In a statement released to jihadist forums today, al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya in Sinai threatened to kill anyone found aiding Egyptian security forces. The group’s statement, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, further denounced the army for waging “war on Islam and Muslims” and trying to push through a “new idolatrous constitution.”
Anyone providing Egyptian security forces with “information and spies for them, and those who participate in their sinful campaigns against the villages, and works as a guide for them…is merely an apostate and deserves to be killed by us,” the jihadist group declared. “We will get him, Allah permitting, even if all the forces of the army and the police protect him. We will reach him, by the help of Allah, even if at his home,” the statement continued.
In a message directed specifically at tribal leaders, al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya warned that “the treacherous agent will only get the sword.”
The statement concluded by offering a chance for those aiding Egyptian security forces to repent. “[T]he door of repentance is open to all who were tainted with agency, and we accept it from him no matter what his past actions,” the statement said.
Along with its threats against those cooperating with Egyptian security forces, the jihadist group reiterated accusations that the army is killing innocent people in its operations in the Sinai. Security forces are “attacking everyone who has any Islamic appearance,” the statement charged. According to al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya, the “war on the mujahideen” has become “a war on the innocent residents of Sinai.”
The jihadist group further contended that Egyptian authorities, described as “apostate forces,” are targeting those who live along the border in order “to create a buffer zone to protect the Jews from any jihadi operations from Sinai.”
Al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya did not announce the death of anyone in the statement, but claimed that “[t]he mujahideen anticipated the bad intentions of the army in targeting the residents with the excuse of having mujahideen among them, so the mujahedeen preferred to withdraw in order to save the residents from this war and that criminality.” In a Sept. 10 statement, Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), another Sinai-based jihadist group, similarly alleged that it knew what the security forces were going to target in their recent operations. “[We] had learned of the targets of this campaign from the way it was launched and the formations of the forces in it and through information they received,” the communique stated. As a result, “the mujahideen … undertook a studied evacuation operation that would make this operation lose its goal.”
In jihadist forums, along with the statement the Sinai-based group provided links to recent video releases from the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center as well as Ansar Jerusalem detailing some of the alleged crimes of the Egyptian security forces in the Sinai.
Today’s statement from al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya comes a month after the group charged that the Egyptian army was lying about its operations in the Sinai Peninsula. In that communiqué, the group argued that Egyptian operations in the Sinai must be “repulsed and thwarted.” [T]his is what the mujahideen are doing every day with operations that harm them and destroy [the army’s] powers,” the statement said.
A few weeks earlier, on Aug. 22, the jihadist group released a statement calling on Muslims to fight the “apostate” Egyptian army. The communiqué was particularly notable, as last fall the group had said that “the army and the police are not our targets and that our weapons are directed at the enemies and the enemies of our Ummah the Jews.” And similarly, in mid-May, the jihadist group had said “the target of the Salafist Jihadist current in Sinai is the Zionist enemy and its operations are directed to them, and the Egyptian soldiers are not a target for us.”