The threat of terrorism

Hani Raslan
Wednesday 11 Jan 2017

Did Sudan return to the policies of supporting terrorism that the regime had espoused back in the 1990s?

Following the horrific terrorist bombing in St's Peter Church in Abbasiya, Cairo, the suspect in this suicide attack was identified in a very brief time and also the cell that offered support and backup.

It became clear that the operation’s threads end at some of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation’s leaders resident in Qatar and that all the perpetrators are Muslim Brotherhood members who resorted to violence and belonged to factions known by specialised battalions.

It has also become evident that Mahmoud Shafiq, the person who carried out the bombing, was previously arrested in 2014. It was noticeable that the accused family — his mother and sister — asserted that he escaped to Sudan two years ago, that is after he was provisionally released. They added that he communicated with them by telephone.

This piece of information was widely circulated via audio-visual and written media and documented through video or live telephone calls with the accused family.

However, nobody paused before the extremely significant implications, its menacing repercussions and the indicators that caution against the hidden source of a wave or waves of forthcoming violence.

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article warning about Sudan’s return to policies of supporting terrorism which the Muslim Brotherhood Salvation regime embraced whence it seized power in the June 1989 coup.

It started with opening Sudanese lands for huge numbers of terrorist elements from various parts of the world. At that point, this regime offered support and shelter, opened camps for training and provided financial backing, especially for the operations and bombings that were executed at that time in Egypt.  

Afterwards operations developed to the extent of plotting the failed assassination attempt on former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa in 1995. Big Muslim Brotherhood Salvation leaders and their security bodies were implicated in this attempt whether in plotting, financing and offering logistics.

The late Hassan Al-Turabi, the leader and godfather of the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood, talked about this in documented detailed confessions broadcast by Al-Jazeera channel.

This caused a huge uproar inside and outside Sudan. It is right to say that the late Al-Turabi did not want to review his convictions and ideas, but he basically aimed at condemning and scandalising some of his disciples who turned against him, and ousted him from power, then imprisoned and insulted him.

However, the outcome was an unquestionable confirmation concerning the Muslim Brotherhood Salvation organisation’s practices. This organisation is returning to these practices now and repeating them with the same scenario and the old policies of denial and evasiveness where support and sponsorship of terrorism is presented in parallel with issuing public statements condemning it. 

We have referred to what was published on the sites of the Muslim Brotherhood members who fled to Turkey and some Arab Gulf states about the existence of hundreds of elements belonging to the Kamalist wing (referring to senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Kamal, who is believed to be responsible for the group's "armed wing") in Sudan.

Violent Muslim Brotherhood offshoots grew out of this wing calling themselves names such as “Hasm” (Decisiveness) and “Liwaa Al-Thawra” (The Revolution Brigade) and others that claimed responsibility for several bombings and assassinations inside Egypt.

Mahmoud Shafiq’s story clarifies the dangerous aspects and repercussions stemming from the transformation of Sudan into a safe haven for these elements. There, they receive sponsorship, training and moral mobilisation. Then they are driven towards Egypt to execute operations aimed at achieving complex objectives including preventing the return of tourism, weakening the economy, destabilising the country and spreading sedition under the sponsorship of a well-known regional alliance.

This requires that we contemplate the situation carefully and take the necessary measures to deal with the sources of menace, for currently there is no time to be patient and hope that rationality would prevail and cooperation and division of interests — which are evidently are being misunderstood — after the menace has revealed its ugly face and omens began gathering on the horizon.

The writer is head of the Nile Basin Studies Department at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.




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