World View: Egypt in a ‘State of War’ in Northern Sinai

AP Photo
AP Photo

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Egypt in a ‘state of war’ in northern Sinai
  • Israel approves Egypt’s military buildup in Sinai
  • Kuwait in ‘state of war’ with ISIS, will require nationwide DNA testing

Egypt in a ‘state of war’ in northern Sinai

Egyptian army near Al-Arish in the Sinai peninsula on Wednesday (Reuters)
Egyptian army near Al-Arish in the Sinai peninsula on Wednesday (Reuters)

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said, “We’re in a real state of war,” at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, as Egypt’s army was fighting a protracted battle in northern Sinai with jihadist militants.

Egyptian F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters attacked the militants’ positions for several hours Wednesday afternoon and killed more than 90 jihadists, according to Egyptian sources. The militant assault targeted military and police personnel in two towns, El Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, located in northern Sinai near the border with Gaza and Israel. More than 70 Egyptian soldiers and policemen were also killed.

This was different from the “usual” terror attack that Egypt has been experiencing, in that it was a sustained militia attack on Egypt’s security forces.

The militants were from the terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM – Ansar Jerusalem – Champions of Jerusalem), which has conducted numerous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai, along the border with Israel and Gaza, and last year changed its name to “Sinai Province,” meaning “Sinai Province of Islamic State,” when it repudiated its allegiance to al-Qaeda and declared its allegiance to the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

Sinai Province has issued a statement claiming that they conducted simultaneous coordinated terror attacks at 15 different locations. They also claimed to have downed an Egyptian warplane with an anti-aircraft missile, but that claim was unconfirmed.

Wednesday’s attack followed by two days the assassination of Egypt’s top public prosecutor when a car bomb struck his convoy in Cairo. Egypt’s president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi had already promised a crackdown in response to the bombing. It is now expected that he is going to be pressured to seek revenge for Wednesday’s attack, the worst in Egypt’s recent history. El Ahram (Cairo) and Bloomberg and El Ahram

Israel approves Egypt’s military buildup in Sinai

The 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel requires the approval of each country for the other to deploy additional military forces near their common border.

Following Wednesday’s terror attack in North Sinai, Israel has reportedly decided to grant all Egyptian requests to reinforce troops in the Sinai Peninsula. Jerusalem Post

Kuwait in ‘state of war’ with ISIS, will require nationwide DNA testing

Kuwait’s interior minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said on Wednesday:

We are in a state of war. It’s a war that had been decided with this cell. But there are other cells, and we will not wait for them to try their luck with us.

Al-Sabah was alluding to the Kuwait terror attack of last week, one of the four terror attacks that occurred in four countries on a single day. ( “27-Jun-15 World View — Terror attacks in Kuwait, France, Somalia and Tunisia highlight growing sectarian war”) All four attacks targeted Friday prayers at mosques during the holy month of Ramadan.

The terror group “Najd Province” claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing attack on the Imam Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait’s capital city, Kuwait City, during Friday prayers, killing 27 people and wounding over 200. The terrorist wore a white robe that concealed the bomb, and was not prevented from entering the crowded mosque.

The name “Najd Province” refers to the central region of Saudi Arabia where the ultraconservative Sunni ideology of Wahhabism originated. Like “Sinai Province” in Egypt, the name was adopted when the militants pledged allegiance to ISIS. Al-Sabah was referring to “Najd Province” as the cell that triggered this war.

The first step in Kuwait’s war against ISIS is a new law that requires mandatory DNA testing on all of the country’s citizens and foreign residents. The interior ministry will establish a DNA database of all 1.3 million citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents. The database will be used to make quick identification and arrests during terror attacks, according to the law’s sponsors.

Anyone who refuses to give a DNA sample will be jailed for one year, and anyone who gives a fake sample can be jailed for seven years.

As we reported last week, Tunisia is responding to the terror attack it suffered by closing 80 mosques that are “spreading venom.”

What we are seeing is a broad trend where leaders of countries where terror attacks have occurred are being forced by public opinion to take repressive measures, in the hopes of preventing future terror attacks. Today we have described such repressive measures in Egypt, Kuwait and Tunisia. It is not thought that any of the repressive measures will prevent “lone wolf” terror attacks, which are becoming increasingly common.

Generational Dynamics predicts that the Mideast is headed for a major generational crisis war, refighting the bloody, genocidal 1948 war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel, and expanding to a full-scale sectarian war between Sunnis and Shias. International Business Times (London) and AFP

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Egypt, Sinai, Ibrahim Mahlab, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, El Arish, Sheikh Zuweid, Sinai Province, Israel, Camp David, Ansar Jerusalem, Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, ABM, Champions of Jerusalem, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Kuwait, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, Najd Province
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