Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bombing in Egypt

It appears that there has been 3 bombings at Egyptian Resorts frequented by Israeli's. This is quite surprising and judging by the simultaneous nature of them seems to suggest al Qaeda or a Palestinian group (Hamas, Islamic Jihad etc.) Why al Qaeda you say? Well, their number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was the leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad until it merged with Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (then changed their name to al Qaeda) in 1998. This attack would mark the first time since the 1997 Luxor Massacre that Egypt has been hit by a makor (and possibly even minor) terrorist attack. Dan Darling over at Winds of Change feels similarly. He adds:
If it's al-Qaeda, it means that al-Zawahiri has chosen to return to his roots and may feel that the political atmosphere in Egypt is such that it could accomodate an Islamist revolution. I very much doubt that, but then I'm not an international terrorist leader. Look for the Egyptian government to launch a full-scale crackdown on known or suspected Islamist extremists and probably another round up of the usual suspects that the Mubarak government seems to do every few days or so.
I agree. Now, this is a fascinating coincidence, I'm half way through Nasser: The Last Arab by Said Aburish, and Nasser hated the Muslim Brotherhood to a fierce extent (even martyring "bin Laden's brain" Sayyid Qutb in 1966). Islamists killed Nasser successor, Anwar Sadat was assasinated (al-Zawahiri was arrested and tortured in connection with it). Given the Egyptian history of torturing everyday citizens for small infractions, I almost feel sorry for what Mubarak will do to people caught in connection with this attack. Rumor has it that the crackdown has beegun in earnest and Egyptian security forces arrested several people in Taba. Developing.