Islamic State could be imposing its rules over North Sinai Provicne, according to Reuters. Indeed, Interviews with residents of North Sinai and reviews of Islamic State videos suggest the group’s local affiliate, known as Sinai Province, is seeking to impose its hardline interpretation of Islam on the local populace for the first time. According to Sinai Province videos reviewed by Reuters, the group has created a morality police force, known as a Hisba, to enforce strict rules against such behaviour as smoking, men shaving their beards or women exposing their faces. And, even if the Cairo policy toward islamic groups is cleared, the eradication of these groups, we can still deplored terrorist attacks, and peoples killed or injured by IS in North Sinai Province. According to the report, IS try to keep an influence on the area, in despite of controlling a geographic area.
In a highly unusual move, Israel shut down the Taba Crossing to Israelis trying to enter Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on the eve of Passover on Monday, citing fears of an imminent terror attack by the Islamic State terror group. Israel announced the closure of the border for at least one week (until next Thursday). However, thousands of Israelis were expected to pass the border for the Passover Holidays. The closure was ordered by Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, after discussion with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other security officials. Since the official opening of the border in 1982, it had been closed few times, the last one had been in 2014.
A North Sinai police colonel was killed Wednesday night in a bomb attack on a security checkpoint in North Sinai, Egypt’s interior ministry announced. Colonel Yasser El-Hadidi was killed when a bomb exploded near his patrol in El-Arish, in the vicinity of the city’s third police station, the ministry said on its official Facebook page.Three other policemen were also injured in the attack. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes only a few days after the army said security forces arrested 12 “extremely dangerous” leaders of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in central Sinai. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the main Islamist group battling the Egyptian state in North Sinai, has changed its name from “Sinai Province” to the “Islamic State in Egypt”.
After attacks against Copt community these weeks, Egyptian government has chosen to repress terrorists who had committed attacks. Friday night, some military staff had appeared in the street of the terrorized city, after the fleeing of some families due to the former exactions. However, this military presence didn’t stop terrorits attacks. Saturday night, a young egyptain had been killed by ISIS in the region, after his kidnapping in the afternoon. The terrorist group affiliated to ISIS since 2014 creates the terror in the city.
Dozens of Coptic families have fled North Sinai as jihadist attacks against Christians grow in number. Simultaneously, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis fired missiles across the border into Israel, prompting an Israeli response that killed several Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis operatives in Egypt, and security forces launched a new sweep of Gabal Al-Halal, a notorious militant hideout.According to sources interviewed, the connection is clear. It is reinforced, they say, by the growing role played by Gaza jihadists in the leadership of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a role they claim is reflected in the ferocious campaign to discredit Cairo’s policy towards the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process, which has included leaks from the Aqaba summit and the spreading of rumours of a land exchange that would allow Palestinians to settle in Sinai.Analysts also believe the attacks against Copts are part of an attempt to place Egypt in an awkward situation internationally. The recent incidents occurred in tandem with a number of high-profile visits — of the British foreign secretary and the German chancellor — and ahead of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s upcoming visit to the US.The idea of “correspondence” between radical Islamist organisations begs the question of Muslim Brotherhood involvement.A security source points to the resemblance between the video claiming responsibility for the bombing of St Peter’s Church in December and the video posted on Al-Nabaa calling for attacks against Copts. Both, he says, display “a distinct Brotherhood tone perceptible in the rhetorical details suggesting that the Brotherhood media machine or, more precisely, rebel factions within the Brotherhood such as Hasm and the Revolution Brigade, had a hand in its making”.
A serie of attack have touched the city of Al-Arich (North Sinai) these weeks. These attacks has been revendicated by Ansar Beit Al-Maqudès (ISIS in Egypt). Attacks against Copt community aren’t a recent fact, we can unfortunately remember the bomb attack at the church of St Peter and St Paul in Cairo (December). But on last Wednesday, Amnesty International accused the Egyptian government to have fail in his mission to protect Christians in North Sinai. Copt community icondamned to flee toward Ovest of the countrie.
Army units affiliated to the second field army launched a military sweeping operation on Tuesday in some regions in North Sinai that left six militants killed. The campaign targeted militants and other suspects who are involved in terrorising civilians in North Sinai’s cities. According to the statement that was released by the official spokesperson of the army, the Air Forces struck against four stationing points associated with militants; other forces also discovered and destroyed two tunnels inside the city of Rafah. “Army forces also managed to blow up a storage that contained motorbikes used by militants, as well as detonating four Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) that had been prepared to be used against army and police forces moving around North Sinai”, the army spokesperson’s statement read. Meanwhile, the continuous sweeping operations of the army inside the city of Al-Arish targeted areas used by the militants as stationing points and centres from where they launched their Attacks. The sweeping operation continued through a number of farms inside the city of Al-Arish that were regularly used as hiding places for militants, who are believed to be members of the IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’. The operation resulted in the injury of an army officer and five other conscripts due to an IED explosion that targeted their armoured vehicle.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday that he had rejected an earlier plan to evacuate North Sinai of its residents to better combat Jihadists in the area. “Forty months ago, I received a plan to evacuate the entire North Sinai region to combat terrorism. My answer was ‘no,’ let the people live their lives and we will act like a surgeon who uses his scalpel to extract the tumor without harming the rest of the body”, the president said on Tuesday at the Presidential Leadership Program for youth. El-Sisi’s comments come as dozens of Christians have fled North Sinai over the past few days over attacks against Copts in the governorate. El-Sisi asserts that these latest attacks aim at spreading the idea that the state is failing to protect “a primary element” of the Egyptian nation. Last week, the Islamic State militant group called on its supporters to attack Christians across the country in a video where it claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a church in Cairo in December. Several days after the video was released, three Christians were murdered in El-Aris.
Under the name of Islamic State in Egypt and with the headline of “Fight All Infidels”, the so-called Islamic State (IS) group released a new video, issuing fierce threats against the Coptic citizens of Egypt and accusing them of insulting Islam, threatening to carry out more attacks against them.The perpetrator, who appeared under the name of Abo Abdullah Al Masry urged IS affiliated militants in different parts of the world to liberate the detained Muslims in Egypt and said that they [IS] would reach Cairo soon. In response to the IS video, the Observatory for Extremist and Takfiri Thoughts, affiliated with the Dar Al-Ifta, issued a statement on Monday that carried commentary and analysis of the content of the IS video. The Observatory’s role is to monitor extremist views and provide a counter-narrative. The Observatory noted that the released video is aiming to create sectarian strife between Egyptian Muslims and Coptic citizens by distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses and by portraying the relationship between Muslims and Copts as based on conflict and bloodshed. “The most prominent observation of the IS-released video is the absence of the name ‘Sinai Province’ and that it instead uses Islamic State in Egypt; this step only aims to give the impression that ‘Sinai Province’ group’s operations exceed Sinai Peninsula and they had reached Cairo, especially following the Cairo Church attack that is considered a turning point in the IS terrorist work in Egypt”, the report read. “The IS group aims to put Egyptian Muslim citizens in opposition to the Egyptian state by alleging that the government is only protecting Coptic citizens and securing their churches while it allegedly demolishes mosques, burns the Qur’an, and kills Muslims”, the Observatory’s statement continued.