is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency of Egypt ahead of elections which he is expected to win easily.

Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has come under pressure to run from members of the public who reject the Islamist government he toppled last year, and from the armed forces who want a president who can face down growing political violence.