A flier holding a statement by the Salafi Jihadi movement in Sinai, distributed in Suez yesterday morning following the Eid prayers, gave rise to wide controversy among the public.
A flier holding a statement by the Salafi Jihadi movement in Sinai, distributed in Suez yesterday morning following the Eid prayers, gave rise to wide controversy among the public. Some saw it as threatening, while others could not fully grasp its meaning and said its wording was enigmatic.
The statement was cloaked in Islamic rhetoric, and warned the Egyptian army that the ongoing military crackdown on Jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula will force it to fight back.
The Egyptian army has been hunting militants in Sinai since the 5 August attack on Egyptian border guards killed 16 soldiers. Egypt blamed the attack on Islamist militants.
The army operation, which was launched on 8 August and in the first day of which 20 militants were killed by the Egyptian army, is the biggest in more than three decades in Sinai where troop and army vehicle movements are strictly limited under the terms of Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
“We have never raised our weapons against the Egyptian army,” the Salafi Jihadi statement said, addressing the Egyptian army. “So stop the bloodshed or else you will be dragging us into a battle that is not ours. We have never attacked any Egyptian; our battle is with the Zionist enemy.”
Moderates fear that Gaza’s Hamas have joined forces with militant Islamists from among the Bedouin in Sinai and are already turning the Peninsula into a fully fledged Ial-Qaeda-style jihadi base.
The Salafi Jihadi statement said other jihadi groups, which it did not name, were behind some 14 attacks since the January 2011 Revolution on Sinai’s gas pipeline that delivers gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan.
20 August 2012