Center for Strategic Communication

In a statement posted to jihadist forums on July 6, al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya denounced the Egyptian army for firing on protesters in the city of el Arish in North Sinai. The statement, titled “Regarding the Crimes of the Army Elements Against the Protesters in Arish,” was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The Salafi jihadist group charged that the Egyptian army had opened fire and wounded at least 21 people who were protesting “in front of the district building in Arish during afternoon prayers on Friday.” “The matter cannot be denied, for the cameras and videos had recorded it and the video is on the internet,” the statement said. According to al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya, Friday’s incident is “a continuation of the series of crimes against the people and sons of Sinai.”

“The people of Sinai in general will not stand aside, and the rise of the people of Arish after this crime and their taking control of the district building and expelling the army is only an example of that,” the group said. Jihadists are said to have overtaken the district building in el Arish and raised a black al Qaeda flag on Friday.

The Salafi jihadist group further stated that there must “a decisive stand against the war that has been declared by the enemies of Islam in Egypt against Islam and the Shariah of Allah and in which the police and the army participated alongside the secularists and the Christians.”

A representative of al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya in Sinai recently announced the formation of a new front, “Ansar al Sharia in Egypt,” in the wake of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. The group is getting ready for a fight, saying it will “make preparations and acquire means of power such as weapons and training,” according to a statement obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

In addition to the statement by al Salafiyya al Jihadiyya, a statement announcing the establishment of the Brigades of Abdullah Azzam in Egypt was posted to jihadist forums today. According to SITE, the statement was posted to the Shumukh al-Islam forum, but was subsequently removed by administrators.

“It was later distributed on other forums and on jihadists’ Twitter accounts,” SITE reported. Facebook pages affiliated with Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia appear to have posted the statement as well.

The statement alleged that a campaign has been launched to “maim the image of Islam and destroy it.” The Brigades said that their goal is “to support the religion of Allah, and to make the words of Allah the highest, and to remove injustice from the people of Egypt.”

The group concluded its statement by warning that “the traitors and the agents of the Jews and the Christians” must be wary as “what we have to say to them is what you will see and not what you hear. You will only see from us, Allah the Almighty permitting, what will harm you.”

It is not clear if the new group exists beyond the Internet or if it has any ties to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a jihadist group that has claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in Israel as well as the July 28, 2010 bombing of a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.