Egypt Security Watch

ESW Week in Brief: September 14–20, 2019


  • The Ministry of Interior reportedly killed at least 12 individuals in at least three counter-terrorism raids across Egypt.
  • Wilayat Sinai reported attacks in Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, including one that it claimed had killed five officers.
  • The Egyptian and U.S. militaries participated in a joint combined exchange traning on fighting terrorism in the field.

Spate of Counter-terror Operations Kills at Least 12

In at least three operations reported over the course of the week, Egyptian security forces reportedly killed at least 12 individuals. The Ministry of Interior reported that it had targeted the Muslim Brotherhood and Liwa al-Thawra in two raids in Obour and 15 May City, where they stated nine individuals were killed; Liwa al-Thawra carried out three attacks from late 2016 to early 2017, though it has not claimed any attacks since then. In a separate statement, the ministry claimed it had killed a “group” of people in a raid in Galabana, in the far west of North Sinai, adding that one of its own officers was wounded in the shootout. Daily News Egypt also reported that a previous raid had taken place in Arish in which four were killed, though no information about the raid appeared on the Interior Ministry’s website.

Wilayat Sinai Claims Attacks in Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, Including the Use of Mortars

On September 16, Wilayat Sinai claimed two attacks in Sheikh Zuweid. In one attack, the group detonated an improvised explosive device in an attack against a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle. In a video released by the group of another attack on a military checkpoint in Sheikh Zuweid, militants were shown firing at least one mortar shell. Mortars were commonly used by the group from 2015 to 2017, but have rarely been used since then.

On September 14, the group claimed an attack in Arish that it described as having killed 5 soldiers, including an officer.

Joint Counter-Terrorism Exercises Between the United States and Egypt

Units from the Egyptian military’s “Thunderbolt” special forces carried out a joint combined exchange training (JCET) on fighting terrorism in the field with U.S. army’s special forces on Sunday. Training included “exercises on ways to deal with explosive devices, fighting in cities and in open areas, and eliminating terrorist hideouts in residential areas.” The Egyptian military released a short video showing the exercises.

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