‘If Egyptian govt carries on as usual we’ll see more efforts to disrupt that’
Three blasts hit Cairo on Friday, targeting police HQ, a metro station and a police station, and claimed at least five people and injured scores of others.
RT:What is it like in Cairo right now, as far as its people are concerned?
HM: The country is under very tight security at the moment. Tomorrow [on Saturday - RT] is the third anniversary of the uprising that overthrew the long-standing President Mubarak. It always looked like it was going to be a major event that could see more civil disruption and disturbances. Various groups have promised that they will go to demonstrate, including the Islamists and the liberals, like the April 6 movement. So the country was already geared up for that, and there are many more soldiers on the streets and neighborhoods, all over Cairo there are tanks on many street corners. Police stations are very fortified now with barbed-wire and [there are] many, many soldiers all looking very well-armed. [There is] very much a feeling that this country is under really tight military governance at the moment.
RT:There's speculation that the timing of the attacks is linked to the anniversary of the 2011 revolution. What do you make of the timing? What does it say about the state of the crisis in Egypt?
HM: Unfortunately, it shows us that the Islamist movement who is presumably responsible for this bombing, though no evidence has been produced, but it looks like it could be the work of one of those jihadi groups in Sinai who have claimed responsibility for previous attacks, they are not going to go away. It is not going to be possible for the Egyptian government just to pretend that the Islamists did not win 5 elections and were kicked out of power. They can’t just carry on business as usual. And if they try to carry on business as usual, then we will see that there will be efforts to disrupt that.
RT:What do you think the attackers hope to achieve? What's the message to Egypt's interim government, which is still celebrating the 'Yes' result in the constitution referendum?
HM: We don’t know who is behind these bombings, but what it seems likely is as I said, that it is a part of the bombings carried out by jihadi militants with links to the war which is raging in Sinai. The message to the Egyptian government is that “We, the Islamist movement, or the extremists, we do not accept your constitution, we do not accept your government, we see you as traitors and we want to bring the whole house crashing down.” That’s the message.
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