Authorities in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula have discovered a decapitated body believed to be a victim of Islamist radical group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis. The terrorists claimed four decapitations in August.
This body was found in North Sinai near the capital of Al-Arish. Officials do not know if this murder is connected to the four decapitations in August, all believed to be men accused by the jihadists of working as informants for Israeli authorities.
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis is considered Egypt’s most dangerous terrorist group. They were formed in 2011 during Egypt’s Revolution. Islamic Jihad founder Nabil Naeem has said the Muslim Brotherhood funds the group. The jihadists previously concentrated attacks on Israel, but after the tenure of President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis started waging attacks in Sinai, Nile Delta, and Cairo “in retaliation for the brutal crackdown against pro-Morsi Islamists.”
In early August, Egypt found four decapitated bodies. The group released a video of men beheading the four Egyptian civilians at the end of the month to take credit for the murders. Ansar Bait al-Maqdis claimed the men “provided intelligence used in an airstrike on July 23 in northern Sinai that killed three of its fighters.” However, Egypt said no Israeli drones flew into Egyptian airspace. The residents who found the bodies said a note was on one of the bodies and signed by Ansar Bait al-Maqdis.
“This is the fate of all who prove to be traitors to their homeland,” said the note.
The jihadists also murdered five soldiers and civilians in Farafra.
In June, authorities found evidence to connect Ansar Bait al-Maqdis and the Islamic State (ISIS). The group held an Eid prayer in which preacher Abu Osama al-Masri asked “Allah to [allow the Islamic State] to conquer Baghdad, the rest of the country and the people’s hearts” as the jihadist group continues its attempt to form a Caliphate across Syria and Iraq. The video of the prayer is no longer on YouTube. Residents in the peninsula believe Sinai will be part of the Islamic State’s Caliphate in the near future.
Three young men in their 20s from my clan fight with ISIS in Syria. One of them was wounded in clashes between them and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra. Prior to going to Syria, they were members of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in Sinai and espoused an extremist Salafist jihadist ideology. One of them traveled across the Egyptian-Israeli border in central Sinai and then continued on to Syria with the help of drug traffickers. The rest took the Jordanian smuggling routes. My relatives say that they went to Syria to fight a jihad in defense of God, and to live in an Islamic state that applies the laws of God. One of them communicated with us recently and said that they would be returning soon to Sinai, when the “soldiers of God” achieve victory over the tyrant [meaning the Egyptian army] that protects the Israelis and prevents the initiation of a holy war against them. He also stressed that Sinai would soon be part of the Islamic Caliphate, when God grants victory to the soldiers of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.