EGYPT is facing a new violence campaign, this time a series of attacks targeting Western companies like KFC and Vodafone.
A series of bombings killed at least three people and injured scores more in Cairo and Alexandria in recent weeks, separate from the intense jihadist violence by IS- backed terrorists against the police and military.
It seems in part inspired by a US Muslim convert who posts texts online urging Egyptians to throw off a “neo-liberal” order in favour of Islam.
Shahid King Bolsen, 43, born Shannon Morris, has served time in Dubai for killing a German businessman, and hiding his body in a suitcase.
Released in 2013, he inspires radical Egyptians with online calls for action – though he has said he does not endorse violence.
The attacks are thought to be the work of younger followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have rejected its leadership’s refusal to approve a violent response to the army coup which overthrew former President Mohammed Morsi.
Much of that leadership is in prison, and many of its younger members are swayed by Bolsen’s argument that there was a conspiracy behind the regime of President Abdulfattah el-Sisi.
“The neo-liberal programme is far more dangerous for Egypt, and for the Islamic movement, than Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Ahmed, a student sympathiser, wrote: “The youth are taking control. Every young man tries what they think is best for them from their own understanding of the situation.”
At least four KFC stores have been firebombed since January.
Then, in the early hours of February 26, four bombs were detonated outside Cairo branches of Vodafone and United Arab Emirates-owned Etisalat network provider.
Days later, improvised explosives shattered five more outlets belonging to Vodafone and the French-owned Mobinil.
On Sunday, a string of bombings killed one person and wounded nine in Alexandria. One of the targets was French supermarket Carrefour.
An explosion also took place outside a Vodafone store in the Nile Delta governorate of Monufia, in the north.
Bolsen converted to Islam in 1997. He trained as an imam while in a Dubai prison for killing a German by luring him with a fictitious promise of sex with his maid.
– The Telegraph