“Militant calls for attacks on targets in Egypt,” from Reuters:
DUBAI – A man described as a leader of Al Qaeda’s wing in Egypt called for attacks on Israeli and Western targets in the Arab world’s most populous country in support of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
“˜O heroes, strike … all the Zionist-Crusader targets in the land of Egypt without shedding the blood of Muslims,” Mohamed Hakaima, a former leader of Egypt’s Gama”a Islamiya militant group, said in a statement posted on the Internet.
Egyptian experts on Islamist groups say they doubt Al Qaeda has an organised
presence in Egypt or that Hakaima, who is believed to be in Afghanistan, has followers in the country.
Kamal Habib, a former Gama”a leader, told Reuters on Sunday: “˜I don’t believe that Al Qaeda has a presence in Egypt. I don’t think that Hakaima has any supporters in Egypt.”
Are you sure about that?
“˜Al Qaeda does not have a presence in the organisational sense. There may be
some people who believe in the ideas of Al Qaeda,” added Habib, who is now an expert on Islamist groups.
He’s an “expert.” Apparently that’s all Reuters needed to accept his opinion at face value, at least while the “Super Genius” of the desert Southwest was busy chasing roadrunners.
The deputy leader of Al Qaeda, Egyptian Islamist Ayman Al Zawahri, named Hakaima last year as one of a group of Gama”a members who had joined force with Al Qaeda.
But Egyptian experts said that Hakaima was not a major player and they cast doubt on Zawahri’s claim that the numbers who had joined amounted to a “˜big faction”.