Saturday,21 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1195, (1-7 May 2014)
Saturday,21 July, 2018
Issue 1195, (1-7 May 2014)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Our war on terror

Before leaving the army to run for office, one of the last things Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi did was to order the formation of a Rapid Deployment Force (RFD) to fight terror. In doing so, Al-Sisi signalled the determination of this country to defend itself against those who want to undermine its security and infiltrate its borders.

The threat we have faced in Sinai of late is well known, and not the only one. Weapons have been flowing into this country from Libya to the west and Sudan to the south. And attempts are being made to recruit and train more terrorists in neighbouring countries.

Just days after the RDF was formed, news reports spoke of a new group called the Free Egypt Army. The first time this phrase was used was during the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in, when Muslim Brotherhood members and their allies tried to scare the nation, by threatening to turn the country into another Syria.

Now that the Egyptian army and police are winning the war on terror in Sinai, those who wish ill for this country are contemplating opening a new front.

It is a fact that members of Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups have set up training camps in Libya, with the blessing and cooperation of the Muslim Brotherhood international outfit.

Some international and regional quarters wish to see this region an open arena for rivalry among armed gangs and tribal clans, and it is our obligation to stop them in their tracks.

In Libya, the eastern part of the country has already fallen into this trap, with secessionists demanding control of oil resources, and some of them willing to train hundreds of militants and send them into Egypt.

The Free Egypt Army is not even a credible threat to a country that has one of the most stable and patriotic armies in the region, but we must not underestimate the existence of training camps for potential terrorists on our borders. We cannot allow what happened in Sinai to be repeated on our western front.

US media speaks — almost with a tone of satisfaction and not a small amount of exaggeration — about the threat the Free Egypt Army poses to our country.

But the smooth transition of power in the army, from Al-Sisi to Sidqi Sobhi, proves beyond doubt that Egypt is back on its feet and willing to take on its adversaries.

Another sign of this country’s readiness is the purchase of 20 MiG-35 planes, the largest consignment of weapons from Russia in decades. The move ends the US monopoly on supplying Egypt with arms, and it establishes the fact that this country is prepared to diversify its sources of weapons in order to stay ahead of the game.

One recalls the arms deal Nasser signed with the Soviets in 1955 and how it drastically changed the balance of power in the region.

Egypt, meanwhile, is holding intense consultations with America and its Western allies. The Egyptian intelligence chief has recently arrived in Washington for important talks with the secretaries of state and defence, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, before flying to Germany — a country known for its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Our Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi, also held talks with senior US officials about current developments in Egypt and the region. As a result of these consultations, the Americans decided to un-freeze the delivery of 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt, which will be used in its fight against terror.

The Muslim Brotherhood think that they can challenge this country by going underground and staging a war of assassinations, bombings and terror. But they are mistaken. This country is not going to be stabbed in the back by those who commit treason while pretending to be working for the cause of Islam. Theirs is a lost case.

You can no longer commit treason for years then say that this was done in good faith or to defend Islam.

Those who declare war on Muslims and non-Muslims while claiming to bring enlightenment to humanity are not going to escape retribution, and the terrorists they sponsor are not going to get away.

For centuries, it has been an article of faith among Egyptian strategists that our security is inseparable from that of Syria or the Gulf. This doctrine holds true today just as it did in the past.

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