This is a well-known strategy applied by any regime facing a legitimacy crisis: to use fear to silence opposition and independent voices. Egypt is no exception, and it explains the weakness of the reactions to the attacks by Cairo on civil society, media and local organizations.
Today’s threat is the Islamic State. The regime’s message is that an iron fist is the only alternative to Islamic terrorism. Meanwhile, the Egyptian people, crushed by a brutal economic crisis and by the harshness of the repression, have failed to react.
The Egyptian bombs on Derna, Libya (which will continue, according to the Egyptian army spokesman, while anonymous sources told the New Arab agency that Egyptian special forces have been deployed in Libya in support of Khalifa Haftar), serve to entrench the impression of a concrete Islamic threat, which kills Copts and aims to expand to the rest of the country.