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Egypt’s first civilian president acted at a moment when the military was humiliated over a major security failure in Sinai, the deadliest internal attack on soldiers in modern history. Several days before the killings, Israel warned that an attack was imminent. The intelligence chief was sacked after it emerged in Egyptian media that he knew of the Israeli warning but did not act.

Sinai has been plunged into lawlessness and the rest of the country has seen a sharp deterioration in security while the military ruled.

The military has a vast economic empire that accounts for about 25 percent of GDP. But the military was tainted in the 17 months they ran the country after Mubarak’s ouster, with the SCAF accused of mismanaging the transitional period and committing human rights violations.

Morsi’s moves could heighten fears in Egypt and abroad that the U.S.-educated Islamist leader may have accumulated too much power in his hands and those of the Mulsim Brotherhood, his fundamentalist group.

Some are anxious that Egypt will only move from an authoritarian state to an Islamic state.