Involvement of Operatives Who Returned from Syria in the Terrorist Campaign against the Egyptian Regime


Muhammad Dura al-Taliawi, a terrorist operative detained by the Egyptian authorities in March 2014, admitted to having fought in the ranks of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in Syria. He is shown with weapons he obtained which he said were to be used to attack Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. The attack was not carried out (YouTube).
Muhammad Dura al-Taliawi, a terrorist operative detained by the Egyptian authorities in March 2014, admitted to having fought in the ranks of
the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in Syria. He is shown with weapons he obtained which he said were to be used to attack Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. The attack was not carried out (YouTube).

Overview

1. During the course of the Syrian civil war several hundred Egyptian foreign fighters have joined the ranks of the rebels (out of a total of more than 5,000 foreign fighters from various Arab countries).[1] Most of the Egyptian fighters who joined the rebels fought in the ranks of organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad (the Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria). Some of them have already finished their tours of fighting and have returned to Egypt.

2. In the first months of 2014 there were reports that some of the veterans of the fighting in Syria who returned to Egypt became involved in the terrorist campaign waged against the Egyptian regime. Among them were reports about four terrorist operatives involved in the attacks on the Egyptian regime by the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which is affiliated with the global jihad and leads the terrorist campaign against the Egyptian regime (See the Appendix).

3. So far, the involvement of veterans of the Syrian civil war in terrorism and subversion in Egypt and other Arab countries is still in its infancy. However, in our assessment, it will increase as more foreign fighters return from Syria to their countries of origin, Egypt and other Arab countries, increasing the danger they present to the various Arab regimes. The foreign fighters in Syria acquire operational experience, are exposed to and indoctrinated with radical Islamic jihadist ideology, and become acquainted with a broad range of operatives and organizations affiliated Al-Qaeda and the global jihad. In our assessment, they embody a potential risk for terrorism and subversion, especially for Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, five Arab countries from which most of the Arab foreign fighter in Syria come.

[1]A detailed analysis prepared by the ITIC about the foreign fighters from Arab countries in Syria will be issued in the near future.