Egypt has witnessed a dramatic increase in terrorist attacks since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. North Sinai is the center of this insurgency that has killed around 500 people, mainly members of the security services but also civilians. The group called the Province of Sinai, originally Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, is the principal terrorist group active in Sinai and it has claimed responsibility for major attacks with high casualties on the peninsula.
More recently it also claimed responsibility for attacks in urban centers of Egypt. At the same time, there is news of smaller groups with unfamiliar names appearing on the terrorist scene, and smaller terrorist attacks are carried out on a regular basis that increasingly target civilian hotspots and that remain unclaimed. They hence can be considered lone wolf attacks with no clear group affiliation and they are turning the picture blurrier and more complex.
This policy workshop in Berlin aimed to explore, investigate, and better understand the multiple facets of Islamist militancy within Egypt in an interdisciplinary setting. It attempts to analyse the groups’ agendas and affiliations, the reasons for their appeal and their recruitment strategies as well as their financial structures. A critical assessment of measures adopted so far by the Egyptian government but also the West in dealing with the crisis should be undertaken and concrete recommendations for short- and mid-term policies to address this serious issue be developed.
- Analyze Islamist terrorist groups, their emergence, their appeal, their recruitment methods, and their financial structures;
- Deliberate on and develop potential policies for dealing with the growth of Islamist terrorism in Egypt (military and non-military measures such as de-radicalization measures) ;
- Bridge academic and non-academic discourses by bringing together researchers, policy makers, and other practitioners;
- Establish a network between Arab and European researchers, think tanks, activists, and officials involved in the study of Islamist militancy in Egypt.
The workshop brought leaders in CVE from Egypt, Lebanoon, United kingdom, Morocco, and Germany to share experience and discuss multiple approaches to counter terrorism with a focus on Egypt.