A new jihadist group calling itself the Brigades of Lone Wolves has announced its establishment and claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Egypt in two recent statements. In its first statement, released on Dec. 27, the group denounced the Egyptian army for “killing Muslims and displacing them, detaining them, and violating their dignity and honor.”
“Defending the Muslims and protecting their honor is a duty, and it is not allowed for us to delay for that or slow down in executing it,” the statement said, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group. The communique further stated that the group is determined to fight the Egyptian army, which it views as an apostate body, until victory or death.
“Rush to the fields of the men, the fields of the heroes, before it is too late,” the group urged Muslim youth in Egypt. Like statements from Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), the dominant Sinai-based jihadist group, the statement from the Brigades of Lone Wolves advised Egyptian Muslims to stay away of sites tied to Egypt’s security services.
In its second statement, released on Jan. 3, the Brigades of Lone Wolves claimed responsibility for five attacks and a kidnapping. According to the statement, the group’s members kidnapped the daughter of a senior official from the Interior Ministry and left her bound in a car with a message stating: “We also can reach you in your houses. Stay away from our women; otherwise, your children will be considered a permissible target for us.”
The group also claimed to have attacked police stations in Shubra el Kheima as well as in Alexandria, where it also claimed to have targeted a checkpoint and military vehicle. According to the communique, which did not provide a date for any of the alleged attacks, its fighters also killed “a group of thugs who were working with the police” in the Nasr City area.
Finally, the group claimed to have targeted “an energy transformer that supplied the General Intelligence building in the area of Hada’iq al-Quba in Cairo.” The group’s claims match the description of an incident covered by the Egyptian media on Jan 3.
The message concluded by warning that “the Brigades of Lone Wolves in the land of Egypt are moving forward in their jihad” and that more from them will come in the future.
Since July 3, there have been at least 275 reported attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, most of which were carried out against Egyptian security forces and assets, according to data maintained by The Long War Journal. A good number of these attacks, including the Nov. 20 car bombing that killed 11 Egyptian security personnel, have been claimed by Ansar Jerusalem.
Attacks by Sinai-based jihadists, Ansar Jerusalem specifically, have also taken place in the Egyptian mainland. On Sept. 5, the jihadist group used a suicide car bomber in an assassination attempt in Nasr City on Egypt’s interior minister, Mohammed Ibrahim. A month later, an Ansar Jerusalem suicide bomber unleashed a blast at the South Sinai Security Directorate in el Tor, which killed three security personnel and injured more than 45. On Oct. 19, the Sinai-based jihadist group targeted a military intelligence building in the city of Ismailia in another car bombing. And on Nov. 19, the group claimed responsibility for the shooting attack on Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Mabrouk, a senior national security officer, in Cairo. Most recently, Ansar Jerusalem took responsibility for the Dec. 24 suicide car bombing attack outside the Daqahliya security directorate in Mansoura that killed more than a dozen people and injured over 130.
The al Furqan Brigades, which are not believed to be based in the Sinai, have also claimed responsibility for a number of shootings and rocket attacks in the Egyptian mainland since the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi in early July. In contrast to Ansar Jerusalem, the group has yet to claim responsibility for any large car or suicide bombings.