CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- A spate of letter bombs to the offices
of Arabic language newspaper al-Hayat in the United States
and England has forced Egyptian security officials to re-
examine their belief that they had suppressed extremism in
Egypt has waged a long-standing and sometimes ruthless
campaign against Islamic extremists, and for the most part it
has been effective. Thousands have been arrested on suspicion
of having participated in violent acts, and dozens have been
Egyptian streets are peaceful, and analysts say that the
network once controlled by cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, imprisoned in the United States, has
been all but crushed.
"The government is correct in saying that the militants'
activities have been greatly reduced," says political analyst
Nevertheless, the letter bombs that appeared at al-Hayat
offices in Washington, London and at the United Nations in
New York were postmarked in Alexandria, Egypt.
Not everyone believes extremists have finished
Egyptian authorities, ever sensitive to international
opinion, denied immediately that they could have been mailed
from Alexandria even before the government had a chance to
examine the evidence. And, indeed, there is no evidence that
they were mailed by religious militants.
But the incidents have forced the government to re-evaluate,
and perhaps heed warnings from people like Kamal Abdel Magd,
the country's former Youth Minister.
"I'm always warning against claiming that everything is taken
care of and that it is finished irreversibly," Magd says.
"You can never claim that."
And while the government may indeed be re-examining the case,
it is not clear how open it is to correction.
The Middle East News Agency reported Friday that the letter
bombs may have been sent by Egyptian radicals living abroad.