US Places Egyptian ISIS Group on Terror List
The United States has placed the Islamic State’s branch in Egypt’s restive North Sinai region on its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The State Department said in a statement published on its website that the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group affiliated with the Islamic state organization in North Sinai, eastern Egypt, in addition to the “Egyptian arms” movement known for short as “Hasm”, has been included on the terrorist list.
The group surfaced in 2014, and claimed responsibility for many assassinations and attacks in Cairo and the Nile Delta, especially targeting security services forces. The Egyptian authorities accuse the group of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also, the US Treasury Department announced the names of two Egyptians that it had included on the “banned” lists.
Egyptian security forces have been battling a long-running Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, spearheaded by a local ISIS affiliate.
The fighting intensified after the military’s 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. In February 2018, security forces launched a nationwide operation against terrorists, focused on the sparsely populated North Sinai.