Militant group ‘Popular Resistance in Giza’ released a two-minute video showing masked gunmen setting fire to an Emirates National Bank branch in Haram Street in Giza.
The footage showed around ten masked men gathering in front of the bank. While some of the men fired birdshot rounds at the surveillance camera stationed outside the bank, others threw Molotov cocktails and flares at the entrance of the bank.
The group’s social media page posted a status vowing to burn more branches of the bank.
Relations between Egypt and the UAE strengthened following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The Gulf nation, along with its neighbours Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, expressed support for Egypt in the immediate aftermath of Morsi’s toppling.
Since the beginning of the year, the group has been posting photos of its alleged members blocking main roads in different governorates, and torching police vans.
The group also reports that they target “thugs” who allegedly participate in attacking and dispersing anti-government protests.
A statement published by the group on 31 January claimed responsibility for two attacks on a police station and a security patrol in Fayoum, “in retaliation for attacks by the coup militias on peaceful protesters”.
Other targets of the group include communication towers allegedly owned by telecommunications company Mobinil. The militant group also allegedly attacked the headquarters of a former member of the National Democratic Party.
Former parliamentarian and anti-government activist Amr Abdel Hady said last week, in an interview on the privately owned TV channel Misr Alaan, that “an alternative to attacking the heavily defended public institutions is targeting investors”.
Abdel Hady mentioned a number of private companies he accused of being “against the revolutionaries”, such as Mobinil, and the Kentucky Fried Chicken food chain.
Misr Alaan is often accused of pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias and of opposing the current Egyptian regime.
Many members of the Brotherhood actively oppose the government of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on similar channels. They are often accused by government officials and public figures of “inciting against the country”.
Recently, a number of Facebook pages were launched under the name “Popular Resistance”, claiming similar strategies in different governorates, but there is no proof of coordination between the groups.
The pages also claim to “monitor” police personnel, by publishing videos and pictures of officers on duty, and have claimed responsibility for planting homemade bombs in front of police stations.
The rhetoric of the pages argues that the violence is a reaction to the alleged “crackdown” by the state.
Since the forcible dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in August 2013, a number of anti-government militant groups have claimed responsibility for attacks against police personnel, judges, public institutions, and security facilities. Most of the groups use social media to claim the attacks, posting videos of either assassination attempts or bombings.
Egypt has designated the Brotherhood as a “terrorist group” in December 2013. The group’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), was banned by court decision in 2014.
Many suspects have recently been arrested for “inciting against the police and the army”, using social media websites.