Recruitment drive

The BBC on Islamists attacking mosques.

The intensity of this Friday’s attack in Sinai is unprecedented in modern Egyptian history – never before have so many people been killed in such a short time by any terrorist group.

Regrettably though, this is not the first time that a mosque has been targeted by radical extremists. Iraqis know this; Syrians know this; as do many other populations around the world.

The scourge of radical Islamist extremism has been felt far more by Muslims than any other population. Muslims, by far, are its most numerous victims. And Muslims, most of all, are the ones fighting it.

Donald Trump please note.

Until now, radical groups have been trying to recruit in Egypt, from among local Egyptians. It is difficult to see that being remotely possible following this attack – irrespective of local grievances with the Egyptian state.

If anything, this will only intensify local opposition to any group that claims the slightest bit of sympathy for attacks of this nature. Indeed, that may be why no group has claimed responsibility for it because even for supporters of the Islamic State (IS) group, this attack was grotesque.

Islamists blowing up a mosque and shooting people who flee does seem like an odd way to promote Islamism, let alone recruit new members. Unless of course the whole point is the violence, and the religious cover is just that: a disguise, a pretext, a fig leaf.

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