CAIRO: The new U.S. designation of jihadi group Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) as a “terrorist organization” proves the group’s righteousness, and that the U.S. directs the Egyptian government, the militant group said in a Friday statement.
Ajnad Misr was added to the list of “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” by the U.S., according to a Thursday U.S. State Department statement. An Egyptian designation preceded the U.S.’s in May after the group claimed responsibility for several bombings.
“You will not rule us and will not intervene in our lands. We are not an American state. We realize the truth of the battle and who we face. We are not facing a criminal regime or apparatuses inside it. We are facing a global system that will not accept our liberation from its clout and breaking away from its chains against its will, for our freedom will deprive it from our wealth that it loots and our fortunes that it consumes,” Ajnad Misr said in its statement.
Ajnad Misr’s operations have mostly been in Cairo, where the city’s three major public universities have been targeted by the group. Saying that “the media battle is as important as the military battle,” Ajnad Misr has recently waged a media campaign and established a “media arm” called Kanana Productions. It has released two videos depicting its operations thus far, and Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has followed the same approach by posting gruesome videos of its attacks.
“And from whom does this designation come from? It comes from those who became addicted to killing humans and enslaving peoples. From the state of terrorism, America, the killer of children and founder of secret prisons that enact laws to legalize murder and indecent assaults. Who among us is the terrorist? [America], a country that was established on blood and lives in blood,” Ajnad Misr said, alluding to a recently issued report on torture conducted by U.S. forces.
Also on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi both agreed on the importance of continuing their countries’ “close military and intelligence relationships,” according to releases by both governments.
Ajnad Misr and the Islamic State group
The U.S. statement on Ajnad Misr’s terrorist designation said the group “splintered” from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which had already been ruled a “terrorist” group in April by an Egyptian court and the U.S.
Ajnad Misr officials identifying themselves as Mohamed Al-Qahiri (Mohamed the Cairene), a public relations officer, and Moaz al-Masry (Moaz the Egyptian), a spokesperson for Kanana Productions, follow a Twitter account with the title “State of Sinai,” the name Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis gave itself after swearing allegiance to the Islamic State group.
Tweeting a story by Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, Qahiri called it “false,” as it claimed the group is not an affiliate of the Islamic State group, but rather of Al-Qaeda.
Ajnad Misr, however, has not announced its allegiance to the Islamic State, although its leader Majd al-Deen al-Misry is expected to reveal its alleged affiliation in a video Kanana Productions promised following an online Q&A session from Dec. 2-9.