Assessing the Jihadist Threat in Egypt: The Sinai Peninsula

Jun 29, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Examining the Jihadist Threat in Egypt
Tactics used by the Islamist militancy in the Sinai Peninsula, which included this 2015 bombing of a police station in El Arish, resemble an insurgency more than a terrorism campaign.
(AFP/Getty Images)

The history of radical Islamism in Egypt is long and bloody. But in the past few years, the threat posed by Egyptian jihadists has reached new heights. Many of the country's jihadists, held captive under former President Hosni Mubarak, were freed during the revolution that led to his ouster in 2011. These militants went on to play a leading role in forming groups such as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which by late 2013 had become the most active and deadly terrorist group in Egypt. Of course, any attempt to examine Egypt's militant threat must first acknowledge the vast difference between the threat environment on the Sinai Peninsula and that of mainland Egypt. The former is far more of an insurgency; Sinai militants employ hit-and-run attacks, ambushes, roadside bombings and indirect-fire attacks with rockets and mortars. By contrast, the militant threat on the mainland tends to more closely resemble urban terrorism....

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