ISIS’ Sinai Attacks Show Real Threat to Hamas

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Hamas fighters (Photo: Video screenshot)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, July 3, 2015:

The attacks on Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State (ISIS) this week shows why its new vow to topple Hamas in the Gaza Strip should be taken seriously. Polls show that Palestinians have the highest level of sympathy for ISIS in the Arab world with the possible exception of Syria.

ISIS has killed at least 17 Egyptian security personnel (13 soldiers and 4 police officers) and injured 30 in coordinated attacks that reflect increasing sophistication.  The Egyptian military said 70 Islamist terrorists participated and five checkpoints were assaulted. ISIS claims it struck 15 sites all at once.

The Egyptian government immediately accused the Muslim Brotherhood of involvement as it has in the past. Egypt also claims Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing, is secretly supporting ISIS operations in the Sinai Peninsula. It has even threatened to attack Hamas in Gaza in response.

The Egyptian claims are questionable because of the open animosity between the two groups and ISIS’ new video pledging to conquer the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli military confirmed the links after Wednesday’s attacks. It identified two senior Hamas officials who advise ISIS and covertly arrange for hospital visits in Gaza for its injured operatives.

The Brotherhood denies involvement and its website has a statementurging Egyptians to reject violence, but the group’s double-talk is well-documented. It is simply false that the Brotherhood is completely non-violent and Brotherhood media outlets explicitly call for violence like that perpetrated by ISIS this week.

However, there does appear to be a division within the Brotherhood.Youth leaders and elements outside the country are advocating violent jihad, while the older generation repeatedly reaffirms the group’s non-violent stance in Egypt. It’s possible this is all a calculated deception. It’s also possible the rift is real and a faction would be willing to support ISIS against a common enemy.

One Brotherhood official, Mohamed Gaber, said it “seeks to use all expertise inside and outside the Brotherhood to achieve its goals at this stage,” referring to toppling the Egyptian government.

The Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Brotherhood makes it tempting for Hamas to support ISIS operations in the Sinai. Hamas may prefer a situation where its southern border is a battlefield between ISIS and Egyptian forces instead of a base for either. Plus, the Brotherhood uses every death as proof that Egypt’s crackdown is counter-productive and should end.

There are three possibilities: Claims of Hamas/Brotherhood links to ISIS in Sinai are simply wrong; the two groups simultaneously collaborate and fight with each other depending on circumstances; or there are elements within Hamas/Brotherhood that work independently with ISIS against the wishes of the leadership.

Whatever the truth is, the attacks in the Sinai show the threat to Hamas should be taken seriously.

A November 2014 poll found that the Palestinians are the most sympathetic population to ISIS in the Arab world. Only 4% view ISIS positively but if you include those who view it somewhat positively, it grows to nearly one-quarter of the population. However, another poll found that only 3% of Palestinians view ISIS’ gains positively and 88% view it negatively.

ISIS could capitalize on widespread dissatisfaction with Hamas and the situation in Gaza. ISIS’ message that Gaza is in bad shape because Hamas is not sufficiently implementing Sharia could resonate with Islamists who are struggling to understand why Hamas’ rule has not been blessed by Allah. The video also slams Hamas for being too soft on Israel.

A poll released last month shows that 50% of the population in Gaza—and an astounding 80% of the youth—want to leave. About 63% favor continuing rocket attacks on Israel. Another poll found that almost 25% would not vote if elections were held today.

Should a full-blown war between Hamas and ISIS break out that makes Gaza look like Syria, the West mustn’t embrace Hamas as the better alternative. The minute differences between them should not be exaggerated out of a desire for a side to pick. They are the two manifestations of the same enemy.

Also see:

War Crimes in Gaza: Filmmaker Takes Cameras Deep into Hamas Territory appeared first on Breitbart



Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, June 26. 2015:

Just as another “Freedom Flotilla” is sailing to Gaza, veteran filmmaker Pierre Rehov’s latest film War Crimes in Gaza will be shown next week to the European Parliament under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Pierre Rehov’s film should also be seen by the International Criminal Court, which has just received files documenting what it claims are “Israeli war crimes.”

This 55-minute film is superb and packed with both visual, factual, and historical information. If everyone on board this flotilla watched this film—and if they were open to reason—they would turn back.

Going undercover into Gaza, Rehov is able to show us some of the wealthy mansions and villas of Gaza, the bustling malls and supermarkets, luxury cars, and well-dressed people at beachfront resorts—so different from the usual visual narratives of disinformation. Rehov shows us those as well: The weeping Palestinian civilians amidst rubble telling tales of IDF atrocities and devastation.

Undercover, Rehov has frightening footage of Hamas training children as young as six how to kill; the torture and public corpse-desecration of anyone whom Hamas suspected was a ‘collaborator’ or anyone whom they viewed as an opponent; Hamas’s omnipresent but hidden “civilian” army in Gaza; the location of Hamas missiles and guns in heavily populated civilian areas; how different Hamas missiles look than IDF missiles once they have hit their target—and much else.

The film teaches us that, since Hamas could not inflict major military damage to Israel, their strategy became one of propaganda—the kind meant to turn the entire world against Israel. It worked. Everyone wanted to believe the worst of the Jewish state. No one wanted to focus on the Muslim-on-Muslim, Arab-on-Arab, and Hamas-on-Palestinian violence.

Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, confirms, on camera, that Hamas’s goal is not the liberation of Palestinians but the destruction of Israel. Hamas tries to “present Israel as being war criminals.”

According to journalist and author Matti Friedman, hating Jewish Israel “erases a deep sense of guilt” about the Holocaust. Seeing Jews as victimizers not as victims” does that. Friedman also notes in the film that reporters only cover “Israeli actions,” not the preceding Hamas attack, but also because “it matches the story that they want and [reporters] are not interested in being killed [by Hamas]…Bad Jews, good Arabs. Anything that complicates the story is taken out.”

Rehov’s film confirms that Hamas controls all press coverage and will not allow reporters to either see or report on the three kinds of vast, expensive, underground tunnels that Hamas has built all over Gaza. We see the offensive tunnels, which open out into civilian Israel; the smuggling tunnels and the defensive tunnels, which house weapons and Hamas fighters. We come to understand—we see with our own eyes—how Hamas dresses its fighters as “civilians,” and forces it real civilian population to function as human shields in the ground and propaganda wars begun by Hamas.

War Crimes in Gaza turns every Big Lie right side up. From various on-camera Israeli soldiers and military experts, we quickly understand that the IDF follows strict rules of engagement and is, without doubt, the most ethical army in the world with the least civilian casualties possible.

Rehov also challenges some of the latest Lies being told, namely, the IDF purposely killed four small boys who were running on the Gaza beach. Rehov wonders why “so many cameras were filming the sea at this very moment? Were reporters expecting something to happen? Then, who informed them?”

The film attempts to answer some of these. According to Colonel Kemp, “It would not surprise me if the Hamas deliberately lured the IDF to attack this location, as they have done it many times in this conflict before… it is extremely unlikely that children would be targeted by the IDF.” Israeli Colonel Peter Lerner claims that “The IDF had a Hamas terrorist target. We had intelligence pointing specifically to that location.”

Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring group, is perhaps the most eloquent and passionate voice on camera. He hold Hamas responsible for committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. Here is some of what he says:

Israel is using its own rockets and missiles to protect their people. Hamas is doing the opposite. Hamas is gaining power and money while more Palestinians are being victimized in Gaza…there is no doubt that Hamas used people as human shields. IDF sent messages to leave their houses. Hamas prevented them getting out of their houses by saying they are spies of Israel if they do.

Eid insists: “The one [who] committed the genocide is Hamas. The Hamas is offering their innocent people for such a kind of war.”

Rehov has made 12 films, some of which I have previously reviewed. His twelfth film will shortly appear as well. It focuses on the BDS movement. The film’s title is: Beyond Deception Strategy.

Rehov joins Gloria Greenfield as the premier filmmakers spurred by this latest, bloodiest, and long-lasting Al Aqsa Intifada.

Also see:

Gauging UNRWA’s Purpose on its 65th Anniversary

1181by Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
June 11, 2015

On April 18, two roadside bombs exploded in the Gaza Strip. Neither of the IEDs planted by Salafi jihadists opposed to Hamas rule in the enclave caused serious damage, but both explosions targeted United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) facilities. While the incidents were widely reported, there has been little questioning of why UNRWA buildings were targeted by those opposing Hamas. The logical conclusion is that in the eyes of those who planted the devices Hamas and UNRWA are identified as cooperating entities.

Back in 2004, confirmation of UNRWA’s relationship with Hamas came from the very highest level when the U.N. organization’s long-time Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as a crime.” Hansen left his post soon after.

According to its critics, UNRWA allows the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in UNRWA schools, including incitement against the State of Israel, the aspiration to martyrdom, and the demonization of Jews. Hamas is alleged to control the UNRWA teaching staff union and through those teachers, feed young and impressionable minds a diet of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic indoctrination. UNRWA vehemently denies this charge.

At its inception in 1950, UNRWA’s definition of a Palestine refugee was crystal clear, including someone whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

Depending on whose figures one accepts, between 600,000-700,000 former residents of British mandated Palestine left their homes in that period. That’s about the same number of Jews who were forced to leave neighboring Arab lands and move to Israel as their lives became untenable in their long established countries of residence.

According to the Center for Near East Policy Studies’ 2011 report ‘The Palestine Papers and the Right of Return’ UNRWA soon expanded the definition of a Palestine refugee to include “descendants of refugees.” Under that definition, there are around5.2 million Palestinian refugees spread across Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, around eight times the original number who left Palestine 67 years ago.

UNRWA supports a Palestinian “right of return,” meaning any or all of those 5.2 million people should have the right to move into Israel.

That result would create a demographic avalanche which would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish homeland.

“According to the UNHCR [United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNRWA’s parent organization], you lose your refugee status if you become a citizen of another country,” David Roet, Israel’s deputy UN ambassador, said in a speech to the UN last week. “But in the Palestinian case, this restriction does not apply. UNRWA – and UNRWA alone – allows refugees to pass their refugee status to their children and now grandchildren.”

UNRWA employs more than 10,000 people in Gaza, Roet added. “Where were they when Hamas stockpiled thousands of rockets, many of them in close vicinity to UNRWR facilities? It seems that while they are quick to condemn Israel, when it comes to reporting on Hamas, UNRWA’s employees become blind, deaf, and mute.”

In UNRWA schools, “Palestinian children are taught that the only solution to their plight is the so-called ‘claim of return.’ Many UNRWA facilities are decorated with keys symbolizing this claim of return. Young children are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them – but in truth these keys have them locked in a distorted reality. The ‘claim of return,’ make no mistake, is a euphemism for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Roet’s comments came amid UN events marking UNRWA’s 65th anniversary and were in response to UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl’s assertion that Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East “face an existential crisis on many fronts.” Yet UNRWA appears to allow the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in its schools even though, as a supposedly apolitical body, it holds veto power over classroom instruction.

Read more

IS Threatens Israel Monday, Israel Air Force Jets Return Fire This Morning

Screen-Shot-2015-06-04-at-1CSP, by Caitlin Anglemier, June 4, 2015:

The Islamic State (IS) issued a threat to Israel on Monday, June 1st, declaring that the Sunni terrorist group Hamas must halt its recent attacks and assaults on IS supporters in the Gaza Strip within 48 hours “or else”. Hamas’s recent crackdown is in response to the May 31 assassination of one of its senior commanders by the Hadid Brigade (full name, “Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade”), a group of IS supporters in the Gaza Strip. IS issued its 48 hour threat, which gave no insight into future consequences if Hamas does not meet its demands, to various Middle East reporters on Monday who then dispersed the news.

According to an article posted on June 2 by World Net Daily, a leader of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, Islamic State’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, reportedly declared “that if Hamas does not cease its crackdown, the group [IS] will not only continue to target Hamas, it will also break the Israel-Gaza truce with more attacks launched against the Jewish state”. On the same day, however, Hamas forces killed Islamic State supporter Younis al-Honnor. The 27-year-old was reportedly killed unintentionally while resisting arrest by Hamas forces.

As retaliation for Honnor’s death, rockets were fired Wednesday evening from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli city Ashkelon and the town Netivot. The “Omar Brigade,” which is likely the same as the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, claimed responsibility for the assault.

In response to Wednesday night’s attack on Ashkelon and Netivot, Israel Air Force jets hit “three ‘terror infrastructure’ targets in the Gaza Strip” this morning.

Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, declared today in a press release “that the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] struck Hamas targets because even if the militants who fired the rockets belong to ‘rogue gangs’ from the Islamic Jihad, Israel holds Hamas ‘responsible for what is happening in the Strip’”.

Before these recent events, on May 3rd of this year, Hamas followers destroyed the Al-Moutahabbin Mosque, located in the central region of the Gaza Strip. This mosque belonged to a group of Islamic State supporters known as the “Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem”. A daily Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masry al-Youm, reported that this group described the destruction as carried out, “in a manner that even the Jewish and American occupation has not done”. This demolition was in response to previous unclaimed bombings in the Gaza Strip.

After the attack on the Al-Moutahabbin mosque, Supporters of the Islamic State of Jerusalem stated its renewed loyalty to and faith in IS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group then threatened Hamas members, even publishing some names and photos, unless Hamas releases several captives, including a local Salafi sheikh.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 following what is known as the Battle of Gaza. A primary difference and source of conflict between Hamas and IS is Islamic law, called sharia. IS abides by and fights to enforce much stricter adherence to sharia law and says Hamas is “too liberal” and “soft on Israel.”

Various tweets have been released indicating such differences, one stating, “The Hamas government is apostate [one who renounces a religious or political belief or principle], and what it is doing does not constitute jihad, but rather a defense of democracy.” Another message states, “Khaled Meshaal [head of Hamas political bureau]: Hamas fights for the sake of freedom and independence. The Islamic State: it fights so that all religion can be for God.”

The conflict between Hamas and the Islamic State is much more than a dispute over geographic terrain or political quarreling; it is one about a deeply engrained moral, political, and theological ideology. Based on these ideological differences, events like those that have transpired over the past couple days in Gaza and Israel will not cease anytime soon.


How ISIS Plans to Destroy Israel

Screen-Shot-2015-04-16-at-8.03.04-PMPJ Media, By Bridget Johnson,April 16, 2015:

The Islamic State laid out its plans for carving a path to Israel and overcoming the Jewish state’s defenses, from working with establish jihadists in the region to hoping for impassioned geeky converts like Edward Snowden.

The new 150-page book distributed on file sharing sites this week follows other titles in the ISIS series including an e-book on how the jihadists plan to sack Rome.

The title has been expected for months, and declares that the “beginning of the end of Israel” will happen in 2022 — two years after they plan to take Rome.

“Many Christians have been misguided by their priests over the centuries into thinking that if they do not support the Jewish people – blindly, they will earn the wrath of Allah (God),” the book states. “This increases the support group of the Jewish State of Israel even more in the world.” Repeating centuries of blood libel, the book questions why modern Judaism is “imitating the Satanic culture.” The Star of David is referred to as “a symbol of sorcery.”

It cites the hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as source material as the writer gives the ISIS version of Jewish history and aims. Their summary of the Holocaust: “Then World War 2 would begin, some Jews would be put in concentration camps by Germany, only for the survivors to be rewarded with Palestine (why not Germany?) as compensation. No questions were asked.”

The book argues that the names Palestine or Jerusalem aren’t important, but “what matters is the moral nature of the people ruling such a blessed place.”

“If they are righteous believers, then they make the people living under them good and righteous in this holy land, but if they are not righteous and cause corruption in this holy land – then that makes them Allah (God)’s enemy. Allah will purify this land from corrupt people, even if they were God’s chosen people.”

It goes through the Palestinian militant movements over the years, calling the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) “a Communist movement who didn’t really care about Islamic teachings.”

The state of Israel is compared to “Florida in America… packed with sunshine, shopping malls, clubs and beaches” and is called “like GTA Vice city more than the chosen land for God’s chosen people,” referring to the video game Grand Theft Auto. “Israel is the country most similar to America in the Middle Eastern world. It is filled with crimes; murder, drugs, corruption, and even adultery and homosexuality is widespread within this holy land. People within Israel live a life of hedonism and materialism, and the whole system from the top to bottom is run on bribery, blackmail and favours.”

The book talks about Israel’s intelligence apparatus, claiming that they control Facebook and Twitter and that “any intelligence” the National Security Agency collects is “directly forwarded” to Israel. It swears that Israel’s public relations strategy is based on “the dark arts of black magic,” much like “a fake kebab burger made out of soya,” including using magic to jam the weapons of mujahedin.

Jihadists are encouraged to learn Krav Maga to better fight an Israeli soldier in hand-to-hand combat, and are advised to recite certain Quranic verses to protect themselves from “black magic.” They’re also told to exploit Jews’ “strong hatred towards each other” and fear of “life and also death.”

And while the PLO is viewed as weak, Hamas gets props as “an organisation whose goal is to liberate Palestine entirely and to leave no trace of Israel on the map.” However, ISIS stresses that they and al-Qaeda disagree with Hamas participating in elections because “democracy is shirk (polytheism).” The book labels this a “difference in politics” that has led to fights between the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda/ISIS, but lauds Hamas for transitioning Palestinian women from jeans and uncovered hair to “modest clothing” and hijab.

“From rocks, slingshots and Molotov’s in the 1st Intifada, to guns and martyrdom operations in the 2nd Intifada, and now an Islamic army firing rockets at Israel!”

The book credits the June 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths — Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Gilad Shaer, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19 — to “Palestinians’ who had loyalty to the Islamic State.” Two Hamas suspects, Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Isa, were killed in a shootout three months later.

ISIS calls the Hamas-Israel battles, from the use of Qassam rockets to underground tunnels, “a testing ground for the Mujahideen” and Hezbollah’s 2006 Katyusha rocket barrage “a perfect war model.” Palestinians will “explode” like in previous intifadas, they predict, but “much more violently, because in the coming future they will all be seeking martyrdom.” They argue that since Israelis have compulsory military service, every civilian is a legitimate target.

“Hamas’s military arm, the Izzadeen Qassam Brigades, have men (Muraabiteen) who are guarding the frontlines all the time. There are also other armed groups in Gaza such as the Iranian backed al-Jihadi Islami (‘the Islamic Jihad), and Majlis al-Shura (a group allied to the Islamic State). They fire rockets into Israel, sometimes even without the permission of the governing Hamas, which causes Hamas to have some bitterness against them when it makes a ceasefire with Israel.” It says that some members of Hamas, upset with Shiite Iran’s backing of the terror group, “have decided to shift their loyalty to the Islamic State.”

The book notes debates in Europe over whether to continue to brand Hamas as a terrorist organization, arguing that by granting Hamas some legitimacy they’re hoping the group will beat back any ISIS forces who try to use the Gaza Strip as a base for attacks on Israel. “Hamas-ruled Palestine will now be a buffer zone, guarding Israel from the advance of the Islamic State fighters. This is the power of global politics. Allah is replacing Hamas leadership with another people who are more sincere, and who will rely on Him more, who do not fear the blame of the blamers. Many fighters from Izz al-Deen Qassam Brigades have realised this reality and are now leaving Hamas, and instead joining the Islamic State fighters in Palestine.”

It suggests using “open-source technology” such as 3-D printers and reverse engineering to mass produce replicas of captured Israeli weapons.

ISIS pegs the year 2022 as the “beginning of the end” for Israel because of late Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s quote in 1982 during the war with Lebanon about a “historic period of peace for Israel” — “and the land was quiet for forty years.” In addition to citing a Jew for their apocalyptic prophesy, this ISIS book gives some wiggle room on the 2020 timing for the fall of Rome — “Allah only knows best.”

The e-book cites not only Hamas conversions as key to taking Israel, but ISIS forces battling Egypt in the Sinai and “growing” ISIS cells within Israel.

It called the ISIS and al-Qaeda goal “smashing borders till we meet in Jerusalem” like some jihadi A-Team “so Muslim Mujahideen (fighters) can call each other for backup from anywhere in the world, and there is no border or king to stop them.”

“The Islamic State is trying to break all borders till it can make a corridor pathway into Palestine towards Israel… The Zionists are aware of the Islamic State’s expansionist project, so they are ensuring they always have a ‘buffer wall’ infront of them as a barrier to protect themself from attacks. So the Arab king of Jordan is told by Israel that if you do not fight the Islamic State, then your kingdom will fall to the Islamic State. This then makes the Arab armies fight the Islamic State instead of Israel. Someone might ask, why doesn’t the Islamic State just negotiate with the Arab kings and make an alliance against Israel? The answer is these puppet Arab kings have been the greatest traitors to the Islamic cause for the entire past century (since the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924). The Mujahideen have tried to negotiate with them in the past but were locked up and tortured instead. These Arab puppet kings cannot be negotiated with.”

Hamas, meanwhile, “remains ineffective in the overall picture of liberating the entire Muslim world from Zionist subjugation.” ISIS says it will carve its “corridor” to Israel, “train and arm all the Palestinians, and take the fight deep into Israel.”

“If Israel destroys this batch of fighters, it doesn’t matter; the corridor allows even more reinforcements of Mujahideen from different parts of the Muslim world to continue the fight.” ISIS claims it is “making allegiances with other Jihadi groups surrounding Israel to make wide corridors of Jihad towards Israel from every side.” Plus, they plan to have a northern pathway into Israel after defeating Lebanon, “which is the Islamic State’s first goal.”

“It is important to note that Hamas continued to remain victorious in its battles against Israel even though it was the poorest nation in the world against the richest (Israel), so imagine the Islamic State with an unlimited amount of fighters without any borders or barriers to stop their influx of fighters and weapons?”

ISIS claims it can cause “information overload” in Israel’s intelligence services by simply having too many fighters “using different creative techniques in their irregular/assymetric types of warfare.”

“There simply won’t be enough manpower for Israelis’ to devise a plan to counter every strategy used by the Mujahideen … Even if Israel has an ‘unlimited’ amount of money, the mere fact that it has an enemy who is coming on the attack from all sides, all the time will itself exhaust it and keep it in a state of constant fear. As a result of this frustration, Israel will resort to mass bombardment and carpet bombing of the entire Muslim world to end the global Jihad, but it will not be able to end the Jihad in its entirety.” Their strategy counts on all Muslims having become mujahedin by this point. “If they target hundreds of Mujahideen, there are bound to be a few who will be able to make an ingenius plan based to evade man-made machines, and to slip into the capital of Israel to cause damage.”

And they’re not just counting on jihadist help: “Good, honest people (like Edward Snowden) who are willing to sacrifice the comforts of life for something greater will most likely be the type of converts who will join the guided Islamic cause.”

“The freedom fighters and truth seekers in Europe will range from left wingers, to even right wingers and those in between. They will be able to see the open mindedness and mercy of Islam and the Mujahideen after many years of deception on the media. They will be like the early converts after the Conquest of Makkah, meaning – they will join the Jihad straightaway after accepting Islam. They will be a good replenishment for the losses Muslims have faced in the Armageddon (Malhamah),” the book continues. “It’s important to note that during this time period, Christianity and the Pope in the Vatican will be fully engulfed by the Zionist system, and many truth-seekers from the Christians will look into Islam.”

Tech geeks will be among the converts, ISIS predicts, helping the Islamic State in the cyber battle.

“If the world is shocked at the Islamic State’s ‘world class expertise’ in ground IED’s, then wait till they make Drone IED’s filled with explosives.” ISIS has released drone images over the past week of support operations as jihadists move in on Ramadi, Iraq.

The book states that the final showdown with the Antichrist, with the Mahdi at the side of the mujahedin, will be at Ben Gurion International Airport — the “Gate of Lod” — where they’ll hunker down and wait for Christ to arrive.

ISIS appears ready to announce expansion to Gaza

isis-flag (1)WND, by Aaron Klein, April 16, 2015:

TEL AVIV – Internet forums and group chatter among ISIS supporters indicate the brutal jihadist organization is debating when to declare the Gaza Strip part of its expansive caliphate, WND has learned.

Informed Middle Eastern security officials said Hamas has been preparing a major crackdown on Salafist cells supportive of ISIS ideology, fearing the group could indeed make such a declaration of control over Gaza.

The officials further said Hamas has been trying to bribe Salafist ideologues away from ISIS by providing them with salaries while integrating them among the ranks of Hamas’ salaried security forces.

Asked by WND for comment on the report, Mushir al Masri, a member of Hamas’ parliament and a media spokesman for the group, denied ISIS was even present in the Gaza Strip.

“This is not the first time Israeli and Western media tried to pit us against ISIS. There is no truth to these claims, and ISIS is not in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Masri further clarified that “anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with just like all lawbreakers according to the criminal justice system in Gaza.”

However, just last week Hamas reportedly arrested a prominent ISIS-aligned preacher from Gaza after the terrorist group went on a rampage earlier in a Palestinian camp in Syria.

ISIS last month took control for a time of the Yarmouk camp in Syria, home to one of the largest Palestinian camps outside of Gaza. The group took responsibility for beheading several Palestinian men in the camp and reportedly raped some of the women there.

This week, in an apparent attempt to gain sympathy with the Gazan population, ISIS supporters reportedly gave away Israeli-made space heaters adorned with ISIS logos. ISIS supporters also have been giving other so-called charity to Gaza’s Palestinian population.

According to informed Middle Eastern security officials, Israel is so concerned about the prospect of ISIS rising in Gaza that the Jewish state has helped to step up the transport of civilian goods into the territory. Israel fears a shortage could provoke a discontented population to turn closer to ISIS, which has been trying to endear itself to Gazans with numerous Islamic charity initiatives.

Last July, WND reported an attempt by jihadist organizations in the Gaza Strip to unite under the common ISIS banner. Contacted by WND at the time, Abu Saqer, one of the leaders of Jihadiya Salafiya, which represents al-Qaida ideology in the Gaza Strip, confirmed the attempt to organize various jihad groups to fight Israel under the ISIS umbrella.

Sinai to Gaza

Any ISIS gains in Gaza would pose a major threat to both Israel and neighboring Egypt.

The moderate regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been fighting an ISIS and Salafist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and beyond. The jihadists seek to connect the Sinai with the Gaza Strip to form one big territory.

ISIS allies took responsibility for a roadside bomb attack on an armored vehicle in Egypt’s northern Sinai that killed six Egyptian soldiers last Sunday.

Also over the weekend, a group formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, now fighting under the ISIS banner, released a video that featured the graphic killing of an Egyptian soldier captured April 2 in the northern Sinai.

In December, WND reported Egypt arrested dozens of foreign jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, stoking fears ISIS militants were seeking to open a new front.

In February, WND was first to report that thousands of foreign jihadists were attempting to infiltrate Egypt, with plans of a coming destabilization campaign akin to the insurgency in Syria, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials warned at the time of a troubling development taking place among the al-Qaida-linked organizations already inside Egypt. They said there is information the militant groups are forming a de facto chain of command, with alarming coordination between the various jihadist factions embedded around the country.

The terrorist infrastructure is being set up beyond the Islamist stronghold of the Sinai Peninsula. The officials said al-Qaida-linked groups in Egypt have been forming divisions replete with leadership and assignments to specific territories, including in the Sinai, Suez regions, outside Cairo and along the delta.

Sisi has appealed to the Obama administration and international community for help in battling the insurgency.

In a Fox News interview last month, Sisi appealed for an increase in U.S. military aid.

“It is very important for the United States to understand that our need for the weapons and for the equipment is dire, especially at the time when the Egyptians feel they are fighting terrorism and they would like to feel the United States is standing by them in that fight against terrorism,” he said.

2015: The Year of ISIS Expansion From Gaza to North Africa

March 2, 2015 / /

As the Obama administration continues to live in their fantasy world of the Islamic State (IS) being “defeated” by the “Coalition of the Reluctantly Willing” and a ill-conceived Twitter campaign, IS has been busy replenishing its ranks. They’ve been doing this and weakening their enemies by recruiting defectors from the other Syrian opposition factions (such as al-Nusra/Khorasan Group). A big driver for this is the directive Baghdadi put out for the terror organization to build local ties and form alliance in advance of future operations. One such example of al-Nusra/KG losing people to the other side is increased IS presence along the Lebanese-Syrian border. Other reports coming in describe entire opposition units in Halab, Hama, Homs, Idlib and dawr al-Zawr. The reasons for this are obvious:

– IS offers bigger cash incentives for joining its ranks. Money talks.

– The other factions view IS as being the strongest faction in the regional war that will ultimately “crush” all opposition and the best chance to seriously challenge the Asad regime. In other words, everybody wants to be part of a “winner.”

Indeed, IS – or anybody for that matter – will enjoy a huge surge in recruitment when they’re doing well on the battlefield, which gets amplified by an effective IO campaign. This is also a great gauge to see how well the Obama administration’s IS strategy has been working out thus far. So how are they doing? Well for starters we’re hearing that the Gaza-based Mujahidin Shura Council (MSC) has pretty much been “disbanded” and absorbed into IS’ North African affiliates such as the Egypt-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM). The MSC had been working to become a legitimate al-Qaida affiliate and had formed in 2012 (some reports will say as early as 2011) when three Gaza-based Salafi groups merged in response to guidance received from the al-Qaida (AQ) senior leadership. The MSC was very similar to the MSC that was set up in Iraq prior to the formation of the “Islamic State of Iraq” now known simply as the “Islamic State” (Long War Journal did a great piece on this in 2012 that remains applicable to the current situation).

Although primarily based in Gaza, the organization also had a presence in Egypt’s Sinai region and Libya. However, the effort fell through due to unknown reasons, but it may have to do with internal problems the entity had. In fact, by NOV 14 we had began to see elements of the MSC’s branch in Sinai had already defected to ABM. The terror group also made in-roads elsewhere by forming an alliance with its splinter group Ajnad Masr for increased joint-operations in the Cairo-area as discussed in our piece titled “Haftar-Sisi Alliance: The Roadblock to ISIS Bridge Into the Maghreb.” We assess that the addition of MSC personnel into ABM’s ranks will bolster the Sinai group’s capabilities with knowledge of alternative smuggling routes at the local-level coming into play to avoid the Sisi regime’s crackdown on IS affiliates.

Islamic State’s Presence in Gaza

ISIS in Gaza Update

Haftar-Sisi Alliance: The Roadblock to ISIS Bridge Into the Maghreb

Salafi-Jihadists in Gaza Continue to Efforts to Establish Islamic Emirate

Terrorism: What Is The Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem?

Haifa man named as victim of terrorist attack on Egypt border

abu wahib_gaza

The infamous Abu Wahib (variant-Waheeb) shown in IS propaganda circulating throughout Gaza
Source: al-Battar Media Foundation

The act of absorbing one’s enemies is not a new phenomenon and is actually part of the long history of the Islamic religion itself. As we’ve seen throughout the Middle East’s extremely violent history of conquest after conquest, the 21st regrettably isn’t any different. ABM itself formed in 2011 as a by-product of the so-called “Arab Spring” that the Obama administration supported that led to installing the Muslim Brotherhood as the new regime in Egypt. The terror group mainly targeted the Jewish population in the Sinai and throughout Israel itself, although this all changed when GEN Sisi came to power and began systematically targeting all jihadist elements in the country that was allowed to flourish under the Morsi regime. Since aligning itself with IS, the group has adopted some – but not all – of Baghdadi’s ideology. The act of beheading enemies (especially those deemed to be “traitors”) is now a recurring theme for the organization after pledging allegiance to Baghdadi’s “Caliphate.”

Egypt attack: Profile of Sinai Province militant group

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis/Wilayat Sinai

Gaza jihadist group praises Ansar Jerusalem fighters, calls for more attacks

The Resurgence of Militant Islamists in Egypt

Palestinian militants from Al-Ansar brigade take part in a training session in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip

ABM: The ISIS Cancer spreading throughout the body of North Africa and Gaza
Source: al-Arabiya

As of this writing ABM has been focused on expanding IS’ influence in Gaza, the Sinai and Libya in order to secure smuggling routes that are supporting the overall effort in Syria against the Assad regime. Central to this is ABM’s Sinai campaign to secure the gateway to Gaza and by extension Syria – the increased presence along the Lebanese-Syrian border is part of this greater strategic vision the senior IS leadership has for the region. A great deal of weapons and foreign fighters coming from Tunisia and Libya are going through Egypt, Gaza and Northern Lebanon to get to Syria (both straight into Syria or through Turkey). Of the Libyan weapons being sent to facilitate the anti-Assad war effort, the majority of them are coming from weapons depots in Misrata and Benghazi. On 29 AUG 14 we stated in “The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS” that the terror group had not yet firmly entrenched itself inside Egypt, but was getting close as the result of ABM aligning itself with Baghdadi. Today, we can say that ABM has made great strides since then despite being targeted by the Sisi regime – and they’re going to become a much greater threat with absorbing the MSC into its ranks.

The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS

Egypt and UAE Launch Airstrikes in Libya: US Kept in the Dark

Is Egypt Planning Military Intervention in Libya?

The borders of terror

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 10.01.21 AM

Sisi regime declared “open season” for hunting down IS and its affiliates
Source: ISIS Study Group

Economic warfare against members of the “Coalition of the Reluctantly Willing” has also steadily increased in both Egypt and Libya, with oil pipelines being regular targets in IED attacks aiming to disrupt the economies of not just Egypt and Libya, but also that of Jordan and European nations such as Italy. Another reason is that they they can gain access to fuel sources to sell on the black market and supply their forces. This is indicative of the cross-border coordination one can expect from multiple groups that have united under a common umbrella – in this case the Black Flag of IS. Below are a few examples of alleged IEDs emplaced targeting Libyan oil pipeline between Sarir Field and Hergia Port that we received from our in-country sources:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.21.57 PM

Source: The ISIS Study Group


Source: The ISIS Study Group

The alliance between the Sisi regime and Libyan GEN Khalifah Haftar may have struck IS strongholds inside Libya, but the jihadist organization has answered back with a series of bombings targeting the joint-Egyptian/Haftar faction command center in Quba. They didn’t stop there – they also launched an attack against the Iranian embassy in Tripoli last week. The attack served two purposes:

– To target a major hub for coordinating IRGC-Qods Force and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) intelligence operations in the country. The Iranian regime will typically coordinate intelligence operations inside of a target country from their embassies and consulates. In fact, cultural centers set up by Iranian diplomatic missions are staffed with MOIS and Qods Force personnel to provide cover.

– Sending a message to Iran and the West that IS has firmly entrenched itself inside Libya. The Iranian Ambassador was not present at the compound when it was attacked, suggesting the target was symbolic in nature.

ISIL-linked group claims Iran embassy attack in Libya

iranian tripoli embassy

The aftermath of the Iranian embassy attack
Source: Reuters

In addition to being an avenue from which to target Western economies, Libya is also a potential launching pad for jihadists looking to travel to Europe under the guise of “refugees” to facilitate the execution of attacks on the continent. This will also affect the US due to the naive policy of the Obama administration to admit thousands of refugees from places like Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Refugees who obtain citizenship to a European nation will also be able to circumvent the largely nonexistent enforcement of US border security laws to enter the country under the guise of “tourists” or “students” – with DHS completely oblivious of their usage of this status to further a much more insidious agenda.

Cultural Suicide: Why Allowing Syrian War Refugees to Enter Western Countries is a Pandora’s Box to More Attacks

The Jews: Europe’s Canary in the Mine on the Growing Jihadist Threat

Attack in Paris, France Kills 12

Islamic State: The French Connection

ISIS Attack Plot Thwarted in Belgium – A Sign of Things to Come?

Jihadist Infestation: Terrorism Results in Copenhagen Chaos

As 2014 was the year that put IS on “the map,” 2015 will be the year that we see greater expansion into North Africa going into Gaza and the border-area with Lebanon. This will also be the year that we will see IS begin reaching out “to touch” Europe and the US with attacks conducted by well-organized cells with extensive experience in Syria and Iraq as opposed to the home-grown jihadist cells we’ve seen in Denmark, French and Belgium attacks. It will also become painfully obvious to those still in denial that the Obama administration has a strong strategy against IS – which it doesn’t. In a time where the world needs a Churchill, Patton and Montgomery we’re getting it – its just coming from GEN Sisi, GEN Haftar, King Abdullah and Bibi Netanyahu instead of the US government. However, these great men have limits in what they can do. They will need much greater US military assistance – far greater than what’s currently being given. The Libyan people have been taking to the streets demanding that GEN Haftar take command of the Army as they view him as the best shot they have at eradicating the IS threat. We should be supporting GEN Haftar and GEN Sisi in their efforts. Considering the fact that the Obama administration still thinks IS fighters are just bored young men looking for jobs while downplaying the significance of Islamic fundamentalism.

Libyan parliament proposes Haftar, a divisive figure, as head of army

Libyan General Khalifa Haftar

The ISIS Expansion into North Africa

Obama’s ISIS Strategy: Failed Before it Started

Another Reason Obama’s ISIS Strategy Has Already Failed


The Sad state of the US government’s IS strategy has become butt of frequent jokes on Twitter and Facebook
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Links to Other Related Articles:

Egyptian Army Hits Back at ISIS in Sinai

ISIS Efforts to Open up an Egyptian Front

Egyptian Army and IDF Take on ISIS Supporters in Sinai

US Embassy in Tripoli “Secured” by Islamist Militias of the Dawn of Libya

Denmark Update

World View: Reports Indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia Planning Military Action in Libya



Breitbart, by JOHN J. XENAKIS, March 1, 2015:

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Reports indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia planning military action in Libya
  • Egypt court declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization
  • Egypt and Turkey may try to create a ‘Sunni front’ with Saudi Arabia

Reports indicate Egypt, Italy, Russia planning military action in Libya

Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Russia Today)
Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Russia Today)

Various unconfirmed reports are emerging indicating that there may be joint international action planned in Libya as early as next week.

Egypt is already conducting air strikes against ISIS-linked targets in Derna, close to where Egyptian Coptics were massacred recently, as displayed in a gruesome video. Debka reports that Egypt’s president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi is planning further action in Libya, including more air strikes and possible ground troops, within a few days. According to the report, Egyptian commando and marine forces are preparing for sea landings to seize Derna and destroy the terrorist elements there. If this attack is actually launched, it will be the first time in modern times that an Arab country has sent ground forces into another Arab country.

Al-Jazeera television reports that the Italian navy is getting ready to carry off sophisticated military drills off the coast of Libya as early as Monday. Although Italy claims that it will be a regular exercise, there are many more vessels taking part in this year’s exercise than have in the past, which Italy explains by saying that they are testing out sophisticated new technologies.

There are several reasons why Italy is pursuing this show of force:

  • Italy considers the flood of migrants from Libya into Italy to be an existential threat to Italy itself, because there may be ISIS-trained terrorists smuggled in, along with the other migrants. Italy may be planning some kind of military action in Libya in conjunction with Egypt’s air strikes and other operations.
  • The GreenStream pipeline is a gas pipeline running underneath the Mediterranan Sea from Libya to Sicily. The pipeline is vital to economic relations between Italy and Libya. In recent months, there have been attacks by gunmen on oil installations in Libya, forcing some ports to shut down. The new show of naval force may be related to threats of attack or sabotage on the pipeline.
  • For over a year, Italy ran a search and rescue program called “Mare Nostrum” (“Our Sea”) that saved the lives of thousands of migrants attempting to travel from Libya to Italy. This program required Italian naval vessels near the Libyan coast. In November, the program ended and an EU program called Triton replaced it, but Triton restricts its operations to only 30 miles off the Italian coast. Triton has been considered unsatisfactory because many more migrants are drowning. Italy’s new show of naval force may be an attempt to restore a portion of the Mare Nostrum program.
  • Related to the last point, on Saturday there were large demonstrations in Rome by Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party for the government to do more to keep immigrants out. The naval show of force may help to mollify the protestors.

Some reports indicate that Russia has hinted at a willingness to participate in a naval blockade of Libya to prevent arm supplies from leaving Libya for other countries. Russia could play a role in this because it already has a naval fleet in the Mediterranean.

These are all unconfirmed reports of possible military action in Libya by Egypt, Italy and Russia. There are no reports of possible participation by Nato or the United States. Debkaand Cairo Post

Egypt court declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization

Egypt on Saturday became the first Arab country to name Hamas as a terrorist organization. The U.S. and the European Union have named Hamas as a terror group. An EU court took Hamas off the list in December 2014, ruling that the designation was not based on solid legal evidence, but the EU is appealing the court’s decision.

According to a decision on Saturday from the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters:

It has been proven without any doubt that the movement has committed acts of sabotage, assassinations and the killing of innocent civilians and members of the armed forces and police in Egypt.

It has been also ascertained with documents that [Hamas] has carried out bombings that have taken lives and destroyed institutions and targeted civilians and the armed forces personnel. It has also been ascertained that this movement works for the interests of the terrorist Brotherhood organization [which Egypt has already declared to be a terrorist organization].

About a month ago, the same court declared Hamas’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, to be a terrorist organization. Saturday’s ruling makes the political wing a terrorist organization as well.

A Hamas spokesman denied all the charges and said that the ruling was “dangerous”:

History has recorded Egypt’s support to national liberty movements in the Arab world and Africa, particularly in Palestine. … This ruling serves the Israeli occupation. It’s a politicized decision that constitutes the beginning of Egypt evading its role toward the Palestinian cause. This is a coup against history and an Egyptian abuse of the Palestinian cause and resistance, which fights on behalf of the Arab nation. We call on Egypt to reconsider this dangerous decision.

Al Jazeera and Al Ahram (Cairo) and CS Monitor and Al Resalah (Palestine)

Egypt and Turkey may try to create a ‘Sunni front’ with Saudi Arabia

By coincidence or by planning, the presidents of both Egypt and Turkey will be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week. Egypt’s Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will both be visiting King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the new king of Saudi Arabia, who has replaced King Abdullah, who died last month.

It is not known whether Erdogan will ever be in the same room as al-Sisi. The two have been bitter enemies ever since a coup by al-Sisi ousted Egypt’s elected president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, and later declared MB to be a terrorist organization. Erdogan’s own political party, the AKP, is an Islamist party like the Muslim Brotherhood, and they had good relations while Morsi was in power.

There has been some speculation that King Salman is going to completely reverse King Abdullah’s policy on the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) had branded MB as a terrorist organization, but some are wondering if Salman is going to shift from that policy. The Saudi foreign minister recently said that his government has “no problem with the Muslim Brotherhood; our problem is with a small group affiliated to the organization,” suggesting that shift is in the works.

Other problems make an Egypt-Turkey rapprochement unlikely: Erdogan vitriolicly hates Israel and supports Hamas. Al-Sisi vitriolicly hates Hamas and works closely with Israel on military matters, especially in North Sinai. It does n0t seem likely that any meeting, if one even occurs, will be pleasant.

If King Salman is able to pull off a miracle and mediate a new relationship between Egypt and Turkey, then it would appear to be the establishment of a new “Sunni front” in the Mideast, to oppose Iran, Hezbollah and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Al Arabiya and Kurdistan and Arab Times

UAE Strikes ISIS in Iraq – Jordan Masses Troops to Prevent Retaliatory Attacks

February 11, 2015 / /

As we’ve stated in yesterday’s article titled “IA Preps to Retake Mosul as King’s Rage Continues,” the UAE and Jordanian Air Forces had appeared to have initiated a series of airstrikes inside Iraq that was in support of the IA’s coming Mosul offensive. In yesterday’s piece we also stated that the Islamic State would probably try to launch a series of attacks in Baghdad and quite possibly attempt to target Jordan and Saudi Arabia in order to open up another front in response to Jordan’s air campaign. Apparently the Jordanian government seems to agree, since they’ve massed thousands of troops along the Jordan-Iraq border with POE Trebil being heavily reinforced. POE Trebil is important due to the fact that its the gateway to Jordan and the most direct route to Amman other than the highway leading from Deraa of Southern Syria. These troops are likely deployed to serve as a blocking force to keep IS fighters from entering the country to stage attacks. We assess that any Jordanian ground operation inside Iraq will be limited to Jordanian Special Operations Forces (JSOF) forces conducting search and rescue OPs in the event IS shoots down any of their aircraft.

Jordan masses ‘thousands’ of troops on Iraqi border to counter IS

IA Preps to Retake Mosul as King’s Rage Continues


JSOF: Drawing the line in the sand against IS

The support hub that will likely have the most affect on IS’ ability stage operations into Jordan (or Saudi Arabia for that matter) is Ar Rutbah. The ISF’s border checkpoint at POE Trebil had already fallen to IS in JUN 14, which resulted in Jordan increasing security at the border checkpoint on the Jordanian side of the border. We assess that future Jordanian/UAE airstrikes will include targets in the Rutbah-area to degrade IS’ ability to send supplies and reinforcements to forward-deployed units. However, we will likely begin to start seeing the Jordanian Air Force decreasing their daily sorties in order to conserve ammo and not place their airframes under too much stress. However, they will eventually be forced to request more material support from the US government to sustain even a minimal strike capability. Without it, we don’t see the Jordanian’s effectiveness lasting beyond this month.


The graphic above depicts how IS fighters stage from Rutbah to conduct attacks targeting IA border checkpoints along the Jordan and Saudi borders.
Source: Veoz

With that said, the Jordanian government is concerned that IS fighters from Rutbah will be dispatched to assist sleeper cells that are already operating inside Jordan to launch attacks – which is why the Army has massed troops along the border. The disrupted 2012 plot IS – still known at the time as AQI/ISI (as in the Islamic State of Iraq) – had planned to launched a Mumbai-style attack remains firmly lodged in the minds of all senior General Intelligence Directorate (GID) official’s minds. A big reason for their concern is the fact that the sleeper cell in question had received considerable support from IS fighters in Iraq’s Anbar Province. The attack planned called for an 11-man assault force executing diversionary attacks targeting two shopping malls with suicide bombers. While security forces were responding to the bombings, the main force would move on to their primary targets in the Aboun District, which is the home for many western diplomats and their families who were also on the target deck. The gunmen were to have engaged security forces and bystanders with small-arms while wearing SVESTs with the intent of fighting their way to the objective at which time they would detonate themselves. This attack was to have been culminated with mortars being fired into the district by a separate support element. By the way, this also happens to be one of the game plans IS sleeper cells inside the US may be planning. For more info on the Mumbai Attack model see the following article from our Target America series:

ISIS: Target America

Jordan ‘foils major al-Qaeda plot’

jordan terror plot

The 11-man sleeper cell that Jordanian security forces arrested in 2012.
Source: The Daily Telegraph (UK)

JSOF and other Jordanian security forces will have their hands full in securing the border and disrupting IS sleeper cell attempts at executing attacks inside major population centers such as Amman. The 2012 plot was only a taste. In fact, the past year saw several security sweeps in the country targeted IS support nodes. Already we’re seeing indicators that JSOF units stationed near Amman are on full-alert, which suggests a series of counter-terror operations may be executed in the near-future. JSOF personnel are also operating along both the Syrian and Iraqi borders. We expect Jordan’s conventional ground forces and JSOF units to maintain a defensive posture along both borders and interdict infiltration attempts by jihadists. However, we’re not so sure they will be able to completely stop the cells already located inside Jordan’s major population centers – and there will be attempts by ISIS to launch attacks inside Jordan. They won’t try to “invade” Jordan as some have speculated since they have plenty of fighters already in the country. You can also expect for IS’ propaganda machine to increase videos and postings targeting Jordan’s refugee population to incite further unrest – and we’re not just talking about the refugees from Syria either. We may see IS make a direct appeal to Jordan’s Palestinian population (some of which are Syrian refugees themselves), which would likely be an extension of their Gaza IO operations. We assess the conditions at the refugee camps and treatment of the Palestinian community in the country – both real and perceived – will become recurring themes in IS’ IO messaging. Last summer’s riot at the Zaatari Camp is a possible indicator of what may be in store for Jordan. The next few months are going to get very, very interesting…

Jordanian escalation against ISIS may lead to surge in terror attacks in Kingdom

Worried about terror attacks at home, Jordan steps up arrests of suspected Syria jihadists

Why Jordan Doesn’t Want More Palestinians

Jordan admits to barring entry of Palestinian refugees from Syria

Jordan fears new wave of Palestinian refugees,7340,L-4591284,00.html

Syria crisis: Deadly clash in Jordan’s Zaatari camp

For more info on how Jordan fits into the scheme of things, check out the following articles:

Jordan Steps Up Attacks Against ISIS, Egypt Launches New Sinai Offensive

Rage of the King: Jordan Strikes Back

The Islamic State Burns Jordanian Pilot Alive

The ISIS-Held Japanese and Jordanian Hostages: The Bergdahl Factor

Jordanian Fighter Jet Crashes in Syria – Pilot Taken Prisoner by ISIS

Trouble in Jordan and Jordanian ISIS Connections

Islamic State Using Social Media and Expanding Campaign to Jordan and Saudi Arabia

The Strategic Importance of Egypt to ISIS

Additional info on IS’ Gaza efforts:

ISIS in Gaza Update

Islamic State’s Presence in Gaza

Egyptian Army Hits Back at ISIS in Sinai

ISIS Efforts to Open Up an Egyptian Front

Egyptian Army and the IDF Take on ISIS Supporters in the Sinai

“Palestine” and the ICC

by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
December 31, 2014

1108The Palestinian Authority’s latest unilateral attempt to gain recognition as a state without negotiating any concessions failed Tuesday. But other mischief remains in play, including Wednesday’s move to join the International Criminal Court(ICC).

Earlier this month, “Palestine” was upgraded from “observer entity” to “observer state” at the ICC. It was another milestone on the Palestinian Authority’s road to international recognition as a state without having to negotiate directly with Israel, make any concessions, or commit to a genuine dialogue for peace, a unilateral stem directly violating both the Oslo Accords and UN Resolution 242. Countries supporting the move know – but are apathetic to the fact – that their actions only reinforce the PA’s intransigence and destroy any motivation the Palestinians might have had to compromise on any issue that would bring about a just peace for both sides.

The Palestinian Authority’s dream to try Israel in the ICC for so-called “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip is the height of absurdity. The PLO won international recognition after it claimed to have abandoned terrorism against Israel. If its operational wing, the Palestinian Authority, manages to penetrate the international legal network, sign the Rome Convention and bring Israel to trial for its activities in the Gaza Strip, senior PLO and Palestinian Authority figures will immediately find themselves in the ICC accused of their own crimes.

The Palestinian national consensus government, with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as “president,” is a coalition with Hamas, whose suicide bombers blew themselves up in Israel on busy streets and in crowded public places and caused thousands of deaths and maimings, to say nothing of abducting and murdering three teen aged boys just six months ago. The Palestinian government is responsible for the war crimes committed by Hamas this past summer, including launching long-range rockets at densely populated cities, among them Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and sending its death squads to murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately.

Israel conducts military operations against Palestinian terrorism with pinpoint precision and in accordance with the best international legal and moral criteria. This past summer, as always, it warned the civilian population before it attacked terrorists, whose leaders had fled like rats into the basements of hospitals to wait out the war. In contrast, Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately attacked the Israeli civilian population; they uttered no word of regret or sorrow, and certainly did not appoint a committee to investigate.

While Palestinians bemoan their failure to carry out a mass slaughter of Israeli civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure, mainly thanks to the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Israel is undertaking a comprehensive examination of complaints lodged by Palestinians, Israelis and the international community regarding possible illegal actions taken by Israeli soldiers and officers during Operation Protective Edge.

No country comes close to Israel in following the letter of the laws of warfare. Arab countries, many of which are currently engaged in mutual slaughter, cannot even approximate Israel’s conduct when it comes to morality. Needless to say, no Palestinian or other terrorist organization has ever examined its own behavior the way Israel constantly does.

There are many Palestinians honest enough to admit – although not brave enough to do so publicly – that if they had the weapons Israel does, not one single Israeli would be left alive. Article 7 of the Hamas charter decrees the total annihilation of all the Jews in the world. Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ partner in the Palestinian national consensus government, had the unmitigated gall to stand before the UN General Assembly and accuse Israel of genocide.

Read more at IPT

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel’s top experts on Arab affairs.

The Watchman Show: 2014 Year in Review

The Watchman, by Erick Stakelbeck, Dec. 30, 2014:

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we take a look back at the major stories that shaped 2014: ISIS, Iran, Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, and much more. Plus, Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer joins us for a look ahead at what to expect in 2015.

Hamas’s International Triangle of Bases: Gaza, Turkey and Qatar

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2014

1104In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has developed into a truly international entity. Today, it enjoys three territorial bases of operation: Gaza, the seat of the Hamas regime, Turkey, and Qatar.

According to Israeli intelligence estimates, each base serves a different purpose. The three branches have worked, alternatively, in harmony and in discord, together and independently, in line with the various terrorist activities they pursue.

“These are not the same leaderships,” one security source said, speaking of the Hamas command structure in each base.

“Qatar is home to Hamas’s political branch, headed by Khaled Meshaal. In Turkey [in the city of Istanbul], Hamas maintains a military branch headquarters, which sets up terrorist infrastructure. This headquarters is comprised partly of former Hamas prisoners who were ejected from Israel during the [2011] Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. In Gaza, there are both military and political operatives.”

Each branch plays a unique role, and relations between them fluctuate.

Hamas’s headquarters in Istanbul is headed by Salah Al-Arouri, a senior figure in the military wing who is focused on rejuvenating Hamas terrorism cells in the West Bank, and using it as a springboard for orchestrating deadly attacks against Israel.

Gaza is home to the main military wing, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, whose operatives focus on building up their offensive rocket capabilities, tunnel networks, and, like Arouri, they also seek to also set up West Bank terrorism cells.

On Thursday, Hamas held what is described as its largest military exercise since the summer war against Israel.

Gaza is also home to Hamas’s political wing, headed by Ismail Haniyeh.

“They all have their own interests. Those in Gaza have one point of view, those abroad have another. There have, in the past, been disagreements,” the source said.

One example of such internal conflict was the dispute between Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza over when to end the summer war with Israel. Meshaal pushed Hamas to continue the fighting, despite growing calls by Hamas in Gaza to agree to a ceasefire. The conflicting positions were partly the result of geography: Hamas in Gaza had a better real time understanding of the heavy costs Israel was inflicting on it during the fighting than the overseas Meshaal, who, from his luxurious Qatari surroundings, could afford the privilege of calling for more fighting.

Nevertheless, a basic level of cooperation and consent exists among all three branches. Saleh Al-Arouri in Turkey would not have embarked on a major mission to set up a large-scale Hamas terrorist network in the West Bank, plan atrocities against Israel, and aim to topple the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, without approval from Khaled Meshaal and Hamas in Gaza.

Cooperation may not always be close, but it exists.

“There are connections,” the security source said. “Hamas in Gaza is connected to those trying to orchestrate terrorism in Judea and Samaria. There is a circle of cooperation.”

Arouri could seek and receive assistance from Gaza, as he has done, but he can also try to work independently. “There are no laws,” the source stressed.

In recent months, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] uncovered two intricate Hamas terror plots to inflict mass-casualty attacks on Israelis, and to weaken Fatah in the West Bank. Both were tied to Arouri.

This discovery has led Israeli defense chiefs to become more vocal about the Hamas base in Turkey.

“Hamas’s terrorism headquarters are in Gaza and in Istanbul. It is unbelievable that a NATO member is hosting the headquarters of a terrorist organization in its territory,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told his Spanish counterpart earlier this month.

“We have stopped a coup planned by Hamas, which was organized in, among other places, its Turkish headquarters, against [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen in Judea and Samaria. We saved him from this revolution. Hence, there is much significance and importance in our having freedom to operate security-wise in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon stated.

Likewise, at the end of November, the Shin Bet and IDF announced that they had broken up a large-scale international Hamas terrorist infrastructure that was in the planning stages of multiple mass-casualty attacks, including an intended bombing of a soccer stadium in Jerusalem.

The plot included car bombings, bombing Jerusalem’s light rail system, and targeting Israelis overseas.

This case illustrates the growing centrality of Istanbul to Hamas terror activities in the West Bank. Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey has become a key command and planning center.

Earlier this year, the Shin Bet announced the thwarting of another large Hamas network in the West Bank, set up by Saleh Al-Arouri in Istanbul, and headed locally by a Hamas member in Ramallah.

Hamas funneled more than a million shekels [more than $250,000] to terror operatives to prepare a series of attacks, which were designed to allow it to shift attention away from Gaza, and ultimately lead to the fall of the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority, according to Israeli investigation. This would be achieved by provoking Israel into harsh responses in the West Bank, destabilizing the area and leading to the toppling of the PA.

Hamas has come a long way since the days when its founders, Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the Palestinian territories, set up indoctrination and social support centers.

Today, it is an international terrorist organization, which continues to plot new ways to murder and maim Israelis from its various bases, while it dreams of setting up a second Islamist-jihadist regime in the West Bank, as it did in Gaza.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

Egypt’s War on Terrorism: World’s Double Standards

Gatrestone Institute, by Khaled Abu Toameh, November 3, 2014:

Egypt’s crackdown in Sinai once again exposes the double standards of the international community toward the war on terrorism. While it is fine for Egypt to demolish hundreds of houses and forcibly transfer thousands of people in the name of the war on terrorism, Israel is not allowed to fire back at those who launch rockets and missiles at its civilians.

The Egyptians have finally realized that the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has become one of the region’s main exporters of terrorism.

What is perhaps more worrying is the fear that the security clampdown in Egypt will drive Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip to resume their attacks on Israel.

Needless to say, the international community will continue to ignore Egypt’s bulldozing hundreds of houses and the forcible eviction of hundreds of people in Sinai.

Three months after the military conformation between Hamas and Israel, the Egyptians are also waging their own war on terrorism in north Sinai.

But Egypt’s war, which began after Islamist terrorists butchered 33 Egyptian soldiers, does not seem to worry the international community and human rights organizations, at least not as much as Israel’s operation to stop rockets and missiles from being fired into it from the Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian army’s security crackdown includes the demolition of hundreds of houses along the border with the Gaza Strip and the transfer of thousands of people to new locations.

A building is blown up by Egypt’s army as part of an operation to clear all buildings out of a “buffer zone,” along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

Egypt’s goal is to establish a security buffer zone along its shared border with the Gaza Strip in order to prevent terrorists from using smuggling tunnels to launch attacks on Egyptian soldiers and civilians. In other words, the Egyptians are tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip and collectively punishing the Palestinians living there, not only Hamas.

All this is happening before eyes of the international community and media. Nonetheless, the UN Security Council has not been asked to hold an emergency meeting to condemn what some Egyptian human rights activists describe as the “transfer” and “displacement” of hundreds of families in Sinai.

Egyptian lawyer and human rights activist Gamal Eid said that the Egyptian security measures were “unconstitutional.” He noted that Article 63 of the Egyptian constitution prohibits the forcible and arbitrary transfer of citizens in all forms.

Egyptian security experts warned this week that the “displacement” of Sinai residents would not stop terrorist attacks on the Egyptian police and army.

Former General Safwat al-Zayyat said he expected the terrorists to intensify their attacks not only in Sinai but also in other parts of Egypt, including Cairo, to prove that the Egyptian army’s measures are ineffective. He also predicted that the transfer of thousands of families and the demolition of their homes would play into the hands of the terrorists.

Egyptian activist Massad Abu Fajr wrote on his Facebook page that the forcible eviction of families from their homes in Egypt was tantamount to a “declaration of war by the Egyptian authorities” on the three largest and powerful clans in Sinai. He too predicted that the security crackdown would boomerang and further strengthen the terrorists.

But what is perhaps more worrying is the fear that the unprecedented security clampdown in Egypt will drive Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip to resume their attacks on Israel.

The Egyptians, of course, are entitled to wage a ruthless war on the various terror groups that have long been operating in Sinai. However, by tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Egyptians are also giving Hamas and Islamic Jihad an excuse to resume their attacks on Israel.

The two Palestinian terror groups are not going to retaliate by attacking Egypt. They know that Egypt’s response to such an attack would be more severe than Israel’s military response. That explains why Hamas and other Palestinian groups have been cautious in their response to Egypt’s measures — no condemnations or protests thus far.

In fact, Hamas is already in a state of panic in the wake of allegations by some Egyptians that Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were involved in the killing of the soldiers in Sinai.

Once again, Egyptian journalists are calling on their president to go after Hamas in response to the Sinai attack. A previous attack on Egyptian soldiers in Sinai earlier this year prompted similar calls.

Reham Noaman, a prominent Egyptian journalist, called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to “crush” Hamas and its armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam. “Israel is not better than us,” she said. “When Israel wants to hit Hamas because of a rocket that is not worth a penny, it does not seek permission from the Security Council.”

The Egyptians have finally realized that the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has become one of the region’s main exporters of terrorism. Israel reached this conclusion several years ago, when Hamas and other terror groups began firing rockets and missiles at Israeli communities.

The Egyptians have also come to learn that the smuggling tunnels along their shared border with the Gaza Strip work in both directions. In the past, the Egyptians believed that the tunnels were being used only to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip. Now, however, they are convinced that these tunnels are also being used to smuggle weapons and terrorists out of the Gaza Strip.

Now that the Egyptians have chosen completely to seal off their border with the Gaza Strip, the chances of another military confrontation between Hamas and Israel have increased. Hamas will undoubtedly try to break out of its increased isolation by initiating another war with Israel.

The Egyptians, for their part, are not going to mind if another war breaks out between the Palestinians and Israel — as long as the military confrontation is taking place on the other side of the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt.

And of course, the international community will once again rush to accuse Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Needless to say, the international community will continue to ignore Egypt’s bulldozing hundreds of homes and the forcible eviction of thousands of people in Sinai.

If anything, the Egyptian security crackdown in Sinai has once again exposed the double standards of the international community toward the war on terrorism. While it is fine for Egypt to demolish hundreds of houses and forcibly transfer thousands of people in the name of the war on terrorism, Israel is not allowed to fire back at those who launch rockets and missiles at its civilians.

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Caroline Glick: President Sisi’s Gift

Egyptian Minister of Defense Abdel-Fattah al-SissiBy Caroline Glick:

Something extraordinary has happened.

On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give the PA some 1,600 kilometers of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.

Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.

On Monday Army Radio substantiated Abbas’s claim.

According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip and accept limited autonomy over parts of Judea and Samaria.

In exchange for this state, the Palestinians would give up their demand that Israel shrink into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Sisi argued that the land Egypt is offering in Sinai would more than compensate for the territory that Abbas would concede.

In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, “They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] ‘Let’s end the refugee story.’” “But,” he insisted, “It’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

In other words, Sisi offered Abbas a way to end the Palestinians’ suffering and grant them political independence. And Abbas said, “No, forget statehood. Let them suffer.”

Generations of Israeli leaders and strategists have insisted that Israel does not have the ability to satisfy the Palestinian demands by itself without signing its own death warrant. To satisfy the Palestinian demand for statehood, Israel’s neighbors in Egypt and Jordan would have to get involved.

Until Sisi made his proposal, no Arab leader ever seriously considered actually doing what must be done. Indeed, the rejection of this self-evident Israeli claim has been so overwhelming that in recent years, every Israeli suggestion to this effect was met with raised eyebrows and dismissal by Israelis and foreigners alike.

So what is driving Sisi? How do we account for this dramatic shift? In offering the Palestinians a large swathe of the Sinai, Sisi is not acting out of altruism. He is acting out of necessity. From his perspective, and from the perspective of his non-jihadist Sunni allies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian campaign against Israel is dangerous.

Facing the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and the rise of jihadist forces from al-Qaida to the Islamic State to the Muslim Brotherhood, the non-jihadist Sunnis no longer believe that the prolongation of the Palestinian jihad against Israel is in their interest.

Egypt and Jordan have already experienced the spillover of the Palestinian jihad. Hamas has carried out attacks in Egypt. The Palestinian jihad nearly destroyed Lebanon and Jordan. Egypt and Saudi Arabia now view Israel as a vital ally in their war against the Sunni jihadists and their struggle against Iran and its hegemonic ambitions. They recognize that Israeli action against Sunni and Shi’ite jihadists in Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran serves the interests of non-jihadi Sunnis. And, especially after the recent conflict in Gaza, they realize that the incessant Palestinian campaign against Israel ultimately strengthens the jihadist enemies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia like Hamas.

Apparently, Sisi’s offer to Abbas is an attempt to help the Palestinian people and take the Palestinian issue out of the hands of Palestinian jihadists.

Unfortunately for Sisi and his fellow non-jihadist Sunnis, Abbas is having none of this.

In rejecting Sisi’s offer Abbas stood true to his own record, to the legacies of every Palestinian leader since Nazi agent Haj Amin el-Husseini, and to the declared strategic goal of his own Fatah party and his coalition partners in Hamas. Since Husseini invented the Palestinians in the late 1920s, their leaders’ primary goals have never been the establishment of a Palestinian state or improving the lives of Palestinians. Their singular goal has always been the destruction of the Jewish state, (or state-in-themaking before 1948).

Sisi offered to end Palestinian suffering and provide the Palestinians with the land they require to establish a demilitarized state. Abbas rejected it because he is only interested hurting Israel. If Israel is not weakened by their good fortune, then the Palestinians should continue to suffer.

For Israel, Sisi’s proposal is a windfall.

Read more at Front Page

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Egypt Strikes Jihadis After Decapitation Video

ansar-bayt-al-maqdis-israel-mossad-beheadingjpg (1)Breitbart, By KATIE GORKA, Sep. 1, 2014:

Within just days of a video surfacing showing the decapitation of four Egyptian nationals, the Cairo government took decisive military action and killed the leader of the Jihadist group alleged to have been responsible

Several sources have reported that on Sunday, August 30, Egyptian forces carried out two successful operations against Islamist militants in Sinai. In Al Arish, a city on the northern coast of Sinai, members of a joint police-military action killed Fayez Abdallah Hamdan Abu-Sheta, believed to be a leader of the terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM), thought responsible for the May 2013 kidnapping of 7 police officers and a border guard.

In a separate operation 32 miles away, in the town of Rafah, which borders Gaza, Egyptian forces killed 6 and arrested 10 others, Daily News Egypt reported. It has not yet been revealed whether those killed or arrested are members of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, but this raid occurred three days after the Jihadi group released a very graphic video of the beheading of four Egyptians in Sinai for allegedly spying on behalf of Israel. The video is similar to that of U.S. journalist James Foley, whose beheading by ISIS on August 19, 2014, was also posted online.

While the world’s attention has been focused on the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and their aggressive sweep across Iraq and Syria, Egypt has been waging its own battle against violent jihadists, particularly in the Sinai.  This is a conflict kindled under the Muslim Brotherhood leadership of Mohamed Morsi and which exploded with his ouster in July 2013. When the Muslim Brotherhood announced at a rally on May 1, 2012 that their candidate for president would be Mohammed Morsi, Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi declared the following in his impassioned speech to the crowd of thousands (broadcast on Al-Nas television and translated by MEMRI TV):

We can see how the dream of the Islamic Caliphate is being realized, Allah willing, by Dr. Muhammad Mursi, and his brothers, his supporters, and his political party.  We can see how the great dream—shared by us all—that of the United States of the Arabs…the United States of the Arabs will be restored, Allah willing.  The United States of the Arabs will be restored by this man and his supporters. The capital of the Caliphate—the capital of the United States of the Arabs—will be Jerusalem, Allah willing.  Mursi will liberate Gaza tomorrow….Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina.  It shall be Jerusalem, Allah willing. Our cry shall be: ‘Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.’  Banish the sleep from the eyes of all Jews. Come on, you lovers of martyrdom, you are all Hamas. Forget about the whole world, forget about all the conferences. Brandish your weapons…Say your prayers….And pray to the Lord.



As Thomas Joscelyn, senior editor of the Long War Journal, testified before Congress in February 2014, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt in January 2011, Al Qaeda and other violent jihadist groups saw an opportunity for proselytizing and rebuilding the ummah, or Muslim community of believers. Not only was the new government of Mohamed Morsi not going to crack down on jihadists, but he greatly aided their cause by releasing many of them from prison, including members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) and Gamaa Islamiyya (IG). Egypt became fertile ground for their activities, and the Sinai took on a particular importance because it was the perfect launching ground for renewed attacks on Israel. This suggests that there is also a strong correlation between the terrorism in the Sinai and the fighting in Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood promised to free Gaza and to rebuild the Caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which translates to “Champions of Jerusalem,” began operations in January 2011 with the uprisings that led to the overthrow of the Egyptian government. Initially, they targeted Israel. In July 2012, they blew up a pipeline that served Israel, calling it treason to send Egyptian resources to Israel, according to an article in Egypt News Daily. But following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government on July 3, 2013, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis stepped up their attacks and directed the majority of them against the Egyptian police and military. Their near-daily attacks included the execution of 24 unarmed policemen on August 19, 2013, the attempted assassination of Interior Minister Muhammad Ibrahim in September 2013, an attack on South Sinai’s Security Directorate, and an attack on the military intelligence building in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya in October 2013.

The attacks by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as well as other terrorist groups operating in the Sinai are explicitly carried out in retaliation for the Egyptian military’s role in helping to oust Mohammed Morsi and for their subsequent crackdown by military and police on groups engaging in violence. Indeed, the relationship between groups such as the violent Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the “non-violent” Muslim Brotherhood may be more than ancillary. According to the BBC, some have identified Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Several different sources, including Nabil Naeem, founder of the Islamic Jihad, allege that Khairat al-Shater, the deputy supreme guide of the Brotherhood, directly supports Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Katie Gorka is the president of the Council on Global Security. Follow her on Twitter@katharinegorka.