Ansar Bait al-Maqdis

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Ansar Bait al-Maqdis
أنصار بيت المقدس
Participant in the Sinai insurgency and Gaza–Israel conflict
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 Sinai (in Sinai)
Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade (in Gaza)
Allies Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[9]
Opponents  Egypt
 Israel[6]
Battles and wars Sinai insurgency

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (Arabic: أنصار بيت المقدس‎‎ Anṣār Bayt al-Maqdis,[10] "Supporters of the Holy House"), or Ansar Jerusalem[11] ("Supporters of Jerusalem") was the name of a jihadist extremist militant group based in Egypt.

From 2011 to 2013, operated in the Sinai Peninsula, focused its efforts on Israel and the gas pipeline to Jordan. In mid-2013, it began a campaign of attacks on Egyptian security forces, and in November 2014 the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[1] Most of the group became a branch of ISIL, renaming itself ISIL-Sinai Province.

Overview[edit]

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis emerged from a number of indigenous Salafi jihadist groups in the Sinai Peninsula. Some of these groups had ties to Salafi jihadis in Gaza or leaders that had previously fought abroad, including with al-Qaeda.[12]

The group rose from the chaos in Sinai that began with the uprising in January 2011. Its operations increased in the wake of the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, shifting its main target from Israel to the Egyptian security forces,[7][12] declaring the Egyptian army and police apostates that can be killed.[13]

The group was believed to have been the main group behind the militant activity in the Sinai.[14] From September 2013 to late January 2014, the group claimed responsibility for a rapid succession of mass scale attacks throughout Egypt, including the attempted assassination of the Egyptian interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim.[12] The group recruited Bedouins as well as other Egyptians and people of other nationalities.[14] Ten leaders from the group were reported to have escaped from the Sinai to Gaza and Marsa Matrouh in late 2013.[15]

During 2014, the group sent emissaries to ISIL in Syria to seek financial support, weapons and tactical advice.[16] On 10 November 2014, many members of the group took an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL.[17] Following this pledge, ISIL supporters within the group formed an official branch of ISIL in the region,[18][19] known as Wilayat Sinai, the Sinai Province of the Islamic State.[12]

Designation as a terrorist organization[edit]

The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by Egypt,[20] the UAE,[21] the United Kingdom,[22] and the United States.[23]

Attacks[edit]

  • The group has bombed the pipelines that carry gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan multiple times.[24][25]
  • 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.[26]
  • The group also claimed responsibility for an attack on a military intelligence building in Ismailia in October 2013.[27]
  • 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.[28]
  • A police compound in Mansoura was bombed by the group on 24 December 2013, killing at least 16 people, including 14 police officers.[29]
  • 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.[30]
  • The organization claimed responsibility for an attack in Eilat, Israel which occurred on 20 January 2014; no damage or injuries were reported.[31]
  • The group took responsibility for an attack on a police checkpoint in Beni Suef on 23 January 2014 that killed 5 people.[32]
  • The group claimed responsibility for the January 2014 Cairo bombings that took place in late January 2014,[33] though it later indicated that the Soldiers of Egypt group was behind one of the bombings.[34]
  • Claimed responsibility for the shooting down of a military helicopter in the Sinai that occurred on 25 January 2014.[35]
  • Claimed responsibility for the assassination of Mohamed Al-Saied (who was a member of Egypt's Interior Ministry) that occurred on 28 January 2014.[36]
  • 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.[37]
  • Claimed responsibility for the 16 February 2014 Taba bus bombing that killed four people, including three Korean tourists and an Egyptian bus driver.[38] The group warned all tourists to leave Egypt before 20 February 2014.[39]
  • The group claimed responsibility for attacks that killed 3 people in the Sinai that occurred on 2 May 2014.[40]
  • 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.[41]
  • The group claimed responsibility in late September 2014 for killing 6 security personnel.[42]
  • On 8 October 2014, 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.[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. ^ "Will ISIS find fertile ground in Egypt's Sinai? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  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 c d "Wilayat Sinai: The Islamic State's Egyptian Affiliat" (PDF). inss. Retrieved 2 April 2016. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Awad, Mokhtar; Tadros, Samuel (21 August 2015). "Bay`a Remorse? Wilayat Sinai and the Nile Valley". Combatting Terrorism Center. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Single terror group responsible for most attacks in Sinai, intelligence sources say". Times of Israel. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis members escape to Gaza, Marsa Matrouh". Egypt Independent. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base". The New York Times. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Egypt jihadists vow loyalty to IS as Iraq probes leader's fate". AFP. 10 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Islamic State's Archipelago of Provinces". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "Sinai-based jihadist group rebranded as Islamic State's official arm". Long War Journal. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Egyptian court says Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis a terrorist organization". Egypt Independent. 14 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "UAE cabinet endorses new list of terrorist groups". Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) وكالة الأنباء الكويتية. 15 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "UK government Proscribed Terrorist Organisations" (PDF). UK Home Office. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "US declares Ansar Beit al-Maqdes a terrorist group". Mada Masr. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  24. ^ ""Supporters of Jerusalem" claim responsibility for latest pipeline bombing". Daily News Egypt. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "ISIS Blows Up Egypt-Jordan Gas Pipeline". Arutz Sheva. 15 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "Sources confirm ex-army officer behind minister assassination attempt". Egypt Independent. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Jihadists claim responsibility for Ismailia military bombing". Daily News Egypt. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Sinai militants claim responsibility for Cairo killing". Ahram Online. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Mansoura death toll rises to 16, mostly policemen". Ahram Online. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Radical Salafis claim responsibility for Eilat rocket fire". Ynetnews. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Salafi group takes responsibility for Eilat rockets". Times of Israel. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  32. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility for Beni Suef attack". Egypt Independent. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "Deadly explosions target police in Egypt". Al Jazeera English. 24 Jan 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  34. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility for military helicopter crash and attacks". Egypt Independent. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai as protest toll rises to 49". Reuters. 26 January 2014. 
  36. ^ "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis takes responsibility for assassination of Al-Saied, army accuses Brotherhood". Daily News Egypt. 29 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "Egypt jihadists claim rocket fire on Israel’s Eilat". Daily News Egypt. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  38. ^ Gulhane, Joel (18 February 2014). "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claim Taba bus bombing". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  39. ^ The Associated Press (18 February 2014). "Egypt militants warn tourists to leave country or face attack". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  40. ^ "Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claim Taba bus bombing". Mada Masr. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  41. ^ "Sinai terror group decapitates four alleged Mossad spies". Jerusalem Post. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  42. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims responsibility for latest Sinai attack". Aswat Masriya. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  43. ^ "Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis posts video of deadly attack that killed 30 in Sinai". Reuters. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.