Understanding state responses to terrorism in Egypt
Dina Al Raffie
The Arab Republic of Egypt has a long history of battling jihadism in the region, and as such presents an interesting case study of counterterrorism (CT) practices in a non-Western setting. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that reduces the Egyptian state's response to the indiscriminate use of repressive measures, the current case study offers a more nuanced analysis of Egyptian state responses to terrorism that spans the country's history since its independence. Despite repressive measures constituting the backbone of Egyptian state responses to terrorism, their use is much more strategic than is often implied in the literature. As this chapter will demonstrate, a comprehensive CT approach including select soft measures does exist in Egypt, albeit with the goal of maintaining regime interests, as opposed to eliminating the phenomenon. On the contrary, the analysis that follows suggests that regime longevity is highly dependent on the existence of an extremist opposition, and that a strategy of extremism in moderation is perhaps the most prominent underlying strategic trend that has emerged from Egyptian CT state practices over the past six decades.