Terrorism in the Sinai

Richards, Robin Nicole
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This report tracks and analyzes militant activity in the Sinai Peninsula. It focuses on the violence that has occurred since 2011, and particularly on the major increase in violence has been ongoing since July 2013. The project relies on open source intelligence to identify the reasons for the increase in violence and also determine the nature of the violence – who is carrying out the attacks and why. On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian military removed the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. What followed was an unprecedented increase in violence in the Sinai Peninsula. Since the fall of 2013, the violence has spread from the Sinai Peninsula into the mainland of Egypt. Hundreds of security personnel have been killed or injured since the uptick in the violence. After the coup that removed Morsi, there was a significant shift in the targets of attacks and the tactics used and this shift is indicative of the presence of the global jihadi network in the Sinai. Terrorist groups stopped targeting Israel and turned almost exclusively to Egypt security personnel. There has also been a major increase in suicide attacks, which indicates that there is a connection between the global jihadi network and Egyptian militant groups. The military is once again in control of Egypt’s government yet they have focused on consolidating political control instead of dealing with Egypt’s mounting security problem. The military has consistently insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the terror and ignored the true cause of the violence. This willful omission has allowed the terrorist groups in the Sinai to flourish and threaten security in mainland Egypt.