19 Pages

Elie Podeh

Historical Background In the summer of 1983, Egyptian Interior Minister Hasan Abu Basha suggested that 'the phenomenon of radical religious groups is gradually disappearing'.1 His statement followed the execution of President Anwar alSadat's assassins, members of an Islamic militant group called al-Jihad. Twelve years later, in June 1995, during a visit to Ethiopia, President Husni Mubarak barely escaped an assassination attempt, presumably carried out by one of the Egyptian militant Islamic groups.2 This episode clearly demonstrated that these groups still pose a serious threat to the stability and legitimacy of the regime.