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Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003 - Egypt

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Publication Date 29 April 2004
Cite as United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003 - Egypt, 29 April 2004, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Egyptian and US Governments continued their close cooperation on a broad range of counterterrorism issues in 2002. The relationship deepened in 2002 as the countries coordinated closely on law-enforcement issues and the freezing of assets, consistent with the requirements of UNSCRs 1373, 1267, 1390 and 1455. Egypt also cooperated with the United States in freezing the assets of individuals and organizations designated by the United States pursuant to Executive Order 13224. In law enforcement, the Egyptian Government deepened its information-sharing relationship in terrorist-related investigations. The Government provided immediate information, for example, in the investigation of the shootings on 4 July at Los Angeles airport, which involved an Egyptian national. Its response was critical in determining that the shooting was an individual act, not part of a terrorist conspiracy. The Egyptian Government also provided the name and full identification (numerical identifiers and photo) of a terrorist believed to be in the United States.

The Government of Egypt has continued to be committed to searching and freezing terrorist funds in Egyptian banks. In 2002, the Egyptian parliament passed an anti-money-laundering law that strengthens banking regulations and permits the Government more latitude in its campaign to staunch the flow of terrorist funds. The Egyptian Government, both secular and clerical, continued to make public statements supportive of US efforts and indicative of its commitment to the worldwide campaign against terrorism.

In addition to combating global terrorism, Cairo continued to place a high priority on the protection of US citizens and facilities in Egypt. It increased security for US citizens and facilities and for US forces, both stationed in Egypt and transiting the country to the Gulf, by air or through the Suez Canal. Egypt has strengthened its airport security, agreed to stricter aviation-security measures, and granted extensive overflight and canal transit clearances.

Egypt was for many years itself a victim of terrorism. President Mubarak first called for an international conference to combat terrorism in 1986. With US assistance and training, Egypt has effectively combated the internal terrorist/extremist threat. There were no acts of terrorism in Egypt in 2002, either against US citizens, Egyptians, or other nationals. The Government continued a "zero tolerance" policy toward suspected terrorists and extremists.

During 2002, the Government prosecuted 94 members (seven of whom were tried in absentia) of a group dubbed "al-Wa'ad" (the Promise), accused of having supplied arms and financial support to Chechen rebels and HAMAS. On 9 September, the military tribunal sentenced 51 defendants to terms ranging from two to 15 years while acquitting 43. On 20 October, the Government brought 26 members of the Islamic Liberation Party to trial in the supreme state security court. The defendants, who include three Britons, stand accused of joining a banned group, attempting to recruit members for that group, and spreading extremist ideology. The group was banned in Egypt in 1974, following an attempt to overthrow the Government and establish an Islamic caliphate.

The United States deported a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 2002 for trial in connection with the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Several other members of Egyptian terrorist organizations were returned to Egypt from abroad. During the summer, the Egyptian Government announced plans to release from prison a large group of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (IG) leaders and members, sentenced in the early 1980s. In 1997, the group's leadership in prison declared a cease-fire and halt to all armed operations and acts of violence. In 1999, IG leadership abroad declared their support for the initiative. This year, the IG leadership in prison in Egypt published four pamphlets on the religious basis and legitimacy for ending all violence and armed operations. In the fall, the Government began releasing IG members and leaders who they believe have transformed their ideology and religious beliefs while in prison.

Egypt is a party to nine of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.

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