Kidnapping and Terror in The Middle East and North Africa: Foreign Office raises Egypt terror threat


November 3, 2012

Source: The Guardian

Egypt terror threat raised from medium to high after series of deadly militant attacks across north Sinai.

The Foreign Office has raised its terrorism warning for visitors to Egypt from medium to high, particularly urging Britons against travel to the Sinai region, after a recent spate of militant attacks.

The change comes on the same day that a report revealed that police in Egypt had foiled a plot by al-Qaida-linked militants to attack tourists in the popular Red Sea coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Mirror said the attack, involving firearms and rocket-propelled grenades, had been planned for Christmas.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said she could not comment on any link, adding that changes to travel advice were based on “a number of sources”.

While Sharm el-Sheikh is on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula, it and other nearby resorts, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab, are excluded from the Foreign Office advice against travel to the region.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that on 2 November we amended our travel advice for Egypt. Our advice makes clear that there is a high threat from terrorism in Egypt.”

Its website says: “Although security is tight throughout the country, especially in resort areas, there remains a high risk of attacks, which could be indiscriminate, including in public places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers such as hotels and restaurants.”

The advice warns against all travel to north Sinai, where there have been attacks on security forces near the border with Gaza and Egypt, including one which killed 16 soldiers.

The advice says that even in south Sinai security has deteriorated this year, with a number of hijacks and kidnaps away from resort areas.

Egypt has been trying to rebuild its tourism industry after last year’s widespread unrest ended the long rule of Hosni Murbarak as president.

Last month the antiquities minister, Muhammad Ibrahim, reopened the restored pyramid of Chefren and six tombs at Giza, using the occasion to stress the country’s safety for tourists.

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Egypt: Daqahlia citizens disrupt Parliament vote over child abduction


Source: Egypt.com

Citizens in Daqahlia Governorate prevented judges overseeing Shura Council elections from reaching polling stations Monday to protest the abduction of a child.

Angry citizens from Gasfa blocked the Cairo-Mansoura Road, burning car tires and denying judges entry to their village and neighboring ones, after a gang kidnapped a 12-year-old boy named Islam Mostafa and demanded a LE2 million ransom from his family.

Some villagers said the gang members, who are well-known to both security authorities and citizens, kidnapped the boy Saturday morning on his way to a school exam. They said the police investigations chief advised the boy’s family to pay the ransom because the gang was out of the police’s reach.

“We negotiated with one of the kidnappers, a fellow villager, and paid them LE200,000 late Sunday, but they did not return the kid. So we decided to block the road and disrupt elections until the boy is back and his kidnappers are arrested,” one eyewitness said.

The villagers said Mostafa’s kidnapping is not the first. Another villager was abducted last Wednesday but was returned home after his family paid LE100,000 in ransom, they said.

Security sources said police and army officials have been negotiating with the protesters to reopen the road and allow the polls to resume, but the citizens have vowed to continue protesting until the boy is returned home.

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Abducted: Man sees sons in Egypt after abduction by ex-wife


Source: Dalje.com

CAIRO, Jan. 17 (UPI) — A U.S. man visited his two sons in Cairo during the weekend, the first time he had seen them since they were abducted by his ex-wife .


Colin Bower was granted full custody of his children in 2008 after his divorce from ex-wife Mirvat El Nady. Using fake Egyptian passports she kidnapped the boys in New York and brought them to Cairo, the Egyptian Bikya Masr news agency reported.

Egypt has no legal arrangement with the U.S. in matters of parental abduction, and it was six months of diplomatic negotiation, aided by U.S. Senator John Kerry, which provided Bower a chance to see his sons Noor, 7, and Ramsy, 9.

He called the 90-minute visit a “godsend.” U.S. Embassy officials and his ex-wide were present to observe the visit.

Bower said he suspects his ex-wide and her family were protected by former president Mubarak’s regime, allowing his sons to stay in Egypt with their mother. In 2009 he took legal action against the airline EgyptAir for their failure to notice his ex-wife and sons used false identification when they flew out of New York.

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Vater packt über Motive der Kinder-Entführung aus


Der Vater der vier entführten Kinder aus der Lüneburger Heide hat bei der Justiz erstmals über seine Motive für die monatelange Flucht nach Afrika ausgepackt.

Der Mann sagte den Ermittlern, er sei mit dem Lebens- und Erziehungsstil seiner Ehefrau nicht einverstanden gewesen. Deswegen habe er seine vier Kinder, für die er kein Sorgerecht mehr hatte, ins Ausland gebracht.

„Er war auch mit der religiösen Erziehung durch die Mutter nicht einverstanden“, sagte Staatsanwalt Lars Janßen der Nachrichtenagentur dpa am Freitag in Celle. Ursprünglich habe der Vater geplant, mit den Geschwistern nach Griechenland zu flüchten, teilten die Ermittler mit. Dies habe der 37-Jährige dann aber verworfen, weil ihm die Gefahr einer Entdeckung dort zu groß erschienen sei.

Stattdessen war der 37-Jährige mit den Kindern mehr als vier Monate in Ägypten untergetaucht.

Vor rund zwei Wochen war er in Kairo entdeckt und festgenommen worden. Zwischenzeitlich hielt er sich mit den Geschwistern im Alter zwischen vier und neun Jahren auch im Sudan auf. Dort sei es ihm aber zu risikoreich erschienen, so dass er mit den Geschwistern nach Ägypten zurückkehrte.

In Kairo wohnte der Mann nach Angaben der Staatsanwaltschaft in einem nahezu ausschließlich von Ägyptern bewohnten Stadtteil. Touristische Ziele habe er aus Angst vor einer Entdeckung bewusst vermieden, gab der Vater bei seiner Vernehmung zu Protokoll. Ägyptische Polizeibeamte hatten den Mann in einem Internet-Café in Kairo entdeckt.

Der 37-Jährige sitzt in Untersuchungshaft. Er muss sich vor Gericht wegen Kindesentziehung verantworten. Dieses Delikt kann mit bis zu zehn Jahren Haft bestraft werden – in weniger schwerwiegenden Fällen kann aber auch nur eine Geldstrafe verhängt werden. (dpa)

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NOTE: We are always available, also during The Christmas holidays. Christmas is the high season for parental abductions.

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Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271