Egypt releases 120 Islamists
The Egyptian government released 120 members of the Gamaa Islamiyya or Islamic Grouping from prison this past week, and is said to plan further releases. Fully 100 of these were from El Miniya.
In the course of the 1990s, the Egyptian government is said to have jailed between 20,000 and 30,000 radical Islamists. In recent years, however, the leadership of the Islamic Grouping in Tura prison has renounced violence, and all but 12,000 were said to have been released. A further large release was expected in October of 2001, but did not happen because of September 11.
The Gamaa Islamiyya leadership inside Egypt has repudiated the blind sheikh, Omar `Abdu’r-Rahman, now in Federal penitentiary in the US for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing. He had previously been the group’s leader and is said to have given the fatwa or ruling allowing the assassination of Sadat. The Tura leadership has issued a 4-volume book, Correction of Misconceptions, which lays out their new, non-violent ideology.