Cyana Chilton and Garrett Nada

 

Chronology 2011

Egypt’s uprising erupted on Jan. 25, 2011 when tens of thousands rallied to protest police abuse after months of growing unrest over the death in detention of young blogger and businessman Khaled Said. Unrest mounted daily at Cairo’s Tahrir Square and in other cities, eventually growing into a national demand for President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. Mass arrests, censorship of the Internet and the deaths of hundreds in confrontations with security forces failed to qualm dissent.

On February 11, under pressure at home and the international community, Mubarak stepped down. He left a panel of generals in the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) in charge. Protests in Tahrir Square continued throughout the spring despite occasional violence, as the opposition called for the SCAF to cede power to elected officials. Lawsuits were brought against Mubarak, his sons, and various members of his regime. The SCAF slowly opened the political arena to opposition groups, including the formerly banned Muslim Brotherhood, which formed a political party.

Jan. 25 – Feb. 11: Organized on Facebook for a “Day of Revolution” on Jan. 25, tens of thousands of protesters nationwide called for President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. The government shut down the Internet and blocked cell phone networks. Police killed hundreds of protesters over the next few weeks.

Jan. 27:  Anti-government activist Mohamed ElBaradei returned to Egypt. He later announced he will run for president.

Jan. 28: Mubarak made his first television appearance. He fired his government and promised reform but said he will not step down.

Feb. 1: Mubarak promised to step down when his term expires in September and offered to negotiate with protesters, but protesters rejected his concessions and called for his immediate resignation.

Feb. 7: After being detained on Jan. 27, Wael Ghonim, a regional manager for Google, was released and gave an emotional interview to DreamTV, a national television network. His interview went viral. The government met for the first time with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Feb .11: Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s intelligence chief and Vice President, announced that Mubarak was stepping down and imposed military rule that included dissolving Parliament and suspending the constitution. Hundreds of thousands celebrated in Tahrir Square. The U.S. withdrew support from Mubarak’s regime.

Feb. 14: The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) released a six-month schedule to draft constitutional amendments and elect a new government.

Feb. 15: The Muslim Brotherhood announced it will form a political party, which it did on May 1.

Feb. 25 – 26: Protesters in Tahrir Square called for Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq’s resignation, Mubarak’s prosecution, and faster reform. Police beat and forced them from the square. The SCAF later apologized for the brutality.

March 1: The chief prosecutor prevented Mubarak and his family from leaving the country and seized their assets.

March 4 – 6: Hundreds of protesters attacked the State Security Investigations headquarters in various cities and looked through documents.

March 23: A committee investigating violence during the revolution charged Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al Adli with culpability in the killing of protesters.

April 1 – 12: In Tahrir Square, thousands demonstrated to demand Mubarak’s prosecution and faster reform.

April 13: Mubarak was hospitalized after suffering a reported heart attack. He and his two sons were arrested on suspicion of corruption.

May 13: Former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak was detained on suspicion of illegally acquiring wealth. She later surrenders $4 million of her assets to the government and was released on bail.

May 2: A police officer was sentenced to death for killing unarmed protesters, the harshest sentence given thus far. After government officials promised to meet with them, Coptic Christians end a two-week sit-in in Cairo to protest sectarian violence.

May 24: The World Bank announced that it will provide up to $4.5 billion in aid to Egypt.

May 27: In Tahrir Square, 100,000 people protested on a “Second Day of Rage.” The new government allowed the first free passage out of the Palestine Authority, a policy change from Mubarak’s administration.

June 6: SCAF announced that local councils, often Mubarak-affiliated, will be disbanded within two weeks. They were dissolved by a court on June 29.

June 20: Mubarak’s lawyer said that the former president has cancer.

June 26: Mohamed ElBaradei released a potential bill of rights for the new constitution.

June 26 – 29: After the trial of the former interior minister was postponed, police and thousands of protesters clashed in Tahrir Square, the most intense violence since the initial uprising. The army intervened on June 29.

July 1: Protesters called for faster reforms in Tahrir Square on a “Friday of Retribution.”

July 8: Dozens of Mubarak-era officials were charged with murder for their role in the January protests.

July 8 – August 1: Tens of thousands protested in Tahrir Square against the SCAF. The army forcibly cleared the square on August 1.

July 13: The government fired almost 700 police officers for their role in the protests.

July 20: SCAF said that foreigners will not be permitted to monitor the parliamentary elections, and lowered the minimum candidate age to 25. It outlined the seat allocation system for parliamentary elections: some seats for individuals, others based on party lists.

July 24: The Salafis and the Gamaa al Islamiya reversed course and formed political parties for the parliamentary elections, after initially announcing they would not participate.

Aug. 3: Mubarak’s trial began.

Aug. 4: The Muslim Brotherhood held the first public elections for its governing Guidance Bureau.

Aug. 5: The government dismantled a powerful trade union used by the Mubarak regime to quell labor activism.

Sept. 9 – Oct. 28: Protests against the SCAF took place each Friday for several weeks in Tahrir Square.

Sept. 13: The military council reactivated an emergency law formerly used to stifle media dissent.

Sept. 16: Prime Minister Sharaf said Egypt’s peace deal with Israel is not “sacred.” The Egyptian ambassador was subsequently called to the Israeli foreign ministry to discuss Sharaf’s comments.

Sept. 26: SCAF announced amendments to electoral law, reserving two-thirds of parliamentary seats for candidates from party seats and one-third for individual candidates. Critics charged the move would ensure the military retains control over legislation. The Muslim Brotherhood threatened to boycott the elections.

Oct. 2: The military council agreed to permit foreign election observers and postponed the presidential election to the spring of 2012.

Oct. 27: Former PM Shafiq, a close Mubarak associate, said he will run for president.

Oct. 31: Prominent activist Alaa Abd al Fattah was arrested and charged with inciting violence against the military. Thousands in Tahrir Square protested his arrest.

Nov. 2: After a letter from imprisoned activist Alaa Abd al Fattah was published, the government announced the release of 334 political prisoners.

Nov. 18 – 29: Tens of thousands of Islamists and liberals protested draft “supra-constitutional principles” that would protect the military from parliamentary oversight in Tahrir Square.

Nov. 28: Phased parliamentary elections began.

 

2012

Two Islamist parties won over 70 percent in phased parliamentary elections held between November 2011 and January 2012. The Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent of the seats; a Salafi party won another 25 percent. The SCAF had ordered the lower house of parliament to be dissolved on a technicality. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate also won a two-stage presidential election held in May and June. In the final run-off, Mohammed Morsi narrowly beat Ahmed Shafiq, a former general and Mubarak’s final prime minister. After Sinai militants attacked a government outpost, killing 16 soldiers, Morsi fired key SCAF officials, including Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and chief of staff Sami Enan.

On Sept. 11, 2012 thousands of Egyptians protested an anti-Islam film made in the United States and demonstrators breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. President Obama expressed concern to President Morsi about Egypt’s slow response. Morsi then condemned the attack two days after the incident. Even after Morsi’s statement, protestors continued to surround the American compound and clashed with Egyptian police for two days.

Jan. 27: Calling for the transition of power from SCAF to a civilian government, tens of thousands rallied in Tahrir Square. After the final round of elections in January, the Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent of parliamentary seats and Salafi Islamist parties took 27 percent of seats.

March 25: Liberal and leftist parties refused to join a constitutional drafting group, fearing Islamist dominance. Coptic Christian representatives withdrew from the drafting group on April 2. A court later dissolved the group, questioning its legitimacy.

March 31: The Muslim Brotherhood nominated Khairat al Shater, its deputy leader, as a presidential candidate, after months of insisting it would not participate in the election. On April 6, Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s intelligence chief and vice president, announced his presidential candidacy. In all, 13 candidates vied for the presidency.

April 12: Parliament passed a bill to bar former top Mubarak officials from running for office for ten years. The next day, tens of thousands of Islamists protested against the candidacies of Mubarak-era officials. The election commission barred candidates Suleiman, the Muslim Brotherhood’s al Shater, and Salafist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail from running for president on legal technicalities.

May 23 – 24: The top two winners in the first round of presidential election were Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

June 14: The Supreme Court decreed that the parliamentary election was unconstitutional. The SCAF then issued a decree dissolving parliament.

June 16: Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, won a presidential runoff.

July 8: President Morsi ordered the dissolved parliament to reconvene. The SCAF and Supreme Court dismissed his order. Two days later, Parliament briefly convened.

Aug. 8: President Morsi fired intelligence chief Murad Muwafi, and asked Field Marshal Tantawi to dismiss other top security officers after Sinai militants stormed an army post and killed 16 soldiers.

Aug. 12: President Morsi dismissed SCAF head Field Marshal Tantawi and SCAF chief of staff Sami Enan.

Aug. 23: President Morsi passed a law banning the pre-trial detention of journalists.

Sept. 10: Over 100 American business leaders toured Cairo as part of an Obama administration effort to spur investment in Egypt.

Sept. 11: Thousands of Egyptians protested against an anti-Islam film and some breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. They destroyed an American flag.

Sept. 12 – 13: President Obama expressed concern over the Egyptian government’s response to the situation in Cairo in a phone call with President Morsi. The following day Morsi explicitly denounced violent demonstrations and pledged to protect American citizens and property.

Sept. 14-15: Clashes around the U.S. Embassy broke out between security forces and protestors after Friday prayers. Over 200 were injured and authorities arrested hundreds the following day.

Sept. 26: President Morsi addressed the U.N. General Assembly and called for an end to fighting in Syria. He also discussed the Palestinian issue, nuclear proliferation, the anti-Islam film and the international financial system. 

Oct. 9: President Morsi issued a general pardon for political activists jailed since the 2011 revolution.

Oct. 11: The constitutional assembly unveiled a new draft constitution that gives religion a more prominent role in the legislative and judicial process. Liberal and secular groups protested the insertion of Islam. Some ultraconservative Salafis also rejected the document, arguing that it does not adequately enshrine Islamic law.

Nov. 5: Bishop Tawadros was chosen as the first new Coptic Christian pope. The previous pope, Shenouda III, had passed away in March 2012 after holding the position for 40 years.  

Nov. 15 – 21: President Morsi succeeded in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza, following more than a week of fighting that left some 160 dead. The United States lauded Morsi’s efforts.

Nov. 22: President Morsi issued a controversial decree exempting himself from judicial supervision, and shielding the Constituent Assembly and Shura Council from dissolution by court order. The opposition condemned the moves and organized protests. Several of Morsi’s 21 advisors resigned.

Dec. 9: President Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration canceling his immunity from judicial oversight. But the Constituent Assembly and Shura Council remained safe from dissolution by court order. The opposition called for a new round of protests as Morsi pushed forward the referendum on the draft constitution.

Dec. 5-26: Protests continued in opposition of the new draft constitution. Egypt held a referendum on December 15 and 22. Nearly 64 percent of voters endorsed the constitution. Morsi implemented it on December 26 just hours after the results were announced. 

 

2013

After months of tension, Egypt’s political crisis imploded July 3 when the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the only civilian president ever democratically elected in the Arab world’s largest country. The coup marked one of the most troubling turning points in modern Egyptian history, deepening the political schism. Millions of Egyptians took to the streets to give el Sisi and the army a mandate to crack down on what el Sisi called violence and terrorism. Meanwhile, thousands of Morsi supporters marched to Rabaa al Adayiwa square to join a sit-in against the coup. A court charged Morsi with espionage and unspecified “aggressive acts in the country,” including links to attacks on police and security force facilities.

Hundreds of Morsi supporters were reportedly killed in August as security forces stormed pro-Morsi protest camps across Cairo. Egypt declared a state of emergency and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew. Some 40 Coptic churches were destroyed in a wave of attacks after the clashes. Vice President Mohamed El Baradei resigned in protest of the harsh crackdown.

In November, the constituent assembly finished amending the suspended 2012 constitution. The new version enshrined the military’s prominent role in politics and prohibited the formation of political parties founded on “a religious basis.” The Salafi Nour Party supported the changes while the Brotherhood and several small Salafi parties rejected them. The government also issued a new law banning unauthorized public gatherings of more than ten people. But the Brotherhood continued to organize large-scale demonstrations across Egypt. Secular and human rights groups also criticized the new legislation. On Dec. 25, 2013 the government designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Early January: Senior leaders of the Nour Party led a mass defection to form the Watan (Homeland) Party. The new Salafi party pledged to be less partisan and more inclusive than the Nour Party had been.

Jan. 24 – 28: A Cairo court issued death sentences for 21 individuals involved in the February 2012 Port Said football riot that left 74 dead. The verdict sparked clashes between relatives of the convicted and security forces, leaving some 28 dead and 300 wounded.

March 6: Egypt’s top court canceled parliamentary elections that had been scheduled for as early as April. It referred the election law to the Supreme Constitution Court.

April 15: Mubarak briefly appeared in court for the first time since his June 2012 conviction. The court ruled that he can no longer be imprisoned for complicity in the killing of some 900 protestors during the 2011 revolution. But Mubarak remained in custody pending an investigation into corruption charges.

April 19 – 22: Thousands of Morsi supporters protested on April 19, calling for the ouster of Mubarak-era officials from judicial posts. Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki resigned ahead of a cabinet reshuffle. He had reportedly threatened to quit in November 2012 after Morsi adopted expansive powers. 

April 28: The Tamarod, or “Rebel,” opposition movement called for early presidential elections. It organized a grassroots campaign to collect 15 million signatures for a petition withdrawing confidence from President Morsi by June 30 — his one-year anniversary in office.

May 7: President Morsi gave three ministerial posts to Muslim Brotherhood members, bringing the total number of Brotherhood ministers to 11 out of 35. 

May 16-22: President Morsi sent dozens of tanks and hundreds of soldiers to the Sinai on May 21 after seven security officers were kidnapped. The seven were released by their Islamist militant captors the following day.  

June 17 – 23: President Morsi appointed 17 new provincial governors, including seven Islamists. The most controversial appointee was the governor of Luxor, Adel al Khayat. He was a former member of the Islamist group Gamaa Islamiya, which claimed responsibility for killing 62 people, mostly foreign tourists, in 1997. The appointments led to protests in several governorates clashes between Brotherhood supporters and opponents. Al Khayat announced his resignation on June 23.

June 27: President Morsi marked one year in office by admitting mistakes and promising “radical and quick” reforms in a televised address. He also blamed unnamed “enemies of Egypt” for trying to sabotage democracy. Morsi called on his opponents to enter elections instead of imposing their will through protests.

June 30: Morsi rejected opposition calls for early presidential elections and his resignation, as millions took to the streets nationwide in rival demonstrations either demanding Morsi’s resignation or supporting him. Eight people were killed in clashes between the two groups outside Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.

July 1: The Tamarod (Rebel) movement issued a statement giving Morsi until 5 p.m. the following day to resign or risk facing “complete civil disobedience.” Before the June 30 protests, Tamarod had reportedly collected up to 22 million signatures for its petition demanding early elections. Several ministers resigned as demonstrations continued nationwide. General el Sisi called the Morsi government to resolve the political crisis within 48 hours or face military intervention. The Salafi al Nour Party called for early elections.

July 2: Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mohamed al Beltagui called on Morsi’s supporters to oppose military action. President Barack Obama phoned Morsi and urged him to listen to all Egyptians, including the demonstrators. Morsi refused to step down in a late-night speech. He pounded on the podium while accusing Mubarak loyalists of trying to thwart democracy.

July 3: After a delay of several hours, Army chief el Sisi announced Morsi’s ouster and the appointment of Supreme Constitutional Court Chief Justice Adly Mansour as interim president. El Sisi also suspended the constitution and said new elections would be held.

Morsi’s official Facebook page angrily denounced the coup. More than 14 people were killed in clashes between pro-government and anti-Morsi protestors after the army’s announcement. Top officials from Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party were also arrested. Some 300 arrest warrants were reportedly issued for Brotherhood members.

President Obama issued a statement expressing deep concern over the army removing Morsi and suspending the constitution. “I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters,” he said.

July 4:  Chief Justice Mansour was sworn in as interim president. He applauded youth for mobilizing the June 30 protests, calling them the embodiment of Egypt’s “conscience, its ambitions and hopes.”

July 5: Muslim Brotherhood supporters held “Day of Rejection” protests in major cities, as Mansour dissolved the upper house of parliament, the last legislative body.

July 6:  Political divisions emerged among the opposition over a new government, particularly the acceptability of Mohamed ElBaradei as interim prime minister. The ultraconservative Salafi al Nour Party emerged as the political kingmaker.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry condemned the violence in Egypt in a statement. “The only solution to the current impasse is for all parties to work together peacefully to address the many legitimate concerns and needs of the people,” he said.

July 8: At least 51 Morsi supporters were killed and more than 300 were wounded outside of the Republican Guard compound where Morsi was rumored to be held. Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al Haddad claimed that security forces opened fire while demonstrators were at pre-dawn prayers during a peaceful sit-in. The Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for an uprising to protest the “massacre.” The army claimed a “terrorist group” tried to storm the building.

July 9: Interim President Mansour appointed former Finance Minister Hazem el Beblawi interim prime minister and named ElBaradei vice president. The Brotherhood rejected Mansour's six-month timetable for amending the constitution and holding parliamentary elections. 

July 24: El Sisi called on “honest and trustworthy Egyptians” to rally in the streets on Friday to give him a mandate for confronting “violence and political terrorism.” The army commander made the appeal just hours after an explosion outside a police building in Mansoura killed one police conscript and injured 19 officers and civilians.

July 26: Millions of Egyptians took to the streets to give el Sisi and the armed forces a mandate to crack down on what they consider violence and terrorism.

Meanwhile, thousands of Morsi supporters marched to Rabaa al Adawiya square to join the sit-in against the military coup. Tens were injured in clashes between el Sisi and Morsi supporters.

A court reportedly charged former President Morsi with espionage and unspecified “aggressive acts in the country,” including links to attacks on police and security force facilities. The Egyptian press reported that the court ordered Morsi’s detention for 15 days pending an investigation. Morsi’s detention period is later extended for 30 days on August 15.

July 27: At least 74 pro-Morsi protestors were reportedly killed in clashes with security forces. “They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el Haddad told the press.

Aug. 14: Hundreds were killed as security forces storm pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo. Official sources claimed that 578 were left dead. The Brotherhood claimed that 2,200 are killed and 10,000 were injured. Egyptian authorities imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew and declared a state of emergency. Some 40 Coptic churches were destroyed in a wave of attacks in the following days. Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei resigned in protest of the crackdown on Morsi’s supporters and warned that extremist groups would benefit from the killings.

Aug. 16-17: The Brotherhood called for a “march of anger” to protest the military coup and crackdowns on sit-ins. Hundreds of Morsi supporters gathered at a mosque in Cairo’s Ramses square after Friday prayers. Clashes with security forces and armed local residents left at least 173 dead — including eight police officers. More than 1,300 were reportedly injured. Protestors barricaded themselves in al Fatah mosque. The next day, security forces cleared people out after gunmen reportedly shot down at them from a minaret.

Aug. 18: Thirty-seven pro-Morsi demonstrators arrested in and around the Rabaa camp suffocated to death in police custody. The interior ministry claimed teargas was used during an attempted escape. But the Committee to Monitor Human Rights Violations noted conflicting reports from authorities about the incident and called for an independent investigation.

Aug. 20: Egypt state media announced that Brotherhood spiritual guide Mohamed Badie had been arrested. He was accused of inciting violence. The trial of Badie and two of his deputies opened on August 25 but was adjourned until October 29 for security reasons.

Sept. 5: Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim survived a car bomb attack on his convey in Cairo that wounded 22 people.

Sept. 7: Egypt’s army reported that it had killed 30 militants in an assault on 12 villages in the Sinai. It was part of a major campaign against militants in northern Sinai.

Sept. 16: Egyptian forces recaptured Delga, a town in central Egypt that was taken over by ultra-conservative supporters of ousted President Morsi. The Islamists had burned three of five churches in the town and terrorized the Christian population, prompting up to 100 families to flee between July and September.

Sept. 23: An Egyptian court banned the Brotherhood and ordered the seizure of the movement’s assets. The ruling was later upheld on November 5 despite a Brotherhood appeal. The court alleged that the movement used Islam “as a cover” while it “violated citizen’s rights” under Morsi’s presidency. On December 26, the Justice Ministry froze the assets of 132 Brotherhood leaders. 

Oct.  6: At least 53 people were killed and 200 were injured in clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces on the 40th anniversary of the Egypt’s surprise attack against Israel in 1973. Authorities detained more than 400 people reportedly involved in the violence.

Nov. 24: The government issued a new law banning unauthorized public gatherings of more than ten people. Demonstrators would risk spending seven years in prison for using violence or one year for covering their faces or protesting outside of a place of worship. Participants would be fined up to $1,500 dollars. The Freedom and Justice Party condemned the new law. The Brotherhood continued to organize large anti-coup demonstrations across Egypt.

Secular groups like the April 6 Youth Movement and human rights groups also criticized the new law.

Nov. 30: Egypt’s Constituent Assembly finished amending the suspended 2012 constitution. The amendments enshrined the military’s prominent role in politics and prohibited the formation of political parties founded on “a religious basis.” The “principles of Sharia” remained “the main source of legislation.” But the Supreme Constitutional Court regained the ability to decide if legislation conforms to Islamic law. The 2012 constitution had transferred that power to al Azhar’s clerics.

The Salafi Nour Party, which backed the military coup, announced its support of the constitution despite the amendments. But the National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, made up of the Brotherhood and several small Salafi parties, rejected the amendment procedures as illegitimate.

Dec. 25: Egypt’s military-backed government designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The decree criminalized the activities and finances of Egypt’s largest Islamist movement. Under Egypt’s penal code, members of terrorist organizations could face five years in prison.

A posting on the Brotherhood’s English-language Twitter account called the move a “worthless decision from an illegal gov’t without any evidence and will not change anything in reality.”

Dec. 29: Three al Jazeera journalists were arrested and charged for reporting news that is “damaging to national security” and holding illegal meetings with Brotherhood members. The detained included Peter Gresete, an Australian citizen, Mohamed Fahmy, a Canadian citizen, and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian citizen.

 

2014

In January, some 98 percent of Egyptian voters supported the new constitution in a referendum with a turnout of 38 percent. A month later, the interim government headed by el Beblawi resigned in a surprise move. In late May, Egypt held presidential elections. El Sisi was declared the winner with more than 96 percent of the vote.

Security forces continued to crack down on Islamists through 2014. In September, the Egyptian army launched a major campaign against militants in northern Sinai. Government forces also recaptured a town in central Egypt that was taken by ultraconservative Islamists after Morsi’s ouster. On September 23, a court banned the Brotherhood and ordered the seizure of its assets. Unrest broke out in the Sinai again in October. In November, Ansar Beit al Maqdis reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Jan. 14-15: Some 98 percent of Egyptians voted ‘yes’ in a referendum on a new constitution that included a law banning parties based on religion. The turnout was about 38 percent, higher than the 33 percent who voted in a referendum held during President Morsi’s tenure.

Feb. 12: The press reported that Ahmed Alaiba, an Egyptian employee of the U.S. Embassy who worked as a liaison to the Muslim Brotherhood, was held without charges since January 25 by security forces.

Feb. 24: The interim government headed by Prime Minister Hazem el Beblawi resigned in a surprise move widely viewed as an opening that could allow el Sisi to run for president.

March 24: A court sentenced 529 alleged Morsi supporters to death after convicting them of killing a police officer, trying to murder to others and attacking a police station in Minya in August 2013. Sixteen were acquitted but the case was reportedly the largest capital punishment case on record.

April 1: British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered an inquiry into Muslim Brotherhood activities to determine if the organization is using London as a base for planning attacks following the army crackdown in Egypt.

April 28: A judge recommended the death penalty for 683 people, including Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood, for involvement in an attack on a police station in Minya in 2013 that led to the death of a policeman. But the judge also commuted 492 death sentences laid down in March to life terms.

A court in Cairo banned the activities of the April 6 youth movement based on a complaint that the left-leaning group was “tarnishing the image off Egypt” while working with foreign parties.

May 26-28: Egypt held presidential elections, which are extended for an extra day amid concern about a low turnout.

June 3: Results of the presidential election, which had a turnout of about 47 percent, were announced. El Sisi was declared the winner with more than 96 percent of the vote, while Hamdeen Sabahi received a little more than 3 percent of the vote.

June 8: El Sisi was inaugurated as Egypt’s eighth president.

June 21: A court confirmed death sentences for 183 alleged Morsi supporters, including Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie. The Minya city court initially sentenced 683 people to death.

June 23: A court sentenced al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy to seven years in prison and Baher Mohamed to 10 years. Mohamed received additional years for keeping a bullet casing at his home as a souvenir. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the move as “chilling and draconian.” Two other al Jazeera journalists, Dominic Kane and Sue Turton, were tried in absentia and also sentenced to 10 years.

Aug. 7: A court asked Egypt’s top religious authority, Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, to rethink his rejection of a death sentence proposed for Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Oct. 24: Jihadists killed at least 31 soldiers in a car bomb attack and shooting at a checkpoint in Sinai. Ansar Beit al Maqdis later claimed responsibility for the attack in November.

Oct. 29: The government began demolishing hundreds of homes along the border with the Gaza strip to create a buffer zone between Egypt and the Hamas-run territory to reign in the transfer of weapons and militants across the border.

Nov. 10: The Sinai-based jihadist group, Ansar Beit al Maqdis, pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and ISIS.

Nov. 20: Police arrested Mohamed Ali Bishr, one of the few senior Brotherhood leaders who evaded capture by security forces after Morsi’s ouster in 2013. Bishr was accused of inciting violence and trying to overthrow the government after he called for nation-wide protests on November 28.

 

2015

ISIS staged a wave of attacks in the Sinai Peninsula and claimed the downing of a Russian airliner. Egypt carried out airstrikes in Libya following ISIS attacks at home.

February 16: Egypt bombed ISIS positions in Libya after the group kills 21 Egyptian Christians.

July: ISIS launched a wave of attacks in the Sinai peninsula, killing 70 people.

October 31: ISIS claimed that it was responsible for the crash of a Russian airliner in Sinai.

 

2016

Islamist movements, such as ISIS, the Hasam Movment and Liwa al Thawra, grew bolder in their attacks in 2016. The Hasam Movement targeted high-level officials and the police in Cairo, including the assistant prosecutor general. ISIS launched more attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, targeting police and security personnel.

Feb. 24: Egyptian authorities acknowledged terrorists’ role in downing of Russian jet over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015. 

March 6: Egypt said members of banned Muslim Brotherhood, trained and backed by Hamas, carried out bombing that killed Egypt’s top prosecutor last summer.

March 29: A man with a fake suicide belt hijacked an EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria to Cairo, forcing it to land in Cyprus. Authorities arrested the man after giving himself up. No passengers or crew were harmed.

April 14: More than a thousand people gathered and demonstrated in downtown Cairo in order to denounce President el Sisi and protest his decision to transfer sovereignty of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. The demonstration is Egypt’s largest in at least two years.

May 8: Unidentified gunmen killed eight plainclothes Egyptian officers in Cairo. The Islamic State claimed responsibility, however, the group’s claim could not be independently verified. 

May 19: An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean Sea killing at least 66 people. Egypt claimed terrorism is the likely cause. No group claimed responsibility for the crash.

June 30: A gunman shot and killed a Christian minister in city of el Arish in northern Sinai. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on social media.

July 12: Egyptian authorities issued a requirement for Muslim clerics to read out identical pre-written weekly sermons as part of the Egyptian government’s campaign against extremism.

July 22: Evidence indicated that EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed on May 19, most likely broke up in midair after a fire began near or inside the cockpit. Officials could not yet determine if the fire began from a mechanical malfunction or from a malicious act.

Aug. 4: Egypt’s military said it killed leader of the Sinai branch of the Islamic State, Abu Duaa al Ansari, in a series of air strikes near the city el Arish in the Sinai Peninsula.

Aug. 5: Former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa survived a gunfire attack, an assassination attempt that occurred as he entered a mosque. No group claimed responsibility.

Sept. 2: Egypt and India agreed to boost cooperation in security and anti-terror efforts, calling terrorism one of the gravest threats their countries face.

Sept. 26: Islamic State militants killed five civilians and dump their bodies in a corner of the Sinai Peninsula over accusations of collaboration with the Egyptian army.

Sept. 28: An Egyptian court sentenced 40 people to life in prison over alleged ties to the Islamic State and for aiding in the recruitment of youth to join extremists in Syria and Iraq.

Suspected Islamic State militants killed three policemen and one civilian in an ambush on their taxi in the coastal city of el-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula.

Sept. 29-30: Assistant Prosecutor General Zakaria Abdel Aziz survived a car bomb explosion in eastern suburb of Cairo. The assassination attempt wounded one civilian and Abdel Aziz escapes unscathed. The next day, the recently-emerged militant group, the Hasam Movement, claimed responsibility.

Oct. 1: Gunmen killed five police officers in an attack in northern Sinai.

An explosive device remotely detonated on the road in the city of Rafah killing one police officer and wounding eight. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Oct. 4: Egyptian Interior Ministry said its forces killed two Muslim Brotherhood members, including senior leader Mohamed Kamal, in a shoot-out. 

Oct. 8: The Hasam Movement claimed responsibility for the assassination of Egyptian police officer Gamal al Deeb in northern Beheira province.

Oct. 14-15: Islamist militants killed 12 members of Egyptian military and wound six more in an attack on a checkpoint in North Sinai. The Islamic State claimed responsibility. The next day, Egyptian jets bombed Islamist militants for three hours in retaliation.

Oct. 19: Egypt’s highest court reversed death sentences imposed on 14 Islamists over an attack on a police station after the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Oct. 22: A group called Liwa al Thawra, the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility on Twitter for an attack that killed an Egyptian army officer killed in Cairo suburb.

Oct. 28: An explosive device detonated along a main road in Cairo killing at least one civilian and injuring another. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Oct. 29: A roadside explosion killed a senior military officer and one soldier in North Sinai.

Egyptian court sentenced two Muslim Brotherhood supporters to life in prison and 16 others to 15 years in jail for violent assault on a Cairo neighborhood after the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Nov. 4: Egyptian authorities detained and arrested five leaders and other members of the Hasam Movement and Liwa al Thawra. Weapons, explosives, and evidence that the organizations had been set up by the Muslim Brotherhood linked them to the banned group.

Nov. 9: Egypt said police uncovered a stash of weapons that supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were planning to use ahead of organized protests against deteriorating economic conditions.

Nov. 15: The Court of Cassation overturned former President Morsi’s death sentence and ordered a retrial of the case in which he was charged with orchestrating a prison break. 

Nov. 21: Egypt’s public prosecutor referred 292 suspected Islamic State militants to the military judiciary. Some are accused of plotting to assassinate President El Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

Nov. 25: The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on an Egyptian military checkpoint in northern Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 12 soldiers.

Dec. 6: Egyptian security forces killed three gunmen in a raid on a hideout reportedly used by an armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Dec. 9: A bombing killed six security officers and wounded three others at a checkpoint on the main road near the Pyramids of Giza. The Hasam Movement claimed responsibility.

A roadside bomb in northern Egypt kills a civilian and injures three policemen. This is the second attack on security forces in a day. There is no immediate claim of responsibility.

Dec. 10: Egypt’s Court of Cassation rejected an appeal made by Islamist militant Adel Habara over his death sentence. Habara was convicted in 2014 for killing 25 army conscripts in North Sinai in 2013.

Dec. 11: A bombing at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral killed 25 people and wounded 49. This was the deadliest attack on Egypt’s Christian minority in years.

Dec. 12: President el Sisi said a suicide bomber carried out the attack that killed 25 people at Cairo’s Coptic cathedral.

Dec. 13: The Interior Ministry said the suicide bomber who killed 25 people in Cairo’s Coptic cathedral on Sunday, December 11, was a Muslim Brotherhood supporter who joined a militant cell while he was on the run from police.  

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing of Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral that killed 25 people on Dec. 11, 2016. The Islamic State also identified the attacker as Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa. The group warned of more attacks to come.

Dec. 15: Egypt executed prominent Islamist fighter Adel Habara after a top court rejected his final appeal days earlier. His execution came amid militant threats of retaliation.

Egyptian investigators said traces of explosives have been found on the remains of the victims of the EgyptAir flight that crashed while traveling from Paris to Cairo in May. French investigators said it was not yet possible to say what caused the crash. French officials warned against drawing conclusions on the cause of the crash. 

Dec. 23: Egyptian policed accused and arrested Al Jazeera news producer Mahmoud Hussain for attempting to overthrow the country’s government and being a member of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Dec. 25: Egypt confirmed the arrest of Al Jazeera producer Mahmoud Hussain for “provoking sedition.” Egypt described the Qatar-based outlet as a “mouthpiece of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.”

Dec. 31: A roadside bomb killed police officer and soldier in northern Sinai Peninsula. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

 

2017

Egypt continued to crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood at home. Then, in June, it cut diplomatic ties with Qatar for its alleged support of terrorist groups, including ISIS, al Qaeda and the Brotherhood. The Islamic State extended attacks beyond the Sinai Peninsula, and staged the deadliest attack in Egypt’s modern history in November, killing 305 and injuring more than 128 others at a Sufi mosque. 

Jan. 4: Egyptian police arrested four people in connection with the church bombing at Cairo’s Coptic Christian cathedral that killed 28 people in December 2016.

Jan. 9-10: A suicide attack at a northern Sinai security post in the city of el Arish killed 10 and wounds 22. On the next day, ISIS claimed responsibility.

Jan. 16: The Interior Ministry said Islamist militants kill eight policemen and wound three at a security checkpoint in Egypt’s New Valley province in the Western Desert.

The Egyptian High Administrative Court upheld the lower court’s decision and blocked the controversial transfer of Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Jan. 22: The National Defense Council extended the military’s participation in Saudi-led operation in Yemen for unspecified period of time.

Top Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh arrived from the Gaza Strip for meetings with security officials. This was the highest level visit by a member of the Palestinian militant group and political party since 2013.

Jan. 23: President el Sisi and President Donald Trump discussed ways to “boost the fight against terrorism and extremism”.

Jan. 27: Hamas top official Ismail Haniyeh and his delegation concluded a “successful” visit to Egypt.

End of Jan.: The Islamic State extended attacks beyond Sinai Peninsula, posting photographs, names, addresses, and ranks of Egyptian military and police officers located outside the peninsula. The Islamic State urged followers to find and kill listed men.

Feb. 3: Egypt’s Ministry of Interior confirmed the man suspected of attacking a soldier at the Louvre museum in Paris is Egyptian.

Feb. 6: Egyptian soldiers killed 14 militants and arrested ten others in a raid in central Sinai.

Feb. 8-9: The Israeli military said its missile defense system intercepted several rockets fired from Egypt toward the southern Israeli city of Eilat. The next day, the ISIS affiliate known as the Sinai Province, claimed responsibility.

Feb. 12: Suspected Islamist militants shot and killed a Christian vet in northern Sinai.

Feb. 16: Suspected Islamist militants shot and killed a Christian teacher while he was walking to El Samran School in northern Sinai.

Feb. 19: The Islamic State posted a video threatening Egypt’s Coptic Christians and named Abu Abadallah al Masri responsible for the December church bombing that killed at least 25 people.

March 23: Two IEDs killed ten security personnel during operations against Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula. Forces killed 15 and arrested seven others during the operation. Two police officers were later killed in fighting near el Arish in North Sinai.

March 24: Ex-President Hosni Mubarak is freed after six years of detention and cleared of charges including corruption and the killing of protesters in 2011.

March 25: A roadside bomb killed three security personnel and injured six others in northern Sinai. ISIS was suspected to have carried out the attack.

March 29: The Sinai Peninsula (ISIS Sinai) posted a video showing the behading of two men the group had found guilty of practicing sorcery.

April 1: A motorcycle bomb injured at least 16 people, including 13 police officers, outside a police training center in Tanta, Egypt. Liwa el Thawra, or the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack on social media.

April 9: Two bombs detonated at Palm Sunday masses in Tanta’s St. George’s Church and Alexandria’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, killing at least 43 people and injuring more than 100. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency. Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency.

April 20: Egyptian airstrikes killed 19 ISIS members in northern Sinai.

May 5: The ISIS leader in Egypt, who was not named, warned Muslims to avoid Christian gatherings, as well as government, military and police facilities in the Islamic State’s weekly Al Naba newsletter.

May 8: An Egyptian court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie and two other leaders to life in prison for “planning violent attacks.”

May 21: Egyptian authorities referred 48 suspected ISIS members to military trial for involvement in three church bombings, according to Egypt’s top prosecutor Nabil Sadeq.

May 24: Egypt banned 21 websites, including Al Jazeera and Mada Masr, for alleged support of terrorism and spreading fake news.

May 26: Gunmen attacked a bus of Coptic Christians, killing 28 people in Minya Province, about 120 miles south of Cairo. Egypt carried out airstrikes on militant camps in Libya in response. “The terrorist incident that took place today will not pass unnoticed,” Egyptian President El Sisi said. “We are currently targeting the camps where the terrorists are trained.”

June 5: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over its alleged support of terrorism.

June 20: Egypt killed 12 Islamist militants of the Sinai Province and destroyed several vehicles in airstrikes.

June 22: Egypt extended its state of emergency by three months after the twin church bombings in April. The state of emergency will start on July 10.

July 3: Egyptian Security forces arrested the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Youssef al Qaradawi’s daughter and son-in-law for alleged membership in a terrorist organization. Qaradawi is in exile in Qatar.

July 4: A roadside bomb killed three policemen and injured 10 others in the Sinai Peninsula. Parliament unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency extension in response.

July 7: The Sinai Province detonated car bombs at two checkpoints south of Rafah in the deadliest terror attack in the Sinai in years. The bombs killed 26 soldiers and a subsequent gunfight left 40 militants dead.

July 8: Egyptian police killed 14 suspected ISIS members during a raid on a training camp. At least five of them had been wanted on charges of joining the Islamic State.

July 14: An Egyptian man killed two German tourists and injured four others (two Czech and two Armenian) in a knife attack at the Zahabia hotel on the Red Sea. One Czech tourist later died from sustained injuries. The attacker was reportedly an ISIS supporter.

July 19-22: Egyptian security forces killed 30 suspected Islamist militants and arrested five in ground and air raids in North Sinai, the Egyptian military said.

July 20-21: A three-car policy convoy was attacked, killing one police officer and wounding three others. The Hasam movement claimed responsibility for the attack.

July 22: An Egyptian court sentenced 28 suspected Muslim Brotherhood members to death for their involvement in the 2015 murder of the country’s chief prosecutor Hisham Barakat. The court also sentenced 38 other defendants from 10 years to life.

July 23: Egyptian security forces killed eight suspected Hasam movement members at a training camp in southern desert region, the interior ministry said. Authorities also arrested five other militants during operations in Giza and Sharqiya and recovered automatic rifles, ammunitions and supplies at the southwest Fayoum camp.

Aug. 9: Four policemen were killed in an ambush in Northern Sinai outside of el Arish. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sept. 11: Sinai Province fighters destroyed three armored vehicles in a roadside bomb attack, then proceeded to ambush the survivors with machine gun fire. At least 18 police were killed.

Sept. 16: Mohammed Morsi’s life sentence for leading an illegal organization was upheld. A 15-year sentence for stealing state documents and leaking them to Qatar was overturned.

Sept. 22: Former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef died in Cairo. Akef was arrested and jailed in 2013 with other Brotherhood supporters. He led the Brotherhood from 2004 to 2010 and helped transition the movement into a political force.

Sept. 28: An Egyptian court sentenced 15 Muslim Brotherhood members to life in prison, including prominent member Mohamed Badie. The court also sentenced 77 members to 15 years with hard labor. Those sentenced had been charged with inciting terrorism, leading an outlawed group, raiding and vandalizing government facilities, as well as other crimes related to clashes in August 2013. 

Oct. 10: An Egyptian court upheld the death sentences of eight Muslim Brotherhood members who were convicted of attacking a police station and killing six people in 2013.

Oct. 13: The Sinai Province attacked a military post and killed at least six Egyptian soldiers.

Oct. 15: More than 100 Sinai Province fighters attacked security outposts in north Sinai, killing six soldiers and injuring more than 20 security force members. At least 24 Sinai Province fighters were killed in the attack.

Oct. 21: Islamist militants ambushed a convoy of Egyptian police and security officers in Egypt’s western desert. It was the deadliest attack in years, security officials said. Initial reports indicated at least 59 police and security officers were killed, but the interior ministry later said only 16 officers were killed and 13 were wounded in the attack. The interior ministry statement also added that 15 militants had been killed and wounded.

Oct. 24: Egyptian security forces arrested 12 suspected Hasam Movement members 40 miles south of Cairo. 

Oct. 31: The Egyptian air force killed “a large number of terrorist elements” in a raid in a “mountainous area west of Fayoum.” The militants killed were reportedly responsible for the October 21 attack that left 16 police men dead.

Nov. 3: Al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Islam claimed responsibility for the October 21 attack that killed 16 police officers in Egypt’s Western Desert. “We have started our jihad with the battle of the Lion’s Den in the Bahariya Oasis area on the borders of Cairo and were victorious against the enemy’s campaign,” the Ansar al Islam statement said.

Nov. 9: ISIS militants are traveling to Egypt through Libya after the group’s defeat in Iraq and Syria, Egyptian President El Sisi said. "We must have the military capabilities that compensate for that imbalance in the region and to counter terrorism," he said. "This is a threat not just faced by us, but also by Europe."

Nov. 16: Egyptian authorities captured a Libyan national involved in the October 21 Ansar al Islam attack during a raid on Islamist militants, the interior ministry. Three “high-level” suspected militants were killed and 74 were also arrested in the raids in northern Sinai, the statement added.

Nov. 23: Egyptian authorities carried out raids in Ciaor, Giza, Beheira and Kafr el Sheikh against the Liwa al Thawra group. A shootout ensued in the Beheira raid and three “Brotherhood terrorist elements” were killed, the interior ministry said.

Nov. 24: Militants detonated a bomb inside a Sufi mosque in a remote north Sinai town and opened fire on worshipers, killing at least 305 and injuring more than 128 others. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history. No group officially claimed responsibility, but one militant reportedly carried the black-and-white ISIS flag.