Shortly after the August 5th attack on an Egyptian army base in the Sinai, in which more than a dozen Egyptian soldiers were killed by jihadists, who seized two armored personnel carriers and attempted to breach the Israeli border, Egyptian President (and Muslim Brother) Mohammad Morsi responded by sacking the Egyptian intelligence chief, and the governor of Northern Sinai. He also replaced the head of the Egyptian presidential guard. That took place Wednesday, August 8th. A communiqué issued the same day on the M.B.’s IkhwanWeb.com described a so-called “unfolding conspiracy,” in vague terms, calling the soldiers who died in the attack on the Egyptian base, “victims of treachery and treason” and complaining of an attempt to use the incident to “violently and viciously [target] Islamists.” President Morsi also ordered APCs, troops and attack helicopters into the Sinai to target the “militants,” but residents were reporting little evidence of battle, although a handful of jihadists were reportedly killed in gunfights over the weekend.
Late Sunday night (in Washington), August 12th, reports began to trickle out that President Morsi had sacked Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) head, Defense Minister Tantawi, Army Chief-of-Staff Sami Annan and several other notable commanders, and canceled the constitutional arrangement instituted by SCAF intended to limit Morsi’s power. Essam El-Erian, the Chairman of the M.B’s “Freedom and Justice Party,” called the move an effort to “foil counter revolutionary plots.”
It will probably never be known for sure whether the initial attack which precipitated events was in the strictest sense orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to engineer the downfall of SCAF. It’s certainly possible, considering accusations by members of the Egyptian military that several high-ranking Hamas members in the Gaza Strip, Ayman Nofal, Raad Atar and Mohammed Abu Shamala, were responsible for the attack. Hamas after all openly describes itself as the “Palestinian” chapter of the Brotherhood, and Nofal actually escaped from a Sinai prison during the 2011 revolution, which would have given excellent opportunities for ties with both the Egyptian Brothers and the bedouins who frequently make up the Jihadist factions in the Sinai.
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