The Libyan National Army (LNA) claims to have captured Hisham al-Ashmawy, a former Egyptian officer who defected to the jihadists’ cause. Ashmawy has been accused of orchestrating jihadist operations in both Egypt and Libya. The Egyptian government alleges that he has been involved in a series of terrorist attacks targeting officials.
The US Treasury Department has designated 5 members of al Qaeda’s international “facilitation and fundraising” network, as well as one of the Islamic State’s “critical facilitators” in North Africa. One of the newly designated jihadists, known as Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, was as an extremist preacher in Australia before relocating to Syria and joining Al Nusrah Front.
The Islamic State’s Sinai “province” claimed responsibility for a bombing at a hotel in the Sinai earlier today. The group continues to run a prolific insurgency and has proven it is capable of committing mass casualty terrorist attacks against civilians as well.
The Islamic State’s so-called Sinai “province” has claimed responsibility for a car bombing outside of a Cairo courthouse and an Egyptian national security building earlier today.
A group called Al Murabitoon has released a video featuring its emir, a former Egyptian special forces named Hisham Ali Ashmawi. He is wanted for a string of attacks in Egypt, including the assassination of Egypt’s chief prosecutor in late June. Al Murabitoon makes its loyalty to al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri clear in the video.
The Islamic State’s Sinai “province” has claimed responsibility for three failed rocket attacks on Israel earlier today. The attacks came just days after the group launched a massive operation against Egyptian security forces in the Sinai.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have issued eulogies for Hammam Attiyah, who led Ajnad Misr until his death earlier this month. Little is known about Attiyah, but the eulogies are a significant indication that Ajnad Misr operates as part of al Qaeda’s international network.
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In statements posted on Twitter earlier today, the Islamic State’s “provinces” in Egypt and Libya claimed recent attacks in both countries.
Ajnad Misr says in a statement that the US is the real “terrorist” organization, and claims to be fighting a “global system” that seeks to thwart the revolution in Egypt. The group’s rhetoric is similar to al Qaeda’s.
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Wilayat Sinai (formerly known as Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) has taken credit for killing an American in August. The statement was released on Twitter with an accompanying picture of the American’s identification cards.
The Islamic State’s supporters are encouraging young jihadist recruits to travel to the Sinai. According to one online jihadist, the Islamic State’s expansion into the Sinai and throughout North Africa will facilitate the “liquidating” of the Jews.
A new video has been posted online by jihadists claiming to be the Islamic State’s official arm in the Sinai. The Sinai jihadists were formerly part of Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, but are now marketing themselves as the Islamic State’s representatives.
An unidentified jihadist has released an audio recording saying that Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, the most prolific terrorist group in Egypt, has pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdad’s Islamic State.
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Under pressure, Sinai jihadists threaten more beheadings
A little more than one week after the Islamic State released a video featuring the beheading of an American photojournalist, Ansar Jerusalem has released a video online showing four Egyptian civilians being executed in the same manner. The video marks an escalation in the tactics Ansar Jerusalem is willing to broadcast in its propaganda.
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Ansar Jerusalem says that, contrary to claims made by Egyptian security officials, Shadi el Menai has not been killed and is not the group’s leader. Ansar Jerusalem says the Egyptian government does not even know who the real leader of the group is.
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If Ansar Jerusalem takes credit for today’s suicide attacks, it would be the group’s first claimed attack since bombing a tourist bus in Taba in mid-February. In addition, the two bombings would be the fifth and sixth suicide attacks by the jihadist group since September 2013.
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It is unclear whether the suspected jihadist is linked to Ansar Jerusalem. At least four AJ fighters are known to have fought in Syria prior to returning to Egypt, where they died.
Ansar Jerusalem has yet to comment on today’s reported events. Since 2011, the Sinai-based jihadist group has confirmed dead only 25 named members.
The video’s release comes a day after the US designated Ansar Jerusalem as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity.
The State Department today added the Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Jerusalem to the US government’s lists of designated terrorist organizations. Although State says the group “generally maintains a local focus,” its attacks are entirely consistent with al Qaeda’s global jihad.