Mujahideen Shura Council denies involvement in Sinai assault

The Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem [MSC], one of several jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda that have emerged in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula since the Arab Spring began in the country early last year, has denied involvement in last night’s assault that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and resulted in the storming of an Israeli checkpoint. The MSC issued a statement today on jihadist forums that was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group:

We in the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem don’t have any relation from near or fear [far] with the attack that targeted the Egyptian army on the border with occupied Palestine [Gaza] on 5-8-2012.

The MSC upbraided the media for claiming that it or “the jihadi groups working against the Jews” were involved in the attack. The MSC also noted that in its June 18 attack in the Sinai that killed an Israeli construction worker, “the Egyptian army was avoided while attacking the Jewish forces.”

Lastly, the MSC suggested that the attack was a conspiracy to get regional actors to “carry out an oppressive campaign against the sincere mujahideen, who have proven that their main goal is to fight the usurping Jews.”

The other known jihadist groups that operate in the Sinai — Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its military arm, Ansar al Jihad, and the newly-formed Jund al Sharia — have yet to claim credit for the strike.

For more information on yesterday’s attack and the jihadist groups operating in the region, see LWJ report, ‘Global jihadists’ overrun Egyptian Army outpost on Israeli border.

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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