Egypt Kills Islamic State Leader in Sinai, Mastermind of Russian Airliner Attack

Maxim Grigoriev/Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP
Maxim Grigoriev/Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP

Intelligence sources have confirmed to Fox News that Egypt has killed the leader of Islamic State forces in the Sinai Peninsula, Abu Dua al-Ansari, in an airstrike.

The claim was initially made by Egyptian military spokesman Brigadier General Mohammed Samir on his Facebook page, where he said, “accurate intelligence” helped Egypt’s air force target the ISIS leader at his hideout in Al Arish, described by the Washington Post as a “house located amid olive groves” south of the town.

According to the UK Mirrorthe airstrikes killed at least 45 other Islamic State militants, as well as destroying munitions used by the terrorists.

The Daily Star adds that some top lieutenants in al-Ansari’s gang, which called itself Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (“Soldiers of Jerusalem”) before it swore allegiance to ISIS in 2014 and became known as “Sinai Province,” were among the targets eliminated by the airstrike.

Al-Ansari (which was most likely an alias used by the terrorist leader) was considered the mastermind behind the October 2015 downing of a Russian airliner, which killed 224 people, and also attacks made against United Nations personnel based in the Sinai.

Haaretz adds that ISIS Sinai released a video on Monday that promised attacks against Israel, including the threat, “Jews will not remain in Palestine, we will turn it into a graveyard for Jews.”

At the time of this writing, the Islamic State had not officially confirmed al-Ansari’s death.