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Growing power of radical Islamists after Mubarak's ouster threatens Egypt's ties with US, Israel

October 26, 2011 - Washington

The fast growing power of radical Islamist political groups in Egypt after the fall of former leader Hosni Mubarak's regime, and the failure of the army to stop a growing rash of sectarian violence is likely to threaten the nation's long-standing friendship with the US and Israel.

Since Egypt's peace treaty with Israel and the rise of President Mubarak, Egypt has functioned as a key US ally in the region and has done much of Washington's bidding.

But some recent developments have put The Special Relationship into serious question, Fox News reports.

According to the report, a group called the Salafists, that aims bring Shariah law to Egypt, along with the Muslim Brotherhood, has risen quickly in the past eight months to fill the power vacuum left in post-Mubarak Egypt.

Salafy Clerics have reportedly been involved in the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cario, and the rocket and suicide bomb attack on a southern Israeli highway, which killed 8 and injured more than 40.

Mubarak's heavy handed security apparatus kept groups like the Salafis on a tight leash, but now the group and Brotherhood has quickly climbed to the top of the political food chain with organizational help and financing from supporters in the Gulf states.

The massive change has billionaire tycoon and financier of the revolution Naguib Sawiris now calling Egypt's future 'dim.'

"They (the army) are completely frantic, they are overwhelmed by these every week demonstrations, the country is going bust," Sawiris said.

"The economy is going down. They are unable to get it to rest (stop)," Sawiris, said adding there is only a 20 percent chance of next month's election producing a liberal or secular Muslim government, said.


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