Police at Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel, have been attacked about 50 times by Palestinian armed groups and a local branch of al-Qaeda since the January 25 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, according to Al Arabiya News. Palestinians are accessing the land illegally – but the power vacuum in Egypt (evidenced today by riots and deaths) is opening up this under reported “wild west” of terror that Israeli officials see as a bigger threat to them than even Iran.
Eric Trager of The Washington Institute joined the "Real News" panel Wednesday to discuss the growing turmoil on the Sinai Peninsula and the presence of radical Islam in Egypt.
Trager could not identify whether it is indeed al-Qaeda creating violence in the tribal region, but said "it's a loyalist territory that is increasingly giving rise to terrorism."
When asked by S.E. Cupp if the new Egypt is as some have labeled "too big to fail," Trager commented that that assessment would be more accurate for the nation's economic situation.
"It's not inconceivable that Egypt could go bankrupt within the year, that is a very alarming scenario" said Trager, adding that it would raise prospects for a failed state that could create a breeding ground for terrorist organizations.
Trager commented that to keep in mind with the current conflict in the Sinai Peninsula is, with an Islamist government set to take power in Cairo that doesn't want to be great allies or at the same token fight a war with Israel, "how will they respond to a crisis?"
"A crisis will start in the Sinai," Trager said, assuming that some kind of attack or retaliation will come from Israel. "When you had the military in power in Cairo, the military dialed down the tension.
"The Islamists appear unlikely to dial down the tension."