Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Egypt’s security foils 98% of terror attacks: Fayoum governor | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55334694

Armored personnel carriers (APC) of the Egyptian Army patrol on a road close to El Gorah in northeastern Sinai, Egypt, 21 May 2013. (EPA)

Armored personnel carriers (APC) of the Egyptian Army patrol on a road close to El Gorah in northeastern Sinai, Egypt, 21 May 2013. (EPA)

Armored personnel carriers (APC) of the Egyptian Army patrol on a road close to El Gorah in northeastern Sinai, Egypt, 21 May 2013. (EPA)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s security and military authorities are more than capable of defending the country from terrorist attacks, Fayoum Governor Hazem Atteya-Allah told Asharq Al-Awsat after dodging an assassination attempt earlier this week.

Unidentified gunmen fired on the governor’s convoy in Fayoum on Friday while he was touring the province. Gunman fired on a decoy car that had been used by Atteya-Allah during the provincial tour, but which he was not in at the time of the attack.

Although the governor was riding in a different convoy, members of his protection detail were present in the car which was fired on. Egyptian authorities said they are doing everything in their power to investigate the attack and pursue those responsible.

Fayoum, located approximately 100 km south of the capital Cairo, is home to a large number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and has seen significant violence and terrorism since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013. The Egyptian government has banned the group, accusing it of being behind a number of terrorist attacks in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula.

Speaking following Friday’s incident, Atteya-Allah told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Although there are daily reports of violence and terrorism in the governorate, Egypt’s security apparatus have shown that they are capable of foiling 98 percent of these.”

He added that the situation in the restive governorate has improved over the past year, particularly following the election of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. “The Muslim Brotherhood’s mobilization attempts have decreased significantly over the past few months. We no longer see mass protests in the governorate, but there are still lone-wolf terrorist attacks that may continue for a while due to the difficulty of dealing with this,” he said.

The Fayoum governor said that Cairo is doing everything in its power to confront terrorism and violence, adding that the Egyptian government has pledged additional funds to aid in the war on terror.

He added that Fayoum governorate, located in central Egypt, will launch a number of important financial and tourism projects in 2015. The specifics of the landmark projects are set to be announced at an economic summit set to take place in Sharm Al-Sheikh later this year.

President Sisi had earlier announced the summit at the Davos World Economic Forum inviting world leaders and investors to the Sharm Al-Sheikh economic summit as part of efforts to boost Egypt’s flagging economy.

Speaking about the assassination attempt on his convoy, Atteya-Allah confirmed that Egyptian authorities had received information of a pending attack and increased his protection detail.

Just one day after Friday’s assassination attempt, two gunmen were killed close to the Fayoum governor’s residence in an exchange of fire with police forces. It is unclear what relation, if any, Saturday’s attack has to Friday’s assassination attempt.

“Investigations are ongoing to find out what happened and determine if there is any link between the two incidents,” Atteya-Allah told Asharq Al-Awsat.

However an Egyptian security official, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said that the two gunmen had fired on the governor’s residence and been killed in the ensuing exchange of fire with palace guards.