Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis ‘Twitter account’ threatens Pepsi
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis - YOUM7 (Archive)
By HANAN FAYED

CAIRO: A Twitter account associated with Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis demanded on Friday an official statement from Pepsi Egypt on “collaborating” with the police, and warned the “entire company” of “destruction” in Egypt.

The account posted two pictures of one or more closed truck that appears to belong to Pepsi, and claimed it was used to transport detainees.

“This is a final warning for you, and then Pepsi Company should not blame anyone but itself, for by God we will not allow collaboration with the police not matter who that collaborator is and what his status and position are,” the account tweeted.

The account has been the subject of much controversy, as the militant group previously released a statement saying that they do not have an official Twitter account. However, the Twitter account has been referenced in media reports from various outlets, including Reuters, for ‘claimed’ attacks in different parts of Egypt.

Further, following the Tweets that were published claiming responsibility for various armed attacks and bombings, the group has issued official statements affirming their responsibility for the same attacks.

Cairo Court for Urgent Matters designated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis as a terrorist organization on April 14, obliging the Cabinet and the interim President Adly Mansour to uphold the decision.

The U.S. Department of State also announced in a statement April 19 the designation of the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The British parliament approved a government motion on April 2 to add Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Al-Murabitun and Ansar al-Sharia to the list of the international terrorist organizations.

The group began to surface in 2011, after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and launched attacks against Israeli targets and Sinai pipelines exporting gas to Israel and Jordan.

After the forcible dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins in August 2013, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis started to attack Egyptian military and police targets, killing dozens, including civilian bystanders. A number of their suspected members have been arrested in a security crackdown in the Sinai by the Egyptian army.

The Twitter account affiliated with the group routinely claims responsibility for violent attacks and bombings, including the downing of the military helicopter in the Sinai in January 2014, and the bombing of a tour bus in Sinai, killing an Egyptian and three South Koreans in February.

The Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly denied links to violent attacks and “reiterated its peacefulness;” however, Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in December 2013 and Saudi Arabia followed suit in March 2014.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron recently a ordered probe into the Muslim Brotherhood activities in the U.K.

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