Egypt sets up national council to fight terrorism

Egypt sets up national council to fight terrorism
Egyptian policemen check the bags of passengers at a security check point in Al Shohadaa "Martyrs" metro station, formerly know as "Mubarak", in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday. Egypt has been reeling from terrorist attacks in the past months. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Updated 26 July 2017

Egypt sets up national council to fight terrorism

Egypt sets up national council to fight terrorism

CAIRO: Egypt established a national council for combating terrorism on Wednesday, giving it broad authority to set policies aimed at “fighting extremism,” a presidential decree stated.
Egypt has been battling an Daesh-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers since 2013, though attacks have increasingly moved into the mainland in recent months.
After two deadly church bombings earlier this year claimed by Daesh that killed at least 44 people, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared a state of emergency and pledged to establish a national council that would root out extremism.
El-Sisi has sought to present himself as an indispensable bulwark against terrorism in the Middle East, but human rights activists say he has quashed freedoms and suppressed the political opposition since he was elected in 2014.
Wednesday’s decree established “The National Council to Confront Terrorism and Extremism aimed at mobilizing institutional and societal resources in order to curtail the causes of terrorism and treat its effects.”
The council is chaired by El-Sisi and includes the head of parliament, the prime minister, the head of Al-Azhar, and several ministers.
It is tasked with formulating a “comprehensive national strategy” to combat terrorism and “proposing amendments to existing legislation,” as well as creating job opportunities in areas with high levels of extremism and promoting moderate religious discourse, the decree stated.