In a video released to jihadist forums today, Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) claimed responsibility for a Dec. 29 car bombing outside a military intelligence building in Anshas in the Sharkiya governorate. The attack, which wounded at least four security personnel, had previously been unclaimed.
The video included clips of attacks by security forces on protesters. Ansar Jerusalem specifically noted assaults on female protesters, an issue noted in previous statements from the group. For example, in late November Ansar Jerusalem said its Nov. 17 killing of Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Mabrouk, a senior national security officer, was in response to the arrest and interrogation of Muslim women by Egyptian security forces.
The car bombing in Anshas came approximately five days after an Ansar Jerusalem suicide car bombing attack outside the Daqahliya security directorate in Mansoura killed more than a dozen people and injured over 130 more.
In its claim of responsibility for the Mansoura attack, Ansar Jerusalem said it would continue to fight and reiterated its warning for Egyptian Muslims to stay away from buildings associated with the security forces. The group, which has issued such warnings since at least September, stated in an Oct. 21 communiqué that police and military headquarters “are legitimate targets for the mujahideen.”
Since July 3, there have been more than 300 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. On Jan. 26, Ansar Jerusalem released video of its fighters using a surface-to-air missile to take down an Egyptian helicopter operating in North Sinai. Five Egyptian soldiers were killed in the attack.
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. In late December, an Ansar Jerusalem suicide car bombing attack outside the Daqahliya security directorate in Mansoura killed over a dozen people and injured over 130 more. Most recently, Ansar Jerusalem took credit for a series of bombings in Cairo, including a car bombing at the Cairo Security Directorate, on Jan. 24, 2014, that left at least six people dead. On Jan. 28, the group said its fighters were responsible for the assassination of an aide to Egypt’s Interior Minister in Cairo.