CAIRO: A Twitter account associated with the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis warned on Wednesday their allies and the Ansar al-Sharia Brigades based in Benghazi, Libya, that they are being targeted by the Egyptian army.
“To our allies and Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, be aware that the Egyptian army aims to strike the jihadists in Libya secretly, so do not release any Egyptian officer who has been detained in Libya,” the message read.
The Twitter account affiliated with the group claimed responsibility for many of the deadliest attacks in Egypt, killing a number of mostly police and military personnel, since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last summer, including the downing of a military helicopter in the Sinai Peninsula in January, and the bombing of a tour bus in Sinai, killing four in February, Al-Ahram reported.
The 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 their list of the international “terrorist” organizations.
Tens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders reportedly left Qatar for Libya on April 26, a move that took place through coordination between Qatari intelligence and the Ansar al-Sharia group in Benghazi, Gulf News reported.
Qatari civilian and military planes reportedly landed at Maeetiqiya international airport, 11 kilometers from the Libyan capital of Tripoli, carrying dozens of Brotherhood leaders who were ferried to unidentified places in cars waiting in the airport, Gulf News reported.