Egyptian and U.S. officials should be concerned over tourists in Egypt becoming targets for terrorists, according to leading experts on the region.
Militant Islamist groups in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula are warning tourists to leave Egypt or risk being attacked. This comes after terrorists in the region launched a deadly attack on a tourist bus on Sunday.
Fox News’ Jonathan Hunt spoke to Christian Whiton and Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer in an interview on the latest wave of violence. Whiton is a former senior adviser at U.S. State Department during President George W. Bush’s Administration, and currently president of the Hamilton Foundation. Shaffer is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and now serves as a senior fellow for London Center for Policy Research.
“It’s of concern because violence so far has been a little bit more confined to Cairo … this is up in the Sinai … it is an escalation … it is becoming more and more dangerous,” said Whiton.
Shaffer contends this latest attack is an effort by extremists to undermine Egypt’s current government.
He believes the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement in the country, might be connected to the violence. “They believe if you destabilize long enough, we [American officials] will encourage them to return to Morsi,” Shaffer said. Former Egyptian President Morsi was removed from power in 2013.
Shaffer, author of “The Line,” believes that a reduction in aid to Egypt by Congress is hurting their efforts to stop the militants groups.
Whiton, author of “Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War,” agreed: “Cutting off military aid to Egypt – that’s the one institution that is on our side and ought to be in this region.”
“There’s no idea out there that if we make a people free, they are going to pick democracy,” Shaffer said. “Simply coming in and hoping they [Egyptians] will establish democracy … is completely false.”
Watch the full interview above.
Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox.