December 29, 2020

Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’ Abu Osama al-Masri: “Message to the Families of the Soldiers”

Below is a translation of a message from Abu Osama al-Masri of Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Reflecting the new alignment with the Islamic State, the message concludes by quoting an Islamic State nasheed: "Lions of the Conflict," which could be heard for example in the al-Hayat Media video from the Islamic State featuring the English language testimony of fighters in the group, including British ones. Fursan al-Balagh: Jihadi media … [Read more...]

Analysis: Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis’ Allegiance to the Islamic State

Over the early hours of this morning there emerged an audio clip attributed to the Sinai-Gaza jihadi group Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (JABM: the Group of the Helpers/Partisans of the Holy House [Jerusalem], which emerged post-Mubarak), declaring allegiance to the 'caliph of the Muslims' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, thereby making JABM a part of the Islamic State [IS]. The recording's content is fairly standard and predictable. Reflecting the group's affinity for global jihad, the speaker cites the … [Read more...]

The Jihadi Connection: Sinai, Gaza, and the Islamic State

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

What kind of relations do the jihadists of northern Sinai and Gaza have with Islamic State, and with Hamas? Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month national emergency this week, following the killing of over 31 Egyptian soldiers in a suicide car bombing carried out by jihadists in northern Sinai. No organization has issued an authoritative claim of responsibility for the bombing, but it comes amid a state of open insurgency in northern Sinai, as Egyptian security forces … [Read more...]

Sisi Wages ‘War by Other Means.’

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

  Since the coup of July 3, 2013, Egypt’s de facto ruler General Abd al Fattah al-Sisi has pursued a clear and uncompromising policy toward the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s Islamists. Sisi has blocked any return to politics for the Brotherhood, instead seeking to maneuver them into the area of open confrontation with the authorities.  He has dismissed any genuine distinction between the Brotherhood and the more extreme and openly insurgent jihadi currents. In so doing, … [Read more...]

Shifting Mideast Sands Reveal New Alliances

Egyptian General Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi

A number of events in recent weeks cast light on the current intersecting lines of conflict in the Middle East. They reflect a region in flux, in which new bonds are being formed, and old ones torn asunder. But amid the confusion, a new topography is emerging. This was the month in which a long-existent split in the Sunni Arab world turned into a gaping fissure. On March 5th, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced that they were withdrawing their ambassadors from the … [Read more...]

Salafi Insurgency Fermenting in Northern Sinai

Looking north along Egypt-Israel border north of Eilat.

Northern Sinai has long played host to a variety of smuggling networks and jihadi organizations. Since General Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s military coup of July 3rd, 2013 in Egypt, however, there has been an exponential increase in attacks emanating from this area. This increasingly lawless region is now the home ground for an emergent Islamist insurgency against the Egyptian authorities. Since July 2013, more than 300 reported attacks have taken place in Sinai. The violence is also spreading … [Read more...]

The Middle East at the Beginning of 2014

barry-rubin

"We are at the beginning of a very long and profound transformation," says President Barak Obama. True. Nowhere is this truer than the Middle East.Egypt, the largest and most populous Arab country, seems to have settled down into the type of military regime that has existed since 1952, except for 2011 to 2013 when it had an Islamist government. Nevertheless, there have been some important changes in Egypt. First, in the "Islamist" era, Egypt remains still at odds with the Muslim … [Read more...]

Obama Administration Iran Deal Cannot Work

barry-rubin

How do we know that the Obama administration Iran deal cannot work? Let me count the ways.The only countries that have played it right are Canada; Egypt, which is now going to receive American weapons; and Iran itself, which will continue to profit from oil sales while making strategic promises it won't keep. This is not about Iranian nuclear weapons. It is about the entire region.Why have Canada, Egypt, and Iran gotten it right? In large part, Canada has ignored the proposed deal, because it … [Read more...]

How to Read a Newspaper (or Watch Television) About the Real Middle East

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

This column is an attempt to provide a running narrative of the Middle East. It will tell the news behind the news, including what the mainstream media has missed, especially because of its lack of knowledge of history.                                                                                                      Obama Says Iran-Israel Nuke Deal Is Only a 50/50 Chance It is amazing … [Read more...]

Sisi to Egyptian Islamists: Surrender or Die

jonathan-spyer

Jerusalem Post, 26/10: A suicide bombing this week at Egyptian Military Intelligence headquarters in the city of Ismailiya has been claimed by Ansar Beit al Maqdis. This organization is a Salafi Jihadi group with links to organizations of a similar kind in the Gaza Strip. Eleven people, including six soldiers were wounded in the bombing. The Ismailiya attack is the latest episode in a growing Islamist insurgency against the de facto rule of General Abd al Fatah al-Sisi and the military in … [Read more...]