Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Syrian, Palestinian Roles Seen in Egypt Street Violence

July 12, 2013 11:31 am 1 comment

Screen shot of Egyptian security forces squaring off against protestors in Cairo, Egypt, July 8, 2013. Photo: CBS News.

Late last month, as millions of protesters converged in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other Egyptian cities demanding President Mohamad Morsi’s ouster, tens were killed and hundreds injured, many of them by pro-Morsi gunmen firing into crowds (one such volley can be heard in video footage of a protest in Assiut, where four people were killed). Rumors began circulating that some of the shooters were Syrians and Palestinians paid by the Brotherhood to disrupt the protests.

There is growing evidence that the rumors are true. On July 6, the Central Cairo Prosecution announced that it had a Syrian national in custody, Mohamed Hassan al-Berdkany, who was arrested a day earlier while firing birdshot at protestors from Qasr Al-Nile bridge leading to Tahrir Square. Berdkany, who fled with his family from Syria after the start of its civil war, admitted to receiving cash and a shotgun from the Brotherhood. He named another Syrian, Ahmed al-Soury, as a key figure recruiting Syrians to join Brotherhood protests. He also identified a Palestinian, Bassel al-Feroun, as responsible for paying Palestinians to take part.

Little information about the investigation has been made public, and it is not clear how extensive foreign involvement in the Egypt crisis has been or whether senior Brotherhood leaders signed off on it. Nevertheless, Egypt’s new interim government appears to be taking the threat very seriously. The Interior Ministry released a statement advising Arab expatriates to avoid demonstrations, ostensibly for their own safety. On July 8, authorities issued a decree requiring Syrian nationals to obtain a visa and security permit before entering the country (under Morsi they were allowed in unconditionally) and began enforcing it a few hours later by deporting 276 Syrians who had just arrived from Damascus and Beirut.

The concern seems to be that Syrian refugees in Egypt (more than 77,000, according to UNHCR; otherestimates put the number at over 150,000) constitute a ready pool of recruitment for Islamist provocateurs eager to maintain plausible deniability. Most are relatively poor Sunni Muslims, have no prior connection to the Brotherhood infrastructure in Egypt, and are concentrated in urban areas where major protests take place. They are generally sympathetic to Morsi, who went to bat for them in June by closing the Egyptian embassy in Damascus and calling for a no-fly zone in Syria, despite the fact that there is less (and less intense) popular support for the rebels in Egypt than in many other Arab states (evident from polling and the breakdown of non-Syrian Arabs killed fighting for the rebels).

1 Comment

  • I believe SYRIANS are the SAME ONES who are decapitating Christians in Egypt as well…I have seen “their dirty work” on several YOU TUBE videos, how they maliciously severe the heads of innocent men,Christians, apostates, etc…and I know these are the ones who are capable of doing these gruesome murders to the Coptics in Egypt…They should NOT be allowed to enter Egypt PERIOD!!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Jewish former CNN host Larry King asked a Saudi Arabian fan if taking pictures with Jews is allowed in his country, before agreeing to pose for a photo with the man, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The world-famous interviewer was leaving the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. with a New York Times reporter when a “dark-skinned man” approached and asked to take a picture with him, according to the publication. Whereupon, King asked the fan where he was from. When the man said Saudi […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    British-Jewish business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar joked on Wednesday that London synagogues will likely be empty during Yom Kippur with congregants fleeing to watch the match-up of two leading English soccer teams known for having hordes of Jewish fans. “Spurs V Arsenal cup game drawn on most important Jewish festival,” Lord Sugar pointed out on Twitter. “Both teams have loads of Jewish fans. Conclusion Synagogues will be empty.” North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC will go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup third-round […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Two Jewish men were the only unwitting participants in a social experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel, for his popular TV show. As part of a candid-camera-like sketch featured Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host devised different street scenes to observe human behavior — in particular, to see how long it would take people walking down California’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard to notice and interact with others in distress. One scene involved a man in a Spongebob Squarepants costume who had “fallen down” on the sidewalk and needed help […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    A major Jewish organization rebuked actress Natalie Portman on Monday for saying in a recent interview that Jews put too much emphasis on teaching about the Holocaust relative to other genocides. The Israeli-born movie star told the U.K.’s Independent that the Jewish community needs to examine how much focus it puts on Holocaust education over other issues. She said she was shocked when she learned that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda while she was in school learning only about the horrors of the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    JNS.org – A new book that draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence) has sparked outrage ahead of an official book launch, to be hosted by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on Sept. 7. The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu wrote a letter to the institute demanding that it cancel an event it planned in honor of the book’s authors, under the title The Holocaust and […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Famed actress Natalie Portman warned on Friday against the use of Holocaust education to evoke fear and paranoia. In an interview with the U.K. Independent she added that the trauma should make Jews more empathetic to others who have also experienced hatred. “Sometimes it can be subverted to fearmongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen,’” the Israeli-American star said. “We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, antisemitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    The Tribalist, by Louis Marano, is ostensibly a work of fiction but at its core a kind of love song by a gentile journalist for the State of Israel, and especially its secular Zionist core. (Because of the relentless attacks by left-wing polemicists on Israel’s allegedly “messianic” fringe, it’s often forgotten that most of Israel’s founders and all its leaders have been secular Zionists.) The author, the product of an Italian-American family in Buffalo, served two tours of duty in […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    JNS.org – Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though parve rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach are known for their dairy fillings. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer—author of the books “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” and […]

    Read more →