An update on this story and more about how poverty (well, at least when mixed thoroughly with Islam) causes terrorism. “Leader of School Singing Group turns to Terror after facing Mother’s Death and Poverty,” from AP, with thanks to EPG:
SHUBRA EL-KHEIMA, Egypt – Once the cheerful leader of a school singing group, Ehab Yousri Yassin underwent a drastic change a few years ago, mingling with Islamic extremists, talking only about religion and forcing his sisters to wear head-to-toe veils.
Residents of this impoverished city on Cairo’s northern outskirts provided insights into the 24-year-old’s life Sunday, a day after security officials said he blew himself up while jumping from a bridge in central Cairo during a police chase.
The explosion killed Yassin – suspected of involvement in an April 7 suicide bombing in a crowded Cairo bazaar – and injured seven others, including four foreigners.
Less than two hours later, police claim, one of Yassin’s sisters and his fiancee, enraged by his death, opened fire on a tourist bus carrying Austrians before killing themselves. The tourists escaped injury, but two Egyptians in the area were wounded…
Yassin’s friends and relatives were held for questioning in Saturday’s violence and suspected connections to local terror networks.
Police played down the attacks as the work of amateurish militants, but opposition groups and security experts blamed Egypt’s controversial decades-old emergency laws, which give security forces broad powers, including great leeway in carrying out arrests. They say the laws create an oppressive environment that breeds violence and extremists like Yassin.
Laws that are designed to control terrorism actually cause terrorism? Is George Orwell writing this piece?
Yassin grew up in the crowded streets of Ezbet al-Gabalawi, a Shubra el-Kheima district. People said he was a polite and happy leader of a school singing group before adopting hardline Islamic views about four years ago.
“He forced his sisters to wear the Islamic veil and had gone too far into Islamic extremism,” said one of Yassin’s friends, Tamer Sayyed. “Yassin started to quarrel with his father and criticize others for subjects they used to talk about, instead of speaking about Islam. That made his friends decide to distance themselves from him.”
So how far into Islam is “too far?” How far do you have to go to become an “extremist”? Where is the dividing line? Is it made clear in the mosques?
Muna Rashad, a pharmacist who worked for 16 years close to the apartment building in which Yassin’s family lived, said her initial surprise at hearing the news faded when she recalled how Yassin and his sisters had changed.
“(Yassin) was good, smiling and behaved well when he used to come to buy medicine and talk to me, but he changed later when he used to mingle with Islamic fundamentalists coming to visit him from the other neighbourhood,” Rashad said.
Asked why Yassin turned to extremism, Rashad blamed the death of his mother a few years ago and the city’s poverty.
“Poverty kills the brain,” she added.
That’s why there are so many Haitian terrorists and suicide bombers.