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ISIS Is Alive and Well in Sinai

On Friday, more than 300 worshipers were killed in a shooting and bombing attack on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula by the Islamic State terrorist group. Writing at Israel Hayom, Oded Granot tells of the threat that nearby ISIS poses to Israel, and what must be done to stop them:

The massacre believed to have been perpetrated by more than two dozen Islamic State terrorists on Friday was unprecedented – in the horrifyingly large number of victims, in the target choice, and in the revelation that the organization's tentacles, spread across the Middle East, are still very much alive and insanely murderous, even though its heart in Syria and Iraq has stopped beating.

Most of the worshippers who were killed in the Sinai mosque were Sufis, adherents of Sunni Islamic mysticism. In principle, Islamic State sees them as apostates, but until now, the Egyptian branch of the organization has focused primarily on operations against Egyptian security forces in Sinai and against the Coptic Christian minority. This precedent-setting decision by the group to go target Sufis – and inside a mosque, a house of prayer to Allah – may well indicate a new chapter in the annals of Islamic State after the fall of the caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

At this stage, it appears as though the various arms of the Islamic State leadership have launched a battle over power and control. Instead of investing in recruiting new members, they are now trying to outdo each other with body counts, trying to prove that they are stronger, crueler and more extreme in their faith than the others.

Islamic State in Sinai has several clear advantages over the other branches in this competition. It existed before the establishment of Islamic State; it mostly comprises young locals who have been radicalized; and it derives its power from the frustration of the Bedouin in Sinai, who feel neglected by the authorities...

Tags: Egypt , ISIS , Terrorism

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