The Corner

Militants Kill 16 at Egyptian Military Base in Sinai

Over the weekend, masked gunmen attacked an Egyptian military base in the Sinai peninsula, killing 16 Egyptian soldiers; the group then fled into Israeli territory, where several of the militants were killed. The Muslim Brotherhood quickly claimed the attack “can be attributed to the Mossad,” natch.

The group was likely an Islamist group of the kind that’s been operating in Sinai and other remote parts of Egypt for years, though no one’s taken responsibility for it yet. Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak called the attack a “wake-up call” for Egypt’s government, arguing that enforcing security in Sinai is essential for the continued cooperation between the two nations. He’s right, but unfortunately it’s not clear the Egyptian government wants to be woken up: The abilities of Egypt’s military and security state will likely continue to atrophy under the incompetent Islamist post-revolution government, allowing Sinai to become more unstable, and the Muslim Brotherhood government is less than completely enthusiastic about cracking down on Islamist groups, with which it not long ago sympathized as a banned group under Mubarak.

UPDATE: Tuesday evening, more attacks were reported, with three checkpoints attacked, wounding six. It looks to have been only low-level violence, but interestingly, AP reports that the Egyptian military responded with an attack by helicopter gunships firing missiles; unnamed security officials said this was the first time since 1973 that airborne attacks had been carried out in the Sinai. Thus, it’s certainly not time to count out the Egyptian military’s ability or willingness to crack down on militancy, but especially in response to tonight’s attacks, this does seem like a bit of an overreaction — which again could be read as a sign of weakness or lack of commitment to the real battles that are necessary.

Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More