ISIS: Sinai jihadists respond to al Baghdadi and change name

Audio message by 'caliph' amid escalating tension in Egypt

14 November, 11:50

    Egyptian President responds to attacks in Sinai which left over 30 soldiers dead last October Egyptian President responds to attacks in Sinai which left over 30 soldiers dead last October

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO - The jihadist group active in northern Sinai, Ansar Beit al Maqdis, which had recently pledged allegiance to ISIS, announced via Twitter it has changed its name into ''State of the Sinai belonging to Islamic State'', responding to an audio message attributed to the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al Baghdadi released on Thursday.

    In the message, Baghdadi allegedly ''accepted'' the alliance with jihadists in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya and Algeria.

    Ansar Beit al Maqdis is constantly forced to change its Twitter account to avoid the ''suspension'' by social networks.

    A wave of attacks of different intensity, at times targeting the armed forces, has intensified in northern Sinai, as well as in other parts of the country, over the past few months.

    On Thursday, a low-intensity device exploded in a subway car in Cairo, wounding 21 people, mostly over injuries caused by those fleeing in panic.

    The previous night, a Navy cutter exchanged gunfire with four boats some 40 miles off the coast, between the ports of Damietta and Port Said.

    Five sailors were injured while another eight are missing at sea. The boats of assailants were sunk, also thanks to air raids, and 32 people were arrested.

    Forty others were arrested yesterday in Ezbet el Borg, near Damietta, and questioned.

    According to a high-ranking military source quoted by newspaper El Masri el Youm, among those arrested were ''foreigners who could be members of the Islamic State''.

    Some observers, however, are calling for caution. That part of the sea is at the center of drug and human trafficking rings, which could be behind the gunfire. But all eyes are on Ansar Beit al Maqdis, the group blamed for several attacks against the army in northern Sinai.

    The operation to cleanse the Sinai was widened after a deadly attack on October 24, in which at least 30 soldiers died, and every day dozens of arrests of ''terrorists and criminals'' are announced. (ANSAmed)

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