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Deadly Irregular Warfare Escalates Against Egypt

July 2, 2015 (EIRNS)—One of the largest series of coordinated attacks against Egypt in the Sinai and extending to Cairo, has taken place this week.

  • The State Prosecutor General, Hisham Barakat, was assassinated June 29 by a car bomb that targetted his convoy. Barakat had been appointed to his position as soon as el-Sisi came to power;

  • The day after Barakat was assassinated, there were two more car bomb incidents in Cairo;

  • Anti-government fighters, now claiming to be IS, yesterday carried out multiple attacks, striking five military checkpoints and police positions in two different northern Sinai towns, for a total of 15 government positions;

  • In a separate incident yesterday, Egyptian police raided an apartment in Cairo, were shot at, according to Egyptian official reports, and killed nine Muslim Brotherhood members.

The attacks come just before the two-year-anniversary of Sisi and the military coming to power after mass demonstrations against the floundering Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi, and after Sisi had announced a campaign eliminate the anti-government threat.

The ongoing attacks undermine the government’s ability to keep the focus on rebuilding the economy, and makes concerns about security foremost in the minds of the citizenry. In addition to the bombs, the terrorists had mortar and RPGs, according to reports. In the words of an Egyptian military official commenting on the attack, as cited by Agence France Presse, "It’s unprecedented, in the number of terrorists involved and the type of weapons they are using."

The Egyptian army said that 17 soldiers, including 4 officers, were dead. Egypt used F-16 jets and Apache helicopters to put down the terrorists, and subsequently announced that it had killed 100 of the terrorists.

The Sinai has been under a strong state of alert and nighttime curfew, and the establishment of a buffer zone along the Gaza border since October, when a terrorist attack killed dozens of soldiers. Since then, minimally 600 police and army personnel have been killed.

The attacks have the hallmark of a terrorist grouping operating in the Sinai which called itself Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. It changed its name to IS last November.

Yesterday Egypt responded to the attack by passing a stiff anti-terror law and is also asking to have the time for the appeals process to be shortened in cases against the terrorists.