Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Sinai Province
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Sinai Province (ISIL-SP; Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام – ولاية سيناء, ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām – Wilayah Sīnāʼ)  is a militant Islamist group active in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.
ولاية سيناء (Wilayah Sayna)Participant in the Sinai insurgency
Logo of Wilayat Sinai
|Active||13 November 2014–present|
|Leaders||Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi (Leader of ISIL)|
Abu Hajar al-Hashemi (governor/wali)
Abu Osama al-Masri †
Ashraf Ali Hassanein Gharabali †
|Area of operations||Egypt|
|Part of||Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Allies||Ansar al-Sharia (Egypt)|
|Battles and war(s)||Sinai insurgency|
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM) has been part of the Sinai insurgency and had been especially active in the Sinai since 2011 after the deterioration of security there, focusing its efforts on Israel and the Arab gas pipeline to Jordan. After former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was deposed in the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, Egypt also began conducting a crackdown on jihadist groups in Sinai and elsewhere. ABM and other jihadist groups intensified their campaign of attacks on Egyptian security forces. On 13 November 2014, ABM pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and adopted the name Sinai Province (Wilayah Sīnāʼ) claiming to be a branch of ISIL.
The leader of the group is Abu Osama al-Masri, but not much personal information is available.
During 2014, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis (ABM) sent emissaries to ISIL in Syria to seek financial support, weapons and tactical advice. On 10 November 2014, many members of ABM took an oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL. It adopted the name Sinai Province and has since carried out attacks, mostly in North Sinai, but also in other parts of Egypt. Security officials say militants based in Libya have established ties with Sinai Province.
Attacks and other activitiesEdit
- On 1 July 2015, the group launched a large scale assault in and around the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, eventually being driven back by Egyptian security forces after at least 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed in the fighting. According to Brian Fishman of the New America Foundation, the tactics used by the attackers - suicide bombers backed up by direct and indirect fire, mortar fire in combination with small arms, and simultaneous assaults in multiple locations — suggested a transfer of knowledge from ISIL fighters in Iraq and Syria.
- The group claimed to have shot 3 Grad rockets on 3 July 2015 from Sinai to southern Israel near the Gaza Strip. Two rocket hits were confirmed in Eshkol, which did not result in any injury or property damage. Israel did not respond to the attack.
- On 16 July 2015, the group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack at an Egyptian Navy patrol boat along the northern coast of Sinai, close to the Gaza Strip.
- The group claimed responsibility for bringing down Russian aircraft Metrojet Flight 9268, carrying 224 passengers. It was flying to Saint Petersburg from Sharm-el-Sheikh on 31 October 2015, when it broke up over Hasna (Egypt), killing all on board. Data obtained from the airplane black boxes gives credence to the idea that there was a bomb attack. On 17 November 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that a bomb attack brought down the aircraft.
- One of the group's leaders, Ashraf Ali Hassanein Gharabali, was shot and killed in a shoot-out with Egyptian security forces in Cairo on 10 November 2015. The Egyptian Interior Ministry linked Gharabali to a string of attacks including an assassination attempt on the Interior Minister.
- The group claimed responsibility for an attack on the Arab gas pipeline on 7 January 2016.
- In December 2016, the group revealed the name of its governor (or wali, or leader) to be Abu Hajar al-Hashemi.
- On February 2017, ISIL-linked operatives launched four Grad rockets from Egyptian territory in Sinai peninsula on the Israeli southernmost city of Eilat, prompting Israeli Iron Dome system to intercept three of the rockets, with no physical casualties or damage reported, though 11 civilians were brought to Eilat Josephtal Hospital to be treated for shock.
- In March 2017, the group released a video titled "The Light of the Islamic Law", which they were shown blowing up Egyptian patrols, destroying TV sets, desecrating and detonating graves, executing prisoners and captured Egyptian soldiers, and lastly beheading two old men (one an elder who voiced opposition to ISIL, and the other a street magician performer).
- It was reported on 21 April 2017 that an Egyptian air raid killed 19 ISIL fighters, including three unnamed leaders.
- On 24 November 2017, In bir al-Abed attack jihadists killed 311 people and injured at least 122.
- On 19 December 2017, one officer was killed and two were injured in a failed assassination attempt on the Minister of Interior Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar and the minister of defense Sedki Sobhy.
- On 29 December 2017, 11 were killed in Saint Mena church attack on the Mar-Mina church in Helwan (south of Cairo).
- Michael Shkolnik, From Marriage of Convenience to Bitter Divorce: The Unraveling Ties Between Hamas and the Islamic State's Sinai Affiliate, January 22, 2018
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- Kirkpatrick, David D. (10 November 2014). "Militant Group in Egypt Vows Loyalty to ISIS". New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. A1. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- Karim, Ammar; al-Atrush, Samer (10 November 2014). "Egypt jihadists vow loyalty to IS as Iraq probes leader's fate". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 15 April 2019 – via Yahoo News.
- Fahmy, Omar; Bayoumy, Yara (16 February 2015). "Egypt strikes back at Islamic State militants after beheading video, killing dozens". The Age. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
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- "Jihadist Attacks on Egypt Grow Fiercer". The New York Times. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
- "IS-linked Sinai terrorists claim latest rocket fire". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- "ISIS carry out rocket strike on Egyptian navy patrol boat in the Mediterranean". Mail Online.
- "Russian plane crash: Isil claims it 'brought down' airliner that crashed in Sinai with 224 people on board - latest news". The Telegraph (uk). Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Russian plane black boxes point to 'attack', Putin halts flights". AFP. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- "Putin Says Sinai Plane Crash Was Caused by Terror Attack". Bloomberg L.P. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- "Egypt police kill leading ISIL operative in Cairo - World Bulletin". World Bulletin. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
- "PressTV-Egypt police kill top Daesh operative". www.presstv.ir. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
- "Egypt kills top Islamic State operative in Cairo, says interior ministry". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
- "IS-linked militants claim attack on Sinai pipeline to Jordan". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- "IS in Sinai: We are nearing Israel border, IAF attacking us".
- Shidlovsky, Nuphar. "ISIS in Sinai:". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- "ISIS rocket attack on Israel is foiled when missiles are shot down". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Arab, The New. "IS affiliate releases footage of 'religious policing' in Sinai". alaraby. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
- "Egypt says air raids kill 19 ISIL fighters in Sinai". aljazeera.com. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Walsh, Declan; Youssef, Nour (2017-11-24). "Militants Kill 305 at Sufi Mosque in Egypt's Deadliest Terrorist Attack". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
- "Islamic State claims air base attack in Egypt's North Sinai". Reuters. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
- "WRAP-UP: Egypt witnesses sad Friday after Mar Mina church attack". egypttoday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03.
- "Gunman kills 11 in attacks on Coptic church, Christian-owned shop in E". Reuters. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-03.