Top News: Egyptian Military Kills Twenty-Seven Militants in Sinai

Military air strikes killed twenty-seven Islamic militants, and injured at least twenty others, in Egypt’s Northern Sinai on Friday in one of the biggest security operations in the region in months, security sources said. Apache helicopters targeted militants from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which pledges allegiance to Islamic State. 


Sisi founds new councils for national security, education, scientific research and foreign policy
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a presidential decree to establish four specialized councils focused on economic development; foreign policy and national security; education and scientific research; and community development, according a presidential statement released Thursday. The decree No. 60 of 2015 states that the councils must directly report back to Sisi.  However, the statement added that each council will be considered “independent.” Additional councils could potentially be established by another presidential decree. The president must also choose the managing coordinator for each group. Should Sisi be present in any of the councils’ meetings, he would chair the council. [Ahram Online, DNE, SIS, 2/6/2015]

Egypt unveils names of new governors
Four university professors, two judges, two army officers and several government officials are among the seventeen new Egyptian governors expected to be sworn in on February 7 in the first governor reshuffle since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s election. New governors are being appointed for the cities of Alexandria, Giza, Luxor, Ismailia, Kafr al-Sheikh, Mounifeya, Beheira, Daqahliya, Gharbeya, Sharqeya, Damietta, Assiut, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Sohag, Matruh and Port Said. Among the new governors are Hani Youssef Mohamed al-Messiri (Alexandria), General Magdi Ahmed Nasr al-Din Hassan (Port Said), General Alaa Abou Zeid (Matrouh) and university professor Khaled Zakaria al-Adly (Giza). A full list of the names can be found here. [Gulf News, 2/6/2015]


301 detained on protest charges: Interior Ministry Spokesperson
Spokesperson for the interior ministry Hany Abdel Latif said that the numbers of detainees arrested under the widely criticized protest law are 301, whose trials are pending. Many activists, among them members of the April 6 group, are currently in jail on charges related to this law. Hundreds of members from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood have also been reportedly detained under this law. Abdel Latif illustrated that since June 2013, the number of those detained on charges of protesting without legal permit was 2703 prisoners; however, officials have released 2402 of those individuals. [Ahram Online, 2/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • In latest Shura Council hearing, defense team decries baseless evidence | Mada Masr


Egypt’s energy reforms spark rush of oil and gas deals
Egypt’s willingness to push fuel market reforms and stick to debt repayment plans has led to an unexpected resurgence in oil and gas exploration and supply deals previously delayed by political upheaval. The country has emerged as a major new oil and gas market as the government looks to ease the worst energy crunch in decades. According to the energy ministry, Egypt has three major oil and gas deals worth a total of $9.2 billion underway after attracting $2.9 billion of investment for oil and gas exploration since November 2013. [Reuters, 2/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Free trade could make every Egyptian $897 richer yearly | DNE
  • Sisi promises a plethora of opportunities for economic summit guests | Egypt Independent


‘Imperialist powers’ behind chaos in region: Egyptian endowments minister
Egypt’s minister of religious endowments on Friday said recent militant attacks in Egypt are part of a plot by “imperialist powers to spread chaos in Egypt,” and added that Egypt’s army will defeat transregional militant group Islamic State (ISIS) – which he believes are part of the plot. In a conference on Friday, the minister, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, accused the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of attempting to carry out a plan to divide Egypt and destroy its army. Gomaa claimed that ISIS and other extremist groups are fighting a “proxy war for the Zionist entity and imperialists” and that “ISIS is being used to divide the Arab region into smaller territories for the interests of the Zionist enemy who wants to dominate it.” [Ahram Online, 2/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Wife of imprisoned Egyptian Al-Jazeera reporter issues plea | AP
  • Cairo’s Sadat metro station to reopen soon: Police | Ahram Online
  • Rights organization conference presses for appointment of casual workers | Egypt Independent
  • Security forces disperse five Brotherhood protests in Kafr al-Sheikh | Shorouk  (Arabic)
  • Security forces disperse rally by Brotherhood supporters in Mattariya | AMAY (Arabic)


Egyptian military kills twenty-seven militants in Sinai
Military air strikes killed twenty-seven Islamic militants, and injured at least twenty others, in Egypt’s Northern Sinai on Friday in one of the biggest security operations in the region in months, security sources said. Apache helicopters targeted militants from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which pledges allegiance to Islamic State. A security source told Aswat Masriya that the group was planning an attack against security forces. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 2/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian police impound almost 3 million firework shells |  Ahram Online
  • Three small bombs explode in Egypt’s 6 October city | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Five homemade bombs defused in Alexandria | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Nine Brotherhood members arrested in Damietta | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt’s foreign ministry slams reaction against recent life sentences
Egypt’s foreign ministry criticized on Friday the reaction of some countries and organizations against the life sentences handed to 230 defendants, including political activist Ahmed Douma, describing them as “unacceptable interference in the work of the Egyptian judiciary and disrespect to its rulings.” In addition to the international criticism, over a dozen Egyptian rights groups also condemned the verdict. The organizations, among them the Cairo International Institute for Human Rights, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information and Al-Nadeem Centre, issued a statement calling upon the country’s Supreme Judicial Council to interfere to put a stop to what it described as “a series of continuous collapse of (the) justice system,” demanding that the judiciary distance itself from “political conflict.” [Aswat Masriya, SIS, Ahram Online, 2/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • France, Egypt negotiating Rafale fighter jet deal: Newspaper | Reuters
  • US government seeks max twenty-five years in prison for Egyptian lawyer | AP
  • Egypt, Norway urge donors to pay $5.4 billion aid pledged for Gaza | Reuters
  • Combating terrorism to top Arab Summit’s agenda | SIS
  • Egyptian diplomat meets Asian countries ambassadors to discuss terrorism | SIS
  • Spain arrests gang smuggling Egyptian artifacts to allegedly fund extremists | Mada Masr