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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Al Qaeda's expansion into Egypt -- By Thomas Joscelyn, The Long War Journal

Editor's note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn's testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on al Qaeda's expansion into Egypt and the implications for US homeland security. If you wish to view the testimony with footnotes included, download the PDF by clicking here.

Chairman King, Ranking Member Higgins, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss al Qaeda's presence in Egypt. The uprisings throughout the Muslim world that began in late 2010 and early 2011 brought hope to millions of people. Al Qaeda did not instigate these revolts, but in the years since the group has exploited the security vacuums created in their wake.

Al Qaeda's theory of the revolution in Egypt, and the subsequent overthrow of Mohamed Morsi's Islamist regime, is predicated on its deeply anti-American and anti-Semitic worldview. Al Qaeda's senior leaders portrayed Mubarak's fall as a defeat for the U.S. and its interests in the region. For instance, al Qaeda head Ayman al Zawahiri portrayed the toppling of dictators in Egypt and Tunisia as comparable to America's military losses and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. America "was defeated in Tunisia and lost its agent there," Zawahiri said in an October 2011 recording, and "it was defeated in Egypt and lost its biggest agent there."

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