Bombing Attacks a Turning Point for Egypt

(Los Angeles Times) Megan K. Stack - "This is the most important attack we've seen - not only for Egypt but for the whole region - from the point of view of the war on terror and the stability of the region," said Diaa Rashwan, an expert on militant Islam at Egypt's Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. "Egypt is now damaged on many levels." Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco all have suffered recent devastating strikes by Islamic militants, direct challenges to governments that have forged ties with the U.S. The attacks in Egypt, the most populous Arab country, have wounded the psychological epicenter of the Arab world. Analysts say the attacks also undermine Egyptian offers to control Palestinian militants in Gaza in the event of an Israeli withdrawal. "How can you protect the Israelis from Gaza when the Israelis were victims on Egyptian soil?" Rashwan said. "The Egyptians can't speak of any role in Gaza when they can't even protect themselves." For many Egyptians, any government cooperation with the Jewish state is baffling and unacceptable. "Everywhere there are those pushing the government to end the peace treaty and cancel the peace," said Egyptian government spokesman Taha Abdel Aleem.

2004-10-11 00:00:00

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