Waleed Aly writes in The Australian:
NOVEMBER 17, 1997, marked the beginning of the end for Egyptian terrorist group Gamaa Islamiah. Through the 1990s it had led a violent campaign against Hosni Mubarak’s Government, attempting to assassinate the Egyptian President in mid-1995 and massacring 30 Greek tourists in April 1996. The aim of the latter was to cripple the tourism industry on which Egypt’s economy is based, plunging the Government into economic crisis and precipitating a revolution.
Gamaa correctly recognised that popular resentment of the Egyptian regime was widespread, yet it still failed miserably. On that November day, it massacred 58 (mostly Swiss) tourists at the Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor. It claimed responsibility for the attack immediately, only to be greeted with public outrage. Backpedalling rapidly, it tried to blame the Egyptian Government for the atrocity. In the coming months it renounced its tactic of targeting tourists.
The head of Gamaa was a man called Ayman al-Zawahiri. By early 1998, Gamaa was no more and al-Zawahiri subjected himself to Osama bin Laden’s leadership at al-Qa’ida.
And it seems that history is being repeated. According to a report just published by Maha Azzam, associate fellow of the Middle East program at Chatham House in London, support for al-Qa’ida in the Muslim world is diminishing for similar reasons.
Full article, an interesting read, here.