An Islamic State fighter carries the group’s flag in Raqqa, north-central Syria..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Egyptian security officials claim they uncovered communication and requests for aid from the Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis to Islamic State.
According to reports by Egyptian security officials in northern Sinai, the evidence is based on intercepted phone calls and text messages, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.
According to this intelligence, the Sinai-based terror group requested from the senior leadership of Islamic State to send trained members to Sinai to help carry out terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces captured members of a “terrorist cell complicit in several terrorist operations in Egypt” and that received training in Syria before returning to Egypt to commit various crimes, Interior Ministry Spokesman Hany Abdel Lattif told the Aswat Masriya website on Saturday.
The report also cited the Egyptian state news agency MENA, which quoted an anonymous security source as saying that the cell was made up of five members who were affiliated with Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Security forces also arrested 34 others from four other terrorist cells, the ministry said.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in an interview published by the Kuwait News Agency on Saturday, claimed that attacks in Sinai were being “backed from abroad.”
“However, the Egyptian State has taken rapid measures, such as enforcing a state of emergency, a curfew, protecting public and vital installations with participation of the armed forces and the policemen.”
As part of its battle on terrorism, Egypt’s religious endowment ministry announced on Sunday that it would dismiss any mosque employee that is proven to be hiding a tunnel or weapons, or is promoting a radical ideology, Ahram Online reported.