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ESW Week in Brief: January 25 – February 1, 2019


  • Egypt’s Interior Ministry said that it had arrested 54 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members on accusations of plotting operations to coincide with the anniversary of the January 25 Revolution.
  • On January 23, Hassm claimed responsibility for a failed IED attack in Giza.
  • On January 26, the military spokesman said that the armed forces had killed two Wilayat Sinai leaders in airstrikes conducted in North Sinai, though no further information was provided on their identities.
  • A fatal training accident involving the French-made Rafale fighter jet was reported during the French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Egypt.


54 Alleged Members of the Muslim Brotherhood Arrested in Interior Ministry Raid

An interior ministry announcement stated that a network allegedly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, known as “God’s Revolution,” planned to conduct operations on the eighth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, which led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak. In recent years, Egyptian security services have conducted operations in efforts to preempt any assembly on this date.

The interior ministry’s Facebook posting alleged that the members of “God’s Revolution” planned “acts of sabotage on public roads, the disruption of traffic, and spreading chaos.” The cell was alleged to have developed online and the interior ministry release named a Turkey-based opposition figure, Yasser al-Omda, as the network’s leader. Omda previously was reported to have organized an online movement called “Revolution of the Poor” in 2015. No physical locations of the arrests were provided in the statement.


Terrorist Group Hassm Reemerges With Responsibility Claim for Failed Attack in Giza

Hassm, a domestic Egyptian terror organization which was active in 2016 and 2017, claimed responsibility for an incident in Giza on January 23. Hassm claimed that the attack killed or wounded 10 members of the Egyptian security forces. Independent accounts of the incident said that Hassm militants were involved in a traffic collision, which detonated a car bomb, while it was in transit to its target. The event marks the first offensive activity taken by Hassm since October 2017, when the group claimed responsibility for detonating an improvised explosive device (IED) outside the Myanmarese embassy in Cairo. On December 20, Egypt’s interior ministry said it targeted Hassm cells throughout Cairo and Giza, killing eight and arresting four.


Egyptian Army Spokesman Says Egyptian Air Force Killed Two Wilayat Sinai Leaders

The Egyptian Military Spokesman Facebook page announced that the Egyptian Air Force had killed two Wilayat Sinai leaders in North Sinai. No further information accompanied the statement. A similar report emerged on December 2, from the Sinai Tribes Union, which claimed that armed forces had killed three Wilayat Sinai leaders in an unspecified operation.


Wilayat Sinai Claims Two Attacks

On January 26, Wilayat Sinai targeted a military bulldozer in an IED attack near the Arish airport. The next day, on January 27, Wilayat Sinai ambushed an Egyptian Army patrol near Rafah, killing an Egyptian soldier. The two operations bring Wilayat Sinai’s January 2019 operational total up to 18 operations.


Fatal Training Accident Coincides with French President’s Visit

A fatal training accident involving a French-made Rafale fighter jet coincided with French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Egypt. A single pilot was reportedly killed in the accident. Egypt began importing the Rafale fighters in 2015, buying a total of 24 aircraft, but failed to finalize an agreement with France during Macron’s visit to acquire 12 more. France surpassed the United States as the top exporter of arms to Egypt from 2013 to 2017.


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