The Nature of the Insurrection

From McClatchy, an article full of interesting anecdotes on the Islamist youth committing violence in the Nile Delta:

In Sharqia province, which sits just between Cairo and the restive Sinai, eight police officers have been killed in just three weeks, each by a motorcyclist who pulled up to them in traffic and shot them, usually in the head, according to Mohammed el Khatib, the general coordinator of the police union.

This is what makes the news, but testimonies of the youth reveal something a little different:

In December, they tried to set a police officer’s car on fire but were so inexperienced they failed. Then last month, they decided to launch three attacks on the same day, to distract the police from their protests. In addition to setting the police officer’s home ablaze, they planned to bomb a train. But they couldn’t trigger the explosion, so they settled for setting it on fire.

The third attack came when Saleh pointed a gun at nearby residents while his friends set a stationary shop belonging to Mohsen Said Mtwaly, 65, a retired general who’s a supporter of Field Marshall Abdel Fatah el-Sissi, the minister of defense who engineered Morsi’s ouster and now is the presumed front-runner for still-to-be-set presidential elections. A photo of Sissi sits in the store’s display window.

The interviewed youth say they have no share in the killing of officers, and this is what proves their methods as ‘peaceful’.

Interesting also is why they supported the presidency of Morsi, quite opposite from the international rhetoric of the Brotherhood:

The three young men said they first organized during Morsi’s presidency when he called for projects to renew Egypt. They hoped to create an Islamic caliphate, they said. They felt that if Egypt could be ruled by Islamists, then other countries would follow and soon the region would become one big caliphate. But they never got a chance to start their movement.

Debutantes in violence may become more professional, as many of the terrorist attacks in Egypt have proven. More disturbing is this account of local police efforts to stop it:

As he cleaned up the debris three weeks after the attack, Mtwaly was unapologetic about urging residents to reject Morsi’s administration.

“I know the Muslim Brotherhood very well and they have no national agenda,” Mtwaly said. “I used to tell people they are not good for you. They want to steal the country.”

Mtwaly said he backs the police and is confident they will find the men who set fire to his shop, unaware that McClatchy already had tracked them down.

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