On December 11th 2017, the Council organized a panel of discussion on “Countering Terrorist Organizations following the killing of the worshipers at Al Rawda mosque in Sinai on 24 November”, with the participation of the Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, Chairman of the Council, Ambassador Abdul Raouf Al-Reedy, Honorary Chairman of the Council, General Fuad Allam, member of the National Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism, former State Security Agency Undersecretary Dr. Najih Ibrahim, specialist in the affairs of Islamic groups, and Colonel / Khaled Okasha, Member of the National Council to Combat Terrorism and Extremism.
-The Egyptian Council called for an urgent re-examination of the issue in the light of the massacre of worshipers during Friday prayers on November 24 at the Al-Rawda mosque in Bir al-Abed area in northern Sinai. This process represents a dangerous development in the practices of terrorist movements. Although the army and the police made strenuous efforts to confront the terrorists and their follow-up in the Sinai and Western Sahara, after the assassination of the police in the oases and killed nearly 16 after being confronted and capturing one of them, then the police and army managed to unravel.
-Then came the announcement of US President Donald Trump on 6th of December 2017, “which covered the media on the massacre of Al Rawda in Sinai, recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to it.” It is necessary to distinguish between this subject and the first issue, which is a dangerous development in the operations of terrorists, perhaps due to the reduction of ISIS operations in Syria and Iraq, and then the ISIS terrorists moved to Egypt, and this is what Turkish President Erdogan recently said. There are those who criticized the Azhar scholars because they did not atone for the terrorists, while the killing of the worshipers in general during the Friday prayers is considered the summit of “infidels”.
-The need for the Egyptian authorities to benefit from the experiences of other Islamic countries in the face of radical Islamic trends, with particular reference to the experiences of Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s experience in the past against the extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood, after mentioning the experiences of these countries; with the aim of developing a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and to counter attempts to spread this phenomenon. The discussions resulted in a set of recommendations:
1. It is necessary to organize lectures for detainees in all prisons for their guiding them and tolerating with some of them, instead of turning the prisons into haters of terrorism.
2. Mainstreaming the accused in prisons in various professions – such as cooking, handicrafts and organizing libraries.
3. There must be an alternative pot to turn extremists, when they engage in public life after they are released from prison in the framework of amnesty decisions.
4. The need to take care of prisons, develop them and organize educational courses for officers and non-commissioned officers.
5. Political decisions must be made to confront the economic hardships faced by Egyptians and the spread of terrorism in Egypt, which exploits those difficulties.
6. Look for ways to attract the attention of young people and the public to fill the gap experienced by Egyptians to spread culture, art and other soft power.
7. The need to develop an integrated strategy of the National Council to combat terrorism, and activate and vaccinate experts in the fight against terrorism, and benefit from the experiences of other countries.
8. The preference for moderate Sufi thought, such as the thought of the sheikhs Abdel Halim Mahmoud and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, in their thought of giving, forgiveness, tolerance and mercy to replace Takfiri thought and contain extremist Salafi ideas.
9. The possibility of investing the presence of Sufism in many villages and regions, a strategy that proved successful when used in the past.
10. Accelerate the amendment and development of the Code of Criminal Procedure and intensify the training sessions of judges in an open manner to deal with the situation of terrorism.