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The context of the events around Egypt
Material posted: Publication date: 15-12-2014

The events of recent weeks make it possible to talk about the likely expansion of the zone of tension in the middle East and the inclusion of Egypt. So, on November 14, Arab media outlets reported that a video message of the leader operating in the Sinai Salafist terrorist group "Ansar Beit al-Maqdis". In the video States that the group swears allegiance to ISIS and its leader al-Baghdadi [1]. It is noteworthy that victims groups, according to Lebanese publication "Middle East Panorama", a majority of the Egyptian police and military.

A few days later, on 27 November, on the ISIS page on Facebook [2] there are threats to the Egyptian army (see photo in Figure 1). On the top of the picture the inscription: "ISIS Fighters in the Sinai". In the left corner: "We say to al-Sisi – you can send his entire army against us, but it will dissolve in the Sands of our deserts. This land is able to deal with ten such armies as yours."

Figure 1

On another photograph is also threatening the Egyptian army (see photo in Fig. 2). One of the women hides the face with a banner reading: "I was raped by the soldiers." The photo is accompanied by comments administration page: "What is left of your honor and dignity, Egyptian, Egyptian girl holds a sign saying "I was raped by soldiers", as the country continues to control the military! By the will of Allah, our beloved Egypt will remain a stronghold of Islam and Muslims and soon to be cleansed from tyrants and crusaders".

Figure 2

Probably in other circumstances the statements of both groups could be treated as regular information spreading. However, in this case they are included in a fast-paced and growing trend, indicating the growing tension around Egypt.

As evidence of the justice of this conclusion the following is the chronology of some events in the region from November 11 to 12 December.

November 11. The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani appoints his brother Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad al-Thani as his successor [3].

November 14. In Qatar, an attempt of a military coup, which was one of the first reports of the Lebanese politician Abu Ali Hussein Dirani on his Facebook page [4].

November 15. United Arab Emirates officially include the organization "Muslim brotherhood" in the list of terrorist organizations [5].

November 16. The king of Saudi Arabia after the summit, the GCC called on Qatar and Egypt to "make peace" [6].

November 16. The Lebanese edition of "Middle East Panorama" reports about the 17-minute video, the leader of ISIL to Saudi Arabia[7];

November 19. The Ministry of internal Affairs of Egypt reported about the arrest in the North of Cairo member of the terrorist group "Kataib al-Furqan", which is part of Nusra. The terrorist was immediately detained after returning from Syria. He was charged with learning "terrorist elements" from "Muslim Brothers" to produce explosives, and the training of terrorist cells;

November 24. In social networks appeared information that the Peshmerga forces in Iraq have broken the ISIL terrorists in the city of Jalula province Deli;

November 27. On the pages of the Egyptian edition of "Shorouk News" published an article under the heading "What do we do with desperate "Muslim brotherhood"?". The author, an Egyptian columnist Imad al-DIN Hasan directly warns about the danger of a civil war in Egypt, one of the reasons can be a desperate situation in which "Muslim brotherhood" after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi. The author recalls a conversation with one of the representatives of the most moderate part of the organization, who admitted that the threat of armed clashes between the "Muslim brotherhood" and the rest of the Egyptians is very real. The author encourages the authorities to take seriously the problem and take the necessary measures to prevent civil war [8].

November 27. Lebanese politician Abu Ali Hussein Dirani on his Facebook page warned that "the camp of the Salafis, the Muslim brotherhood and the Masonic plans to destroy the country" [9].

28, November 30. Through its official Facebook page, the Salafi party of Egypt "hizbu Nur" [10] warns their members and followers about possible provocations, the aim of which is involvement of Salafis in the riots on the streets of Egypt.

December 4. At the University "al-Azhar" hosted a scientific conference on "al-Azhar before the challenge of extremism and terrorism".

December 9. Qatar at the GCC summit in Doha said that subscribes to the initiative of this organization aimed at the support of Egypt and President al-Sisi.

December 9. Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Issa on one of its programmes blamed President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Sheikh al-Azhar Ahmad Tayyib in al-Azhar University run by the "Muslim brotherhood" [11].

December 10. News reports indicate that the Salafi party of Egypt decided to leave the "National coalition to support legitimacy" [12]. Salafis explained her resignation by the fact that the "Muslim brotherhood" understand "support the rule of law" only as the return to power of Muhammad Morsi. The leader of the Salafi party "hizbu Istiklal" Mahdi Hussein said that he was not going to end up in jail because of the "Muslim Brothers" [13].

December 12. U.S. calls Embassy of Canada and the United Kingdom in Cairo to suspend its activities in the country. This reports the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Egypt on the official website of the foreign Ministry in Facebook[14].

Thus, it is possible to state that some world and regional power centers purposefully exaggerating the situation around Egypt. The increase in tension is carried out, including through the provision of the pressure on Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the rulers of which posed a stark choice between the loss of power or acceptance of conditions imposed games around Egypt. Trigger destabilization of Qatar can become the "Muslim brotherhood" and Saudi Arabia - the ISIS. "Concessions" on the part of Qatar led to the fact that they sponsored "Muslim brotherhood" in Egypt will be isolated from the political process. The output of the above Salafi coalition demonstrates not only that the process of isolation of the "Muslim brotherhood" is already running. It can be argued that ultimately will isolate themselves Salafis. Squeezing from the political arena of organizations with experience of violent struggle, creates the preconditions for the outbreak of civil war in Egypt.

A strong presence of Islamists in the al-Azhar University, which has a special status and weight in the Islamic world, will lead to the fact that in the event of a threat of civil war, it will also be split. Such a development would mean a blow to the Sunni in General, not excluding the main four mazhabi[15] Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. In addition, the movement of ISIS militants from Iraq and Syria to Egypt would force the Egyptian army to be drawn into a war of attrition, as it is today with government forces in Syria and Iraq. The only solution may be consolidation of the Sunni four madhabs around Shiite Iran and jointly confront the threat of ISIL. However, such a development seems unlikely. Especially when you consider that the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power with the direct support of Saudi Arabia and to talk about his ability to act independently in a crisis situation and proudite own policy, is incorrect. Thus, it is accepted in the Arab world point of view, four countries make up the support of the Arab world: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Syria. The containment strategy of the Arab world and prevent its transformation into an independent actor on the geopolitical scene requires neutralization and reduction potential of these countries. The ongoing military campaign against Syria and Iraq has led to the fact that they neutralized today and in the coming decades will be forced to solve the problem of survival and recovery (at best). The continuation of this strategic logic requires the deployment of a similar action against Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The above dynamics of recent events suggests a high likelihood to shift the focus from "solved" problems in Syria and Iran to Egypt and then Saudi Arabia. The result will be a reformation not only of the Arab world, but also in the greater Middle East and the geopolitical arena as a whole.

Armine Hakobyan

[1]"Middle East Panorama", November 14, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://www.mepanorama.net/474205/%D8%A3%D9%86%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%B3-%D8%AA%D8%BA%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%85%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%84%D9%80-%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B3/>

[2]currently the page is closed. As a result of the search query appears another page with the same name اخبار الدولة الاسلامية واحوال المجاهدين.

[3]"Middle East Panorama", November 11, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://www.mepanorama.net/473417/%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D9%82%D8%B7%D8%B1-%D9%8A%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A6%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%84%D9%87/>

[4] Facebook, <https://www.facebook.com/abuali.hussein.9?fref=nf>

[5] "Middle East Panorama", November 15, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://www.mepanorama.net/474403/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%AC-%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%86/>

[6] the Immediate response of Egypt to the appeal casts doubt on those cases, which will be offered al-Sisi, says "As-Safir""As-Safir", November 20, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://assafir.com/Article/1/385269>

[7]"Middle East Panorama", November 16, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://www.mepanorama.net/474560/%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4-%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%AC%D9%87-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9/>

[8] "Shorouk News", November 27, 2014, December 11, 2014 <http://www.shorouknews.com/columns/view.aspx?cdate=27112014&id=941b9a7e-6270-4750-83df-5cff440a0689>

[9]Facebook, <https://www.facebook.com/abuali.hussein.9?fref=nf>

[10] Facebook, <https://ar-ar.facebook.com/AlnourPartyOfficialPage>

[11] "On Masr Al-Ikhbariya", December 09, 2014, December 11, 2014 <http://www.onmasr.com/egypt/74779>

[12] Created in 2013, the coalition opposes the military coup on 3 July 2013, as a result of which ousted Muhammad Morsi. The membership of the coalition includes a variety of Islamist party "al-Hurriya VA al-ADL" (the Muslim brotherhood), "al-Wasat", "hizbu al-Bina WA Al-Tanmiya", "al-Watan", "al-Fadila", "hizbu al-ASALA, al-'Amal", "hizbu al-Watan". The latter broke away from the Salafi "Hizb UN-Noor"; also trade unions, individuals, students, retired officers, some Arab tribes. In August last year of its withdrawal from the coalition declared the Islamist party "hizbu al -Wasat". "As-Safir", December 06, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://assafir.com/Article/64/388440>

[13] "Al-Mayadeen", December 7, 2014, December 10, 2014 <http://www.almayadeen.net/ar/news/egypt-1VJUYYHq,EKD5qP6AOrS9Q/%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A3%D8%AA-%D8%AA%D9%81%D9%82%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%8A>

[14] Facebook, <https://www.facebook.com/MFAEgypt?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser>

[15] the Madhhab – school of Sharia law in Islam.


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