Sunday, May 31, 2015

31-May-15: In Sinai, Islamist terrorists threaten Eilat and Hamas

Funeral procession in Sinai honors the lives of four dead jihadists, caught in
the act of firing rockets in the direction of Israel [Le Figaro, August 11, 2013]
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis ("Champions of Jerusalem", in Arabic) is the Islamist jihad group that has brought considerable misery in the past several years to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

They are in the news again this morning because the natural gas pipeline running from Egypt through the desert to both Israel and Jordan was blown up yet again in the early hours of this morning, Sunday. And as numerous news agencies (Associated Press, for instance) point out, that's a target they have openly attacked [see "26-Oct-14: The ongoing savagery just over the border" for instance] more than a dozen times already.
Security officials in Egypt say suspected Islamic militants have blown up a natural gas pipeline outside el-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai. The officials say authorities stopped the flow of the gas to extinguish the fire after the blast, which happened early Sunday morning. No group immediately claimed the attack. However, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or "Champions of Jerusalem," a jihadi group based in the Sinai Peninsula, has claimed responsibility for more than a dozen similar bombings and attacks on security forces. It pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group late last year... [AP, today]
The same terror organization has been mentioned this past week [here], issuing mortal threats against Hamas and the southern Israeli city of Eilat:
Jihadists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State have threatened to strike the port of Eilat "in the coming days," according to reports in Egyptian media. The reports state the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem), which changed its name to Welayat al-Sinai (Province of Sinai) "threatened to strike the Eilat Port, following coordination with Islamic State's wing in the Gaza Strip" ...Salafi groups began to surface in Gaza in 2006 and have had a tense relationship with Hamas, which seized the territory from forces loyal to the Western-backed Fatah group in 2007. The tensions between the two terrorist groups in the coastal enclave began on May 3, when Hamas destroyed a mosque belonging to a group known as the "Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem." The group responded by threatening to kill Hamas members – publishing some of their names and photos - unless Hamas releases several men, including a local Salafi sheikh. In March, a senior IDF official said that Israel was "preparing for a multi-pronged terror threat directed against our forces and civilians in the Eilat area..." Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has spearheaded an insurgency in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula since the army overthrew Islamic president Mohammed Morsi.
Click here for some past posts about the terror raging in Egyptian Sinai.

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