Ansar Jerusalem threatens Egyptian security forces as army claims successes
In a statement released to jihadist forums on Dec. 22, the Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) called on members of Egypt's army and police forces to leave their positions. In the message, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, Ansar Jerusalem called on conscripts to recognize that the security services "are using you as a tool in implementing the schemes of the Jews and Christians and waging war on Islam and Muslims."
"With your staying in these institutions from evening to morning, you are incurring the anger of Allah," the statement said. Ansar Jerusalem further urged the families of those involved in the security forces to "help their sons ... leave the service of these institutions."
And in a message to those who may soon become conscripts, Ansar Jerusalem advised them to "be careful." "We are keen that you not lose your religion and world, and we are calling you to be one of the soldiers from the Most Merciful and not one of the solders of Satan," the statement declared.
Ansar Jerusalem concluded its message by warning that those in the security forces who do not leave will have no one "to blame but himself." "[W]e are the most resolute and determined to carry out the command of Allah and His Messenger to do jihad against you and fight you until all the religion is for Allah," the group declared.
In the new communique, the Sinai-based jihadist group also explained why it concluded that deeming the Egyptian army "takfir" [deeming a Muslim a disbeliever] is appropriate. According to the jihadist group, the army can been deemed "takfir" because it fights those who try to apply sharia, gives space to those who mock Islam, protects the secular system of government, and helps Jews and Christian in their war on Islam and Muslims. On Sept. 10, Ansar Jerusalem had declared that "it is obligatory to repulse them [the Egyptian army] and fight them until the command of Allah is fulfilled."
The latest statement from Ansar Jerusalem comes just over a week after the jihadist group called on Egyptian students to continue holding protests at their respective universities. In that statement, the group called for additional protests and for those protesting to make their goal the empowerment of Islamic sharia. The statement concluded with the jihadist group telling the protesters that "your blood is our blood, your honor is our honor, and we will support even after a while."
Ansar Jerusalem, which was founded by Egyptians, is the dominant jihadist group operating in the Sinai Peninsula today. The group, whose fighters are often seen with the al Qaeda flag, has claimed credit for a number of attacks against Israel and Egypt over the past two years. The group also releases its propaganda through al Qaeda's exclusive media distribution network.
Egypt's army spokesman Ahmed Ali today said operations in North Sinai in recent months have resulted in the death of as many as 184 terrorists. "He said about 25 percent of those killed and arrested are foreign fighters, but didn't provide further details," the Associated Press reported.