Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula announces formation

A new jihadist group that calls itself Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula has announced its formation and has vowed to “fulfill the oath” of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula made the announcement in an unsigned statement released on the Sinam al Islam jihadist web forum on Dec. 20. The statement was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

“With this message we send you the good tidings of the birth of the group ‘Ansar al-Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula,’ and we pledge unto Allah the Great and Almighty to do our best to fight the corrupt regime and its henchmen among the Jews, the Americans, and those around them,” the statement said.

The terror group pledged “to fulfill the oath of the martyr of the Ummah, our Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on him: ‘I swear by Allah the Great who raised the sky without pillars, that America nor those who live in America will ever enjoy security as long as we don’t live it in reality in Palestine and before all the disbelieving armies get out of the Land of Muhammad ….'”

Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula blamed the “suffering” of the Egyptian people on the government of former President Hosni Mubarak, “his criminal allies, and what is called Israel, the usurpers of the land of the Palestine,” as well as ‘the great enemy of Islam, the cursed ‘America.'”

It is unclear if Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula is the same as another group that calls itself Al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula. The latter group announced its existence this summer when it released pamphlets in the town of Al Arish in the northern Sinai. The group carried out several bombings this year against a natural gas pipeline that runs from Egypt to Israel.

Al Qaeda in the Sinai is also thought to have been involved in a series of attacks in August near the Israeli resort town of Eliat that killed eight Israelis.

In its statement, Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula lauded the attacks near Eliat and praised “the masked martyr Salim Muhammad Jom’ah … who is only a hero who moved a lot of the laggards in order to plant fear in the Jews through the operation of Umm al-Rashrash [Eilat].”

Security in the Sinai Peninsula has deteriorated since the popular uprising last winter that resulted in former President Mubarak’s ouster. Hundreds of Islamists, many from Ayman al Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Group, have been freed from prisons, and some are thought to have returned to support terror groups.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Gerald says:

    Bunch of ex-con dead enders who have nothing better do than martyr themselves. Pathetic.

  • mike merlo says:

    This news is most welcome. These Dark Age revivalists historically cannibalize their own & the indigenous institutions arrayed about them before fully devoting themselves to their professed & preferred targets. The Egyptians should expect the surfacing of Zarqawis’ among them. I wonder if Zawaheri has a ‘hand’ in this?

  • JRP says:

    Interesting that Zawahiri’s name comes up in this story. He is not irrelevant as so many think. It would be the height of irony, if things in Egypt got so bad as to make it now hospitable for Zawahiri to return there from Pakistan, where presumably he is in hiding and under the protection of The Taliban and Pakistani Security Services.

  • Daniel says:

    This will get very interesting. The Sinai is a huge source of income because of the tourism industry. So, many a throat to slit for the Islamists.
    The potential pit falls for the Egyptian government are very very deep. That is when they are not whipping there own citizens through down town Cairo.
    Many Israeli’s love the Sinai as a place of rest in its spectacular nature.
    The local Beduin who run most of the simple and very popular guest houses often have much better relations with the Israeli’s and other tourists since the Egyptians/Arabs discriminate against them in so many ways.
    Apart from the ongoing carnage in the capital, the Sinai Beduin will be pitted against the terrorists as they endanger their meager livelihood through threats against their paying customers. I recall the massacre in the mid 90’s when dozens of Swiss tourists ( of all people ) were murdered in the south of the country.
    During more peaceful times in the previous years tens of thousands of Israeli’s would spend weekend’s and longer on the beaches in simple but charming hostels owned and run by the local Beduin.
    The Beduin practice a benign form of Islam, due to the fact that they are outside the urban Islamist/nationalist discourse and are culturally far removed from the average Arab. Living under the stars in the desert they are considered backward and pliable by the governmental power structure i.e. corrupt officials who are racist towards them.

  • Gitsum says:

    Agreed Gerald, this is total pathetic has-been behavior. Get with the Spring,or get lost.(A new slogan)


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