National Security Brief: Turmoil In Egypt

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"National Security Brief: Turmoil In Egypt"

Egyptian protesters set their laser pointers on a military helicopter hovering over the demonstrations

Most of the millions of Egyptians protesting President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday have cleared the streets in cities throughout the country.

Demonstrators poured into the streets and into Cairo’s Tahrir Square calling on Morsi to resign, angry, as the New York Times noted, “at the political dominance of his Islamist backers in the Muslim Brotherhood” and government ineptitude in dealing with Egypt’s spiraling economy. The protests, Reuters reports, “were easily the largest since the Arab Spring uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak two and half years ago.”

Some protesters, many of whom reportedly had previously supported Morsi’s bid for president last year, attacked Brotherhood offices with Molotov cocktails and other makeshift weapons.

While the military said it will remain neutral, the police joined the demonstrators. Before the protests began, the interior minister said the police would not protect Brotherhood offices.

Morsi’s aides said he would not resign and remained defiant but called for “dialogue to reach an understanding about forthcoming parliamentary elections.”

Update

On Monday, the Egyptian military gave Morsi “a 48-hour ultimatum to ‘resolve the crisis’ before the military intervenes setting the stage for a possible military coup.”

In other news:

  • McClatchy reports: The shift to Afghan security forces leading in combat and the ongoing reduction of U.S. troops here have driven American casualties during the first half of 2013 to the lowest level in five years.
  • The Washington Post reports: European leaders reacted with fury Sunday to allegations in a German newsmagazine that the United States had conducted a wide-ranging effort to monitor European Union diplomatic offices and computer networks, with some saying that they expected such surveillance from enemies, not their closest economic partner.
  • The New York Times reports: After four days of the most intense Middle East peace push in years, Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel on Sunday without securing a public commitment that the two sides would return to the negotiating table, though he insisted that “real progress” had been made and said that a resumption of talks “could be within reach.” In what has become a familiar refrain, Mr. Kerry promised to return to the region soon.
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