Egypt State Information Service (SIS)
Analytical statement by State Information Service about Badrashin terrorist incident and Hurghada attack
Friday، 14 July 2017 - 09:58 PM
Within the past few hours of Friday, July 14, 2017, a terrorist attack took place in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Giza when unidentified gunmen opened fire against a security checkpoint leaving five policemen dead.
Also on Friday, a knife attack took place when an attacker assaulted tourists with a knife in Hurghada leaving two German tourists dead and four others wounded; all are foreigners.
First: The attack against policemen
Statistics about terrorist operations in Egypt over the past four years indicate that police forces were the prime target in these terrorist attacks together with the Armed Forces.
Despite the fact that terrorist attacks against police forces and their headquarters continued, a major change in these attacks was noticed over the past two years as terrorists could not continue in targeting security directorates or police stations after the two major blasts that targeted Cairo and Daqahliya security directorates in 2013 and 2014. The terrorist groups started attacking with explosive charges in northeastern Sinai or with fire arms in other parts of Egypt targeting mobile and fixed checkpoints.
This change has several meanings and indications atop of which are:
- An increase in the ability of the Egyptian police to protect their headquarters of security directorates and police stations which amount to hundreds grouping scores of thousands of staffers. This paralyzed the terrorist groups and prevented them from attacking these facilities with explosive charges or through suicide operations or with fire arms.
- Although several terrorist attacks took place against mobile and fixed security checkpoints, their number is still limited compared to the number of these checkpoints which amount to thousands in number that are deployed nationwide and on daily basis. This confirms that the terrorist groups became lacking fighters and arms thanks to the successive security strikes against them. This also refutes rumors that these groups are jeopardizing the security situation in Egypt.
- The geographic distribution of these terrorist attacks against mobile and fixed checkpoints indicates that they do not include all parts of the country. Rather they are confined to northeastern Sinai which are perpetrated by some groups loyal to Daesh terrorist organization. They are confined also to certain areas in Greater Cairo, especially in the outskirts of Giza and Qalyoubia governorates. These areas are infamous for the activities of the terrorist Brotherhood group and its allies of other terrorist groups long time ago.
- In most of the terrorist attacks against mobile and fixed checkpoints, the police managed to arrest the perpetrators and take them to court which convicted them.
Before starting a general analysis of attacks against tourists in Egypt over the past years, we should keep in mind several important points that are related to the Hurghada attack which took place earlier today:
- The investigation authorities did not announce the outcome of their questioning of the attacker who was arrested immediately after the operation. They did not also announce his motives behind committing the attack and whether it is of terrorist nature or not.
- Some sources indicated that the two victims are foreigners who are staying in Hurghada where they working. This will be taken into consideration during investigations regarding the motives behind the attack.
- The attack took place in a tourist resort in downtown Hurghada which is adjacent to a public beach from which the attacker entered the resort. This shows two things; firstly, the attacker was unable to have an access into the resort given the tight security measures at all tourist resorts and villages in the Red Sea governorate in particular and in all Egypt in general. Secondly, the majority of the 260 tourist resorts in the Red Sea governorate are located in coastal areas that enjoy a high degree of natural protection along with police security.
- This attack with a knife is similar to that which took place in Hurghada in 2016 and did not leave any dead bodies. This indicates that they are individual acts where their perpetrators do not have any organizational capabilities or weapons to commit larger operations.
As for attacks against tourist areas in Egypt over the past four years; this has several important indications; the most important of which are:
- These terrorist attacks against tourist targets in Egypt have decreased largely over the past 20 years since the terrorist attack in Luxor in November 1997 which left 59 victims.
- Tourists in Egypt over the past four years came under very few terrorist attacks; some of them with knives that left very few casualties.
- Some limited terrorist attacks took place in some tourist areas but they targeted mobile and fixed security checkpoints not tourists or the tourist sites. These attacks caused very few damage while many others were thwarted like that of 2015 in Luxor's al-Karnak Temple and that of the Pyramids area.
- The blast of the Russian plane that took off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport in October 2015 is deemed the major terrorist attack over the past four years. It is still under investigation by the Egyptian and Russian authorities. This attack led to adopting tight security measures at all Egyptian airports with massive international participation. This state of affairs led to remarkable positive results the recent of which was lifting an embargo by the U.S. on taking mobile computers and other electronic devices on board of EgyptAir planes taking off from Cairo airport to the U.S.
- The decrease of terrorist attacks against tourists in Egypt over the past few years confirms the presumption that terrorist groups are now lacking organizational capabilities and arms thanks to successive security strikes. It also refutes rumors about their threat to tourism in Egypt.
- Reviewing the terrorist operations over the past two years in several countries; especially inFrance in 2015 and 2016 and in Belgium Turkey, Germany and Britain shows that the victims of foreign tourists in these countries are very big in number. For example, Nice attack in France left victims from 27 countries. Also, in Brussels, the victims were from 11 countries besides Belgian citizens. Analysts in these countries did not speculate that these attacks would constitute a threat to tourism in these countries as some people are trying to propagate in the case of Egypt.