Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledges allegiance to IS
Screenshot from Youtube IS audio
By AYA SAMIR

CAIRO: Sinai-based jihadists Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) released an audio recording published on YouTube Sunday in which they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, and said they are “accepting the call of Allah.”

This is at least the second time the militant group has publicly announced an alliance with (IS). However, they initially denied their original pledge shortly after the news was reported by Reuters on Nov. 4. They wrote on their official Twitter account then that the published news was wrong and that media channels should be more careful publishing anything about them.

The nine-minute audio released Sunday said that a long time ago, Muslims faced injustice for decades until they fought and achieved victory. “Nowadays, they are facing a similar war, as our brothers in Iraq and Syria were fighting until they established the Islamic State with no borders, applied Shariah and announced the caliphate of Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” IS said in the YouTube audio. “Now we have no choice but to accept the call of Allah.”

The male voice, who said he was an ABM media representative, called on all Muslims everywhere to pledge their allegiance to IS and to Baghdadi to support and stand by him. He then specifically spoke to Egyptians, saying, “What are you waiting for after your honor has been desecrated and your children killed? When will you use your swords against the enemies?”

Aswat Masriya reported Monday that Interior Ministry spokesperson Hany Abdel Latif said in statements the AMB pledge to IS “won’t make any difference for Egypt confronting terrorism” and “all of these are just different names for the same terrorism.”

Meanwhile, ongoing military operations in the Sinai continued to kill and arrest dozens of jihadist suspects, according to military spokesperson Mohamed Samir in statements on his Facebook page Sunday. He said the military Saturday killed eight jihadists and arrested 13 others.

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