A violent Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group, the Hasm Movement, carried out several deadly attacks contributing to an overall increase in terrorism plaguing Egypt last year, according to the 2018 Global Terrorism Index report.
Deaths from terrorist attacks more than doubled in Egypt in 2017, as coded by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). Wilayat Sinai, the Islamic State's Sinai Peninsula affiliate, remains Egypt's deadliest group. Wilayat Sinai launched the deadliest attack in Egypt's history when 311 people were killed in November 2017 in a coordinated assault on the al-Rawda mosque.
The Islamic State in Egypt, which operates in the country's mainland and was responsible for 98 deaths in 2017, is the country's second-deadliest terror group. But beyond the Islamic State affiliates, the next most lethal Egyptian terrorist group is the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliate Hasm Movement. Hasm carried out seven attacks in 2017, resulting in 14 deaths.
While less lethal than Islamic State affiliates in the country, the Hasm Movement is relatively nascent, only emerging in 2016.
In June 2017, it detonated an "anti-vehicle explosive device" in Cairo "which led to the destruction to the military vehicle and the killing of two officers," according to a Hasm Movement statement released shortly after that attack.
Intelligence collected last year by Egypt's interior ministry suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood is establishing "terrorist entities," including the Hasm Movement and others, to carry out attacks in an attempt to conceal the Brotherhood's responsibility.
In May, Najah Ibrahim, a former leader of the terrorist organization Gamma'a Islamiya, revealed that these terrorist offshoots consist of Muslim Brotherhood youth seeking to escalate violence against the Egyptian regime. Ibrahim told al-Hayat news that some Brotherhood leaders encouraged the terrorist groups to commit violence, according to an IPT translation.
Muslim Brotherhood figures also engage in violent incitement and encourage others to conduct terrorist attacks.
In April 2017, a senior Muslim Brotherhood member, 'Izz Al-Din Dwedar, called for an "intifada" targeting Egyptian embassies around the world in protest of death sentences handed to members of the Brotherhood in Egypt at the time.
The terrorist group continues to pose a threat to Egyptian national security. Egyptian authorities foiled an alleged Hasm plot to attack during Egypt's presidential elections in March. The U.S. designated Hasm and Liwa al Thawra, another Brotherhood-linked group, as terrorist organizations in January.
Steven Emerson is executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. He was a correspondent for CNN and a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report. Read more reports from Steve Emerson — Click Here Now.
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