Egypt Seen to Give Nod toward Jihadis on Syria

(AP) Hamza Hendawi - Under Mubarak, Egypt took a tough line on Egyptians coming home after waging "jihad" in places like Afghanistan, Chechnya or the Balkans, fearing they would bring back extremist ideology, combat experience and a thirst for regime change. In most cases, they were imprisoned and tortured. But after Mubarak's overthrow and his replacement by an elected Islamist president, jihad has gained a degree of legitimacy in Egypt, and the country has become a source of fighters heading to the war in Syria. On Saturday, President Morsi attended a Cairo rally by hard-line clerics who have called for jihad. Waving a flag of Egypt and the Syrian opposition, he announced Egypt was cutting ties with Damascus and denounced Hizbullah for fighting alongside Assad's forces. A senior presidential aide last week said that while Egypt was not encouraging citizens to travel to Syria to help rebels, they were free to do so and the state would take no action against them.

2013-06-17 00:00:00

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