Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar met a number of aides and security directors from different departments on Saturday, and he asserted that the times ahead will include several security challenges, with militancy topping the list.
According to a statement from the ministry, the meeting asserted the need to counter all forms of crime and eliminate criminal dens, as well as arresting fugitives, while giving due care to human rights.
The minster was also briefed on the strategy taken by different departments to limit the activities of militant groups and their work on preventing any attempts by those groups to stage further operations.
Abdel Ghaffar said that checkpoints and mobile security groups will be deployed on main roads and around state institutions.
In the wake of the attacks against Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, with total combined deaths of more than 40 and over 100 injuries, the police have received harsh criticism for their performance.
After the attacks, the ministry said that it killed seven people in a gunfire exchange in Assiut after attempting to arrest them on accusations of belonging to a terrorist cell adopting the ideology of the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group. However, repeated reports of extra-judicial killings by police forces raise questions on the authenticity of the suspects’ committed crimes.
Several people were announced as suspects involved in the attacks, while others surrendered to the prosecution to counter the narrative of the officials’ statements.
The Egyptian cabinet approved a three-month state of emergency in the country that was ordered hours after the attacks by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in an official speech, which stirred fears among citizens regarding the destiny of freedom and civil rights during its enforcement.
Aside from security strategies, the Egyptian parliament has been trying to enforce penalties on what it calls misuse of social media and the internet as a plan to ban any critical comments on the government and the parliament.
So far two people were arrested and charged over accusations related to posting critical content. The first was human rights lawyer Mohamed Abdel Baset, who was sentenced to ten years on charges of inciting violence on the internet and calling for the fall of the regime.
The second incident included the arrest of Al-Dostour party member Nael Hassan, who is being interrogated by the prosecution over accusations of humiliating the president and plotting to topple the regime. He was arrested and interrogated by the Homeland Security apparatus.