Jihadists Take Aim at Egyptian Military

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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Sixteen Egyptian soldiers are dead after unidentified jihadists carried out a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula, striking at the only institution standing in the way of an Islamist takeover of Egypt. The assailants were stopped as they entered Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood predictably accused Israeli intelligence of being responsible for the massacre, but all indications point to Al-Qaeda-type jihadists.

The operation began when about 35 terrorists traveling in three vehicles attacked an Egyptian military outpost, killing the 16 soldiers. They then went into Israel with bomb belts strapped to their waists and an armored car carrying about half a ton of explosives. The Israelis, who received a tip devoid of any actionable details over the weekend, launched three strikes, destroying the vehicle and six or seven terrorists. The rest escaped. It is thought that the terrorists wanted to kidnap an Israeli soldier.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas condemned the attacks, with Egyptian President Morsi declaring three days of mourning. Palestinians living in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip are paying a heavy price. The Israelis were forced to close the only access route to Gaza, the Egyptians had to close the Rafah crossing point and Hamas closed down the underground tunnels used for smuggling.

Egyptian officials think the terrorists worked with colleagues in the Gaza Strip, though Hamas is not believed to have had a hand in these attacks. In June, an Israeli soldier was killed by terrorists operating in the Sinai. A group calling themselves “Magles Shoura al-Mujahaddin” said the attack was in honor of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of Al-Qaeda.

Sunday’s attack is being compared to one that took place on August 18 that killed eight Israelis. The U.S. believes Al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula carried it out with help from the Popular Resistance Committees based in Gaza and Jaish al-Islam, another Al-Qaeda affiliate. Al-Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula declared its four goals after the attack took place: To institute Sharia Law in the Sinai Peninsula, force an end to the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, cause Egypt to wage war on Israel and to end the unfair treatment of the Bedouins.

If Al-Qaeda is responsible, the timing is embarrassing for Hamas. On Thursday, Hamas released Abu al-Waleed al-Maqdissi after imprisoning him for 17 months. He was the leader of Tawhid and Jihad, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. He first joined Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2003.

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  • Chezwick

    THE LONG VIEW

    Chezwick

    One of the many problems afflicting the intellectual class of the Western world is a tendency to eschew the long view, to interpret current events not through an historical prism, but rather through the pop-culture "analysis" that is so prevalent nowadays among pundits and policy-makers. The so-called Arab "spring" is a perfect example of this. It has been welcomed and even facilitated by the West out of a conviction that it augers in something new…something progressive and dynamic. But reality is destined to disappoint such unrealistic hopes.

    The Arab Spring is – more than anything else, a re-assertion of Islamic identity that had been on a long hiatus – at least INSIDE the corridors of power in the various countries in question (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia). Nasser/Sadat/Mubarak in Egypt, Qaddafi in Libya, Bourguiba/Ben Ali in Tunisia….these regimes were autocratic to be sure, but they were also nationalist, secularist, populist, and to-a-degree, socialist. The period they held sway, brief by historical standards, lasting only decades, can best be described as a lingering, post-colonial hang-over from Western influence that is only now being shaken off. Taking the long view tells us that the post-WW2 political paradigm in the Muslim world was an aberration, not the norm.

    A similar analysis applies to most of the rest of the Muslim world, even though revolutions have yet to topple still existing, quasi-secular regimes. Notice for example, how religiously intolerant Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia have become in just the last decade. It's the same elsewhere.

    In essence, we are proceeding through an historical epoch; the Muslim world is rediscovering its Islamic roots as the global Western ascendency abates. The epoch began with the Iranian Revolution in 1979, has been moving in fits and starts since….and is now gaining critical momentum. Over the next decade, the Islamic Caliphate will likely be reconstituted…initially as a federation of two or three countries, but thereafter, creating a centripetal momentum that will only expand with time.

    The question is not WILL it occur?…but rather how will we in the West meet the challenge when it DOES. Right now, our entire political spectrum seems to be in denial. Even the conservative movement treads very carefully regarding questions of doctrine and theology when it comes to Islam. It's one thing to denounce terrorism, it's quite another to deconstruct a quintessentially intolerant and threatening creed.

    On the most basic level, the lessons of statecraft and great-power politics instruct us to employ a 'divide-and-conquer' strategy against our enemies, whoever they may be. In this case, fostering national, ethnic, and confessional divisions in the Arab-Muslim world is the best hope for retarding the trans-national impetus for the coming Caliphate.

    But Obama and McCain are doing exactly the opposite. They seem to be pushing for a uniform, Muslim-Brotherhood condominium in the Middle East….one that is clearly inimical to our interests. Perhaps the thinking is that the momentum in the region is irresistible, so we best jump on board and hope to moderate it in any way we can. But such thinking is naive…and tantamount to riding the tiger.

    It's time for the West to start perceiving the coming Caliphate for what it is, an existential threat. Our strategic thinking should be to foster alliances with non-Muslim polities such as India, Israel, and those black African states that are interested in stopping Islamic encroachment (e.g., South Sudan). Our diplomatic efforts should be spent supporting avowedly secular parties, personalities, and policies in the various Muslim countries. And we must convey with utter clarity that Muslim demands for the maintenance of space for Islam in the West will be rightly perceived as hypocritical and predatory unless reciprocal space is provided for non-Muslims in the Islamic realm.

    We're way behind the curve, folks. And electing a Republican President is no guarantee we'll get up to speed,….but re-electing Obama certifies the policy of appeasement.

  • Chezwick

    I posted a rather lengthy article that was denied permission until approved by the Site Administrator. I'd greatly appreciate it if FPM would approve it. Thanks.

    • Stephen_Brady

      I would appreciate it if FPM would publish your article.

      • Chezwick

        thanks amigo.

        Hope all is well.

        Gotta beat them Chinese in the mettle chase!

        • Chezwick

          That's 'medal' of course.

  • ★FALCON★

    There has already been an Islamic takeover of Egypt – which Islamists will control it remains to be decided.

  • mrbean

    The Obama administration continues to make the same mistake. It works off a simplistic calculus in which “dictators” are bad and “democratically elected governments” are good. The legitimate calculation, however, is which form of rule serves the security and national interests of the United States. If a country has beliefs and principles compatible with democratic government, then it is more likely to serve our interests, or at least not actively subvert them. If not, however, then promoting “democratic elections” will very likely unleash forces in a country damaging to those interests. – by Mr Bruce Thornton

    • mlcblog

      Lest we be naive, that is their cover for straight-up insurrection…."democratic elections." Are we missing the Obama admin's intent here? I am not aware of him having the security and national interests of the US at heart at all.

  • melvin polatnick

    Progressive minded Imams do not breed Mujahedin. That is why traditional Imams must be shelved and replaced with liberated women and swinging men. Luxurious Mosques have to be built that integrate Shiite and Sunni, modern gyms, shower s, and air conditioned prayer rooms will be filled to capacity. Closing down ancient war making Mosques will meet some resistance, but it shall be overcome.

    • Drakken

      Progressive minded imam? An oxymoron ! Islam as a whole will have to be confronted sooner or later and the one thing muslims will always do is if given an inch, they will take a mile untill someone draws a line in the sand and says no and will back it up with very big stick.

  • watsa46

    Pr. O was dealed a hand that he cannot control for he was deeply influenced and manipulated by 2 contrary ideologies: Islamism and communism, for the purpose of fighting a 3rd one: "Westernism". Communism and Islam are mutually exclusive and do not respect individuals. Both ideologies aspire to destroy humanity. Mohamed killing the "infidels", a creation of "God", kills "God" every time a human is killed. He is by definition deicidal and want to be above "God".
    Sometimes one wonders if western systems really respect what they claim: individual human rights! It looks like the powerful corporations and the rich care only about $ at the expense of everything else. The corruption in the western world is a lot worst than what we have seen so far.

  • fightwarnotwars

    how amusing, nothing whatsoever on this site about the white racist terrorist that went on a shooting rampage in Wisconsin this week.

    • Stephen_Brady

      That's because we want the racist cabal in the White House to admit that thy're racists, and use racist politics to further their agenda.

  • Ghostwriter

    Perhaps fightwarnotwars,because it's another case of an unhinged loon shooting up a normally peaceful place,this time a Sikh temple. Thankfully,the guy who did it is dead and hopefully roasting in Hades where he belongs.

  • MburuChege

    FICTION: “The jihadists struck at the only institution standing in the way of an Islamist takeover of Egypt.
     
    FACT: majority of combat soldiers in the egyptian military support the islamist takeover…..it is only a few decadent/pro-zionist  generals at the top who stand in the way
     
    but they will spoon be swept away into oblivion,
    just like “the true friend of zionists” mubarak was!