Egypt Daily Update: Islamic State Leader Calls on Egyptians to Join Group

May 5, 2017

Egypt IS Leader Tells Muslims to Avoid Christian Gatherings

Court Releases Brotherhood Leader on Bail

Eight Alleged Militants Killed in Clashes with North Sinai Tribe

Cartoon of the Day: The Economy

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Islamic State Leader Calls on Egyptians to Join Group

In an interview in an Islamic State (IS) outlet, an unnamed  IS leader in Egypt, labeled as the “Emir of the Soldiers of the Caliphate in Egypt,” warned Muslims to “stay away from Christian gatherings, as well as the gatherings of the army and the police, and the areas that have political government facilities.” The statement “attempts to justify” attacks on churches, and it suggests plans for additional attacks on what the leader referred to as “legitimate targets.” IS militants bombed two Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday last month. The leader also called on Egyptians to join the Islamic State or to conduct solitary attacks if they cannot join the group. Analyst Mohktar Awad suggested, after the statement’s release, that the Islamic State has been “frustrated w/lack of popular support for them in Egypt.”

In other news, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated in a television interview this week that the disputed Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir “are recorded as Saudi islands in the Egyptian, Saudi, and international records.” The Prince also denied any tension between Cairo and Riyadh regarding the demarcation of the islands. The agreement to transfer control of the islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia has been contentious in recent months; the High Administrative Court ruled against the transfer in January, then the Court of Urgent Matters struck down the Administrative Court ruling in April. Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal referred [Ar] the issue to the Parliamentary Constitutional and Legislative Committee soon after the latter ruling.

Court Releases Brotherhood Leader on Bail

On Thursday, an Egyptian criminal court ordered the release of prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Hassan Malek on EGP 20,000 bail. He will be tried on charges of harming Egypt’s economy and financing the Brotherhood, which the Egyptian government designated as a terrorist organization in 2013. Malek has been detained awaiting trial since October 2015, when he was arrested from his home. His assets, along with those of other Brotherhood leaders, were frozen in September 2014.Meanwhile, a Cairo criminal court exonerated Mohamed Ali Allam, a man previously sentenced to death after allegedly participating in clashes in Giza following former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. Allam was charged with murdering a child and attempting to murder other individuals during the clashes. He was sentenced in July 2016 in absentia along with five co-defendants and received a retrial after he was arrested.

Eight Alleged Militants Killed in Clashes with North Sinai Tribe

The North Sinai Bedouin tribe Al-Tarabin announced in a statement that eight alleged Islamic State-affiliated militants were killed in clashes with the tribe, while two tribesmen were injured. The tribe also captured three additional militants and the individual responsible for leading the patrols in the area was arrested. According to the statement, the clashes occurred after the militants killed a woman and kidnapped her husband and two of her sons earlier this week in the North Sinai town of Rafah.

Cartoon of the Day: The Economy

Mohamed Anwar
Al-Masry Al-Youm05/04/2017

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