Six Egyptian police officers were killed by a roadside bomb near the border town of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula Tuesday morning. According to ABC News, the Egyptian Interior Ministry and a security official said the attackers hid the bomb deep under the asphalt of a highway, in an area called Wadi Halfa.
“The official said the blast shredded the armored vehicle and tore the policemen’s bodies to pieces. The force was assigned to detect explosives but it was unclear if they were searching for them at the time of the attack,” ABC reported.
Egyptian security forces have been fighting an insurgency against Islamist extremists since the removal of Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi. Militants have killed over 500 Egyptian police and military members since his removal. The terrorist organization, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM), has claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks against the security forces. Egyptian officials have designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organizations and have tied the Brotherhood to ABM.
An unnamed Egyptian official spoke with Breitbart News regarding the connection of the Brotherhood and ABM. “Mohamed Zawahiri’s mission was to unify all terrorist groups,” he said. Mohamed Zawahiri is the brother of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. “He received $25 million from Khairet el-Shater [a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood] to unify the terrorists groups in the Sinai.” He said that Morsi approved the release of hundreds of terrorists to help with this cooperation; including Mohamed Zawahiri himself.
During the recent visit of Secretary Kerry to Egypt, President Sisi told Kerry that any global coalition against terrorism should battle not just Islamic State but other groups as well. According to Reuters, Sisi said any international coalition to combat terrorism “should be comprehensive and not exclusively target a specific organization or eradicate a certain terrorist hotspot.”
“Rather, the coalition should extend to encompass combating terrorism wherever it exists in the Middle East and African regions,” a statement released by the presidency said, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, “Egypt’s foreign minister suggested his country might not provide military assistance to the United States for its battle against the Islamic State militant group, saying the army was focused on the home front.”
The increasingly unstable security situation in Libya has led to the deaths of a number of Egyptian security forces and civilians. In addition, Egypt faces the threat of the Islamic State, which has reportedly been training in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. According to Reuters, Islamic State “has been coaching Egypt’s most dangerous militant group, complicating efforts to stabilize the biggest Arab nation.” Last June, 15 militants who belong to the Islamic State were arrested in the Sinai by Egyptian Special Forces.
The Obama Administration has yet to send the promised 10 Apache helicopters and military equipment to Egypt, which the nation has withheld since July 2013, when Morsi was removed from power. Over 15 Apaches have been grounded for over a year due to waiting for spare parts. Secretary Kerry has repeatedly promised that the Apache helicopters will be sent for Egypt’s military to fight terrorism in the Sinai, but the Apaches have yet to be delivered and are still sitting in storage at Ft. Hood.
The Obama administration froze economic aid to Egypt last October, though later released in April after Egypt held a Constitutional referendum and proved to be following the democratic roadmap. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) then blocked the release of the $650 million in economic aid, but recently agreed to release $572 million mainly to pay existing defense contracts. In addition to the withholding of such assets, the United States recently accused and condemned Egypt and the UAE for conducting airstrikes against the Islamist militants in Libya.
President Obama’s war on the Islamic State, while similar to that against Al Qaeda, once again disregards the fact that such a war cannot be against one organization, but a pervasive ideology among many. It is a war between those working to establish a global caliphate dominated by Sharia Law and knows no borders, waged by those who believe in nation states and state sovereignty. The Islamic State and Al Qaeda are not alone: Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, and the Muslim Brotherhood all work towards this same goal, among others, as well as supportive nations like Qatar, Turkey and Iran.