State-owned Al-Ahram newspaper has continued its trend of supporting the current government’s claims of conspiracies being tailored against it. In its Sunday issue, the newspaper published for the third time a report on what it calls the “Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to destabilise security”.
Al-Ahram is following the example of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in his alleged war against the “forces of evil”; however, the newspaper ambiguously refers to the “elements of the Brotherhood”, without specifying who these elements are.
“Brotherhood elements are working against the state by relying on two key strategies,” the report stated. “The first is to incite citizens against the state by spreading false news and constantly doubting the achievements of the state. The second is the targeting of public figures for assassination so that they can claim that they happened due to the absence of security in Egypt.”
The report came a few days after the assistant general prosecutor, Zakareya Abdel Aziz, survived an assassination attempt in the New Cairo. This follows another failed assassination attempt that targeted former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa a month earlier. Both attempts were found to be orchestrated by small, unaffiliated terrorist groups, which have never pledged allegiance to the Brotherhood. However, state media outlets have declared that these groups are directly affiliated to the Brotherhood.
In its report, Al-Ahram marginalised factional demands by saying that the Brotherhood is trying to magnify such demands and use them as a divisive technique between citizens.
The information provided in the Al-Ahram report was said to have been obtained by the National Security body in the Interior Ministry.
The report continued by stating that the Brotherhood elements are calling for a “revolution of the underprivileged” on social media platforms, and further claimed that six individuals found doing so were arrested for writing publications that were deemed to be against the state.
The pro-government newspaper has so far ignored the current state of economic turmoil, which has had a strong impact on Egypt’s lower classes.
The second strategy mentioned by the report depends on violent acts, vandalism, and the targeting of influential figures for assassination. The report reads that these attempts started with the failed assassination attempt of former minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim, followed by the assassination of former general prosecutor Hesham Barakat and the latest failed attempt to assassinate Abdel Aziz.
The report highlighted the small terrorist group Hasm (translating to “decisiveness”), and said that it belongs to the Brotherhood. Hasm has declared responsibility for several attacks in Egypt over the past few years. While the group has never declared its affiliation, the state has repeatedly referred to them as a Brotherhood-affiliated group, a common practice in the event of attacks against the state.
In another report published in the same issue, Al-Ahram said that the Abdel Aziz assassination attempt was committed by Hasm and came a few days prior to the trial of Brotherhood leaders. The report said that it was a “miserable” attempt that targeted a judicial figure but failed.
Al-Ahram added on Sunday a continuation in its string of reports that refer to a larger “conspiracy” being the main reason for Egypt’s ongoing economic and social problems. Earlier in September, the newspaper published a report claiming that a foreign power was conspiring against Egypt by destabilising public opinion to raise suspicions in the current government.
Also in August, Al-Ahram said that the BBC and CNN were conspiring against Egypt and attempting to hinder the thriving tourism sector.
In an effort to enforce credibility, the state-owned newspaper has heavily criticised external factors when it comes to the government’s structural failures. However, it usually attributes them to ambiguous theories and conspiracies.