In a statement released to jihadist forums this evening, Sinai-based Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) claimed responsibility for four attacks today in the Cairo area, including a car bombing outside the Cairo Security Directorate. The attacks, the first by the group outside North Sinai since Dec. 24, left six people dead and over 70 wounded.
The first attack came only a few hours after Ansar Jerusalem had issued an audio warning. In the message, an Ansar Jerusalem official identified as Abu Osama al Masri urged Egyptian security personnel to repent and save themselves. “If you can escape with your weapon then do that. Otherwise, you know that soldiers are dealt with as one bloc. We will target you as we target your leaders,” al Masri said.
The explosion at the security directorate was caused by a remotely detonated car bomb, the group claimed in the statement, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. The second attack targeted security forces who had been “ordered to suppress one of the demonstrations.” The third attack, which was carried out with four hand grenades, targeted a security patrol near the Talabiya police station. The group’s final attack, the statement said, targeted “the criminal apostate Garir Mustafa while he was on his way with a security force to suppress a demonstration on Haram Street.”
After mentioning the four attacks, Ansar Jerusalem again warned that Egyptians should stay away from police and military headquarters. “We face difficulties while attacking without inflicting harm in the ranks of the Muslims,” the group said. The communique concluded by warning: “This is the first of the rain … watch over your sons.”
Following the formal announcement, Ansar Jerusalem issued a number of disclaimers related to the manner in which its messages are released. First, the group reiterated that it is not on any social media networks, a matter explored in depth by The Long War Journal. Second, the group announced that it does not use email “with any official or non-official parties.” Finally, the group reiterated that its official material is released only through the jihadist forums of Al Fajr Media Center, al Qaeda’s exclusive media distribution outlet.
For more information on Ansar Jerusalem and today’s attacks, see LWJ report, Bombings in Cairo kill at least 6, injure dozens more.