ISIS in Sinai, sitting on Israel’s doorstep, swears allegiance to new Islamic State leader

Egypt’s ISIS-following Sinai Province swears allegiance to Al-Baghdadi’s replacement.

By World Israel News Staff

The ISIS affiliate in Sinai swore allegiance to the new leader named by the group following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, it announced on the messaging app Telegram on Saturday.

The ISIS branch in Sinai posted pictures of about two dozen fighters standing among trees, with a caption saying they were pledging allegiance to the new leader.

Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi was named head of ISIS after al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid by U.S. special forces in northern Syria, where he was hiding out in a compound close to the Turkish border. A Thursday audio message announced Quraishi would lead ISIS and confirmed Baghdadi’s death. It also vowed revenge against the U.S.

The ISIS Sinai branch is a threat to both Israel and Egypt. ISIS has tried to attack Israel from Sinai but has failed due to Israel’s intelligence capabilities.

The ISIS threat has led to unprecedented cooperation between Egypt and Israel to root out the terror group.

The New York Times reported in Feb. 2018, “For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.”

Egypt has been doing everything it can to crush an insurgency in Sinai that began with the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It started with a Bedouin insurrection and morphed into a group calling itself Sinai Province and declaring its fidelity to ISIS.

Violence escalated after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was brought down by Egypt’s military in 2013.