Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001 - Egypt

The Egyptian and US Governments continued to work closely together on a broad range of counterterrorism issues in 2001. The relationship was further strengthened in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Key Egyptian Government and religious officials condemned the attacks; President Mubarak was the first Arab leader to support the US military campaign in Afghanistan publicly. Egypt also supported efforts to cut off the flow of terrorism financing by strengthening banking regulations, including preparing a money-laundering bill for this purpose. The Government of Egypt renewed its appeals to foreign governments to extradite or return Egyptian fugitives.

Other actions taken by the Government of Egypt to support US counterterrorism efforts following the September 11 attacks included continuing to place a high priority on protecting US citizens and facilities in Egypt from attack; strengthening security for US forces transiting the Suez Canal; implementing aviation security directives; agreeing to participate in the voluntary Advanced Passenger Information System; and granting extensive overflight and Canal transit clearances.

Egypt itself has been for many years a victim of terrorism, although it has abated. No terrorism-related deaths were reported in Egypt in 2001, but the Egyptian Government continued to regard terrorism and extremist activity as an urgent challenge. The Egyptian Government indicted nearly 300 Egyptians and foreigners on terrorism-related charges. They will be tried by a military tribunal. Other terrorists' detentions were extended. Of those arrested, 87 were members of a group Egyptian authorities dubbed "al-Wa'ad" (The Promise). They were accused of planning to assassinate key Egyptian figures and blow up strategic targets; at the time of the arrests, authorities reportedly discovered arms caches and bomb-making materials. Those arrested included 170 al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (IG) members, accused of killing police and civilians. They also were accused of targeting tourists and robbing banks between 1994 and 1998. Egypt's principal terrorist organizations, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) and the IG, suffered setbacks following September 11. International members of both groups and some suspects were returned to Egypt from abroad for trial. The Government renewed its appeals to foreign governments to extradite or return other Egyptian fugitives. In early 2001, IG leader Rifa'i Ahmad Taha Musa published a book in which he attempted to justify terrorist attacks that result in mass civilian casualties. He disappeared several months there – after, and his whereabouts at the time of this report's publication remained unknown.


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