President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is now back home in Egypt to deal with the outcome of the deadly terrorist attacks against the Egyptian police and army in the northern Sinai capital city of Arish. The attacks left more than 30 Egyptians dead, among them two children, and dozens wounded. The militant Islamist group Sinai Province, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack which targeted police offices in Arish, a military base and a military hotel. A car bomb which later exploded at the rear gate of the military base drastically raised the number of casualties. Several army checkpoints in the city were also targeted. A military funeral was held for the victims.
The President cut short his visit to Addis Ababa where he was taking part in the African Union summit. The whole world has condemned the terrorist attack, but Islamists have hailed it as a triumph.
The attack, which left behind an unprecedented number of civilian and military victims, has shocked and horrified Egypt and her armed forces. Egypt bid her dead a last farewell with a bleeding heart. Today, she embraces their families, wipes their tears, and stands tall and proud, unbroken and persistent in pursuing her war of destiny against terrorism.
We all realise that the war against terrorism will not end overnight; the greatest nations throughout history suffered much and long at the hands of terrorists before they finally defeated them. And even after defeating terrorism, no one can claim to be safe from another sudden, vicious, satanic terrorist attack at a time when it is least anticipated. It is no secret that there is a huge difference between terrorism and wars and battles where armies confront one another face to face according to established rules and ethics. In case of terrorism, however, evil lurks in the dark waiting to pounce at any time and in any place, hitting and shattering unarmed and unwitting individuals who have nothing to do with the battle. No ethics or rules whatsoever are in force; it is field day for brutality, viciousness and vintage evil.
This is the time for Egyptians to stand side by side, hand in hand behind their leadership, President, and Armed Forces in the face of terrorism. I am confident that Egypt’s leaders realise, following the tragic loss of lives and the ruin planted by the recent terrorist attack, that the wrath of the people of Egypt at the atrocious tyranny of the terrorists has reached the point where it cannot be assuaged by elegant rhetoric or political declarations. Now is the time to make the terrorists pay for their crimes. The enemy on our borders should be bravely and courageously confronted. The dignity of Egypt should be restored and honoured in the face of those enemies who gloat over her pain and believe that terrorism can bring her to her knees. Never!
30 January 2015