Egypt / by Michelle Ryan

A new anti-terror law was passed in Egypt in August allowing the Egyptian courts to effectively and efficiently prosecute those who establish terrorist organizations, and those who falsely report on terror related incidents. However, media outlets in Egypt have raised concern that the new law will hinder freedom of speech in Egypt. Their concern was supported by the retrial and sentencing of three al-Jazeera journalists who were charged with three years each in jail for spreading false news and supporting the banned organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. Although not officially verified, ISIS claimed to have beheaded the kidnapped Croatian who they took hostage in July. It was said to be in retaliation for Croatia’s involvement in the fight against Islamic extremism and for Egypt’s refusal to release several female Muslim prisoners. A car bomb exploded in a Cairo suburb, injuring several police officers, soldiers, and civilians. It was reportedly carried out by ISIS sympathisers in response to Egypt targeting associates of the group. A large, previously unknown, gas field was discovered off the coast of Egypt. The recent uncovering of this vast energy resource looks promising for Egypt, as it will enable the country to support itself through its own energy stores and it can benefit from creating revenue through exporting the gas to other states. Talks between Egypt’s president al-Sisi and Russian president Vladimir Putin look promising in terms of strengthening trade relations and utilizing the recently extended Suez Canal in order to establish a Russian economic zone to facilitate greater trade movements and investment between the two countries.