The Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda has entered the fray in Egypt, calling on the people demonstrating there to launch a “holy war” to install a government that will enact Sharia law.
It calls on the Egyptian people to abandon the paths of “pagan nationalism” and “disappointing democracy”.
It is the first time the terrorist organisation has made any statement on the Egyptian crisis.
With pressure building within the country for faster change, the White House made it clear overnight that it agreed with proposals announced by the new government, but wanted to see quicker implementation.
“We believe there has to be a process; that in this process that results in free and fair elections, that the emergency law be lifted, as we’ve talked about many times, and that specific constitutional changes are made,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
Tuesday saw some of the biggest demonstrations yet against President Mubarak, who continues to insist on September as the date for his departure. With popular suspicions rising that a behind-the-scenes deal is being worked out by Vice-President Suleiman to neuter reforms, there is fertile ground for subversive networks to work on.