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Author Topic: Egypt  (Read 55524 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: July 24, 2014, 10:03:18 AM »

Egypt: Deaths in policy custody, once a spark for revolt, now met by shrugs' (Louisa Loveluck, The Christian Science Monitor)

"With little public outcry, more than 80 people have died in custody over the past year, according to independent monitor Wikithawra. In June 2010, photos of the shattered face of Khaled Said, a young man killed in police custody, laid the groundwork for mass protests in Egypt against longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak. His downfall in February 2011 was a landmark in the so-called Arab Spring, which still has aftershocks roiling the region. 

Last July, Egypt's military ousted the country's first elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and launched an aggressive crackdown against dissidents. Egypt's police are back to the most brutal practices of the Mubarak era, and deaths in custody have surged once again. But this time popular anger is muted, as many swing behind a repressive security state as a bulwark against the chaos and sectarianism that came in Mubarak's wake, particularly after police retreated from the streets."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: August 20, 2014, 05:55:05 PM »



Click here to watch: New Group in Cairo Threatens to Carry Out Terror Attacks

A video has surfaced of a new terrorist group in Cairo that has threatened to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt. The group, which calls itself the "Helwan Brigades", released a video in which its members are seen holding weapons and saying, "Our message to [the Interior Ministry] is that you are our targets." “We are fed up with the peacefulness of the Muslim Brotherhood. We are no Muslim Brotherhood. We are fed up with their peaceful demonstrations. When we go on demonstrations, blood is shed, women are raped, and property is stolen,” said one member of the group. “This is a warning to the Interior Ministry in south Cairo. This is what we have throughout south Cairo. Our message to you is that you are our targets because of what you have done to us. You did not spare us. You did not care that we are your brothers. You have shed blood, raped women, and even got the women of Muslims pregnant,” he threatened. “None of you opposed this or was held accountable, because you support a coup. Your army is the Camp David army, which for 60 years [fought] the Muslims, but did not shoot a single bullet at the Jews,” he charged.

Watch Here

Egypt has been plagued by unrest and terrorist attacks for several years, and there has been an increase in attacks since the ouster last year of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi. Most of the terrorist attacks have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Among the attacks claimed by the group was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. The group has also claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks that targeted the Israeli resort city of Eilat. Egypt’s government has said there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: October 11, 2014, 02:51:35 PM »


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/world/as-egyptians-grasp-for-stability-sisi-fortifies-his-presidency.html?nlid=49641193&src=recpb&_r=0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: October 29, 2014, 12:57:16 PM »



http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29811722?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Mideast%20Brief&utm_campaign=2014_The%20Middle%20East%20Daily_10.29.14
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #354 on: November 02, 2014, 12:56:37 PM »



Click here to watch: Egypt Expels Gazans While the World sits Silently

Arab residents of Gaza were rounded up by armed soldiers and forced to flee their homes, which were promptly exploded in impressive plumes of dust and sand - but the soldiers were Egyptian, and there has been no international criticism of the buffer zone Egypt is establishing by force on the Gaza side of the Sinai border. In the buffer zone plan, Egypt is seizing and evacuating all homes and farmland up to 500 meters (over 1,640 feet) into Gaza, all along the 13 kilometer (over eight mile) border. Additionally, a channel with a depth and width of 20 meters (over 65 feet) will be dug along the Gaza border. The expulsion is in fact being sped up, after the Egyptian army said Saturday night it discovered hundreds more smuggling tunnels into Sinai from satellite imagery, reports the Arabic-language Sky News as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth. As of last week, 200 families living in the buffer zone area defined by Egypt had accepted a financial package to compensate their abandonment of their homes, but 680 more families were still refusing. Video uploaded on Saturday shows the expulsion in full steam, as Egyptian tanks and helicopters can be seen over a Gazan town. Armed soldiers go house-by-house and residents flee with all of their belongings loaded into cars, before cranes knock down their homes and explosions rend the air.

Watch Here

The Egyptian move follows two lethal terror attacks two weeks ago on Friday, in which at least 31 Egyptian soldiers were killed in El-Arish in the Sinai by a suicide bombing and a shooting attack. Egyptian sources revealed last week that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the attack through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai; the attacks were conducted by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis jihadists, members of a group sympathetic to Islamic State (ISIS). Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi justified the expulsion by citing the attacks, which led him to declare Sinai in a state of emergency, and insisting "Egypt is fighting a war of existence." Despite the fact that Hamas terrorists aim to destroy Israel, IDF actions to defend Israel from attack such as in the recent counter-terror operation have been met with a tidal wave of international criticism - the Egyptian expulsion of Gaza has been met with no such condemnation so far. Egypt has been cracking down on Hamas, in recent months banning the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot and implementing a siege on Gaza. While Egypt has deployed troops to the Sinai to fight the rampant jihadist terrorism in the region in coordination with Israel, concerns remain that the Egyptian disarmament of the peninsula as part of its peace agreement with Israel may be in danger of collapsing altogether, posing a potential military threat to Israel.

Source: Arutz Sheva


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #355 on: January 06, 2015, 09:15:37 AM »



•  A Libyan tribal leader said 13 Egyptian Coptic Christians were held by people smugglers, not abducted, and that they have been freed, however Egypt’s Foreign Ministry denies the report.


•  Masked gunmen killed two Egyptian policemen guarding a Coptic Christian church in Minya Tuesday, a day ahead of Coptic Christmas celebrations.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: January 30, 2015, 12:01:36 PM »

CAIRO — A series of simultaneous bombings targeting security facilities in the Sinai killed at least 26 people Thursday night, prompting fears that the Egyptian government’s campaign of home demolitions, curfews and sweeping arrests has failed to choke off a budding insurgency there.

The wave of bombings was the first major outburst of violence since the main Islamist militant group operating in the Sinai pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in November.

Through a Twitter account linked to the group, now known as the Sinai Province of the Islamic State, it claimed responsibility for the attacks on more than a half-dozen locations.

The assault, involving nearly simultaneous bombings in several places around the cities of Arish and Rafah, was the most complicated and widely coordinated terrorist attack in Egypt in years. It was also the deadliest attack in the Sinai since a multistage assault on a military checkpoint killed at least 31 people on the night of Oct. 24.

Indeed, the ambition of the attack suggested either that the Sinai militants may be following the advice, or the example, of the Islamic State extremist group, or perhaps that the Sinai outfit sought a spectacular attack to advertise its new affiliation.

Residents of the Sinai and the Egyptian state news media said that attackers had deployed multiple car bombs and mortars against several government targets: the North Sinai security headquarters in Arish, the provincial capital; a nearby army base; a hotel used by the police; a security camp near the border town of Rafah; and several checkpoints.

Al Ahram, Egypt’s flagship state newspaper, reported that its office in Arish had also been struck, although apparently only because it was near the security headquarters and not because it was a target.

Health officials said the bombings had injured more than 100 people, according to the state news media. “This means that the military does not control Sinai, as it claims,” said Khalil al-Anani, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who studies extremism. “The insurgency is getting stronger and stronger, and the government’s strategy is a failure.”

Borhan el-Beek, a resident of Arish, said his home was about 400 yards from a complex of security buildings that were attacked in four places about 7:30 p.m., not long after the start of the nightly curfew.

“Now there are soldiers and patrols filling the streets,” he said, “and I can see from my balcony there are tanks making the rounds.”

The army “has been fighting terrorism for a year and a half, and how are the percentages? Is it increasing or decreasing?” he asked. “In the North Sinai, we just don’t know.”

Islamist militants have long found a haven in the rugged and loosely governed Sinai Peninsula, capitalizing on its marginalization and the widespread resentment of the police. In the 18 months since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, however, the Sinai has become the center of a campaign of retaliatory attacks on Egyptian security forces that has become the most significant challenge to rule of Mr. Morsi’s successor, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

In an effort to combat the attacks, Mr. Sisi, a former defense minister, has ordered a virtual military occupation of the region. Helicopter gunships have destroyed homes and buildings believed to conceal militants. Residents describe large networks of police informants and widespread arrests.

After the embarrassment of the Oct. 24 attack, security forces announced the forced evacuation and demolition of more than 800 homes within about a kilometer of the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel. That ultimately led to the razing of much of the border town of Rafah.

The authorities said that was necessary to seal off tunnels under the border with Gaza, which they said had been used by militants to attack and escape.

But the scale of Thursday’s assault indicates that the militants have retained sufficient ability to operate despite the crackdown.

“They have displaced a lot of people, and that undoubtedly creates a lot of resentment and increases the atmosphere of permissiveness for this kind of violence,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

“It is clear that this extremely coercive approach is not working,” she added.

Spokesmen for the military and the police did not respond to requests for comment. Mr. Beek, the resident of Arish, said he wished the Sinai could return to the time before the surge in violence. He lamented the forced evacuations, strict curfews and constrictions on the ability to enter or leave the Sinai.

“More increases in the pressure on the citizens of Sinai, making them feel really like seventh- and eighth-rate citizens,” he said.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #357 on: February 16, 2015, 08:41:53 AM »

http://www.wsj.com/articles/egypt-strikes-islamic-state-targets-in-libya-1424071790?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories
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G M
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« Reply #358 on: February 16, 2015, 09:22:38 AM »


Wait, I thought Obama gave a speech in Cairo that was going to make all this go away.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: February 16, 2015, 09:28:51 AM »

A powerful and symbolic statement with ACTION by Al Sisi that I am sure the Coptics will note.
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G M
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« Reply #360 on: February 16, 2015, 09:47:43 AM »

A powerful and symbolic statement with ACTION by Al Sisi that I am sure the Coptics will note.


Well, I bet the U.S. State Department is working on a heck of a Twitter hashtag that will make ISIS really regret their junior varsity actions.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #361 on: February 16, 2015, 06:31:19 PM »

Wait, I thought Obama gave a speech in Cairo that was going to make all this go away.

Funny what difference 6 years can make.  More than half the country back then hoped that was true.  Now it is known that even air strikes won't stop this enemy. 

You earn peace in one of two ways, defeat or deter your enemies.  It is too late for this President to establish any deterrence and he seeks 'authorization' to prevent us from defeating anyone.  After losing the House, the Senate, 64% of the Governorships and 70% of the state legislative chambers, he is now in the process of guaranteeing the election of a Hawk to succeed him.
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G M
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« Reply #362 on: February 16, 2015, 07:42:24 PM »

Funny how Jordan and now Egypt have leaders who have stepped up to face this enemy and yet we have an empty chair. Eastwood was very prescient.

Then again, Obama's golf balls aren't going to hit themselves...
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c - Shadow Dog
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« Reply #363 on: February 16, 2015, 09:28:26 PM »

GM,

On the Point of Jordan and Egypt stepping up to the plate.  I like that regional powers are taking care of their own business on a local level. They don't need us to be the police man any longer.

TC
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ccp
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« Reply #364 on: February 17, 2015, 07:24:04 AM »

"he is now in the process of guaranteeing the election of a Hawk to succeed him."

Step right up the first female President:  Hillary.   "Break all those glass ceilings".  The Hawkster in waiting.   wink  Warrior woman.   Don't mess with this Amazon.

And that is partly what the Warren crowd is about.   She is a "war monger".  Poor code stink.  They won't know what to do.   We know they won't vote Republican.
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G M
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« Reply #365 on: February 17, 2015, 08:01:42 PM »

GM,

On the Point of Jordan and Egypt stepping up to the plate.  I like that regional powers are taking care of their own business on a local level. They don't need us to be the police man any longer.

TC

Yes, but they lack the ability to destroy ISIS. We are they only ones with the capacity to take them out.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #366 on: February 17, 2015, 09:37:38 PM »

ISIS has how many troops right now?  40,000? Scattered over how much terrain?

How many does Egypt have?  How many does Jordan have?  House of Saud?  UAE?  Kuwait?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #367 on: February 20, 2015, 08:13:08 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/02/19/pentagon-refuses-to-back-egyptian-bombing-of-isis-in-libya-after-christian-slaughter/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #368 on: March 06, 2015, 09:21:50 AM »

In recent weeks, Egypt has begun diluting its forces stationed along the Philadelphi route on its border with Gaza, Israeli defense officials warned Thursday. This move has prompted fear among defense officials that a terrorist takeover could occur in Sinai and violence against Israel would resume. Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi delighted the Israeli defense establishment when, in recent months, he allocated substantial resources to fight terrorism in Sinai - particularly, the destruction of smuggling tunnels between Sinai and Gaza as part of the construction of a buffer zone. However, with the threat of an Islamic State (ISIS) presence in Libya on its western border, Egypt has started transferring large numbers of forces there.

Watch Here

"Egypt is working according to its priorities, and at this time the Libyan border is more threatening," a defense official told Walla! News. "It is a border of more than a thousand kilometers being penetrated by ISIS terrorists, raging across Libya and murdering Egyptian citizens," he explained. "The transition of special forces from Sinai to the border with Libya will harm Egypt's pressure on terrorist organizations that may act against Israel," the official warned. While Israel's cooperation with Cairo in the fight against terrorism has tightened and been very effective in the past year, there is still cause for concern in Israel. In light of recent tensions with Washington, Cairo has begun to get closer with Russia, which could play against Israel in the future.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #369 on: March 21, 2015, 10:59:48 PM »

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-weekend-interview-islams-improbable-reformer-1426889862?mod=trending_now_4
Islam’s Improbable Reformer
‘We are keen on a strategic relationship with the U.S. above everything else,’ says Egypt’s new president. ‘And we will never turn our backs on you—even if you turn your backs on us.’
ENLARGE
Photo: Zina Saunders
By
Bret Stephens
March 20, 2015 6:17 p.m. ET
168 COMMENTS

Cairo

When then-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi appointed a little-known general named Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to be his new defense minister in August 2012, rumors swirled that the officer was chosen for his sympathy with the teachings of Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. One telltale sign, people said, was the zabiba on the general’s forehead—the darkened patch of skin that is the result of frequent and fervent prayer.

A pious Muslim must surely also be a political Islamist—or so Mr. Morsi apparently assumed. But the general would soon give the world a lesson in the difference between religious devotion and radicalism.

“There are misconceptions and misperceptions about the real Islam,” now-President Sisi tells me during a two-hour interview in his ornate, century-old presidential palace in Heliopolis. “Religion is guarded by its spirit, by its core, not by human beings. Human beings only take the core and deviate it to the right or left.”

Does he mean to say, I ask, that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are bad Muslims? “It’s the ideology, the ideas,” he replies.

“The real Islamic religion grants absolute freedom for the whole people to believe or not believe. Never does Islam dictate to kill others because they do not believe in Islam. Never does it dictate that [Muslims] have the right to dictate [their beliefs] to the whole world. Never does Islam say that only Muslims will go to paradise and others go to hell.”

Jabbing his right finger in the air for emphasis, he adds: “We are not gods on earth, and we do not have this right to act in the name of Allah.”
***

When Mr. Sisi took power in July 2013, following street protests against Mr. Morsi by an estimated 30 million Egyptians, it wasn’t obvious that he would emerge as perhaps the world’s most significant advocate for Islamic moderation and reform. His personal piety aside, Mr. Sisi seemed to be a typical Egyptian military figure. Unflattering comparisons were made to Hosni Mubarak, a former air force general and Egypt’s president-for-life until his downfall in 2011.

The similarities are misleading. Mr. Mubarak came of age in the ideological anti-colonialist days of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, trained in the Soviet Union, and led the air campaign against Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Anwar Sadat elevated him to the vice presidency in 1975 as a colorless second-fiddle, his very lack of imagination being an asset to Sadat. He became president only due to Sadat’s assassination six years later.

Mr. Sisi, now 60, came of age in a very different era. When he graduated from the Military Academy, in 1977, Egypt was a close American ally on the cusp of making peace with Israel. Rather than being packed off to Russia, he headed for military training in Texas and later the infantry course at Fort Benning, Ga. He returned for another extended stay in the U.S. in 2005 at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

Recalling the two visits, he notes the difference. “The U.S. had been a community that had been living in peace and security. Before 9/11, even the military bases were open. There was almost no difference between civilian life and life on a military base. By 2005, I could feel the tightening.”

The remark is intended to underscore to a visiting American journalist his deep sympathy with and admiration for the U.S. He also goes out of his way to stress that he has no intention of altering the pro-American tilt of Egyptian foreign policy, despite suggestions that he is flirting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin for potential arms purchases and the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

“A country like Egypt will never be mischievous with bilateral relations” with America, he insists. “We will never act foolishly.” When I ask about the delivery of F-16 fighters to Egypt—suspended by the U.S. after Mr. Morsi’s overthrow, and now pending a decision by President Obama—he all-but dismisses the matter.

“You can never reduce our relations with the U.S. to matters of weapons systems. We are keen on a strategic relationship with the U.S. above everything else. And we will never turn our backs on you—even if you turn your backs on us.”

There is also a deeper purpose to Mr. Sisi’s pro-American entreaties and his comments on 9/11: He wants to remind his critics of the trade-off every country strikes between security and civil liberties.

It’s a point he returns to when I note the anger and disappointment that so many Egyptian liberals—many of whom had backed him in 2013—now feel. New laws that tightly restrict street protests recall the Mubarak era. Last June several Al Jazeera journalists, including Australian reporter Peter Greste, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on dubious charges of reporting that was “damaging to national security,” though they have since been released. The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned, Mr. Morsi is in prison and on trial, and Egyptian courts have passed death sentences on hundreds of alleged Islamists, albeit mostly in absentia.

“My message to liberals is that I am very keen to meet their expectations,” Mr. Sisi rejoins. “But the situation in Egypt is overwhelmed.” He laments the Al Jazeera arrests, noting that the incident damaged Egypt’s reputation even as thousands of international correspondents “are working very freely in this country.”

Later, while addressing a question about the Egyptian economy, he offers a franker assessment. “In the last four years our internal debt doubled to $300 billion. Do not separate my answer to the question regarding disappointed liberals. Their country needs to survive. We don’t have the luxury to fight and feud and take all our time discussing issues like that. A country needs security and order for its mere existence. If the world can provide support I will let people demonstrate in the streets day and night.”

Sensing my skepticism, he adds: “You can’t imagine that as an American. You are speaking the language of a country that is at the top of progress: cultural, financial, political, civilizational—it’s all there in the U.S.” But if American standards were imposed on Egypt, he adds, it would do his country no favors.

“I talk about U.S. values of democracy and freedom. They should be honored. But they need the atmosphere where those values can be nurtured. If we can bring prosperity we can safeguard those values not just in words.”

All of this seems in keeping with Mr. Sisi’s military upbringing and reminds me of Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani general turned president. But the comparison is fundamentally inapt. Under Mr. Musharraf, Pakistan continued to make opportunistic deals with terrorists while giving safe harbor to leaders of the Afghan Taliban.

By contrast, it’s impossible to doubt the seriousness of Mr. Sisi’s opposition to Islamic extremism, or his aversion to exporting instability. In late February he ordered the bombing of Islamic State targets in neighboring Libya after ISIS decapitated 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Egypt’s security cooperation with Israel has never been closer, and Mr. Sisi has moved aggressively to close the tunnels beneath Egypt’s border with Gaza, through which Hamas has obtained its weapons.

Later this month, Mr. Sisi will host an Arab League summit, the centerpiece of which will be a joint Arab antiterrorism task force. He says he won’t put Egyptian boots on the ground to fight ISIS in Iraq, which he says is a job for Iraqis with U.S. help. And he takes care to avoid mentioning Iran’s regional ambitions or saying anything critical of its nuclear negotiations, which he says he supports while adding that “I understand the concern of the Israelis.”

But he does say the new force is needed “to preserve what is left” of the stable Arab world. In particular, he stresses that “there shouldn’t be any arrangements at the expense of the Gulf states. The security of the Gulf states is indispensable for the security of Egypt.”

He also decries the Western habit of intervening militarily and then failing to take account of the consequences. “Look, NATO had a mission in Libya and its mission was not accomplished,” he says. The U.N. continues to impose an arms embargo on Libya that adversely affects the legitimate, non-Islamist government based in Tobruk while “armed militias obtain an unstoppable flow of arms and munitions.”

“I wasn’t with the Gadhafi regime,” he says, “but there is a difference between taking an action and being aware of what that action will bring about. The risks of extremism and terrorism weren’t clear in the minds of the U.S. and Europe. It is really dangerous if countries lose control because extremists will cause them problems beyond their imagination.” The same lesson, he emphasizes, applies to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

But Mr. Sisi is not a dogmatic critic of muscular U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Pondering the prospect of a broad U.S. retreat from the region, Mr. Sisi sounds like the most enthusiastic proponent of Pax Americana.

“The United States has the strength, and with might comes responsibility,” he says. “That is why it is committed and has responsibilities toward the whole world. It is not reasonable or acceptable that with all that might the United States will not be committed and have responsibilities toward the Middle East. The Middle East is passing through the most difficult and critical time and this will only entail more involvement, not less.”

Meantime, Mr. Sisi sees it as his personal mission to save Egypt, even as he insists he has no intention of becoming another president-for-life. When I ask him to name Mr. Mubarak’s biggest mistake, he says simply: “He stayed in power for a long time.”

A day before our interview, I watched him close an investment conference in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he celebrated General Electric’s decision to invest to ease Egypt’s chronic power outages. He describes his economic philosophy as “the need to encourage the business community to come here and invest.” He constantly stresses the imperative of acting swiftly: “The magnitude of the effort needed to secure the needs of 90 million people is huge and beyond any one man’s effort.”

He’s also aware that the most important work will take time. In January Mr. Sisi went before the religious clerics of Cairo’s Al-Azhar university to demand a “revolution” in Islam. The follow-through won’t be easy. “The most difficult thing to do is change a religious rhetoric and bring a shift in how people are used to their religion,” he says. “Don’t imagine the results will be seen in a few months or years. Radical misconceptions [about Islam] were instilled 100 years ago. Now we can see the results.”

That’s not to say he doesn’t think it’s doable. “Popular sympathy with the idea of religion was dominating the whole scene in Egypt for years in the past. This does not exist anymore. This is a change I consider strategic. Because what brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power was Egyptian sympathy with the concept of religion. Egyptians believed that the Muslim Brothers were advocates of the real Islam. The past three years have been a critical test to those people who were promoting religious ideas. Egyptians experienced it totally and said these people do not deserve sympathy and we will not allow it.”

Throughout our interview, Mr. Sisi has been speaking in Arabic through an interpreter. But after delivering this point, he said in colloquial American English, “You got that?”

Mr. Stephens writes the Journal’s “Global View” column.
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