On Friday, Egyptian security forces took out the leader of Muslim Brotherhood affiliated terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai Peninsula. An Egyptian army spokesman said the operation was a success, as forces neutralized six “extremely dangerous criminal elements.” Egyptian military sources confirmed Shadi al-Menei, the leader of the terrorist group, was executed in the raid.
Al Jazeera, in reporting the news story, did not make any mention of the Muslim Brotherhood’s association with the terrorist group. It may come as no surprise to some, as 22 members of Al Jazeera Egyptian bureau resigned in 2013 after some complained that management would instruct all staff to favor the Muslim Brotherhood party-line in their reporting. Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar, which is run by the oil-rich Al Thani family. One of its members, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, was once described by Reuters as a “bankroller of Arab Spring revolts in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Following the fall of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military has been engaged in fighting terrorism in the Sinai. The main perpetrator of terror activity in the Sinai Peninsula has been Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliated radical Islamist group.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, also known as “Defenders of Jerusalem”, has mounted several devastating terrorist attacks and targeted assassinations on Egyptian citizens since the beginning of 2012. While their methods were unanimously condemned by the international community, President Morsi refused to get involved in stopping his fellow Brothers’ advances. Morsi largely accelerated their dominance over the Sinai when following his inauguration, he released almost all of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members from prison.
To demonstrate Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’ unshakeable connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, one needs to look no further than their slogan, which was singled out as a motto of utmost importance by MB founder Hassan al Banna: “Fight them until there is no fitnah [discord], and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah.” [Qur’an, Sura VIII, verse 39]
Throughout history, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda has been inextricably linked through Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian Islamist activist who was viewed as the intellectual leader for both movements. During his time in politics, Qutb became a one of the most prominent voices for the Muslim Brotherhood. All three of Al Qaeda’s former top leaders: Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Saif al-Aldel, were Muslim Brotherhood members and adamant Qutb followers.
Egypt has its presidential elections scheduled for next week. The leading candidate is General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was largely responsible for the ouster of Morsi in Egypt’s second revolution, which arguably came as a result of the Muslim Brotherhood leader’s tyrannical reign following the “Arab Spring”.