Egyptian soldiers keep guard in Sinai 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Egyptian Interior Ministry stated on Facebook that initial signs
point to a suicide car bomb attack in Mansoura Egypt early Tuesday, which
analysts believe was likely perpetrated by jihadists based in
While the Brotherhood condemned the attack, the Facebook page of
its Freedom and Justice Party blamed Christians for the attack, specifically
referring to Christian businessman and politician Naguib Sawiris.
pro-government Free Egyptians Party founded by Sawiris blamed the attack on the
“The Free Egyptians Party statement calls upon the Egyptian
government and its security forces to take resolute action and pursue these
terrorists with all its resources to bring them to justice, and to officially
declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization,” stated the
Terror attacks emanating from Sinai have increased since former
Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July.
media had previously reported that the government was contemplating naming the
Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and it seems that the attack may
renew such thinking.
What is clear, is that the government is probably
going to step up its crackdown against its Brotherhood and jihadist
The way the attack was carried out and the size of the
explosion is reminiscent of previous attacks by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (sometimes
referred to as Ansar Jerusalem), said David Barnett, a research associate at the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to the Long War Journal
Barnett, who closely follows the ongoing fighting in Sinai, told
The Jerusalem Post that the group has used car bombings in a number of its
attacks inside and out of the northern Sinai.
“The attack may be a
follow- up to the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis threat to target those who do not leave
the security services. We will only know for certain if they claim
responsibility, however,” he said.
“While some may expect an immediate
claim of responsibility, in previous attacks Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis waited at
least a day or two before taking credit,” Barnett cautioned.
an expert on Egypt and a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, told the Post that there is no evidence that the Brotherhood are behind
these attacks, but the “government is trying to use this attack as a pretext for
a further crackdown on the organization.”
The government is engaged in an
existential conflict with the group and fears its reemergence as there would be
severe revenge against those who removed it from power, said
Asked about the uptick in Sinai terrorism since Morsi’s ouster,
Trager thinks that it is because “many in Sinai fear that the return of the
military to power will mean a return of the repressive methods that were used to
administer the peninsula under former president Hosni Mubarak.”
contrast, Morsi governed Sinai lightly and declined to crack down on the
jihadis, believing - foolishly - that they could be convinced to adopt the
Brotherhood’s more political form of Islamism,” explained Trager.