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Salafist leader offers to negotiate with Sinai kidnappers

Leader of Salafist Call in Alexandria says negotiated settlement to kidnap crisis is still possible, raises concerns over military buildup in Sinai Peninsula

Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 May 2013
Shaahat
Abdel Moneim El Shahat (Snap shot - Youtube video)
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A delegation from Salafist Call – Egypt's most powerful Salafist group – is seeking to communicate with the kidnappers of seven security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula, the group's leader said on Tuesday.

Salafist Call (Al-Daawa Al-Salafiya) is willing to negotiate with the kidnappers via mediators from Bedouin tribes, Abdel-Moneim El-Shahat, who is based in Alexandria, told Turkish news agency Anadolu.

"I believe the kidnappers think they have reached a point of no-return, but we [Salafist Call] have sent them a message stating there is still an opportunity [for negotiations], as was mentioned by the presidency," El-Shahat explained.  

The best solution would be for the kidnappers to release the captives, El-Shahat added.

El-Shahat also expressed concern about the military buildup in the peninsula. Egyptian troops have started combing towns and villages in the region which, according to El-Shahat, could provoke anger among the local Bedouin population.

Seven Egyptian security personnel, a conscript of the armed forces and six police personnel, have been held by unidentified kidnappers in the Sinai Peninsula since Thursday.

It is the first time Egyptian security personnel have been abducted by Sinai-based militants.

On Sunday, President Morsi said "all options" remained open to secure the release of the kidnapped security personnel, stressing that Egypt would "not be blackmailed" by the captors.

Egyptian police have been the target of several attacks by Sinai Bedouins over the past two years.

Residents of Sinai have often complained of neglect and marginalisation by the authorities, especially after the revolution, and some have sought to take revenge against the security forces after years of heavy-handed security policies.

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Roslyn
21-05-2013 10:02pm
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Leave it to the Professionals!
The delay in sending in the military is very dangerous, we can not negotiate with terrorists or criminals, and the kidnappers are one or the other or both. The Sinai Peninsular has become a hotbed of discontent as, the Bedouins have been ignored for so long, and now there is an increase in the terrorist and criminal elements, and if you 'negotiate' with them, this will lead to further actions of this kind. Mr El-Shahat should leave this situation to those experienced in this field, or is he like many these days, 'a jack of all trades, but a master of none'...Egypt has enough extremists damaging the security, society and tourism, we don't need El-Shahat to add to these problems anymore than he already has by causing friction with the security and military forces. If anything happens to these captives all hell will break loose on the Egyptian streets, and in the security forces.
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Al-Misry
21-05-2013 07:58pm
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Safai Leader is leader. But Not For YOU.
Here let me make some points. Diploma is the lowest form of adult education. Thank god the era of egyptian leaders with secular education system is dead yes DEAD. Our leaders will have to have with both Islamic Education and complimented by secular one. It is not too late for anyone to return back to their Islamic Education. It's essential for a Muslim society. Here what the Salafi leader is saying is :- Hey Egyptian army/government do not do anything silly like Kufars do by attacking the whole villages or towns like what is happenning in Nigeria, Tunizia , Syria etc. This leader is saying speak to the people of Sinai and we can negotiate and resolve this issue without the need to harm anyone on both sides. GET IT NOW ?
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Farid
21-05-2013 01:43pm
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Looking for Fame
Another NO-ONE person trying to be known by national sad event. Mr. Abdel-Moneim El-Shahat, would you like to answer: what is you education background of negotiating with kidnappers, do you have psychology diploma, which responsibility will you take if u fail and there will be casualties (hopefully not) ? Mr. Abdel-Moneim El-Shahat, please stay at home and let do the job to professionals.
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medo
21-05-2013 03:25pm
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@farid
Just to correct you, Abdel-Moneim is not a nobody, he is the man who thinks Nageeb Mahfouz's book are Harem and promote prostitution and drugs, he is also the man who said that the people who died at the port said massacre were not martyrs because football is also haram! The same man who wants to cover some of Egypt's most important statues in wax!! Far from being a nobody, he is a man with very dangerous views!!!!!
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