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On June 2, the U.S. State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. During the announcement of the reports, Justin Siberell, the department’s counterterrorism chief, noted that, once again, Washington and Cairo are drifting further apart in their understanding of violent extremism. Speaking to the drivers of terrorism in Egypt, Siberell noted that “there is quite well understood linkage in some cases between repressive policies of governments, including in its security practices, as a contributing factor in some cases to radicalization.”
His comments stand in stark contrast to documents and remarks by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at a United Nations Security Council meeting in May. Ahead of the UNSC debate, Egypt, which held the 15-member body’s presidency that month, sent a concept paper calling for a discussion on how to counter the threat of “ideologies of religiously inspired terrorist groups,” such as the Islamic State (ISIS)