The Jerusalem Post
Dr. Mohammed Ghazlani, official mediator between the Sinai authorities and extremists, said Thursday that Salafist-Jihadi groups have embraced extremist ideology in the troubled peninsula.
Ghazlani told Egypt’s el- Watan newspaper that a number of these groups, among them Tawhid wal-Jihad (“One God and Holy War”) have signed up to al-Qaeda-style Islamist ideologies.
Wal-Jihad’s terror operations have included the Sinai bombings of October 7, 2004 which left 34 people dead.
Ghazlani is one of a delegation of reformed jihadists appointed by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in August to mediate with radical Salafist-Jihadist leaders in Sinai.
Morsi launched the initiative in the wake of Egypt’s Operation Eagle, a military campaign launched to restore security.
In his interview with el-Watan, Ghazlani claimed that although al-Qaeda’s ideology is prevalent in Sinai, there is no communication or coordination between jihadists in Egypt and in other parts of the world.
The reformed jihadist mediator also claimed that al-Qaeda would not mount attacks on Egyptian targets or attack foreign interests in that country.
Ghazlani, who according to el-Watan spent years in prison under the Mubarak regime, said that al-Qaeda and all jihadist groups had a “major interest” in the stability and success of Islamic rule, which Morsi “sought to establish and maintain” in Egypt.
Sinai Jihadists were “keen not to carry out Jihad against the Zionists in Palestine” because that could weaken Morsi, although they believed Egypt should amend the Camp David peace agreement, Ghazlani said.
However, according to Yoram Schweitzer, an international terrorism export from the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Sinai’s Salafist-Jihadist groups have carried out a number of terror attacks against Israel and may also target US and foreign interests in the future.
There are clear signs that Salafist-Jihadist groups in Sinai have adopted al-Qaeda’s ideologies Schweitzer told The Jerusalem Post, noting that some of the groups’ operations and choice of targets are in line with al-Qaeda strategy.
Schweitzer said the most active of Sinai’s Salafist- Jihadist groups is Ansar Bayit al-Maqdis (“Supporters of Jerusalem”), which claimed responsibility for the September 21 border attack that killed an Israeli soldier.
Although most of the group’s members are Beduin, at least two of the terrorists responsible for the September attack are from the Nile Delta region, according to Egyptian media reports.
Ansar Bayit al-Maqdis has also issued statements saying it was responsible for firing rockets into Eilat and for an attack on the Arish-Ashkelon Arab Gas Pipeline.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE
The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...
The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on tax deductible donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a tax deductible donation today.