Terror in the Sinai


Terror in the Sinai

07 May 2014

The Terror in the Sinai report provides an in-depth study of the growing threat posed by Egypt's militant groups – such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and looks at the evolution of the threat post 2011, the statistical analysis of the threat and the military groups operating in the Sinai.

The report was published on 7 May 2014 by the Henry Jackson Society, a London based think tank.

As well as looking in detail at the terrorist threat coming from the Sinai Peninsula, the report finds that foreign fighters and weapons are continuing to flow into region, and al-Qaeda and other active franchises of the group are making inroads into the peninsula.

Key Findings
  • Al-Qaeda (AQ) ideology appears to have a growing presence within the Sinai;
  • There are strong indications of a foreign fighter presence in the Sinai;
  • The Sinai's longstanding smuggling routes are being used by militant groups to stockpile arms for use in attacks in the peninsula;
  • While the military regularly claims progress in confronting terrorist groups in the Sinai, actual evidence of its success is limited;
  • The government's deteriorating relationship with Bedouin tribal leaders and poor treatment of the wider population is undermining its attempt to re-establish stability in the peninsula;
  • After Egypt, no country is more threatened by instability in the Sinai than Israel;
  • Militant groups from the Sinai are now more than twice as likely to wage an attack against Egypt or Israel than in the period immediately prior to President Mohamed Morsi's ousting in July 2013;
  • Militant groups in the Sinai have adopted increasingly co-ordinated and sophisticated methods of attack;
  • In addition to waging more sophisticated attacks, armed groups have broadened the geographic spread of their operations. Now, attacks by Sinai militants are increasingly likely to target other locations in mainland Egypt and Israel rather than North Sinai;
  • Recent political events appear to have had a direct impact on the rhetoric and strategy of militant groups in the Sinai;
  • The Egyptian state has paid a high cost (in personnel and property) in its attempt to restore security in the Sinai;
  • The most operationally active and deadliest militant group in the Sinai is Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM, a.k.a. Ansar Jerusalem). Although an overwhelming majority of attacks (87%) go unclaimed, the group has taken ownership of 63% of all attacks for which responsibility has been claimed or attributed.

You can read more from the Henry Jackson Society report here.

This article summarises an external report, and is not to be taken as the view of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. 

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The Henry Jackson Society