Returning nightmare: Egypt seeks to stop replay of Luxor

Thursday, September 4, 2003

CAIRO Egypt has launched a drive to foil an attempt to revive a major Islamic insurgency group.

Egyptian authorities have arrested dozens of suspected members of the Gamiat Islamiya. The Gamiat has been banned for more than a decade amid its attacks on scores of Egyptian civilian and military targets.

The Gamiat has not carried out a major attack in Egypt since 1997 when 69 people, most of them tourists, were mowed down by Islamic insurgency gunmen in Luxor. The attack sparked massive condemnation of the Gamiat in Egypt and the insurgency group announced an unconditional ceasefire.

So far, officials said 37 suspected Gamiat members have been arrested and remanded in custody.

An official Egyptian statement said the detainees have been charged with planning to recruit for Gamiat. The statement said the defendants distributed what was termed subversive leaflets, Middle East Newsline reported.

Since then, elements of the Gamiat have sought to reconcile with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Authorities have allowed Egyptian state-owned newspapers to interview imprisoned Gamiat leaders who call for a reformation of the group and an end to violence.

Assuming the unassumable
Those who believe that an unplanned, random "Big Bang" explosion of unknown matter caused the formation of the numberless bodies of the cosmos have more faith that fanatics. They also conveniently ignore some obvious points of information: Read on . . .

Officials said Islamic insurgents have embarked on an effort to form a new Gamiat organization without ties to the current leadership in prison.

They said those arrested were not known to have been linked to the group. Interior Minister Habib Adly said Egypt has released nearly 2,000 members of the Gamiat. Adly said all of those released had demonstrated repentance.

The terms for the release, he said, were that the Gamiat members renounce violence and demonstrate a willingness to abandon the philosophy of holy war. So far, the minister said, none of the released insurgents has returned to their previous activities.

"Those who have been released are practising normal lives and openly declaring their rejection of violence," Adly said in an interview with the state-owned Egyptian weekly Al Mussawar.

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