Tag Archives: Al Ahram

Egypt’s cabinet passes harsher terrorism laws

The Egyptian government has approved the broadening of terrorism laws, following increased violence in the country.

The bill had been in discussion for months following the spread of militant attacks against Egyptian army and police forces.

Egypt’s State Council revised the law and sent it back to the cabinet earlier on Thursday.

The law is reported to amend terrorism clauses in Egypt’s penal code and stipulate harsher penalties for terrorism-related crimes.

For the new laws to come into force, they still need to be signed by interim President Adly Mansour.

Egypt’s security forces have been the target of frequent attacks since last July.

On Wednesday, a series of explosions killed three people outside Cairo University, including a police brigadier-general.


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Egypt Tells Hamas it Will Hold Terror Group Accountable for Border Incidents



JNS.org – Egypt’s military told the Hamas that it would hold the Palestinian terror group responsible for any incidents along the Gaza border.

According to Israel Radio, Egyptian security officials have also told Hamas that they will not tolerate smuggling of weapons and goods.

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested in front of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, demanding that the border reopen.

“We demand the Egyptian authorities open the Gaza crossing permanently in both directions and we affirm that we won’t stop our peaceful escalation on Palestinian land until the [Israeli] siege is lifted,” said Hamad El-Rakeb, a leading member of Hamas, Al-Ahram reported.

Since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Egypt’s military-backed government has severely cracked down on smuggling through the Gaza border. The military has waged a campaign against terror groups in the Sinai and has accused Hamas of supporting the Sinai jihadists.

Hamas had heavily relied on the smuggling tunnels not only for weapons, but also for goods and materials, which it taxed for revenue. According to Hamas, the closure of the tunnels by Egypt has cost the terror group around $230 million a month.


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CFR’s Gelb : U.S. administration has no idea ‘what is happening’ in Egypt | World Tribune

Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie Gelb

Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie Gelb

CAIRO — The U.S. military has been lobbying for a renewal of aid to Egypt.

The U.S. military as well as Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were pushing for an end to the suspension of major combat deliveries to Egypt.

Military and defense officials have warned that Egypt was more important than ever to Washington’s interests.

“My advice now is to support the Army in Egypt and the military establishment in order to help make up for the abuses the Muslim Brotherhood committed, on the one hand, and to move towards the political realism that Egypt needs on the other,” Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie
Gelb said.

The assertion was relayed as U.S. officers have been visiting Egypt. One delegation consisted of five U.S. special operations officers from Central Command, several of whom expressed confidence in the Egyptian military.

“There is confidence in the military establishment in Egypt,” an unidentified U.S. officer told Egypt’s official Al Ahram daily. “This is beyond question.”

Still, the officers acknowledged a drop in U.S. support as Egypt battled an Islamist revolt in the Sinai Peninsula. One officer was quoted as saying that Egypt required “political freedoms, not weapons.”

In late February, a delegation from the House Intelligence Committee visited Egypt to help restore relations with Washington. The committee contained several members, including the chairman, deemed supporters of Egypt.

“I do not have a polite way to express my opinion of what U.S. foreign policy-makers are doing in the region,” Gelb said. “They have no clear idea about what is happening there.”

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Egypt’s new protest law .

543890Egypt’s presidential spokesman Ehab Badawy revealed in a press conference on Sunday the contents of the cabinet’s protest bill, which was signed into law by Interim President Adly Mansour earlier in the day .

The law consists of 25 articles, which outline in detail the conditions that must be met before a protest, political meeting or march is held. It also details the punishment for violations of the law.

Below is Badawy’s summary of the articles included in the new protest law. The full text will published in Egypt’s Official Newspaper on Monday.

Chapter one: General rules and definitions

Article 1: Citizens have the right to hold and join general meetings, marches and peaceful protests in accordance with the provisions and regulations of the protest law.

Article 2: Definition of general meetings and electoral meetings.

Article 3: Definition of marches.

Article 4: Definition of protests.

Article 5: Prohibits any political gathering in houses of worship, their vicinities or buildings associated with them, in addition to barring houses of worship from serving as meeting points for marches.

Article 6: Participants in protests, meetings or marches are prohibited from carrying any weapons, explosives, fireworks or other items that may put individuals, buildings or possessions in danger.

Wearing masks to hide the face during such actions is prohibited.

Article 7: Violations of general security, public order, or production are prohibited, as well as calling for disrupting public interests.  It also forbids actions which could impact on public services, transportation or the flow of traffic, as well as assaults on security forces or exposure of danger to individuals, public or private possessions.

Article 11: Security forces in official uniform should disperse protests, meetings or marches in the event of a crime at the order of the field commander.

The field police commander can ask a judge to determine the non-peaceful state of a meeting or protest. A decision should be issued immediately.

Article 12:  Security forces must utilise methods of gradual dispersal for protests in breach of the law.

Authorities must first ask participants to voluntarily leave through audible verbal warnings, which should be repeated several times whilst indicating and providing secure paths out of the venue of assembly.

If participants refuse to leave, security forces have the right to use water cannons, batons, and teargas to disperse protesters.

Article 13: In the case of security forces failing to disperse gatherings through afore mentioned measurements, or if violent assaults erupt against security forces, escalatory measures may be taken.

In this case, security forces should first fire warning shots, then escalate by using rubber bullets and finally metal pellets.

If participants use weapons, security forces should respond using means proportional to the danger imposed.

Article 14: The Minister of Interior, in coordination with the concerned governor, should designate a safe space for protesters in front of vital institutions for participants.

Such institutes include government, military, and security buildings, as well as courts, prosecution centres and museums.

Article 15: Protests in certain spacious venues will be allowed to take place without prior notification. Such spaces will be defined by the governor.

Chapter two: Punishments

Article 16: The following states the punishments in the case that earlier articles are violated.

Article 17: Whoever possesses weapons or explosives while participating in a protest, meeting or march could face imprisonment of seven years and pay a fine of between LE100,000 and LE300,000.

Article 18: A participant who it has been proven has received or given money and/or benefits to protests, meetings or marches is to face prison and a fine of between LE100,000 and LE200,000. The same punishment will be imposed on whoever is responsible for inciting such a crime.

Article 19: A participant who violates article 7 in the protest law could face 2 to 5 years of imprisonment, in addition to the possibility of paying a fine of between LE50,000 and LE100,000.

Article 20: Violating articles 5 and 14 or wearing masks while committing a crime during a protest could lead to a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine worth LE100,000.

Article 21: Holding a protest, meeting or march without giving prior notification as dictated by article 8 could result in a fine of between LE10,000 and LE30,0000.

Article 22: For any of the listed crimes, the courts can order the confiscation of tools or money used during protests or marches. However, this article excludes those who act with good intentions.

Chapter three: Procedural provisions

Article 23: Law 14, issued in 1923, is to be annulled, in addition to the cancellation of any laws that contradict the new protest law.

Article 24: The cabinet is to issue decisions regarding the implementation of the provisions of the protest law.

Article 25: This law is to be published in the official Gazette, and will be in effect the day after publication.

Al Qaida recruiting Egyptian teens in rural areas to attack military sites | World Tribune

6433356CAIRO — Egypt has determined massive recruitment efforts by Al Qaida and the ousted Muslim Brotherhood to attack the military-backed regime.

Military sources said Al Qaida and the Brotherhood were focusing on recruiting young Sunni Muslims, most of them teenagers, to attack government installations. They said the bulk of the recruitment was taking place in rural areas of Egypt.

“Most of them are very young — between 16 and 20 years old — and their minds are filled with jihadist and takfiri ideas,” an Egyptian officer said.

The officer told the official Al Ahram newspaper that recruitment was being conducted in Upper Egypt and the Delta. The young Muslims were said to have been trained in firearms and bombs.

“We are not afraid of confrontation, aware as we are of the professionalism of the attackers,” the officer said.

On Oct. 28, at least three Egyptian policemen were killed in an insurgency strike at a checkpoint in Mansoura north of Cairo. Another major strike was also reported near the North Sinai capital of El Arish, in which 12 fighters were captured, including Palestinians.

Another officer said Al Qaida and the Brotherhood were also being
joined by what he termed “mercenaries.” The unidentified officer said
mercenaries were paid by the number of officers killed and their rank.

“They are hired to kill soldiers and officers,” the officer said. “They
set a price on the basis of the rank of the target.”

The sources said the weapons and equipment for the new Islamists
militias were arriving from several sources, particularly Libya and Turkey.
They said explosives belts have been assembled for those recruited as suicide bombers.

A leading analyst asserted that the Brotherhood was being aided by its
foreign branches in the war against the military-backed regime that replaced
Egypt’s first Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi. He said the Libyan branch
was especially active in sending weapons and fighters to Egypt.

“The situation on the Libyan side marks a blatant threat,” Ali Saleh, an
Egyptian analyst, said. “There is an unnatural proliferation of armed
fundamentalist organizations that swear loyalty to their counterparts in

Al Qaida recruiting Egyptian teens in rural areas to attack military sites | World Tribune.