Sisi Is No Partner For the United States

Embracing Egypt's Leader Will Backfire

U.S. President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Washington, April 2017. Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS

On April 9, suicide bombers attacked Coptic churches in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria, killing more than 40 people at Palm Sunday services. As devastating as the attack was, it should not have come as a surprise. The Islamic State (also called ISIS), which claimed responsibility, had previously vowed to increase its attacks on Egyptian Christians. And over the past several years, attacks on Christian churches, security forces, and tourists have been on the rise.

Sunday’s bombings came a few days after Egypt’s general-turned-president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, returned from his first visit to the White House to triumphant fanfare from the Egyptian media. Sisi has attempted to justify his harsh rule by presenting himself as a visionary strongman uniquely capable of bringing stability and prosperity back to Egypt following the turmoil of the Arab Spring. But the Palm Sunday attacks reveal both how hollow these promises are, as

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