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Arab Spring
December 20, 2013

Fear and Loathing in the Sinai

Emily Dyer

First published in The Journal of International Security Affairs

Just weeks after overthrowing President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the Egyptian military launched a campaign against “violence and terrorism” in the country, featuring a large-scale crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Some 1,000 Egyptians protesting Morsi’s ouster at the hands of the Egyptian armed forces were killed  and thousands more injured. Today, the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership has either fled the country or been thrown into jail, and the recently-banned group is looking defeated and desperate. Nevertheless, given the Egyptian military’s violent measures, it is likely that many Muslim Brotherhood supporters will turn to violence to achieve their political aims.

Egypt’s Coptic Christian minorities are already feeling the full force of the recent violence; more than 30 churches were set afire in the months that have followed the military “coup.” Another front has opened as well. Frustrated Islamists are flocking to the North Sinai to establish a base among jihadist groups already operating there, dramatically expanding the threat of terrorism against the Egyptian state. While the military launched its largest crackdown against the terrorist threat in August, the threat remains real.

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Emily Dyer

About Emily Dyer

Emily joined the Henry Jackson Society as a researcher in January 2012. She is currently researching women’s rights in Egypt having recently co-authored Al-Qaeda in the United States: A Complete Analysis of Terrorism Offenses. Emily previously worked as a Higher Executive Officer for the Preventing Extremism Unit at the Department for Education, where she wrote several papers on extremism within educational settings. Beforehand she was based at the Policy Exchange think tank. Emily has written for a broad range of publications including The Observer, The Telegraph, The Huffington Post, City AM, The Atlantic, CTC Sentinel and Standpoint magazine, largely on women’s rights in the Middle East, extremism, and human rights. Emily studied International Relations from the University of Birmingham, where she produced a First class dissertation on Islamic feminism in Iran, and has travelled widely within Syria and Turkey.

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