Ansar Bait al-Maqdis

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Ansar Bait al-Maqdis
أنصار بيت المقدس
Participant in the Sinai insurgency
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (شعارات جماعة أنصار بيت المقدس 3).png
Active 2011–10 November 2014[1]
Ideology Salafist jihadism
Leaders Waleed Waked (POW)[2]
Ibrahim Mohamed Freg [3]
Shadi el-Manaei[4]
Headquarters Sinai Peninsula
Area of operations  Egypt
 Gaza Strip[5][6]
Strength 1,000[7]–2,000[8] (before merger with ISIL)
Became Wilayat al-Sina
Allies Islamic State[9]
Opponents  Egypt
 Israel[6]
Battles and wars Sinai insurgency

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (Arabic: أنصار بيت المقدسAnṣār Bayt al-Maqdis,[10] "Supporters of the Holy House"), or Ansar Jerusalem[11] ("Supporters of Jerusalem") was the name of a jihadist group based in Egypt; many Sinai-based members swore allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),[1] and most of the group became a local wing of ISIL, renaming itself Wilayat al-Sina (Province of Sinai).

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis emerged as an extremist militant group after the 2011 Egyptian revolution, with its operations increasing in the wake of the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état which deposed President Mohamed Morsi.[7]

The group was believed to have been the main group behind the militant activity in the Sinai.[12] The group recruited Bedouins as well as other Egyptians and people of other nationalities.[12] Ten leaders from the group were reported to have escaped from the Sinai to Gaza and Marsa Matrouh in late 2013.[13]

During 2014, the group sent emissaries to ISIL in Syria to seek financial support, weapons and tactical advice.[14] On 10 November 2014, many members of the group took an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[15] Following this pledge, ISIL supporters within the group became an official province of ISIL in the region.[16][17]

Designation as a terrorist organization[edit]

The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by Egypt,[18] the UAE,[19] the United Kingdom,[20] and the United States.[21]

Attacks[edit]

  • The group has bombed the pipelines that carry gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan multiple times.[22][23]
  • The group claimed responsibility for the attack on Israeli troops in September 2012.[10]
  • The group claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt on the minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa that occurred in September 2013.[24]
  • The group also claimed responsibility for an attack on a military intelligence building in Ismailia in October 2013.[25]
  • On 20 November 2013, the group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Mohamed Mabrouk, a security officer involved in the trial against Mohamed Morsi, who was shot dead outside his home in Nasr City on 17 November.[26]
  • A police compound in Mansoura was bombed by the group on 24 December 2013, killing at least 16 people, including 14 police officers.[27]
  • On 31 January 2014, a rocket was launched from the Sinai Peninsula aimed at Eilat. The Iron Dome system intercepted the rocket. Ansar Bait al-Maqdis took responsibility for the launch.[28]
  • The organization claimed responsibility for an attack in Eilat, Israel which occurred on 20 January 2014; no damage or injuries were reported.[29]
  • The group took responsibility for an attack on a police checkpoint in Beni Suef on 23 January 2014 that killed 5 people.[30]
  • The group claimed responsibility for the January 2014 Cairo bombings that took place in late January 2014,[31] though it later indicated that the Soldiers of Egypt group was behind one of the bombings.[32]
  • Claimed responsibility for the shooting down of a military helicopter in the Sinai that occurred on 25 January 2014.[33]
  • Claimed responsibility for the assassination of Mohamed Al-Saied (who was a member of Egypt's Interior Ministry) that occurred on 28 January 2014.[34]
  • The organization claimed responsibility for an attempted attack on Eilat, Israel which occurred on 31 January 2014; the rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.[35]
  • Claimed responsibility for the 16 February 2014 Taba bus bombing that killed four people, including three Korean tourists and an Egyptian bus driver.[36] The group warned all tourists to leave Egypt before 20 February 2014.[37]
  • The group claimed responsibility for attacks that killed 3 people in the Sinai that occurred on 2 May 2014.[38]
  • The group released a video on 28 August 2014 showing the beheading of 4 Egyptians accused of being Mossad spies and providing Israel with intelligence.[39]
  • The group claimed responsibility in late September 2014 for killing 6 security personnel.[40]
  • On 8 October, a faction of the group in the Gaza Strip calling itself the Islamic State of Gaza launched a bombing attack on the French Cultural Center in the city of Gaza, only to issue a statement several hours later denying any responsibility for the attack.[6]
  • The group released a graphic propaganda video claiming responsibility for the 24 October 2014 Sinai attacks that killed 28 soldiers northwest of the town of Arish. The group is also responsible for a drive-by shooting several hours later at a checkpoint in Arish that killed three soldiers.[41]
  • The group claimed to have perpetrated the July 2015 Sinai attacks which left 17 Egyptian soldiers and over 100 of their own militants dead.[42]
  • The group claimed to have shot 3 grad rockets from Sinai to southern Israel near the Gaza Strip. Two rocket hits were confirmed in Eshkol. No one was injured and no damage was made. [43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Militant Group in Egypt Vows Loyalty to ISIS". New York Times. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Egypt arrests Sinai leading militant". Xinhua News Agency. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Egypt kills senior leader of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis". Worldbulletin. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "North Sinai tribal leader kills 4 Islamist militants". Mada Masr. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "ISIS Now Has Military Allies in 11 Countries -- NYMag". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "IS claims responsibility for Gaza's French Cultural Centre blast, reports". Middle East Eye. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Egypt faces new threat in al-Qaida-linked group Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis". The Guardian. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Interior Ministry analyzes Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis statement over assassination attempt". State Information Services. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/egypt-sinai-isis-connection-ansar-bayt-al-maqdis.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b "Jihadist group claims responsibility for Israel attack". Daily News Egypt. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Egyptian tanks, helicopters push through Sinai". Times of Israel. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Single terror group responsible for most attacks in Sinai, intelligence sources say". Times of Israel. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members escape to Gaza, Marsa Matrouh". Egypt Independent. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base". The New York Times. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Egypt jihadists vow loyalty to IS as Iraq probes leader's fate". AFP. 10 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Islamic State's Archipelago of Provinces". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Sinai-based jihadist group rebranded as Islamic State's official arm". Long War Journal. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Egyptian court says Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis a terrorist organization". Egypt Independent. 14 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "UAE cabinet endorses new list of terrorist groups". Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) وكالة الأنباء الكويتية. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "UK government Proscribed Terrorist Organisations" (PDF). UK Home Office. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "US declares Ansar Beit al-Maqdes a terrorist group". Mada Masr. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  22. ^ ""Supporters of Jerusalem" claim responsibility for latest pipeline bombing". Daily News Egypt. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "ISIS Blows Up Egypt-Jordan Gas Pipeline". Arutz Sheva. 15 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Sources confirm ex-army officer behind minister assassination attempt". Egypt Independent. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "Jihadists claim responsibility for Ismailia military bombing". Daily News Egypt. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "Sinai militants claim responsibility for Cairo killing". Ahram Online. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Mansoura death toll rises to 16, mostly policemen". Ahram Online. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Radical Salafis claim responsibility for Eilat rocket fire". Ynetnews. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "Salafi group takes responsibility for Eilat rockets". Times of Israel. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility for Beni Suef attack". Egypt Independent. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "Deadly explosions target police in Egypt". Al Jazeera English. 24 Jan 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  32. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility for military helicopter crash and attacks". Egypt Independent. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  33. ^ "Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai as protest toll rises to 49". Reuters. 26 January 2014. 
  34. ^ "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis takes responsibility for assassination of Al-Saied, army accuses Brotherhood". Daily News Egypt. 29 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Egypt jihadists claim rocket fire on Israel’s Eilat". Daily News Egypt. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  36. ^ Gulhane, Joel (18 February 2014). "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claim Taba bus bombing". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  37. ^ The Associated Press (18 February 2014). "Egypt militants warn tourists to leave country or face attack". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  38. ^ "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claim Taba bus bombing". Mada Masr. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Sinai terror group decapitates four alleged Mossad spies". Jerusalem Post. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  40. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility for latest Sinai attack". Aswat Masriya. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  41. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis posts video of deadly attack that killed 30 in Sinai". Reuters. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  42. ^ "Islamic State attack in Egypt's North Sinai kills more than 100". Reuters. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  43. ^ http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-blames-latest-rocket-fire-on-is-linked-terrorists-in-sinai/