Egypt: Sinai Terrorists Received Training in ISIS Camps in Syria
Investigations in the “Wilayat Sinai” case, which includes 555 suspected terrorists, have revealed that their ideology is based on takfiri ideas aimed at overthrowing the Egyptian state and establishing a so-called "caliphate".
Investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution included detailed confessions of 88 members in connection to attacks carried out by the terrorist organization, which had pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.
The attacks were concentrated in the North Sinai province and the group's commanders were in constant and continuous contact with ISIS leaders in Iraq and Syria. They received training in Syria on the use of weapons and explosives and headed to Egypt to carry out their attacks against the state, its institutions and citizens.
Attorney General Nabil Sadek referred a total of 555 suspects to the military judiciary on charges of forming 43 terrorist cells and carrying out 63 attacks against police and military personnel in North Sinai.
North Sinai became a terrorist hub since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is considered a terrorist group by Egypt.
Investigations revealed that fugitive, Tarek al-Zumar, former head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Building and Development Party, played a pivotal role in “Wilayat Sinai”, providing financial support to the group from outside Egypt.
Zumar is included on a list of 59 terrorists announced by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in June in wake of their severing of relations with Qatar over its support of terrorism.
He is being tried in absentia in Egypt in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood armed gathering in the Rabaa al-Adawiya region in eastern Cairo. The case, involving 739 defendants, is overseen by the criminal court.
In March, an Egyptian court placed Zumar and 319 people on a terrorist list for their links to the "Second Wilayat Sinai."
Since February, Egypt’s security and military forces have been waging an all-out offensive against terrorists in northern Sinai, deploying tens of thousands of troops and police backed by fighter jets, helicopter gunships, navy vessels and tanks.
In November, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi gave orders for the army and police to "use all force to root out terrorism."