July 24, 2013 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 999

Salafi-Jihadis In Sinai Call For Jihad Against Egyptian Military

July 24, 2013 | By R. Green*
Egypt | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 999

In light of the unrest in Egypt following the ouster of president Muhammad Mursi, the jihadi stream in the Sinai has decided to abandon its sole focus on fighting Israel and to openly call for jihad against the Egyptian regime as well.

In recent years, the jihadi stream in Sinai has strengthened substantially. Jihadi activists are exploiting the regime's weakness in the Sinai Peninsula, especially since the February 2011 ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, to prepare, arm themselves, and spread the global jihad brand of Salafi ideology among the local population. Since Mubarak was toppled in 2011, Al-Qaeda has viewed the Sinai as a clear jihad arena that also enables it to directly fight Israel. Consequently, an organization named Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which is associated with Al-Qaeda, began operating in the Sinai and carried out a series of attacks against Israeli targets, chief among them the gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel. In addition, jihadi activists in the Sinai have tightened relations with their colleagues in the Gaza Strip, which enables many activists from Majlis Shura Al-Mujahideen - the umbrella organization of global jihad in Gaza - to escape Hamas persecution and operate from the Sinai....

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