Egypt Attacks Reaffirm Need for International Cooperation to Fight Terror
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 25, 2005 President Bush condemned the deadly July 23 attacks on Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort area today, pointing to them as another example of the need for the international community to unify in the global war on terror.
Pre-dawn explosions rocked the popular Red Sea tourist playground, leaving at least 88 people dead and more than 200 injured, press reports said.
Bush, who visited the Egyptian Embassy here to express his sympathy for those lost in the attack and sign the condolence book, vowed to "stand with the government of Egypt and the people of Egypt in rejecting this kind of violence and terror."
The people who struck in Sharm el-Sheikh "killed Muslims, innocent mothers and dads, people who were trying to make a living," the president said. "They have no heart, they have no conscience and they have no ideology that is hopeful."
Their ideology, he said, is "of hate."
Bush reiterated the United States' commitment to "stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Egypt and bring justice to those who killed innocent people."
President Bush expressed his personal condolences and support in a phone conversation with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak July 23.
Today, Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy thanked Bush for his country's outpouring of support over the weekend attacks. They "reflect the relationship that we have together, as two countries working hand-in-hand for peace and stability in the region, working against terrorism," he said.
Fahmy noted that like the United States, Egypt has already faced terrorism. "And we continue to work together, resolute, to deal with this scourge, and ultimately, hopefully, to develop in the Middle East an Egypt that is prosperous, stable and secure for all," he said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who was traveling in Jerusalem the day of the bombings, reiterated the White House message that the United States will support Egypt as it confronts the most deadly terrorist attacks in its history. "Together, we will confront and defeat this scourge that knows no boundary and respects no creed," she said.
The Sharm el-Sheikh attacks occurred two days after explosions struck the London subway system and a red double-decker bus. Exactly two weeks earlier, on July 7, terror attacks in London left more than 50 dead and nearly 700 wounded.
While traveling to Kyrgyzstan July 24, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he's impressed by the way the British people have refused to back down to terrorists. "They clearly understand that it's important not to acquiesce or to appease terrorists," the secretary told American Forces Press Service's Gerry Gilmore and other reporters traveling with him.
Rumsfeld noted that if terrorists' use of violence causes countries to change their antiterrorist policies, then "everybody loses." He dismissed as "ridiculous" any notion that the bombings in London and Egypt are the result of their countries' support for the war in Iraq. "Terrorist attacks have been happening well before the war in Iraq," he said.
Rice emphasized July 23 that the only way to stop these attacks is for the international community to unify against them. "The world has to thoroughly and completely condemn the kinds of attacks that are taking place against innocent people, like the ones that took place in Sharm el-Sheikh (and) in London," she said.
The United States is offering assistant to both Egyptian and British authorities "and doing everything that we can to find out the causes of these attacks and who is ultimately responsible," Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said during a July 24 interview on "Fox News Sunday."
U.S. federal agents are working with British authorities as they deal with a continuing terrorist threat to London bus and rail passengers, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said July 22. FBI officials and others "are working in close coordination with British authorities...and continue to offer whatever help we can as they move forward on investigating these incidents," he said.
Despite coalition successes in Afghanistan that are "pushing out the (terrorists') leadership, ...capturing much of the leadership of Al Qaeda and making it as difficult as possible to coordinated the campaign of terror against America and its allies," Gonzalez acknowledged that terrorists remain a deadly threat.
"We now know from these attacks that the threat is still out there, that we shouldn't become complacent," he said. "This is a very diabolical, very patient enemy."