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68 items tagged "Sinai Terrorism"

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Egypt's ISIS affiliate kills police driver in the Sinai

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 27 August 2016 08:51
Sinai ISIS affiliate kills police driverEgyptian security officials on Thursday said a police driver kidnapped this week has been publicly shot dead in Sinai by suspected jihadists from the local Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate.
 
The officials, quoted by The Associated Press, said three terrorists and the policeman arrived Thursday at el-Arish's residential al-Masaeed district in a green pickup truck.
 
The policeman, blindfolded with his arms and legs tied by a robe, was then brought out and shot twice in the head.
 
He had been kidnapped by the jihadists Tuesday while driving a police car in el-Arish. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
 
Egypt has been fighting an insurgency in the Sinai which began shortly the 2011 ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak and has gotten even worse since the army ousted former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
 
Most of the terrorist attacks in the Sinai have been claimed by the Sinai Province terrorist group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
 
Among the attacks claimed by Sinai Province in recent years were the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai.
 
The group has also claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks from the Sinai Peninsula on southern Israel.

Sisi: Security Measures Near Gaza Not Harming Palestinians

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 01 October 2015 12:15
Fights terrorismEgyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Saturday said the security measures taken by his country along the border with Gaza were not aimed at "harming" Palestinians, AFP reports.
 
"The measures taken by Egypt to secure its eastern borders are in full coordination with the Palestinian Authority and cannot have the aim of harming our Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip," Sisi was quoted as saying in a statement sent by his office.
 
"The measures seek to protect the Egyptian borders and maintain Egyptian and Palestinian national security," he added.
 
Al-Sisi reportedly made the comments during a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas in New York, where they are attending the United Nations General Assembly.
 
Egypt began creating a wide buffer zone along the Gaza border in late 2014 in a bid to destroy the hundreds of smuggling tunnels Cairo says are used by Palestinian activists to deliver weapons to jihadists who are battling Egyptian forces in the Sinai peninsula.
 
The decision on the buffer zone was made following two deadly attacks in October in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Egypt’s deadliest terrorist group, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Egyptian sources revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels, a charge which Hamas denies.
 
In recent weeks, Egypt has also been carrying out digging work in the area that Palestinians believe is intended to flood the last remaining tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai.
 
The work has been criticized by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs Gaza, with chief Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday accusing Egypt of further besieging the enclave.
 
Cairo also came under fire from Human Rights Watch this week, which said Egypt's military had "violated international law" through mass home demolitions in the buffer zone and accused the government of failing to provide adequately for about 3,200 families after their evictions.
 
The watchdog also said Egypt had not "provided proof that insurgents receive military support from Gaza".
 
Since the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013, jihadist groups have stepped up their attacks against Egyptian security forces in the northern Sinai peninsula.
 
Most of the attacks in the Sinai have been claimed by the Sinai Province, which is affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS). Among the attacks claimed by the group was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 

Egypt Kills 63 Jihadists in the Sinai

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 08 July 2015 12:00
Apache helicopterEgypt's military on Sunday launched airstrikes and ground operations that killed 63 Islamists in North Sinai, security sources said, according to the Reuters news agency.
 
The Sinai has recently witnessed some of the heaviest fighting between security forces and Islamists since the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
 
Security sources said on Sunday that troops killed the 63 in villages between the towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, Reuters reported.
 
The army found four hideouts and attacked them with Apache helicopters and ground troops. It also attacked vehicles belonging to the militants, the security sources added.
 
Islamic State's Egypt affiliate, recently renamed Sinai Province, has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Morsi’s removal.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
Though the vast peninsula has long been a security headache for Egypt and its neighbors, the removal of Morsi brought new violence that has grown into an Islamist insurgency that has spread out of the region.
 
Just last week, the Islamists carried out a multi-pronged attack in which some 50 Egyptian soldiers were killed.
 
Egyptian government officials have accused Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood of links to Sinai attacks. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement that wants to reverse what it calls a military coup through street protests.
 
Egypt's interior ministry said on Sunday it had arrested 12 Brotherhood members who had formed three cells with the intention of carrying out attacks on policemen, soldiers and military and police bases, according to Reuters.
 
Also on Sunday, the prosecutors referred to trial 22 people charged with planting bombs near targets including the high court and cabinet buildings, state news agency MENA reported.
 
On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi said that Egypt had foiled an attempt by the Islamic State (ISIS) group to seize territory and set up an extremist state in the Sinai.
 
Sisi praised Egyptian troops for “foiling a very big plan” and added, “No one can impose on the Egyptians something they don’t want. To reach the Egyptians they have to pass through the army, the sons of Egypt.”

Will Egypt Ask for IAF Assistance in Sinai?

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:40
Egyptian TanksHow can Israel deal with the rising threat of ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, along its southern border?
 
Middle East expert Prof. Hillel Frisch of the Begin-Sadat Center doesn't rule out possibility that Israel will help Egypt deal with ISIS, by delivering air strikes.
 
“We can only do what the Egyptians ask us to do. If [ISIS forces] gain strength as they have been, and the Egyptians ask for our help – especially aerial help – I'm sure that the Israeli Air Force will be more than willing and forthcoming to meet that challenge.”
 
Frisch said that Israel has an interest in the defeat of ISIS in Sinai, since it poses a threat to tourism in Eilat and to some points along Israel's border. On the other hand, Israel will have a problem letting large Egyptian ground forces into the peninsula, because Sinai needs to remain a buffer zone between itself and Egypt, as stipulated by the peace treaty with Egypt.
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The professor said that in a Machiavellian sense, Israel gains from Egypt's problems with ISIS, since as long as these occupy Egypt's attention, Egypt is not as hostile toward Israel on matters like the Palestinian issue or the nuclear issue.

Sisi: We Foiled an ISIS Attempt to Set Up State in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 08 July 2015 10:24
ISIS Attempt to Set Up State in SinaiEgyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi on Saturday said that Egypt had foiled an attempt by the Islamic State (ISIS) group to seize territory and set up an extremist state in the Sinai, reports The Associated Press (AP).
 
Speaking to members of the army in a televised speech which marked his first public remarks since Wednesday’s multi-pronged jihadist attack in the restive peninsula, Sisi said the jihadists had tried to announce “an Islamic state, in their concept, an Islamic State in Sinai” .
 
“These are the messages, very simply, that they are putting out to us,” said the president, adding that the area was now under control.
 
Sisi praised the troops for “foiling a very big plan” and added, “No one can impose on the Egyptians something they don’t want. To reach the Egyptians they have to pass through the army, the sons of Egypt.”
 
Wednesday’s attack, which was claimed by the Sinai Province, ISIS’ affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, lasted a whole day and was unprecedented in its size and coordination. The attack hit a string of army checkpoints and involved multiple suicide bombings and the siege of a main police station with heavy weapons.
 
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday blamed the past week’s violence on the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which it said was not only the main source of Islamic extremism, but also coordinated operations on the ground.
 
“All of these attacks were conducted days apart, and showed a level of sophistication and coordination that affirms the presence of organized terrorist activity perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood,” it said in a statement given to reporters on Saturday and quoted by AP.
 
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the timing of the recent attacks make the associations between the Brotherhood and Daesh extremists “apparent,” using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
 
“This is a matter of motives... I, as I think any Egyptian on the street, will make the educated presumption that this was perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the (online) sites of Muslim Brotherhood rejoiced at the fact,” he said, according to AP.
 
Hours after Wednesday’s attack, Egypt's government adopted an anti-terror law which it said would provide "means to drain the sources of terrorism financing."
 
Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the Sinai over the last few years.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
On Friday, the group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack from the Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel.

Egypt Passes Anti-Terror Law Hours after Sinai Attack

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 July 2015 18:52
Egypt Passes Anti-Terror LawEgypt's government on Wednesday night adopted a controversial anti-terror law and requested a faster court appeals process, AFP reports.
 
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who vowed to adopt tougher measures following the killing of state prosecutor Hisham Barakat on Monday, is expected to swiftly ratify the law, the report said.
 
Wednesday's draft law will provide "means to drain the sources of terrorism financing," a cabinet statement said.
 
Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim Henaidy told the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper that the new law will "stipulate harsher punishment" to those convicted of "belonging to a terrorist group...committing terrorist acts or had used violence".
 
The law will also widen the powers of "investigators of terrorist crimes," grant new authorities to the prosecution, and "facilitate procedures to inspect and examine bank accounts," of suspects, Henaidy said.
 
The new law was adopted hours after a multi-pronged jihadist attack against the Egyptian military in the Sinai Peninsula left up to 50 Egyptian soldiers dead.
 
The attacks, which were claimed by a terrorist group linked to the Islamic State (ISIS), included a suicide car bomb detonated against a military checkpoint at Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai, which caused most of the casualties.
 
There were also apparently multiple attacks on other military checkpoints and an explosive device was detonated on a major highway.
 
In July 2013, then army chief Sisi deposed his Islamist predecessor Mohammed Morsi and has overseen a brutal crackdown against his supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands jailed.
 
Since Morsi’s overthrow, Egypt has been facing a Sinai-based insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.
 
Sinai Province, a group affiliated with ISIS formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the Sinai over the last few years.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
In another recent attack, members of the group killed two Egyptian judges and a prosecutor in the Sinai, in an attack which came hours after a court in Cairo sentenced Morsi to death for his role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
 
The leader of Sinai Province later called on the group’s followers to continue to attack local judges.

Egypt Kills 22 Suspected Terrorists in the Sinai

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 18:42
Egypt Kills Terrorists in the SinaiEgyptian security forces on Monday killed 22 suspected terrorists who were planning to target security forces in the restive North Sinai province, security sources said, according to Reuters.
 
The sources said security forces struck a group of people meeting outside a mosque south of the town of Sheikh Zuwayed who were planning an attack on security points.
 
They also targeted a vehicle with four militants and two more riding a motorcycle, the report said.
 
Earlier Monday at least eight policemen and civilians were wounded when explosions hit two houses in El-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai, security and medical sources said.
 
Terrorists had planted two bombs in two adjacent houses, both inhabited by police, the sources were quoted by Reuters as having said. The force of the explosions led to the collapse of large parts of the homes, injuring three policemen and five civilians.
 
The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.
 
Egypt is facing a Sinai-based insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July of 2013.
 
Sinai Province, a group affiliated with the Islamic State and formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the Sinai over the last few years.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
Most recently, members of the group killed two Egyptian judges and a prosecutor in the Sinai, in an attack which came hours after a court in Cairo sentenced Morsi to death for his role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
 
The leader of Sinai Province later called on the group’s followers to continue to attack local judges.

Sinai Terrorists Claim Rocket Attack on UN Airport

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 13 June 2015 12:00
Sinai Terrorists fires rocketsSinai Province, Islamic State's Egypt affiliate, fired rockets at the direction of an airport in Sinai used by UN peacekeeping forces on Tuesday night, Reuters reported.
 
Security sources told the news agency there were no casualties in the attack. Details of the attack were not immediately clear, with some sources saying the rockets fell inside the airport and others saying they fell outside.
 
Sinai Province claimed responsibility for the attack on several Twitter accounts linked to it, according to Reuters.
 
Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the restive Sinai Peninsula over the last few years.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
Most recently, members of the group killed two Egyptian judges and a prosecutor in the Sinai, in an attack which came hours after a court in Cairo sentenced ousted president Mohammed Morsi to death for his role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
 
The leader of Sinai Province later called on the group’s followers to continue to attack local judges.

Sinai Jihadist Leader Calls for Attacks on Local Judges

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 21 May 2015 12:57
jihadis-sinaiThe leader of Sinai Province, a terrorist group in Egypt with links to the Islamic State,on Wednesday called on followers to attack local judges, Reuters reported.
 
The call was made in an audio statement posted on a prominent jihadist website.
 
It appeared days after six members of the group were executed for an attack on soldiers in Cairo last year, and follows a court's decision on Saturday to seek the death penalty for ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
 
"It is wrong for the tyrants to jail our brothers," cleric Abu Osama al-Masry was quoted as having said, referring to judges.
 
"Poison their food... surveil them at home and in the street... destroy their homes with explosives if you can," he added.
 
Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the recording.
 
Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, is a Sinai-based terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the region over the last few years.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The Egyptian army imposed a curfew on Gaza on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and which were also claimed by the group.

Sinai Terrorists Kill Four, Including Two Judges

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 17 May 2015 00:33
Gunmen kill two Egyptian judgesGunmen on Saturday killed two Egyptian judges and a prosecutor in the Sinai Peninsula, where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency spearheaded by an Islamic State group affiliate, officials said, according to AFP.
 
The shooting in North Sinai's provincial capital El-Arish also killed the officials' driver and wounded another prosecutor, the health ministry said.
 
Police initially said three judges were killed in the attack, which came hours after a court in Cairo sentenced ousted president Mohammed Morsi to death for his role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
 
Some of Morsi's fellow defendants included jihadists in Sinai, where terrorists often attack members of the security forces.
 
Police said the officials came under attack while being driven to a court hearing in El-Arish.
 
Health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told AFP four people were killed.
 
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"Two judges, a prosecutor and the driver of the car were killed, while another prosecutor was wounded," he said.
 
Attacks on policemen and military targets have been the norm in the Sinai for years, but have increased following the ouster of Morsi.
 
Most of the attacks have been claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, a jihadist group that is affiliated with ISIS.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The Egyptian army imposed a curfew on Gaza on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and which were also claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.

Sinai Terrorists Kill 10 Soldiers in Several Attacks

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 05 April 2015 22:10
Remains of Egyptian firefight in Sinai with terroristsReutersTen Egyptian soldiers were killed and 17 others were injured in several concurrent attacks by armed groups in southern Sheikh Zuweid City in the northern Sinai on Thursday, the Ma’an news agency reported.
 
According to the news agency, clashes erupted during the attacks that targeted five military posts in al-Kharruba, Qabr Amir, al-Shallaq, al-Jura and al-Daraib.
 
During the ambushes, the armed groups fired RPG shells at Egyptian soldiers, leading to many casualties.
 
Egyptian security sources said that 15 members of the armed groups were killed, and three civilians were injured.
 
Thursday's attack held the most casualties in a continuing string of violent insurgency activity that has rocked the Sinai in recent months, noted Ma’an.
 
Attacks on policemen and military targets began to increase following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Most of the attacks have been claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, a jihadist group that is affiliated with ISIS.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The Egyptian army imposed a curfew on Gaza on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and which were also claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.

Hamas Slams Egyptian Media Over 'Incitement and Deception'

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 22 February 2015 10:03
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu ZuhriHamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri on Saturday slammed what he described as a campaign of "incitement and deception" by a number of Egyptian journalists against the Palestinian people in Gaza.
 
According to the Ma’an news agency, Abu Zuhri denied reports that Palestinian Arabs have been traveling via tunnels into Egypt recently, denouncing what he called a "Zionist-like" network that had spread the rumors and sought to sow discord between Egypt and “Palestine”.
 
All of the tunnels under the border area, he said, have been destroyed and both Egyptian and Palestinian Arab security forces have been guarding both sides of the borders.
 
Similarly, Hamas interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm denounced the "attempts to accuse the Gaza Strip of (culpability in) the ongoing events in Egypt."
 
Commenting on a report on an Egyptian TV channel Friday evening claiming that gunmen infiltrated Egyptian territory from Gaza, al-Buzm argued that "the channel which circulated the rumor is the same channel which falsely claimed a few days ago that a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed in Sinai."
 
The military-led government that ousted former Egyptian Islamist President Mohammed Morsi has cracked down on Hamas, which it accuses of an attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and of planning church bombings in Sinai.
 
Most recently, Egypt accused Hamas of providing the weapons used by terrorists for two lethal attacks in El-Arish in October, in which dozens of soldiers were killed. Following that attack, Egypt started working on a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, expelling Gazans and destroying their homes in the process.
 
Earlier this month, an Egyptian court blacklisted the so-called “military wing” of Hamas as a terrorist organization.
 
In addition to labeling Hamas a terrorist organization and outlawing it, the Egyptian government has kept the Rafah border sealed completely shut and destroyed underground tunnels that once provided a lifeline for Gaza's 1.8 million people to the outside world, but which have also been used to smuggle terrorists and weapons into Gaza.

Egyptian Airstrikes Kill Dozens of Terrorists in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Monday, 09 February 2015 10:49
Airstrikes in SinaiEgyptian military airstrikes have killed at least 27 fighters in the northern Sinai region in one of the biggest security operations in the region in months, Al-Jazeera reported on Saturday.
 
The operation began on Friday, when Apache helicopters targeted fighters belonging to the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), security sources said.
 
Hours later, soldiers shot and killed 20 fighters, the sources added, according to Al-Jazeera.
 
The Egyptian army for months has been waging war against the jihadists in the restive Sinai, and has killed hundreds of terrorists.
 
Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has have declared responsibility for most of the attacks in the area. Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
Most recently, the group claimed responsibility for coordinated attacks that killed more than 30 members of the security forces in late January.
 
The army imposed a curfew on the region  on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and which were also claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.

Dozens Killed in Series of Terrorist Attacks in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Friday, 30 January 2015 21:43
egypt-sinai-attacks-soldiersAt least 26 people were killed on Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks targeting army and police positions in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
 
Reportedly the Islamic State (ISIS) branch in the Sinai has taken credit for the attacks.
 
The attacks included car bombs and mortar rounds, and civilians were among those killed, according to the report. Reports also indicated that a senior captain may have been among the dead.
 
36 people were injured in the attacks in the town of El-Arish, in North Sinai, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency that has spiked since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
 
The terrorists fired mortar rounds and used car bombs in the attacks that targeted the headquarters of the North Sinai security directorate in El-Arish, a nearby army base, a hotel and several security checkpoints.
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Walls of surrounding buildings were cracked and windows were smashed, as troops combed the area in search of suspects, according to Al-Ahram.
 
The El-Arish office of the newspaper, located near the targeted police building, was slightly damaged in the attack.
 
The military said in a statement that the violence came in response to the "successful" security campaign against terrorists in the restive province.
 
The Egyptian army has been waging war against jihadists in the restive Sinai, and has killed hundreds of terrorists.
 
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has have declared responsibility for most of the attacks in the area. Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The army imposed a curfew on the region  on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.

Egypt Set to Begin Doubling Gaza Buffer Zone

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 01 January 2015 05:13
Egypt destroys Gaza home for buffer zoneEgypt said Tuesday that work will begin next week to double the width of a buffer zone being built along the border with Gaza to prevent terrorists infiltrating into Egypt from the region, AFP reported.
 
A 500-meter wide buffer zone is now being built along some 10 kilometers of the border, with some 800 homes being demolished in the process.
 
Work will begin next week to expand it by another 500 meters, North Sinai provincial Governor Abdel Fattah Harhur said.
 
Harhur told AFP he had met families from the area to be evacuated and told them they needed to inform authorities of the border city of Rafiah whether they want financial compensation or alternative housing.
 
The decision on the buffer zone was made following two deadly attacks in October in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Egypt’s deadliest terrorist group, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Egyptian sources have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai, thus making the buffer zone necessary.
 
As part of the buffer zone plan, the Egyptian military is seizing and evacuating homes belonging to Gazans.
 
Egypt initially said it would wipe out all homes to a depth of 500 meters(over 1,640 feet) all along the 13 kilometer (over eight mile) border. Later it doubled that depth to 1 kilometer (0.62 miles).
 
The international community has been silent thus far about the buffer zone and the expulsions that have resulted from it. One exception is Amnesty International, which condemned Egypt's demolition of hundreds of homes and called for a halt to its "unlawful evictions" of residents.

Egyptian Officer and Soldier Killed by Roadside Bomb

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 27 December 2014 13:04
Roadside BombA roadside bomb struck an Egyptian army vehicle late Thursday, killing an officer and a soldier in the insurgent flashpoint of the Sinai Peninsula, security officials said, according to the AFP news agency.
 
The attack occurred south of the town of El-Arish, scene of frequent attacks by Islamist terrorists on security forces.
 
One army officer and a soldier were killed in the blast, while another soldier was wounded.
 
Egypt's military has been battling an insurgency on the peninsula since it overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last year and cracked down on his supporters.
 
Most of the attacks have been claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, the country's deadliest terrorist group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (ISIS).
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi’s ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The government declared a state of emergency in parts of North Sinai after an October 24 suicide attack near El-Arish killed 30 soldiers in the deadliest assault on security forces since Morsi's ouster.
 
Egypt has been forming a “buffer zone” alongside the border with Gaza in response to the October attack, claiming it was aided by none other than Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
 
As part of the buffer zone plan, the Egyptian military is seizing and evacuating homes belonging to Gazans, a fact which has been mostly ignored by the world.

Egypt Doubles Size of Gaza Buffer Zone

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2014 05:05
Hamas fighters hold picture of Mohammed MorsiEgypt will double to one kilometer (0.62 mile) the depth of a buffer zone it is clearing on its border with Gaza, Reuters reported on Monday.
 
"A decision was taken to increase the buffer zone along the border in Rafah to one kilometer. The decision...came after the discovery of underground tunnels with a total length of 800 to 1,000 meters," the state MENA news agency said.
 
The decision on the buffer zone was made following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Egypt’s deadliest terrorist group, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
As part of the buffer zone plan, the Egyptian military is seizing and evacuating homes belonging to Gazans.
 
Residents of Sinai, who complain they have long been neglected by the state, say they rely on smuggling trade through the tunnels for their living and the creation of the buffer zone has stoked resentment. Egyptian authorities see them as a threat and regularly destroy them.
 
Egyptian sources have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.
 
In the recent Operation Protective Edge, the IDF was faced with lethal attack tunnels from under mosques, but nevertheless was hit by massive international criticism for its defensive operation - a criticism that has been completely absent regarding Egypt's "buffer zone" plan.
 
Egypt has been cracking down on Hamas, in recent months banning the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot and implementing a siege on Gaza.
 
While Egypt has deployed troops to the Sinai to fight the rampant jihadist terrorism in the region in coordination with Israel, concerns remain that the Egyptian disarmament of the peninsula as part of its peace agreement with Israel may be in danger of collapsing altogether, posing a potential military threat to Israel.

Sinai Jihadists Claim Attack Which Killed 30 Soldiers

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 22 November 2014 14:22
Ansar Bayt Al-MaqdisAnsar Bayt Al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest terrorist group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), claimed responsibility for a suicide attack last month that killed 30 soldiers, AFP reported on Saturday.
 
The group made the claim in a video posted on social media, according to the report.
 
Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has killed scores of policemen and soldiers since the army overthrew Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi last year, but the October 24 attack in which a jihadist rammed a military checkpoint in northern Sinai with an explosives-packed car was the deadliest such incident in years.
 
It said it was acting in retaliation for a crackdown on Islamist supporters following Morsi's removal from power.
 
At least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown, while more than 15,000 have been jailed and hundreds sentenced to death.
 
In the video, the group promises further attacks against the security forces and said it was speaking directly to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi and unleashed a crackdown on Islamists.
 
The October attack caused Egypt to declare a state of emergency in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, and has also resulted in Egypt beginning to form a “buffer zone” alongside the border with Gaza. Egyptian security sources have said that the deadly attack was aided by none other than Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
 
Earlier this week, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis pledged its allegiance to ISIS in Iraq and Syria, in a bid to oost recruitment and bolster its fight against the Egyptian army, according to analysts.

Commander of Jihadist Group Killed in Sinai Clashes

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:58
Remains of Egyptian firefight in Sinai with terrorists -ReutersEgypt's army on Thursday killed a field commander for Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the country's most dangerous Islamist group, Reuters reported, citing local security sources.
 
The man was killed during clashes in the northern Sinai Peninsula, the sources said.
 
Mohamed Abu Shatiya, who took part in the kidnapping of seven Egyptian soldiers in Sinai last year, died during fighting with the army south of Rafah, on the border with Gaza.
 
Two tons of explosives were confiscated from a nearby tunnel connecting Sinai to Gaza during the incident, the sources said, according to Reuters.
 
Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police over the last year and beheaded several people in recent weeks, saying they were spies for Israeli intelligence.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The group has also claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks that targeted the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
Egyptian security officials have said Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has contacts with the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), now targeted by U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria after sweeping through border areas and declaring a state.

8 Dead in Mortar Attack in Egypt's Sinai

Category: News
Created on Monday, 14 July 2014 09:04
egypt clashesA mortar attack in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula killed at least eight people on Sunday night, according to The Associated Press (AP).
 
According to the report, the mortar rounds were fired at a military post in the provincial capital of el-Arish, killing a soldier as well as seven civilians, including a child.
 
The military post is located near a compound of residential buildings in the al-Salam district. The main security headquarters and the local government offices are also located in the same area.
 
AN official , who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said a supermarket, pharmacy and a residential building were hit by the mortar fire.
 
Samy Anwar, the head of el-Arish hospital, said seven civilians were killed in the attack, including a 10-year old girl. He said 25 others were wounded.
 
Terrorist attacks in the Sinai have been a problem for Egypt since the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, and have only gotten worse since Mubarak’s successor, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted as well a year ago.
 
Most of the terrorist attacks have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.
 
The group  has claimed responsibility for a slew of terror attacks in Egypt since the military ousted former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Among the attacks claimed by the group was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The group has also claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks that targeted the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
On Friday, the group published a video allegedly documenting the launching of five 107 mm rockets at Israel.
 
The launch took place in the Sinai peninsula, south of the Egyptian city of Rafah. The rockets were apparently fired on Wednesday, and were aimed at an Israeli community in the Negev desert.

Leader of Sinai Al-Qaeda-Inspired Group Eliminated

Category: News
Created on Friday, 23 May 2014 10:12
Sinai TerroristThe 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.
 
Among the attacks claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in recent months was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
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.

1 Killed, 6 Hurt in Sinai Bomb Attack

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:32
Sinai Bomb AttackOne Egyptian was killed and six others were injured in a bomb attack on Wednesday on a security vehicle in the Sinai Peninsula, security sources told Reuters.
 
Officials and witnesses said the casualties included both civilians and security officers.
 
Witnesses said Wednesday's attack was carried out by two men riding a motorcycle who threw a bomb at a security vehicle in the North Sinai city of El-Arish and fled.
 
Egypt’s Ministry of Interior confirmed the attack and said seven people had been injured. State television said the attack had resulted in deaths and injuries but did not provide details.
 
The attack is the latest in a string of terrorist attacks that have occurred in Egypt since the ouster last July of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.
 
On Monday night, three Egyptian policemen were killed at Cairo's al-Azhar University.
 
The attack occurred when assailants stepped out of two cars and opened fire on a security checkpoint just outside the university.
 
In a previous attack on Saturday, a bomb wounded three people at a Cairo election rally for Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the former army chief who led the military in Morsi’s ousting and is the leading candidate to replace him in the election which takes place next week.
 
The Sinai Peninsula has been particularly hit by terror attacks, which started shortly after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak and have only increased since Morsi’s ouster.
 
Many of the attacks in Egypt have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, 200 members of which were charged last week with carrying out over 50 terrorist attacks.
 
Egypt’s interim government says there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member, and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
 
The Brotherhood denies having any connection to terrorism.

U.S. Officials: Iranian Weapons Might Have Been Meant for Sinai

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 29 March 2014 10:07
Iranian Weapons for SinaiSome U.S. intelligence analysts and Middle East security officials believe that the rocket shipment that was seized by Israel in the Red Sea may have been destined for the Egyptian Sinai and not for Gaza, Reuters reported Tuesday.
 
A U.S. official and two non-Israeli regional sources said Israel appeared to be insisting on the Gaza destination in order to spare the military-backed interim Egyptian administration embarrassment as it struggles to impose order in the Sinai.
 
"Were the Israelis to say the rockets were going to Sinai, then they would also have had to say who in Sinai was going to receive the rockets," one source told Reuters, adding that such a statement would draw attention to the terrorists in the Sinai.
 
The IDF conducted the raid of the ship, the Klos C, in the Red Sea several weeks ago, between the waters of Sudan and Eritrea. 
 
The ship flew a Panamanian flag and carried weapons which were made in Syria under Iran’s directives. The destination of the weapons was Sudan, from where they can be then taken to the Sinai Peninsula and smuggled to Gaza through the underground tunnels.
 
Both Iran and Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers have denied any connection to the Klos C. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denied that his country was behind the ship and also claimed that Israel had purposely revealed the capture of the ship the same week that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in Washington for the AIPAC conference.
 
The officials who spoke to Reuters said that it would have been hard for the M302 rockets on board the Klos C to enter Gaza, given the Israeli naval blockade of the region as well as Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on the smuggling tunnels.
 
A U.S. official said Washington had confirmed the Syrian and Iranian provenance of the rockets and believed they were to have been used against Israel, but added that half of U.S. intelligence analysts thought that Sinai, not Gaza, was the destination.
 
"You look at those things and it's obvious they couldn't have been slipped into Gaza," the official said, adding that the M302s were not designed to be disassembled for easier smuggling.
 
Experts noted that with their 160 km (100 mile) range, the M302s could have been launched from areas of Sinai well away from Israeli spotters along the Egyptian border, and struck Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
 
Rocket attacks from the Sinai at Israel are certainly a possible. A Salafi group based in the Sinai, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, has claimed several rocket attacks from the Sinai at the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Sinai Jihadists Promise More Attacks

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:26
logoAnsar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Al-Qaeda linked terror group behind the terror attack on a bus carrying Korean tourists in Taba, threatened on Monday that it would carry out more attacks.
 
According to Reuters, the group confirmed that the bus bombing was a suicide attack carried out by one of its men.
 
"Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has successfully sacrificed one of its heroes to detonate the bus headed toward the Zionists, and this comes as part of our economic war against this regime of traitors," the group said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
 
"With God's will we will be watching this treacherous gang of infiltrators and we will target their economic interests in all places in order to paralyze their hands from (hurting) Muslims," the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis statement said.
 
On Sunday, several hours after the attack, the group promised on Twitter that it “will continue to hurt the leaders in Egypt, the economy, the tourism and the gas."
 
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has already claimed a series of terrorist attacks in Egypt, including the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood.
 
The group had previously claimed a car bombing which killed five people outside Cairo police headquarters last month. The group has in the past also claimed rocket attacks on the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
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 interim government says there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
 
The Brotherhood has denied any link to terrorism. On Monday, it condemned the Taba attack and termed it “cowardly”.
 
“The Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attack on a tourist bus in the town of Taba. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and all those who have been affected by this terrorist attack,” the group said in a statement on its official English language website.
 
“Muslim Brotherhood deplores all forms of violence and demand that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice,” the statement added.

Al-Qaeda Linked Group Claims Taba Attack

Category: News
Created on Monday, 17 February 2014 18:35
attack at Taba Turists busThe Al-Qaeda inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terror group on Sunday night claimed responsibility for the terror attack on a bus carrying Korean tourists in Taba.
 
Army Radio quoted a Twitter statement by the group which said, “We will continue to hurt the leaders in Egypt, the economy, the tourism and the gas."
 
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has already claimed a series of terrorist attacks in Egypt, including the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood.
 
The group had previously claimed a car bombing which killed five people outside Cairo police headquarters last month. The group has in the past also claimed rocket attacks on the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
Meanwhile, Egypt’s president condemned Sunday’s attack, in which three tourists and an Egyptian driver were killed.
 
A statement from the presidential office spokesman said the attack was a “cowardly act aimed at innocent tourists.”
 
The Egyptian presidency called the attack a “despicable act of cowardice” and vowed to bring the culprits to justice, according to The Associated Press (AP).
 
South Korea also voiced shock and outrage over the bombing and issued a travel ban for the Sinai region, reported AFP.
 
"We are shocked and enraged at the terrorist bombing on the bus... and strongly condemn the act," Seoul's foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
 
The tourists were all members of the same church group from the central South Korean county of Jincheon who were on a 12-day trip through Turkey, Egypt and Israel.
 
"We believe that terrorism can never be justified under any circumstances and such inhumane and unethical acts should be weeded out by all means," the ministry said.
 
Seoul issued a total travel ban on the Sinai region and the Gulf of Aqaba, while urging its nationals living elsewhere in Egypt to take extra precautions or leave to a third country if possible, according to AFP.
 
The attack came as former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi stood trial in Cairo for the third time since he was toppled, this time on terror and spying charges.
 
Egypt’s interim government says there is a direct link between Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
 
The Brotherhood has denied any link to terrorism.

Sinai Attack – the First to Target Tourists in 6 Years

Category: News
Created on Monday, 17 February 2014 07:46
Aftermath of terrorist attack in SinaiA bomb ripped through a tourist bus in Egypt's Sinai peninsula near the Israel border Sunday, killing three South Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver and reportedly wounding 33 others.
 
The attack was the first on tourists since a wave of unrest blamed on Islamists erupted across the country after the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in July.
 
Here is a list of the major attacks targeting tourists since the early 1990s.
 
1992
 
- Oct 21: A British tourist is killed in southern Egypt. Islamist terror group Jamaa Islamiyya claims responsibility.
 
1993
 
- Feb 26: A bomb in a central Cairo cafe kills a Turk, a Swede and an Egyptian. Foreigners also among 19 wounded.
 
- June 8: A bomb hurled into a tourist bus near the Giza pyramids kills two Egyptians and wounds 15, including two British tourists.
 
- Oct 26: Two Americans, a Frenchman and an Italian killed and two other tourists injured at Cairo's Semiramis hotel.
 
1994
 
- March 4: Jamaa Islamiyya claims an attack against a Nile cruise ship. A wounded German tourist later dies.
 
- Aug 26: A Spanish tourist in a minibus is shot dead by Islamist militants between the Nile towns of Luxor and Sohag.
 
- Sept 27: Two Germans and two Egyptians killed in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
 
- Oct 23: A Briton is killed and five other people wounded in two separate attacks on tourists in southern Egypt claimed by Jamaa Islamiyya.
 
1996
 
- April 18: 18 Greek tourists killed and 14 wounded in an attack outside a Giza hotel. Jamaa Islamiyya claims responsibility saying it targeted "Jewish tourists".
 
1997
 
- Sept 18: Nine German tourists and their Egyptian driver killed when their bus is firebombed outside Cairo's Egyptian Museum.
 
- Nov 17: 58 tourists among 62 people killed in an attack on Hatshepsut temple in Luxor claimed by Jamaa Islamiyya.
 
2004
 
- Oct 7: Israeli tourists among 34 people killed in three bombings in the Sinai resorts of Taba and Nuweiba. More than 100 people wounded.
 
2005
 
- April 7: A blast in the mediaeval Islamic heart of Cairo kills two French nationals and an American as well as the bomber.
 
- April 30: One person dies and eight wounded in a bombing near the Egyptian Museum shortly before police kill a woman and seriously wound another after they open fire on a tourist bus.
 
- July 23: About 70 people are killed in three bombings in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Four groups claim the attacks, including one linked to Al-Qaeda.
 
2006
 
- April 24: At least 22 people killed and 150 wounded in three blasts in the Red Sea resort of Dahab.
 
2008
 
- Feb 22: A bomb at Cairo's landmark Khan el-Khalili bazaar kills a 17-year-old French girl and wounds more than 20, most of them tourists.
 
- Sept 22: Masked bandits kidnap 19 foreign tourists and Egyptians at gunpoint in a remote corner of southwestern Egypt. They are freed unharmed 10 days later.
 
2014
 
-- Feb 16: Three South Korean tourists and their Egyptian driver killed in a bombing in the Sinai, the first attack to target holidaymakers in six years.

Egyptian Army Kills Senior Member of Al-Qaeda Inspired Group

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 30 January 2014 07:29
Bomb Blast Targets BusEgyptian military officials said Wednesday that troops backed by helicopters and armored vehicles have killed eight terrorists in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
 
The officials who were quoted by The Associated Press (AP) said that the dead included a senior member of the Al-Qaeda inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings and suicide attacks since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Wednesday air raids and assaults in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid come less than a week after terrorist from the group shot down a military helicopter with a shoulder-fired missile, killing all its crew and alarming authorities about the use of sophisticated weaponry.
 
The officials spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.
 
On Tuesday, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood.
 
The group threatened similar attacks against the army chief and the interior minister, who was already the target of a failed assassination attempt claimed by the group last September in which a bystander was killed.
 
The group had previously claimed a car bombing which killed five people outside Cairo police headquarters last Friday. The group has in the past also claimed rocket attacks on the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
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.

Hamas to Egypt: Stop the Lies

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 18:25
Explosion Rocks Egyptian Police CampThe Hamas terrorist group, which controls Gaza, on Monday condemned Egyptian statements linking the group to the ongoing crisis in Egypt, the Ma’an news agency reported.
 
Hamas denied any connection to a Sinai-based terrorist group and called upon authorities in Cairo to stop the "lies," the report said.
 
Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri said in a statement quoted by Ma’an that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Sinai-based group that has claimed a string of terrorist attacks targeting civilians and Egyptian officers, has no connections “to Gaza nor to Palestine”.
 
Abu Zuhri added that alleging that the movement is from Gaza is an attempt by authorities to export the Egyptian crisis to Gaza, and called for a end to all the "lies, which only serve the Israeli occupation."
 
Since the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who hails from Hamas’s parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood, army-led government has been cracking down on Hamas, shutting down its tunnels which lead from the Sinai into Gaza. Hamas uses these tunnels to transfer goods, weapons and even terrorists.
 
The crackdown on Hamas is part of an Egyptian operation against the many terrorist cells in the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has blamed Hamas of being involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to carry out attacks. Hamas has denied the allegations.
 
Recently, sources in Egypt indicated that now that the Egyptian military has taken care of the Brotherhood by declaring it a terrorist organization, Hamas was next.
 
Abu Zuhri also denied claims made by former Egyptian general Sameh Seif el-Yazal that Sam-7 rockets are being smuggled from Gaza to Sinai. Abu Zuhri highlighted that the weapon is not made in Gaza but in Russia, and is readily available on the black market.
 
An Egyptian journalist recently said that his country should “learn from Israel” and teach Hamas a lesson so that its members “learn what Egypt is worth.”
 
The comments by journalist Muhammad Hassan Al-Alfi were made in an interview on Faraeen TV and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Egyptian Journalist: We Should Teach Hamas a Lesson

Category: News
Created on Friday, 24 January 2014 11:02
Teach Hamas a LessonEgypt should take a page from Israel’s book and “teach Hamas a lesson,” an Egyptian journalist recently said.
 
The comments by journalist Muhammad Hassan Al-Alfi were made in a January 9 interview on Faraeen TV. The comments were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
 
Al-Alfi said in the interview that Egypt “should discipline [Hamas] just as Israel did... We must strike them so they learn to respect the Egyptian shoe."
 
"Only then will they kiss that shoe and learn what Egypt is worth," he declared.
 
{youtube}I6UM9TAOLB0{/youtube}
 
“Our sons were killed and our economy was ruined in wars fought for their sake. We fought for their sake, and now, they are fighting against us, kidnapping our sons [in Sinai] and killing them,” said Al-Alfi.
 
“The terrorist camps in Gaza must be attacked,” he continued. “The Al-Qassam Brigades, which train them and send them over here, must be attacked. We should discipline them just as Israel did. We should not just retaliate. When you are weak, you get hit. We must strike them so they learn to respect the Egyptian shoe.”
 
Unlike the previous Egyptian government led by Hamas’s parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood, the current army-led government has been cracking down on Hamas, shutting down its tunnels which lead from the Sinai into Gaza. Hamas uses these tunnels to transfer goods, weapons and even terrorists.
 
The crackdown on Hamas is part of an Egyptian operation against the many terrorist cells in the Sinai Peninsula.  Egypt has blamed Hamas of being involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to carry out attacks. Hamas has denied the allegations.
 
The interim government in Cairo recently declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization and renewed its wide-ranging crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters. Sources in Egypt indicated last week that now that the Egyptian military has taken care of the Brotherhood, its offshoot Hamas was next.

Sinai Terrorists Blow Up Natural Gas Pipeline

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 19 January 2014 06:02
Flames rise from an Egyptian pipeline ReutersA security official in Egypt said on Friday that terrorists have blown up a natural gas pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula.
 
According to The Associated Press (AP), the official said a strong explosion rocked a village in central Sinai called el-Riysan, after explosives were planted beneath the gas pipeline connected to cement factories in the area.
 
The official said there were no casualties. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.
 
Gas pipelines in Egypt has been attacked more than a dozen times since the revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The last attack took place a little over two weeks ago.
 
Some of the attacks targeted a pipeline that supplied gas to Jordan and Israel, forcing Egypt to halt supplies to these two countries. Since that time Israel has begun to become more dependent on its own natural gas, so Egypt's abrupt cancellation of its contract to sell gas to Israel a year ago was, while very expensive for Israelis in the short run, not as damaging as Israelis initially feared in the longer run.
 
The constant terror attacks in the Sinai have only increased since the Egyptian army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
The group spearheading the attacks, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, is inspired by Al-Qaeda. It has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
 
Most recently the group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a security building in the city of Mansoura killed 14 people and wounded more than 100 others. Egypt also fingered Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for this attack and branded the group a terrorist organization.

Egyptian Officials Kidnapped in the Sinai

Category: News
Created on Monday, 13 January 2014 12:25
An armoured personnel carrier positioned outside Ramses Square near al-Fath mosque in Cairo ReutersAn Egyptian labor ministry official and three trade union activists were kidnapped in the Sinai on Tuesday, the ministry said, according to AFP.
 
Local police were investigating whether Sinai terrorists were behind the abduction, the report said.
 
Meanwhile in Cairo, assailants threw a bomb and opened fire on a small traffic police station without causing casualties, security officials told the news agency.
 
It was the latest in a string of militant attacks on security forces following the overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
Much of the violence has taken place in Sinai, where the officials were abducted while en route to a conference in the southern resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.
 
Police found their abandoned car near the resort, labor ministry spokesman Alaa el-Din Mohamed told AFP.
 
An interior ministry official said police were investigating the kidnappings.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency. The terror groups have hit back - a torrent of attacks by gangs of Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorists have killed many Egyptian soldiers and policemen since Morsi's overthrow.
 
In September, Egypt’s Interior Minister survived an assassination attempt. The attempted assassination occurred as a car bomb ripped through the his convoy as he was leaving home for work.
 
Tensions in Egypt have increased in recent weeks, especially after the interim government blacklisted Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and launched a wide-ranging crackdown on the group. 
 
In response to the blacklist, the Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the military-ruled government.

Hamas Planned Church Bombings on Christmas

Category: Reports
Created on Thursday, 02 January 2014 22:32
Savages in action in EgyptHamas and the Muslim Brotherhood planned a series of bombings at Egyptian churches, according to a report in the Kuwaiti paper Al-Watan, according to Channel 10 news.
 
According to the report, the attacks were to take place on Christmas. Terrorists in Sinai had succeeded in gathering explosives for the planned attack.
 
Egyptian intelligence reportedly foiled the plot after discovering communications between the two groups. Intelligence agents also listened in on calls between the Muslim Brotherhood and other Gaza-based terrorist groups.
 
The calls revealed plans to transfer weapons to armed groups in the Sinai Peninsula via smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.
 
Egyptian authorities have accused the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas of working hand-in-hand on several past occasions as well. Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is awaiting trial for charges relating to alleged cooperation with Hamas in an attack on Egyptian soldiers.
 
Terrorists in Gaza have been known to be working with armed rebels in the Sinai region since the beginning of a major terrorist insurgency in the region several months ago. Local Islamist leaders have declared the Egyptian army “an enemy of Allah.”
 
While rebels in Sinai have primarily targeted the Egyptian army, attacks on Christians in the country are nothing new. Coptic Christians in Egypt have repeatedly been victimized in violence between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and state troops.
 
Although Christians in Egypt have apparently been spared a deadly attack by Islamists, some 35 people were killed in a bombing attack against a church in Iraq on Christmas day. The Middle East's Christian population - which has existed since before the founding of Islam - has been steadily declining in the past few years, in great part due to a rise in radical Islam. Israel is the only country in the region with a growing Christian population.

Again: Sinai Terrorists Hit Gas Pipeline

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 02 January 2014 08:28
Gas pipeline explosionTerrorists in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday blew up a gas pipeline that feeds an industrial area in the region, security officials said, according to AFP.
 
The officials said there were no injuries in blast that targeted the domestic pipeline.
 
The gas pipeline in Egypt has been attacked more than a dozen times since the revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
The initial attacks forced Egypt to halt gas supplies to Israel and Jordan. Since that time Israel has begun to become more dependent on its own natural gas, so Egypt's abrupt cancellation of its contract to sell gas to Israel a year ago was, while very expensive for Israelis in the short run, not as damaging as Israelis initially feared in the longer run.
 
Jordan currently continues to receive its natural gas supplies from Egypt, despite the unreliability of the pipeline. This past summer it was reported that the Jordanian government began holding talks to become the first to purchase natural gas from Israel.
 
The constant terror attacks in the Sinai have only increased since the Egyptian army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
The group spearheading the attacks, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, is inspired by Al-Qaeda. It has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
 
Last week the group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a security building in the city of Mansoura killed 14 people and wounded more than 100 others.

Egypt Arrests Terrorist Involved in August 2012 Border Attack

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 19 December 2013 12:20
Egypt Arrests TerroristEgypt's military has arrested a jihadist suspected of involvement in an ambush that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers near the border with Israel last year, an army spokesman said Tuesday, according to AFP.
 
Silmi Mohammed Masbah was arrested Monday in Sinai and is allegedly a member of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an Al-Qaeda-inspired group operating in the restive peninsula, said military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali.
 
Ali said 20 other jihadists were arrested with Masbah but they were involved in other attacks on security forces.
 
Masbah, known as Abu Khalid, was involved in the August 5, 2012 ambush on an Egyptian guard post in the town of Rafiah near the border with Israel that killed 16 soldiers, Ali said, according to the AFP report.
 
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
 
It also claimed last month's assassination in Cairo of police Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Mabruk, who was involved in an ongoing crackdown on Islamists in Egypt.
 
The group has openly denounced the Egyptian army as “an enemy of Allah” because of its crackdown on Sinai terrorists.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency. The terror groups have hit back - a torrent of attacks by gangs of Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorists have killed many Egyptian soldiers and policemen since Morsi's overthrow.

Egypt Arrests 27 Suspects in Attempt on Minister's Life

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 12:19
Attempted assassination of Egypts Internal Minister
 
Egypt’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said on Monday that the government has arrested 27 people suspected of involvement in an attempt to assassinate him last month.
 
Ibrahim told a press conference in Cairo that those arrested were affiliated with the Sinai Peninsula-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, reported Al Arabiya.
 
The group members were also involved in a church bombing in the capital last week, in addition to other terrorist attacks in the country, the report said.
 
In September, the group claimed responsibility for the failed assassination attempt, which occurred as a car bomb ripped through Ibrahim’s convoy as he was leaving home for work.
 
One person was killed but Ibrahim, who was travelling in an armored car, survived the attempt unhurt.
 
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is an extremist Salafist group that has in the past claimed responsibility for an attempted rocket attack on the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency. The terror groups have hit back - a torrent of attacks by gangs of Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorists have killed over 100 Egyptian soldiers and policemen since Morsi's overthrow.
 
Meanwhile, judicial sources in Egypt said on Monday they were continuing to investigate a claim by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis that ex-Egyptian army officer Waleed Badr carried out the suicide bombing last month in the assassination attempt on the interior minister.
 
Judicial sources said that Egypt had ordered forensic authorities to take a blood sample from a member of Badr’s family to match it with fragments of the man who carried out attempt.

Egypt Has Plan to Strike Gaza

Category: News
Created on Friday, 04 October 2013 06:28
Hamas officers in GazaIf attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula continue, Egypt may carry out airstrikes in Gaza, senior Egyptian officers have warned.
 
Egyptian officers told the Bethlehem-based Maan news that Egyptian planes had entered Gaza airspace to study potential targets in Rafah and Khan Younis, near the southern border.
 
They said the military would also consider targeting vehicles bringing goods across the border. “All options are open,” they warned.
 
Egyptian commanders say some of the attacks in Sinai are being carried out by terrorist groups based in Gaza. Among the groups they named is Ansar al-Sunna, which has ties to Hamas.
 
The Sinai has become a hotbed of terrorist activity since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi by General Abdel Fattah el Sisi in July. Since then the army has been cracking down on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, trying to undo its grip on some parts of the country.
 
A torrent of attacks by gangs of Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorists have killed over 100 Egyptian soldiers and policemen since Morsi's overthrow. At least one group in the region has officially declared loyalty to Al Qaeda, bringing the group’s influence to Israel’s southern border.
 
Egypt is currently conducting a large-scale campaign to retake control of the Sinai region. As part of the campaign, the army has taken several steps that have put pressure on Hamas, including destroying many of the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt and shutting down the border.
 
An Egyptian officer echoed Israeli commanders, presumably unintentionally, telling Maan that Egypt does not blame Gaza civilians – but that Hamas must control terrorist groups within its domain.
 
"The Egyptian army does not believe the population of Gaza is involved in the violence in Sinai, but certain factions strongly support Sinai groups… In addition, Hamas, although its involvement is limited, is responsible for maintaining control of the smuggling tunnels as well as the factions operating in the coastal enclave," he said.

Al-Qaeda Battles for Control on Israel’s Border

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 11:50
Members of Liwa Hamzah AFPOne of the largest terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula has joined Al-Qaeda.
 
The group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (“The Army of Islam in the Beit Al-Makdas Region”), has announced its loyalty to Al-Qaeda, and particularly, to the Al-Qaeda leadership in Iraq.
 
The group in question has carried out many attacks targeting Egyptian soldiers in Sinai. It has also attempted to attack Israel by infiltrating the border, shooting over the border, and firing rockets on Israeli towns.
 
If the ties between the Sinai group and Al-Qaeda prove stable, it will indicate the trend of growing Al-Qaeda strength in the states around Israel.
 
Israel’s defense leaders have previously expressed concern over Al-Qaeda’s strength among Syrian rebel groups, some of which have gained ground next to Israel’s northern border and the Golan.
 
A second Islamic group fighting the Egyptian army in the Sinai, the Al-Furkan Brigades, is ideologically close to Al-Qaeda, but not officially linked to the global terror network. The Al-Furkan Brigades released a video to YouTube this week with footage of some of its attacks on the Egyptian army, including the killing of a senior Air Force officer.
 
The video also showed the killing of an Egyptian civilian who was accused of cooperating with the army.

Egypt Finds Evidence of Hamas Involvement in Sinai Terror

Category: News
Created on Monday, 16 September 2013 12:34
Hamas terrorists in GazaEgypt's armed forces have seized a stockpile of anti-aircraft missiles in the Sinai, military spokesman Ahmed Ali said in a press conference on Sunday.
 
The spokesman also said the army will continue operations in Sinai until “terrorism” is defeated, according to a report in Al Arabiya.
 
“Egypt’s national security has been under a threat because of the situation in Sinai,” Ali declared, adding that security will be restored under a development plan in the region.
 
The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency which erupted in the peninsula after the army overthrew Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3.
 
The military spokesman said the armed forces seized a stock of weapons in Sinai and arrested 309 people involved in recent violence. Two explosive devices under a control tower on the border with Gaza were also found, he said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
“We also seized military uniforms which were used by Hamas,” Ali said, adding that the army recently destroyed more than 154 tunnels on the border with Gaza.
 
He added that the military confiscated a number of munitions, including hand grenades bearing the stamp of the Ezzeddin Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military arm.
 
He noted there was “cooperation between armed and terrorist organizations and their counterpart in the Gaza Strip.”
 
In addition to cracking down on Sinai terrorism, the interim Egyptian government has also been applying pressure on Gaza’s Hamas rulers. The Egyptian army has bombed smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, has created a buffer zone, and has battled terrorist “fishermen” who try to leave Gaza waters.
 
Egypt accuses Hamas, which enjoyed close relations with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood of which it is an offshoot, of being involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to carry out attacks. Hamas has denied the allegations.
 
Hamas also denied Sunday’s accusations made by the Egyptian army's spokesman.
 
In a statement published on the information office website of the movement, the group described the claims as “lies and fabrications.”

Hamas: We Didn't Train Egyptian Islamists

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 15 September 2013 08:46
Hamas militantsHamas rejected on Thursday a report that aired on Egyptian state television and which said that the Gaza-based terror group has been involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to plant bombs in cars and that it had given them landmines.
 
“This is completely incorrect,” Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas which controls Gaza, said, according to Reuters.
 
Barhoum claimed that the report was an “attempt to demonize Hamas”.
 
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. It enjoyed close ties to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and has been “feeling the heat” from Egypt's new army-backed leadership, which deposed Morsi in July.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since Morsi’s removal.
 
Egypt’s army has been engaging in a military offensive against Sinai terrorists and, last weekend at least 10 Islamist terrorists were killed as the army launched an air and ground assault in the Sinai.
 
Twin car bomb blasts on Wednesday targeting Egypt's army killed at least six soldiers in Rafah on the border with Gaza.
 
Egypt has been clamping down on the smuggling tunnels which are used to smuggle goods but also arms and terrorists between Gaza and the Sinai.
 
On Thursday, as it continues to crack down on terrorists, it was reported that two Egyptian army tanks have crossed an initial border fence leading to Gaza for the first time on.
 
The Hamas administration in Gaza neither confirmed nor denied the incursion, only commenting that no Egyptian tanks had actually entered the Gaza Strip itself.

Egypt Shuts Down Rafiah Crossing After Sinai Crackdown

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 08 September 2013 10:46
Egyptian border with Gaza File - AFP
 
Egypt closed the Rafiah crossing with Gaza on Saturday, citing "security concerns" following a crackdown on Sinai terrorists, reports the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
 
The Palestinian Authority’s crossings director, Maher Abu Sabha, told Ma'an that the crossing would be closed indefinitely following unrest in the Sinai peninsula.
 
Around 50 travelers managed to enter Egypt from Gaza on Saturday, Abu Sabha added.
 
At least 10 Islamist terrorists were killed as Egypt's army launched an air and ground assault on terrorists in the restive Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, security officials said.
 
Twenty others were wounded and 15 arrested, according to the officials.
 
In recent months, Egypt has closed the Rafiah crossing several times following violence in Sinai.
 
The crossing was closed on August 15 after nationwide violence and then partially reopened two days later, only to be closed again following an attack which killed 25 Egyptian soldiers.
 
The closing of the border crossing has angered the Hamas government in Gaza, whose leaders have urged Egypt to reopen the border crossing.
 
In addition to closing down the Rafiah crossing, the Egyptian army has also clamped down on the smuggling tunnels which are used to transfer goods, weapons and even terrorists between the Sinai and Gaza.
 
Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, enjoyed close ties to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and has been “feeling the heat” from Egypt's new army-backed leadership, which deposed Morsi in July.

Egypt Arrests Al-Qaeda Head in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Monday, 02 September 2013 16:02
Egypt Arrests Al-Qaeda Head in SinaiEgyptian forces on Saturday arrested the commander of an Al-Qaeda-linked group in the Sinai peninsula, officials told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
 
A senior Egyptian official said that Muhammad Ibrahim, 40, was appointed as the leader of Al-Qaeda in Sinai after escaping from prison following the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
 
Ibrahim, also known as Adel Habbara, was driving a truck from Rafiah to El-Arish when he was ambushed by Egyptian security forces, according to Ma’an.
 
"He tried to reach for two grenades in his pocket, but an officer jumped at him and bowled him over before other officers controlled him and grabbed the grenades," the official said.
 
Ibrahim was traveling with two other gunmen at the time of his arrest.
 
Egyptian authorities accuse Ibrahim of masterminding the 2005 attack on the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, which killed some 88 people.
 
He is also accused of planning the August 2012 attack which killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in Rafiah, and is believed to have personally executed soldiers in an attack earlier this month in which 25 soldiers were killed.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi in July. Egypt's army is currently engaged in an offensive in Sinai to curtail the surge in violence.
 
Since Morsi was ousted, Muslim Brotherhood-linked Gaza terrorists have been infiltrating the Sinai to attack Egyptian army outposts.
 
The army has been sealing the smuggling tunnels which are used to transfer goods, weapons and terrorists between the Sinai and Gaza. Hundreds of tunnels, however, remain open and active under the border between Egypt and Gaza.
 
On Sunday, Egyptian forces destroyed 13 homes next to the border with Gaza, in order to prevent the use of the houses as cover for smugglers into and out of the region.

Egypt Warns: Sinai Terrorists Planning Friday Attacks

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 28 July 2013 07:53
Egyptian soldiersTerrorists in the Sinai Peninsula are planning to attempt attacks on Friday, Egyptian military sources have warned. The attacks would be timed to take place parallel to protests in Cairo.
 
Terror groups in the Sinai have primarily targeted the Egyptian army, which is currently engaged in a large-scale operation aimed at restoring order to the region. They have occasionally attacked Israel as well.
 
On Friday morning an Egyptian base in the city of Rafiah, near Gaza, came under attack. Attackers used a mix of gunfire, RPG missiles, and mortar shells.
 
On Thursday, terrorists attempted to bomb a police training base in El Arish. The bombs detonated earlier than terrorists had planned, killing four would-be attackers.
 
Earlier in the week two Egyptian soldiers were shot and killed near the town of Sheikh Zawid.
 
The Sinai suffered increasing unrest following the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Terrorist groups in the region were briefly subdued, but unrest increased again in recent weeks as Islamist groups sought to take advantage of Morsi's ouster to regain lost ground.
 
Israeli leaders are keeping a close eye on developments in the Sinai. Residents of the western Sinai reported seeing Israeli surveillance planes flying overhead on Friday morning.

Egyptian Army Seizes Rockets Headed for Cairo

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 18 July 2013 09:22
Egyptian army seizes libyan grad rokets
The Egyptian army has intercepted a van containing a total of 19 Grad rockets heading for Cairo, the Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Wednesday.
 
The rockets were reportedly found as the vehicle was searched at a security checkpoint between Suez and Cairo. The driver of the vehicle was found to be in possession of an automatic rifle, complete with a magazine and 21 rounds.
 
A spokesman for the Egyptian armed forces confirmed to the Daily News Egypt website that the rockets found were Grads, and that they were found closer to Suez than Cairo. This, said the spokesman, led the armed forces to believe that this discovery is related to the ongoing violence in Sinai.
 
The driver of the vehicle has been referred to the prosecutor’s office, he told Daily News Egypt.
 
This latest discovery comes after a cache of counterfeit military equipment was found by members of the Ain Sokhna port authority.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian army.
 
Egypt’s has been cracking down on terrorists operating in the region and, following Israel’s approval, brought in two more infantry battalions into the Sinai this week.
 
The rockets may have also been meant for Gaza, as Egypt has on several occasions seized missiles and other arms destined for Gaza. The lawlessness in the Sinai makes it easy for smugglers to transfer arms to Gaza, which are then used to fire on southern Israel.

Israel Allows Entry of Egyptian Infantry Units into Sinai

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 13:28
Sinai desertDefense Minister Moshe Yaalon approved on Monday a request by the Egyptian military to bring in two more infantry battalions into the Sinai Peninsula, as part of Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on terrorists operating in the region.
 
One battalion will enter the Rafiah area in order to prevent smuggling of terrorists and arms from Gaza and to protect the city of El-Arish, which has been targeted by several terrorist attacks over the past few days. The second battalion will be stationed in central Sinai to act against Salafist terrorist groups.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian army.
 
On Sunday evening, unidentified gunmen opened fire on an IDF position on the border with the Sinai.
 
The two masked gunmen reportedly opened fire before escaping into the desert in an all-terrain vehicle. No one was injured in the clash, for which the Muslim Brotherhood later claimed responsibility through a Facebook page associated with the movement.

PA Arab Arrested in Connection with Sinai Pipeline Explosion

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 14 July 2013 06:09
Flames rise from an Egyptian pipeline Reuters 
 
Egyptian security officials arrested a Palestinian Authority Arab man on Friday in connection to a bomb blast which targeted a gas pipeline in Sinai last week, security officials told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
 
Mohamed Abu Hashem, 30, was detained in the Sinai Peninsula while trying to return to Gaza, Egyptian officials told Ma’an, and faces charges of blowing up a gas pipeline in north Sinai last Sunday.
 
Saboteurs blew up the pipeline, which supplied natural gas to Jordan, in two places.
 
One explosion shook the city of El-Arish, causing flames which could be seen from the distance, witnesses and security officials said.
 
A Jordanian government official confirmed that gas supplies to the energy-poor kingdom were cut.
 
"The gas supplies to Jordan stopped due to the attack," the official told state-run Petra news agency.
 
"The Egyptian authorities have informed us that they are currently evaluating the situation and the damage," he added without elaborating.
 
Egyptian gas covers 80 percent of electricity generation in Jordan, which imports 95 percent of its energy needs. The pipeline has been attacked at least 15 times since former President Hosni Mubarak was deposed in the January 25 Revolution in 2011.
 
The Sinai has seen an upsurge in lawlessness since the ouster of Mubarak that has sparked warnings from Western governments against travel to most parts of the peninsula.
 
The violence in the area has been on the rise as local terrorists capitalize on instability following the removal of President Mohammed Morsi by the army.
 
Egypt has begun to crack down on Sinai terrorists and has already killed scores of Islamist fighters - including 32 Hamas men - in recent days.
 
The arrest of a Palestinian man in connection to attacks on Egyptian interests will likely bolster growing calls by influential Egyptian figures for Egypt to sever ties with the Hamas authorities in Gaza.

Egypt 'Set to Launch Major Sinai Operation'

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 13 July 2013 08:38
sinaiEgypt is planning a large scale offensive against Sinai terrorists, where it has already killed scores of Islamist fighters - including 32 Hamas men - in recent days, according to reports.
 
Egyptian forces also arrested several others over the past few days in the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian military source told the London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper Thursday morning.
 
According to the newspaper, the Egyptian army's military operations in Sinai killed 32 Hamas militants and arrested 45 of the group's members, as well as about 200 other gunmen.
 
The Egyptian military source said Hamas terrorists cooperate with jihadist elements in Sinai. They enter Sinai through the tunnels that connect Gaza with Sinai, he said, carry out attacks and then escape through the tunnels. "They take advantage of the terrain and hide in the mountains," the source added.
 
Another report claims that the military leadership in Cairo is planning a wider offensive in Sinai. The London Times said that Egypt will ask Israel to allow it to send a sizeable military force into Sinai for a limited period of time. 
 
"Jihadist groups have sought to exploit the political crisis in Cairo by launching attacks against Egyptian and Israeli targets in Sinai over recent days," noted the Times.
 
Current treaties between the two countries prohibit large-scale military mobilisations in the Sinai Peninsula, but Israel is unlikely to oppose such an operation, intended to clear Sinai from extremist terror groups that have gained a foothold there since the fall of the Mubarak regime in 2011, and who pose a serious threat to Israel's southern regions.
 
The operation is scheduled to begin in a few days' time, the report added.
 
Hamas is the Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters have recently called for an "uprising" following the removal of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian military.
 
Hamas has in the past been accused by the Egyptian military establishment of working with other Islamist terrorist groups to destabilise the country.

Egyptian Soldier Killed in Latest Sinai Violence

Category: News
Created on Monday, 08 July 2013 13:52
Egyptian Soldier Killed in Sinai ViolenceAn Egyptian soldier was killed on Sunday by unidentified gunmen in the northern Sinai town of El-Arish, Al Arabiya reported.
 
Earlier in the day, armed men attacked four security checkpoints in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, close to Egypt’s border with Israel and Gaza, part of an upsurge of violence there since Wednesday’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
 
Gunmen in pickup trucks exchanged gunfire with soldiers and police in the lawless province in the early hours of the morning, but there were no casualties, security sources told Al Arabiya.
 
The Sinai has seen an upsurge in lawlessness since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 that has sparked warnings from Western governments against travel to most parts of the peninsula.
 
On Friday, five security officers were killed in skirmishes with Islamist terrorists in El-Arish.
 
On Saturday, a priest was also killed there by a group of militants, four other checkpoints were fired upon and an explosion hit an Egyptian pipeline supplying gas to Jordan.
 
On Sunday, a senior Egyptian Army official announced a major operation in the Sinai Peninsula following the terror attack on the natural gas pipeline.
 
The National Anti-Terror Unit on Sunday issued a travel warning for Sinai, and warned Israelis still there to come home immediately.
 
“Given the deteriorating security situation in Sinai, which includes numerous violent clashes between groups, along with intelligence we have received about possible terror attacks,” the warning strongly suggests that Israelis avoid Sinai altogether, including the popular resort of Taba on the border near Eilat.

Gunmen Attack Sinai Airport, Military Checkpoints

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 06 July 2013 10:16
Egyptian military in Sinai Airport    
 
At least one Egyptian soldier was killed and two were wounded as Islamist gunmen opened fire on the El Arish airport in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and at three military checkpoints early on Friday, state television reported.
 
According to the report, the attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at the army checkpoints outside the airport, close to the border with Gaza and Israel.
 
It was not clear whether the coordinated attack was related to the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday.
 
The Sinai has seen an upsurge in lawlessness since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 that has sparked warnings from Western governments against travel to most parts of the peninsula.
 
On Tuesday, Egypt's military boosted its presence in the Sinai Peninsula near the border with Gaza.
 
The IDF confirmed that Egypt had boosted its military presence in the Sinai, where the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries imposed strict controls on deployments, but said the action had been coordinated with Israeli leaders.
 
Criminal activity such as drugs smuggling and human trafficking has flourished in the Sinai, alongside a growing presence by terrorist groups that has seen attacks on Egyptian security personnel and across the border against Israel.
 
In August 2012, terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers near the border before commandeering an armored vehicle which they drove into Israel, where they were killed in a helicopter strike.
 
In March, Bedouin kidnapped an Israeli and a Norwegian tourist in the south of the peninsula, which is dotted with beach resorts, to press for the release of jailed relatives.
 
The tourists were held for five days and released unharmed.

Morsi Rejects Negotiations with Bedouin Kidnappers

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:03
Egypts President Mursi Al ArabiyaEgyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday barred negotiations with the kidnappers of three policemen and four soldiers who appeared to plead for their release in an online video, Al Arabiya reports.
 
The abductions on Thursday in the Sinai Peninsula prompted angry police to protest and shut down border crossings with Gaza and Israel, piling the pressure on Morsi to help free their colleagues.
 
The president, however, was quoted as saying by the MENA news agency that “There are no negotiations with criminals and the awe of the state will be preserved.”
 
Al Arabiya reported that a video posted on Sunday by an anonymous account on YouTube appeared to show the seven hostages, blindfolded and with their hands on their heads, identifying themselves.
 
It was later removed from YouTube only hours after it was broadcast by the media.
 
One of the hostages was prodded by what appears to be a rifle held by an abductor off screen before another hostage says the kidnappers want the release of detained Bedouin “political activists”.
 
“We hope that you, president, quickly release the political activists from Sinai as soon as possible because we can no longer stand the torture,” said one hostage, according to Al Arabiya.
 
The policemen, who worked at border crossings, and soldiers were kidnapped at gunpoint while travelling to their homes.
 
A spate of hostage-taking has rocked the Sinai, which borders Israel as well as Gaza, but they usually last for no longer than 48 hours and are often carried out by Bedouin seeking the release of jailed relatives.   
 
Such abductions have been on the rise since the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak.
 
Presidential sources told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that the Egyptian army has urged Morsi to give them the “green light” to launch an attack operation against the kidnappers.
 
The president originally sought negotiations with the kidnappers to “avoid any bloodshed and further complicate the situation in Sinai,” the sources told Asharq al-Awsat.
 
In March, Bedouin kidnapped an Israeli and a Norwegian tourist in the south of the peninsula, which is dotted with beach resorts, to press for the release of jailed relatives.
 
The tourists were held for five days and released unharmed.
 
In April, armed Bedouin tribesmen freed a Hungarian peacekeeper after briefly detaining him to press for the release of a jailed relative.
 
Bedouin tribes in the Sinai blamed the interior ministry and its attitude towards locals for the kidnappings, and have implied that the Bedouin were better off living under Israeli rule and that they have been suffering since Israel withdrew from the region as part of the peace agreement with Egypt.

Rockets Fired at Eilat

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 06:53
Eilat area by Ariel JerozolimskiThe Color Red rocket alert siren blared throughout the city of Eilat shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, sending residents racing for bomb shelters.
 
Tourists and others throughout the Red Sea resort area reported hearing multiple loud blasts a few seconds later.
 
It is believed that terrorists fired three rockets at the city, although the geographic source of the rocket fire is not yet clear. IDF commanders suspect the attack was launched from Sinai.
 
Security personnel searched the area but so far have not found rockets. No casualties were reported.
 
On previous occasions some rockets have hit the sea, or have hit Jordan.
 
The city's airport has been shut down due to concerns that there may be additional attacks.
 
In early April, an Iron Dome anti-missile battery installation was set up near Eilat due to the growing terrorist threat and lawlessness seen developing in the Sinai Peninsula.

Gunmen Sieze Egyptian Army Vehicle

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 14 October 2012 23:36
Egyptian soldiers guard Rafiah crossingUnidentified gunmen seized a vehicle belonging to the Egyptian army in Arish, North Sinai, a security source told the state-run news agency MENA on Sunday evening.
 
The source told the news agency that a group of gunmen in an SUV without license plates stopped the army vehicle in the Gisr al-Wadi district of Arish. After removing the passengers, they took the vehicle to an unknown desert area.
 
Authorities coordinated with tribal figures from Sinai to identify the attackers, according to the source. Negotiations regarding their demands are ongoing.
 
The source refused to reveal their demands or the possibility of responding to them. There has been no official statement by the Egyptian army on the incident.
 
Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush terrorists in the restive Sinai, after an attack on an army outpost killed 16 soldiers on August 5.
 
There has been a state of high alert in the Sinai in the wake of the attack. In some cases terrorists have managed to come close to the Israeli border and open fire on IDF patrols. One Israeli soldier was killed and a second was critically wounded in an attempted cross-border attack by terrorists along the Egyptian-Israeli border on September 21. The IDF eliminated the three terrorists who carried out the attack.
 
Israel has urged Egypt to tackle the growing lawlessness in Sinai, and Cairo has responded by boosting its military presence in the area where the attack took place.

Israel Rejects Amendments to Peace Treaty with Egypt

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 23 September 2012 13:49
Egyptian PlaneIsrael has rejected the idea of any modification to its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt.
 
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed any possibility of altering the treaty during a radio interview in Israel Sunday morning. “There is not the slightest possibility that Israel will accept the modification of the peace treaty with Israel," he said, according to AFP. "We will not accept any modification of the Camp David Accords.
 
The comments came as tensions rise between Egypt and Israel, with speculation the government of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi is considering a plan to alter parts of the treaty.
 
Ties between the two countries are also strained over the issue of security in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which has increasingly become a haven for terrorists who use the area as a launching ground for attacks against Israeli civilians living in the south of the country, and IDF soldiers.
 
On Friday, one Israeli soldier was killed and a second was critically wounded in an attempted cross-border attack by terrorists along the Egyptian-Israeli border. The IDF eliminated the three terrorists who carried out the attack, which Israel and Egypt have agreed to jointly investigate.
 
Israel has urged Egypt to tackle the growing lawlessness in Sinai, and Cairo has responded by boosting its military presence in the area where the attack took place.
 
"Egypt must fulfill its obligations in Sinai,” Lieberman said.
 
Cairo launched an unprecedented military operation in Sinai after terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in an attack on August 5. Israel has warned that it expects Cairo to withdraw the military reinforcements once the operation is over.

Barak Looking at Closing Sinai Border During Hot Alerts

Category: News
Created on Friday, 07 September 2012 11:38
Israel-Egypt borderDefense Minister Ehud Barak has instructed officials in his ministry to examine the possibility of a new law which would allow security officials to close Israel’s border with the Sinai Peninsula whenever there is an alert of a possible terror attack or kidnapping in the area.
 
Barak’s instructions were made following recent assessments made by the army and intelligence agencies.
 
Speaking during a Defense Ministry assessment on Thursday, Barak said, “In light of the changes in the situation in the Sinai and the risks to Israelis there, I am ordering to examine the possibility of allowing the competent authorities to close the border to Sinai when needed.”
 
He added, “Unfortunately, even when there are hot alerts about attacks or the possibility of kidnapping Israelis in Sinai, some Israelis ignore them and still go to the Peninsula. We need to act now and not wake up when an abduction or attack happen.”Barak
 
The Sinai Peninsula has been in a state of anarchy since former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was deposed last year. Terror groups have taken advantage of the situation to carry out attacks from the region.
 
Egypt recently launched a crackdown on Sinai terrorism, in response to a terror attack near the border with Israel in early August, in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed.
 
Last month, the Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a serious warning against travelling to the Sinai Peninsula, and called on Israelis vacationing in the area to leave immediately.
 
It was later reported that the warning was prompted by the release of an Al-Qaeda operative from a prison in Gaza and his return to Sinai.
 
Another warning issued by the Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Wednesday reiterated the travel warning to the Sinai and said that Israelis should avoid any visit to that area.

There Are 1,600 Terrorists in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:20
Sinai desertEgyptian police have identified 120 individuals in North Sinai who are allegedly wanted for attacking police stations and killing policemen, a security source in the area said on Wednesday.
 
The source told the state-owned MENA news agency that most of the wanted individuals follow "takfiri" ideology, a term for extremists who excommunicate other Muslims who do not share their beliefs.
 
“Their numbers are close to 1,600 people, from different provinces and some from other countries,” the source was quoted as having said.
 
Preliminary investigations suggest that these groups have received large funds, judging from the expensive four-wheel-drive vehicles they use, the source claimed, adding that the funder behind these groups would be exposed soon.
 
Most of the activists, he said, are from the lower layers of society, are single and do not have much income, facts which make them easy recruits for extremist organizations.
 
Egypt launched a crackdown on Sinai terrorism in response to a terror attack near the border with Israel earlier this month, in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed.
 
Reports in Israeli media this week said that Egypt had moved anti-aircraft missiles into the Sinai Peninsula without Israel’s permission. Such equipment is prohibited in Sinai by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
 
An Egyptian military source, however, denied on Tuesday that his country was deploying troops in Sinai beyond the limitations stipulated in the 1979 Camp David Accords.
 
The source told the Al-Ahram newspaper that the operation is “well coordinated with both the Americans and Israelis.”
 
“The fact that contact between both sides has not been made known to the press does not mean it is not happening – actually it goes beyond mere information sharing and includes efforts to coordinate,” the source said.
 
Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told Al-Ahram that the operation falls within the scope of Egyptian "sovereignty over Sinai, all of Sinai."
 
On Tuesday, the Maariv Hebrew-language website reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has demanded that Egypt cease sending tanks into the Sinai without Israel's approval.
 
An Israeli government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, later confirmed to The New York Times that Israel is “troubled” by the entry of Egyptian tanks into the northern Sinai Peninsula without coordination with Israel and has asked Egypt to withdraw them.
 
The Israeli request was conveyed within the last few days, the official said, adding that it was likely that the Obama administration had made a similar approach to Cairo.

Egyptian Expert Calls to Change Peace Agreement with Israel

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 23:18
Egyptian army truck carries tanks and vehicles to Rafiah RutersAn Egyptian expert on strategic matters and security said on Tuesday that he supports the idea of changing some parts of the Camp David Accords signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi reported Tuesday.
 
The expert, Gen. Talat Muslim, made the comments in an exclusive interview to the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
 
Muslim said that the agreement should have been changed immediately after it was signed, adding that the only solution to the current situation would be placing security forces along the border with the "Israeli enemy", as he put it, and employing a policy of establishing facts on the ground until Israel agrees to change the agreement.
 
He also expressed support for placing fighter jets, tanks and heavy weapons in the Sinai Peninsula area as well as placing additional forces to deal with "criminal enclaves" in northern Sinai.
 
Halevi noted that Muslim’s remarks are significant because they were featured in a prominent place on the official website of the Freedom and Justice Party.
 
Egypt has launched a crackdown on Sinai terrorism in recent days, in response to the terror attack near the border with Israel last week, in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed.
 
Earlier this week it was reported that Egypt has moved anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles into the Sinai Peninsula, without Israel’s permission. Such equipment is prohibited in Sinai by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
 
The Maariv Hebrew-language website reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has demanded that Egypt cease sending tanks into the Sinai without Israel's approval.
 
Muslim Brotherhood leaders have rejected Israeli claims of a breach of the peace agreement by leaving the armored forces in Sinai and noted on Tuesday that Israel violated the treaty with Egypt during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in early 2009.

Al-Qaeda Affiliate: We Fired Grads on Eilat

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 18 August 2012 17:03
Impact of Grad Katyusha missileAs the anarchy in the Sinai Peninsula continues, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group with branches in Gaza and in Sinai claimed responsibility on Thursday evening for firing Grad missiles on the city of Eilat on Wednesday.
 
The group, Ansar Beit al-Makdas, said in a statement it published:
 
“Allah was successful through your brothers the Mujahideen from the Ansar Beit al-Makdas organization, who on Wednesday evening sent two Grad rockets towards the city of Um Rash Rash (the Arabic name for Eilat -ed.). The brothers did everything necessary so that the missiles would hit targets in populated areas, as evident in the enormous horror of the Jews.
 
“But as usual the Jews are hiding their losses, and in their reports and releases they claimed that the rockets fell in open, unpopulated areas,” the organization continued. “Jews, expect from us actions that will hurt you and persecute you, for you will have no confidence from today until the rights return to their owners.
 
“You know, Jews, that nothing can stop us with Allah’s help, from fighting you and torturing you, and even if all the armies of the world will come under your command, and even if there were a barrier between us and you, with the power and the help of Allah we will get to you.
 
“Everyone knows that our weapons, our readiness and our jihad have a fixed target and are fighting those who cursed Allah, stole our communities, our holy places and hurt our dignity,” concluded the statement.
 
It was the second time in one day that a group had taken responsibility for the missile fire on the tourist city. An unknown organization calling itself the "Salafi Sinai Front" issued a statement on Thursday morning in which it claimed responsibility for firing the missiles. The terror group also condemned the Egyptian military’s operation inside the Sinai Peninsula.
 
Eilat has been the target of missile attacks from Sinai in the recent past. Two months ago, the remains of a Grad missile were discovered a few dozen kilometers north of Eilat, near Uvda. They were apparently fired from Sinai or Jordan.
 
In April, the remains of a rocket were discovered by residents, about ten meters from residential buildings. No one was hurt.

Salafi Terror Group Threatens to Attack in the Heart of Cairo

Category: News
Created on Friday, 17 August 2012 11:11
salafiArmy of Islam, the Salafi terrorist organization suspected of being behind the terror attack in the Sinai last week, threatened on Wednesday that it would carry out mass suicide bombings in the heart of Cairo, in response to the Egyptian military’s operation against Islamic organizations in the Sinai.
 
“No one will condemn the people of Sinai if they react with a car bomb in the heart of Cairo,” the group, which advocates for running Gaza according to Islamic law, said in a statement posted on a Facebook page affiliated with it.
 
“The Muslim Brotherhood has begun persecutions, led by the agent (Egyptian President Mohammed) Morsi,” said the statement. “Things are moving rapidly. Washington tells Morsi it will help him defend Sinai ... The United States is entering Sinai on the back of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
 
The organization attacked the Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, accusing it of heresy and non-implementation of Sharia (Islamic law). It also accused the Brotherhood for persecuting of the Mujahideen, as evidenced this week when a death sentence was imposed on 14 terrorists who carried out a string of terror attacks in the Sinai Peninsula.
 
The Army of Islam also called on the Egyptian public to provide moral and material assistance to its members who are persecuted by the authorities.
 
Egypt has launched a crackdown on Sinai terrorism in recent days, in response to the terror attack near the border with Israel last week, in which 16 Egyptian officers were killed.
 
A report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has indicated that international terrorist groups with roots in Libya, Sudan and Iraq are working to take over the Sinai Peninsula.
 
Efforts to turn the region into a major launching point for attacks are being encouraged by Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, the report stated.

World Jihad in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 18:23
Sinai desertInternational terrorist groups with roots in Libya, Sudan and Iraq are working to take over the Sinai Peninsula, according to a report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Efforts to turn the region into a major launching point for attacks are being encouraged by Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, it stated.
 
The report noted a recent attack near the border as evidence of terrorists’ attempts to take advantage of the anarchy and growing anger in Sinai.
 
Gaza terrorist groups are heavily involved, it noted. “Palestinian terrorist groups active in the Gaza strip are accessible to local Bedouin organizations in Sinai which affiliate themselves with the global jihad, and have both financial and ideological motives."
 
Hamas generally attempts to force international jihad terror groups, including “rebel” groups in Gaza, into following its relatively restrained approach to terrorism, the authors said. Hamas has occasionally declared ceasefires with Israel, apparently fearing a repeat of the Cast Lead counterterror operation of 2008-2009.
 
However, they continued, Hamas leaders are happy to see other groups carry out attacks with no “address” – that is, with no single known terrorist group behind them.
 
Such attacks have included rocket attacks, attacks on Israelis near the border, and weapons smuggling from Sinai to Israel.
 
“Hamas and other organizations are careful to hide this type of activity, and sometimes even to deny it, in order to avoid exposing themselves to an Israeli response,” they noted. In addition, the groups seek to avoid “complicating their relationships with Egypt, particularly in the era after the election of Mohammed Morsi as Egyptian president.”

Sinai Anarchy: Terrorists Kill Anti-Terror Tribal Chief

Category: News
Created on Monday, 13 August 2012 09:45
Egyptian security forces arrest suspected terrorist in the Sinai (Reuters)Reuters - A group of armed men shot dead a tribal leader and his son on Monday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on the border with Israel, a security source said, as violence escalated on the sixth day of a military crackdown on militants in the area.
 
"Tribal leader Khalaf Al-Menahy and his son were shot dead by militants on their way back from a conference organized by tribal leaders to denounce militancy," said the security source in Sinai.
 
The attack occurred during a security sweep that began on Wednesday after the killing of 16 Egyptian border guards last week, which Egypt blamed on terrorists.
 
The military operation is the biggest in the region since the Yom Kippur War that Egypt launched against Israel in 1973.
 
Lawlessness has been growing in Sinai, a region awash with guns and bristling with resentment against Cairo, since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in an uprising last year. Parts of northern Sinai have been controlled by Bedouin tribes and a growing number of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists since police deserted the area during the uprising.
 
Another source close to terrorists in Sinai said hundreds of them had organized a secret meeting on Sunday night to discuss their response to the killing of five Islamist terrorists by Egyptian soldiers earlier on Sunday.
 
"They agreed that the reaction will be harsh," the source said.
 
The military crackdown in the Sinai Peninsula is seen as an early test for Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi to prove he can rein in the militants whose activity near the border worries both Egyptians and Israel.
 
Morsi dismissed two top generals on Sunday, quashing a military order that had ruled the transition period after Mubarak and curbed Mursi's presidential powers. Last week, he fired North Sinai's governor and Egypt's intelligence chief.
 
Morsi's critics say the Islamist leader risks being seen as soft on jihadists because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ties to Hamas and the party’s anti-Israel platform.

3 Egyptian Police Officers Killed in Sinai Chase

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 12 August 2012 07:05
sinaiThree Egyptian police officers were killed early Sunday in a high speed chase after “armed criminals” in the Sinai Peninsula. Four other security personnel were injured in the accident when the car flipped over while chasing the group of criminals, according to the Egyptian state news agency, MENA.
 
The “armed criminals,” who were not identified, were racing along the international road in central Sinai, MENA reported. There was also no information on the crime for which they were being chased. It is possible the "criminals" were involved in supplying weapons to terrorists.
 
International peacekeeping troops exchanged gunfire with a group of terrorists who fired at a checkpoint on the border with Israel Saturday night. The incident, which took place in the central Sinai area of Um Shyhan, did not result in any casualties. The terrorists fled into the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid, according to MENA.
 
The Egyptian government, meanwhile, last week ordered out a massive reinforcement of police officers and Egyptian army personnel to arrest terrorists who earlier in the week killed 20 Egyptian soldiers on the country's border with Israel.
 
The attackers were members of a Salafi terror organization called Al Takfir wal Hijra, according to a report published last week in the Al Youm al Saba newspaper.
 
Residents of El Arish in northern Sinai reported on Thursday seeing a force of “unprecedented size,” allegedly including 60 tanks on 30 transporters, 12 APCs (armored personnel carriers), 15 additional armored vehicles, more than 20 armored jeeps and MP (military police) jeeps.
 
Israeli diplomatic sources said the Cabinet in Jerusalem approved a Cairo request to send five helicopters to the Sinai Peninsula to assist in the fight against terrorist elements there.
 
The terrorists had attacked the troops while they were breaking their daily Ramadan fast, then stole two armored vehicles – one of which blew up at the border -- and attempted to infiltrate near the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel.
 
Although Egyptian reports claimed the terrorists killed others, Israeli sources reported that despite a barrage of rockets and mortar shells, there were no casualties. It is not clear whether the attempted infiltration was successful or aborted.

Gaza Terrorists Testing Rockets in Sinai

Category: News
Created on Friday, 10 August 2012 17:53
Katyusha missileIsraeli sources told Reuters on Friday there is evidence that Egypt's north Sinai region is becoming not only a rallying point for terrorists but a firing range for Gaza's rocket builders.
 
It was soon after the 2011 revolt in Egypt toppled President Hosni Mubarak that Israeli rocket radars began to spot unusual launches from the Gaza, the report noted.
 
While the rockets normally towards Israeli border towns, or north towards coastal cities, some are now aimed at the empty desert wastes of Sinai.
 
The purpose seemed clear, according to the sources: to test rockets made or smuggled in by Gaza terror groups who do not have space for a practice range.
 
“They have a Bedouin collaborator in Sinai who finds the crater and marks it by GPS,” an Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, describing a low-tech but effective method of tracking test-firings from Gaza.
 
A sheik from a Sinai village around 60 km from Gaza described how in June he heard several explosions and went to investigate. He found a spent rocket which had gouged a basketball-size hole in the ground.
 
“The remaining parts did not include any writings that could tell where the rocket came from,” the sheik was quoted by Reuters as having said.
 
The report added that while Gaza's Hamas government and its smaller Islamist factions deny conducting any military operations in Sinai, security officials from Egypt privately admit it has become a playground of bandits, smugglers and jihadis.
 
Tzvika Foghel, an Israeli brigadier-general in the reserves, recalled occasions when rockets were fired from the far western corner of Gaza at open areas of Israel, a diagonal span of more than 40 km.
 
“They could easily see where the rockets were landing by putting someone in an elevated position in Beit Hanoun,” Foghel told Reuters.
 
Israel's Gaza cordon includes advanced radars to detect and track rocket launches in real-time, the report said. The radars feed the Iron Dome anti-missile system, and rockets headed into the open Negev, deliberately or by mistake, are watched with interest by Israeli intelligence.
 
“There are those who see these practice launches as an opportunity to study what the enemy is planning and preparing for us,” a serving Israeli military officer said.
 
When Gaza-based terrorists fire a rocket in practice, the Israelis can study its trajectory and debris, but in Sinai the debris is beyond their reach.

‘Sinai Abandoned to Terror’

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:53
Israeli Egyptian troops at the buffer zoneTzipi Livni resigned from Knesset, but that is not stopping her from getting involved in Israeli diplomacy. The former Foreign Minister met Wednesday with United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon to discuss a variety of Middle East issues.
 
Livni told Ban that the Sinai Peninsula has been “abandoned” and has become “a terrorist enclave.” The recent attack on Egyptian soldiers in the area proves what Israel has said for years, she said: That Sinai terrorism is not just an Israeli problem, but an Egyptian problem as well.
 
She urged the international community to give its support to efforts to fight the terror in Sinai.  The greater the security response to Sinai terror, the better, she said, “and the international community would do well to assist every effort” to fight terrorism in the region.
 
Livni and Ban also discussed other Middle East issues, including the bloody fighting in Syria, where President Bashar Assad is battling rebel groups aiming to oust him from power. “Assad is slaughtering his people,” Livni declared. “The world cannot remain silent.”
 
The United Nations has not taken serious action on Syria due to dissent within the Security Council. Council members Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed resolutions threatening Assad with sanctions. Russian leaders have accused the West of placing undue responsibility for the conflict on Assad, and failing to make demands of rebels as well.

Morsi Fires Intelligence Chief, Sinai Governor

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:38
Morad-Muafi-Head-of-Intelligence-leftEgyptian president Mohammed Morsi has fired the Head of General Intelligence, General Morad Mu'afi, following the Sinai terror attack in which 16 policemen were killed.
 
"General Mohammed Morad Mu'afi has been fired and the resignation [sic] goes into force from today," proclaimed Morsi's spokesman, Yasser Ali, on Wednesday, on Egyptian state television. He explained that Mu'afi was dismissed following "the recent events" and "in order to defend the revolution."
 
General Mohammed Refat Shahata was appointed as a temporary replacement to Mu'afi.
 
Mu'afi reportedly met Morsi immediately after the terror attack and told him that while Egyptian intelligence had information about terrorists' intent to carry out an attack, no one believed Sunni Muslims would attack fellow Sunni Muslims as they broke their Ramadan fast.
 
Egyptian news sources also said that Morsi had sacked the governor of Sinai.

Israelis Warned to Leave Sinai Now

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 August 2012 07:07
Israel-Egypt borderThe National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTBCTB) issued on Thursday a serious warning against travelling to the Sinai Peninsula, and called on Israelis vacationing in the area to leave immediately.
 
"From information at our disposal, it arises that terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and additional elements are actively planning to perpetrate terrorist attacks, especially abductions, against Israeli tourists in Sinai in the immediate term," the NSCCTB's warning said.
 
"The NSCCTB reiterates its call to all Israelis in Sinai to leave the area immediately and return home. The families of Israelis in Sinai are requested to contact them and update them regarding this travel warning. The NSCCTB also emphatically recommends that all those planning to leave for Sinai refrain from doing so."
 
The latest travel warning comes in light of increased tension along Israel’s southern border. Last week, a branch of the Al-Qaeda terror group based in Sinai claimed responsibility for the repeated attacks on the pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Jordan and Israel.
 
The group released a video in which it claimed responsibility for the attacks and said that they were meant to “protect state resources and the rights of the poor.”
 
Several hours after the pipeline was attacked for the 15th time on July 22, terrorists hiding behind sand dunes fired on a bus filled with soldiers.
 
The shooting attack occurred in the area of Ein Netafim, adjacent to the Egyptian-Israeli border.
 
Egyptian authorities have struggled to maintain stability in the Sinai since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak last year.
 
A terror attack aimed on Highway 12, near Israel’s border with Egypt, in August of last year killed eight Israelis.

Israelis Warned to Leave Sinai Now

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 August 2012 07:07
Israel-Egypt borderThe National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau (NSCCTBCTB) issued on Thursday a serious warning against travelling to the Sinai Peninsula, and called on Israelis vacationing in the area to leave immediately.
 
"From information at our disposal, it arises that terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and additional elements are actively planning to perpetrate terrorist attacks, especially abductions, against Israeli tourists in Sinai in the immediate term," the NSCCTB's warning said.
 
"The NSCCTB reiterates its call to all Israelis in Sinai to leave the area immediately and return home. The families of Israelis in Sinai are requested to contact them and update them regarding this travel warning. The NSCCTB also emphatically recommends that all those planning to leave for Sinai refrain from doing so."
 
The latest travel warning comes in light of increased tension along Israel’s southern border. Last week, a branch of the Al-Qaeda terror group based in Sinai claimed responsibility for the repeated attacks on the pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Jordan and Israel.
 
The group released a video in which it claimed responsibility for the attacks and said that they were meant to “protect state resources and the rights of the poor.”
 
Several hours after the pipeline was attacked for the 15th time on July 22, terrorists hiding behind sand dunes fired on a bus filled with soldiers.
 
The shooting attack occurred in the area of Ein Netafim, adjacent to the Egyptian-Israeli border.
 
Egyptian authorities have struggled to maintain stability in the Sinai since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak last year.
 
A terror attack aimed on Highway 12, near Israel’s border with Egypt, in August of last year killed eight Israelis.

Sinai Terrorists Planned Mass Slaughter

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 29 July 2012 17:53
Border fortification near Egypt.Terrorists who attacked workers at the Sinai border fence, murdering one, had hoped to infiltrate Israel and slaughter Jewish families. The terror group had already picked its target: the town of Nitzana, near the Israel-Egypt border.
 
The Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group behind the June 18 attack revealed its full plan in a video published online.
 
The video includes footage of the preparation for the attack. Two terrorists are seen training in the desert. Others seek out a site to attack.
 
Commanders tell the terrorists to break through the fence, fire two counter-tank missiles at the IDF vehicles at the scene, and reach the nearby town of Nitzana. There, they were to murder as many residents of the town as they were able.
 
Nitzana is home to 50 families. Several youth programs operate in the town, including two Hebrew-language learning programs for young immigrants to Israel.
 
The terrorists launched their attack on June 18. They murdered Israeli-Arab Said Fachachte who was working on the border fence, but failed to infiltrate Israel.
 
Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed concern that the attack indicated “a severe weakening of Egypt’s control of Sinai.”

General Warns: Terror to Move East

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 09:29
Fence along southern borderAs Israel completes work on the Sinai border fence, the defense establishment must look to the eastern border as the next threat, IDF General (res.) Tzvika Fogel warned in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
 
Fogel, who served as the Head of Southern Command, explained that terrorists now operating in Sinai are likely to circumvent the fence by traveling to Jordan.
 
Fogel called on the government to respond to the imminent threat from Jordan by building a fence on that border, as well. Years ago he called to build a fence on the Egyptian border, he recalled, “They looked at me like I was crazy, and today everyone is rushing to complete it.
 
“I recommend building the fence on the Jordan border today, or at the latest, tomorrow,” he added.
 
Terror in Sinai will remain a threat as well, he said. “Defense of 270 kilometers of terrorist activity is nearly impossible,” he noted, comparing the length of the Egyptian border to the relatively small size of Gaza.
 
Terrorists have created “a second Lebanon” in Gaza, he said. By taking advantage of the current instability in the area, they have drawn the fight away from Gaza itself, he noted, thus avoiding a situation in which Gaza residents suffer due to their leaders’ attacks on Israel.
 
Ultimately, Israel will be forced to operate within Sinai, he predicted, just as Israel was ultimately drawn into Lebanon.
 
If attacks from Sinai grow worse, he warned, Egypt is likely to push for more of its troops to be allowed in the area, in violation of its treaty with Israel. Israel will face international pressure to concede.
 
Israel could prevent future suffering by hitting Gaza terrorist groups hard today, he declared. However, he said, such action is unlikely, because the public tends to see operations in light of the current situation, without taking future threats into account. If he were Prime Minister he would do it anyway, he said, “I know how to do what is good for the people, not what the people want.”

Egypt Must Bring Sinai under Control Now

Category: News
Created on Monday, 18 June 2012 07:53
Ehud BarakDefense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday that there has been a "serious escalation" in the security situation along the Sinai border and that the lack of Egyptian security control in Sinai was "worrisome."
 
"We are still under a terror attack in the south," Barak told reporters during his meeting with the Polish defense minister. "There are casualties on our side, there are also casualties among the attackers. The situation is not yet clear and the incident is not yet over. We will give a full report when it is over."
 
"This is a physical terror attack on a construction site in which the fence is being built, when only yesterday two rockets were fired at the southern part of the Negev," Barak said. "We see a worrisome escalation in the Egyptian control of security in Sinai," he said. "We await the result of the elections. Whoever is elected, we expect him to take responsibility for all of Egypt's international commitments, including the peace treaty with Israel and the security arrangements within Sinai, and to put a quick end to these attacks."
 
A terror squad infiltrated Israel from Gaza near Nitzana Monday morning and opened fire at an IDF providing security for a construction site. A Defense Ministry worker was killed. Three terrorists were also apparently killed. 

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