During a recent visit to London, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri advocated for an expansion of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS) to confront extremists causing havoc in North Africa, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to The Telegraph, Egypt has warned that terrorist groups are on the verge of taking control of Libya’s oilfields. “The natural resources in Libya represents a very large pool of wealth and funding that will fund terrorist activity not only there but in other parts of the world,” Foreign Minister Shukri told The Telegraph. “You see [ISIL] in Iraq utilizing petrol and the black market and in Libya this is a danger that will have a big impact for us.”
He said the Muslim Brotherhood has been “behind ISIL-like violence in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in North Africa.”
The Brotherhood has maintained that it is a peaceful organization and has denied being linked to violence, noted the British news outlet.
The Foreign Minister stated:
We have a struggle against similar organizations that are an offshoot of other terrorist ideologies like the [Muslim] Brotherhood and all these organizations support each other. We have seen terrorists from ISIL move from Iraq and Syria to Sinai, even Nigeria. The interconnected nature of all these organizations has to be recognized.
The fight against ISIL has to be expanded outside of Iraq and Syria to tackle the Muslim Brotherhood, given the group’s “shared ideological roots” with other extremists, said Shukri.
“All of us attempting the eradication of a terrorist organization in one area will need to have greater cooperation in another if we are to comprehensively deal with this threat,” he asserted. “The objective is the same in Sinai, Egypt proper or Iraq. It is the destruction of the state and the establishment of an Islamic State.”
Egypt has provided support to Libya’s efforts against Islamist militants, who now control major portions of the country, The Telegraph noted.
Shukri made those comments on Monday during a visit to London, where he was pushing “for a new approach from Britain and the West to Islamist violence in Egypt and its neighbors, modeled on the campaign targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” added the outlet.
On Oct. 24, two attacks in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula killed 33 security forces. Egypt’s Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis organization has been blamed for the attacks.