Created on Friday, 23 May 2014 10:12
Written by Elad Benari - Arutz Sheva
The leader of an Al-Qaeda-inspired group that fired rockets
from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula towards the Israeli city of Eilat was killed in a drive-by shooting on Thursday, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
Three associates of the leader of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group were killed in the same incident as well, senior Egyptian security officials said.
The development deals a heavy blow to the group, which has claimed scores of deadly attacks across Egypt since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July.
According to three senior security officials, Shadi el-Manaei, who headed the group, and the three others were found dead after unidentified gunmen sprayed their vehicle with bullets on a road in central Sinai.
The officials said that according to the police investigation, 15 men in vehicles and armed with automatic machineguns, attacked el-Manaei's car to avenge the killings of tribesmen by his terror group.
Several months ago, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis denounced the Egyptian army
as “an enemy of Allah” because of its crackdown on Sinai terrorists and called for “jihad” against it.
Egypt's military-backed interim government has blamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group for the violence, outlawing it and calling it a terrorist organization
. The Brotherhood denies being involved in the violence.
The United States has designated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis a foreign terrorist organization. Egypt just recently charged 200 suspected members
of the group with carrying out over 50 terrorist attacks, killing 40 policemen and 15 civilians and conspiring with Hamas.