ESW Week in Brief: September 7–13, 2019

09/13/2019 . By TIMEP

Summary

  • In its weekly al-Naba newsletter, the Islamic State reported that its Sinai branch had carried out 228 attacks in the previous year; TIMEP recorded 167 attacks claimed by the Islamic State’s Sinai-based affiliate during that period.
  • Wilayat Sinai continued to claim attacks in North Sinai, using an RPG to target a military tank and engaging in clashes south of Sheikh Zuweid.
  • Wilayat Sinai released a half-hour video that displayed footage of several coordinated attacks, as well as announced the deaths of fighters from Upper Egypt, North Sinai, Palestine, and the Caucasus.
  • Egyptian police arrested 16 men for allegedly supporting a terrorist organization and published a video of one of them describing several financial networks spanning Europe and Turkey.

Islamic State’s al-Naba Newsletter Reports on Year of Wilayat Sinai Attacks

In its weekly al-Naba newsletter, the Islamic State reported on Wilayat Sinai’s activity over Hijri year 1441, which ended on August 31, 2019. IS claimed that its Sinai branch carried out 228 attacks over the period, including 157 attacks with improvised explosive devices; the organization claimed that these attacks resulted in 463 casualties, though it did not differentiate between those killed or wounded. TIMEP recorded 167 attacks claimed by Wilayat Sinai and 211 casualties attributed to attacks claimed by it during this period, a discrepancy that may be due to the exaggeration of the number of attacks carried out or the claiming of attacks retroactively.

Wilayat Sinai Claims RPG Attack and Clashes with Egyptian Military

On September 10, the group claimed an attack on a military tank using an RPG, and on September 7 the group disseminated a video showing clashes with the Egyptian military south of Sheikh Zuweid. No casualties were reported in either attack.

Wilayat Sinai Releases “Reign and Persistence 3” Video

On September 8, Wilayat Sinai released a 29-minute video that showed footage from a variety of operations (including footage recorded by those killed during fighting), training exercises, and lengthy addresses from several militants. The video also acknowledged several members who died while fighting for the group, acknowledging those from Egypt (including Upper Egypt), Palestine, and the Caucasus; Caucasian fighters have at several times been shown as martyrs in previous Wilayat Sinai propaganda, though the routes through which they enter Sinai are unclear.

The video also showed images from other activities the group has carried out as part of its efforts to exert control over the local population, including setting up checkpoints and beheading those whom it alleged have been collaborating with the military. Wilayat Sinai often highlights these operations that carried out in broad daylight, to showcase its ability to operate with ease, despite the efforts and claims of Egyptian security forces to control the province.

Egyptian Police Arrest 16 Men for Suspected Ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian authorities arrested 16 individuals allegedly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Ministry of Interior claimed that the individuals planned to carry out attacks against security personnel and to target the economy. A video posted by the ministry shows one of the arrested men confessing to a variety of activities considered crimes under Egypt’s anti-terrorism law, including providing financial support to a designated terrorist organization. The man in the video stated that the group had established secret networks throughout Europe and Turkey that facilitated the smuggling of foreign currency to support the Muslim Brotherhood. Based on TIMEP’s data collection, since July 2013, the Ministry of Interior has reported the arrest of nearly 10,000 suspected Muslim Brotherhood members as part of its declared war on terror; over 2,000 more have been reported arrested in news media.