Islamic State attacks in the Sinai persist despite Egyptian military operations against it.
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 Islamic State’s so-called Sinai province launched a lethal assault on an Egyptian military outpost in the northern Sinai earlier today. It may be the deadliest attack on Egyptian forces in the peninsula since July 1, 2015. More than 20 soldiers, including several officers, were reportedly killed.
The ninth issue of the Islamic State’s Rumiyah (“Rome”) magazine features an interview with the group’s “emir” in Egypt. He concedes that the jihadists’ church bombings and ideology are not popular inside Egypt. Regardless, Rumiyah attempts to justify the Islamic State’s anti-Christian terror.
Islamic State gunmen shot and killed at least one Egyptian policeman near the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the southern Sinai late yesterday. Several others were reportedly wounded. The group’s Sinai “province” is waging a low-grade insurgency against the Egyptian government and claims to have executed scores of attacks this year.
The Islamic State has claimed credit for bombings at two Coptic churches in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria earlier today. The attacks killed dozens of people and wounded approximately 100 others. The so-called caliphate has a history of targeting Christians in Iraq, Egypt and Libya.