One of the many Islamist factions borne of the Arab Spring, extremist group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to the Islamic State last year, becoming ISIS Sinai in the process.
The British government yesterday released a statement confirming suspicions that a bomb may have been responsible for bringing down the Russian Metrojet Airbus A321-200 on Saturday. That ISIS Sinai claimed responsibility for the attack early and even uploaded a graphic video showing what they claimed to be the aircraft breaking up mid-air, attention will inevitably fall to the shadowy group.
Although ISIS isn’t given to terror ‘spectaculars’ in the same way rival group Al-Qaeda have been, it is worth noting the downing of the Russian plane happened nearly a year to the day after ISIS Sinai were formally accepted into the Islamic State, which was later announced formally on the 10th of November 2014.
Described by the Jerusalem Post as “Egypt’s most dangerous militant group”, ISIS Sinai has already been active, launching attacks both within Egyptian Sinai, and against neighbouring Jerusalem. They claimed responsibility for a deadly attack against Egyptian security forces in Sinai in 2014, in which at least 30 Egyptian troops were killed in a combined bomb and gun attacks.
In July this year, the group killed at least 100 at six army checkpoints in Sinai in simultaneous attacks. Despite Egypt army sources insisting the peninsula was “100 per cent under control” by the government, this attack was seen as a watershed movement for ISIS Sinai, which was coming out of hiding and taking territorial holdings in the barren north of the peninsula, where government troops lacked reach to fight back.
Breitbart London reported in July after the group launched guided missiles at an important symbol of the Egyptian governments prestige — a coastal warship — leaving it burning and drifting near the Israeli border.
In September this year, four American troops traveling in a Convoy in Sinai were injured by a roadside bomb attributed to the Islamic State.
While the Islamic State’s power-base is emphatically is in Syria and Iraq, it enjoys affiliation with dozens of other Islamist groups across the world who share their desire to spread the new caliphate and dominate the earth in the name of Allah. From the murderous formal partners Boko Haram in Nigeria, to the Islamic State in Libya, through the numerous groups with sworn allegiance in the Arabian peninsula, and the Subcontinent, the quick and easy success of the Islamic State has brought many admirers and fellow travellers.
With these friends, the Islamic State can already claim support in most of the territories it claims worldwide for the Caliphate, of which Egypt is just one.
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