Egypt Sees Progress in "Freeing Sinai" from Terror Threats

(Al-Ahram-Egypt) Kamel El-Beheiry - Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has hailed the success of counterterrorism operations in eliminating terrorism in Sinai. His recent visit to military and security sites in Sinai, east of the Suez Canal, was designed to showcase the second component of the counterterrorism strategy - the comprehensive development of Sinai. The social, economic, and cultural development of Sinai is crucial to eliminating an environment conducive to terrorism and the spread of terrorist ideas and to forestalling a resurgence of terrorism. Terrorist operations in Sinai began in 2011 and peaked in 2015. North Sinai was most impacted. The terrorists were primarily adherents to al-Qaeda or Islamist State (IS). Starting in 2015, the IS affiliate in Sinai killed hundreds of civilians, including 35 tribal elders. Its most bloody attack targeted the Sufi Al-Rawda Mosque in Bir Al-Abd in November 2017, killing over 300 worshipers. In 2018, President Al-Sisi launched a comprehensive operation to dismantle terrorist command structures, infrastructure, military capacities, and territorial control. By the middle of 2020, the number of terrorist attacks had fallen by 95% from the average in 2014-18. The number of foreign operatives and recruits into the ranks of IS Sinai also dropped sharply thanks to tightening border security. Not a single attack took place in the first quarter of this year. IS Sinai has also halted publication of its usual communications and bulletins.

2023-04-10 00:00:00

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