Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1258, (13 - 19 August 2015)
Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Issue 1258, (13 - 19 August 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Security on high alert

Security forces will be heavily deployed across Egypt on Friday, Ahmed Morsy reports

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Security experts are anticipating violence on the second anniversary of the 45-day-long protests in Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares organised by Muslim Brotherhood supporters to demand the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsi as president.

On 14 August 2013 police and the Armed Forces stormed the two camps. While the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) estimates that 632 were killed during the break-up of the Rabaa camp, the Muslim Brotherhood claims the death toll to be more than 1,500.

The Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance, an umbrella grouping of pro-Muslim Brotherhood forces, says it is organising protests on the anniversary under the slogan “Rabaa: The earth will not drink up blood”.

“We call on patriotic Egyptians to join a revolutionary wave of non-violent protests that will continue until the end of August. We will demonstrate in streets and public squares,” said the pro-Morsi alliance.

Security bodies say they are fully prepared to counter any potential violence that may occur on the second anniversary of the dispersal.

“Security forces are on high alert to counter any threats posed by the international organisation of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood which will seek to create chaos and instability in Egypt and abort ambitious state development plans,” a security source told Al-Ahram Weekly.

“Information has been gathered on the movement of Muslim Brotherhood supporters ahead of 14 August and scenarios are in place to abort any violence and riots in Cairo and other governorates,” said the source.

Police presence has been increased at vital installations.

“Security will be intensified across Egypt’s governorates. Checkpoints have been increased, especially on roads accessing Cairo,” said the source.

On Sunday, a police officer and conscript were killed and three conscripts injured when the vehicle in which they were travelling was bombed in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish.

Since Morsi’s ouster in July 2013 terrorist attacks in Egypt have claimed the lives of hundreds of security personnel. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for the majority of incidents targeting security forces in Sinai and other governorates.

On Monday morning, a bomb exploded close to a court house in Heliopolis, injuring two officers and a conscript. A second bomb was detected and defused. Colonel Hisham Al-Azab, Sherif Fekri and conscript Mustafa Abbas were transferred to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Militant group Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for the attack via their Twitter account.

On the same day, a bomb was found close to the National Security headquarters in 6 October city and was successfully defused.

“The bomb attack close to the Heliopolis court house suggests that terrorist elements are planning an intensive campaign to coincide with the second anniversary of the dispersal of the Rabaa and Al-Nahda sit-ins,” says security expert Brigadier General Khaled Okasha.

Okasha claims Ajnad Misr and the Muslim Brotherhood are operating in tandem. The majority of Ajnad Misr’s members, says Okasha, are drawn from the youth wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The youth group, which was founded after 30 June 2013, comprises radical young Brothers trained by Brotherhood leader Osama Yassin,” he says.

Ajnad Misr, which emerged following Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, has claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks. Unlike the terrorist group State of Sinai, which has expanded its reach beyond the peninsula, Ajnad Misr’s operations are limited to Cairo and Giza. It uses small remote-controlled explosive devices to target police and army officers.

Okasha believes the security preparations in place ahead of the anniversary are sufficient to thwart any planned attacks. “Security forces are well prepared for the second anniversary of the dispersal of the Islamist sit-ins,” he says.

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